1. Dermot Donnelly-Hermosillo
  2. http://www.fresnostate.edu/csm/chemistry/facstaff/facpages/donnelly.html
  3. Assistant Professor of Chemical Education
  4. Enhancing the Quality of Undergraduate Investigations in Physical Science (EQUIPS)
  5. California State University Fresno
  1. David Andrews
  2. Professor Emeritus
  3. Enhancing the Quality of Undergraduate Investigations in Physical Science (EQUIPS)
  4. California State University Fresno
  1. Iliana Borges
  2. Undergraduate Research Assistant
  3. Enhancing the Quality of Undergraduate Investigations in Physical Science (EQUIPS)
  4. California State University Fresno
  1. Princess Clark
  2. Undergraduate Research Assistant
  3. Enhancing the Quality of Undergraduate Investigations in Physical Science (EQUIPS)
  4. California State University Fresno
  1. Esther Fernandez
  2. Undergraduate Research Assistant
  3. Enhancing the Quality of Undergraduate Investigations in Physical Science (EQUIPS)
  4. California State University Fresno
  1. Roger Key
  2. Instructional Support
  3. Enhancing the Quality of Undergraduate Investigations in Physical Science (EQUIPS)
  4. California State University Fresno
  1. FREDERICK NELSON
  2. Associate Professor and Chair
  3. Enhancing the Quality of Undergraduate Investigations in Physical Science (EQUIPS)
  4. California State University Fresno
  1. Alvir Sangha
  2. Graduate Student
  3. Enhancing the Quality of Undergraduate Investigations in Physical Science (EQUIPS)
  4. California State University Fresno
  1. Jie Zhu
  2. Graduate Student
  3. Enhancing the Quality of Undergraduate Investigations in Physical Science (EQUIPS)
  4. California State University Fresno
Public Discussion
  • Icon for: Dermot Donnelly-Hermosillo

    Dermot Donnelly-Hermosillo

    Lead Presenter
    Assistant Professor of Chemical Education
    May 4, 2020 | 11:53 a.m.

    Thank you for visiting/watching our video!

    Our NSF IUSE project, EQUIPS (Enhancing the Quality of Undergraduate Investigations in Physical Science), is investigating the impact of an integrated Chemistry/Physics inquiry laboratory program for K-8 pre-service teachers. In particular, we are investigating pre-service teachers' explanations of physical science phenomena, the types of scientific investigations they design, and the integration of laboratory course work into their future teaching. 

    We would love to hear your questions/constructive comments about our project so please share. What were your experiences of doing science in school?  How could we address such experiences in our laboratory structure? What other experiences do you think could inform our work?

    Please see our video from last year to hear about researcher and instructor perspectives on EQUIPS.

     
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    Dermot Donnelly-Hermosillo
  • May 12, 2020 | 04:22 p.m.

    Our project focuses on lower grades (fifth, to be specific) because the testimony of many professional scientists is that they had been inspired by some experience or teacher at that grade level and they pursued it since.  By high school, it becomes difficult, we think, to change an anti-science or non-science mind set.  But give us a malleable mind in middle school and there is hope!  My own personal experience (I'm a professional scientist) is that I was mucking around at a middle school age in polluted rivers that I shouldn't have been near and was amazed at what I saw under a microscope (yes, I had a toy one at home--special privilege, I guess).  BTW, I'm still doing the same, but the rivers are less polluted.

  • Icon for: Sara Yeo

    Sara Yeo

    Facilitator
    May 5, 2020 | 04:43 p.m.

    Thank you for sharing your video! I look forward to the discussion--one quick question: How were students recruited to the program? Are they already students in the sciences?

     
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    Dermot Donnelly-Hermosillo
    Kate Goss
    Alvir Sangha
  • Icon for: Alvir Sangha

    Alvir Sangha

    Co-Presenter
    May 5, 2020 | 06:24 p.m.

    Sara, thank you for your comment. Below are responses to your questions.

    Students represent future elementary teachers enrolled in a Liberal Arts degree program that requires four science courses. Students enroll in a Physical Science lecture course and then students are placed into an appropriate laboratory class. The scope of our project focuses on providing future teachers contextualized and integrated opportunities to learn about aspects of scientific phenomena. So if students enroll into a lecture course taught by an instructor with a physics background they are then placed into a laboratory section taught by an instructor with a chemistry background (vice versa). The intent of this design is to support students' development of both Chemistry and Physics ideas without placing emphasis on one specific discipline.

    Typically, the students enter the course with very limited experience and background with science. We take this into consideration with the laboratory design by providing students three weeks of a preparation period in which students have the opportunity to acquire foundational skills needed in order to design experiments that allow sense-making of phenomena later throughout the course.  

    Thank you!

     
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    Jennifer Carinci
    Sara Yeo
    Dermot Donnelly-Hermosillo
  • Icon for: FREDERICK NELSON

    FREDERICK NELSON

    Co-Presenter
    May 6, 2020 | 04:57 p.m.

    Correction--these students are majors in the Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Studies. This course is part of an undergraduate major that provides subject matter preparation for future elementary teachers.

     
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    Sara Yeo
    Dermot Donnelly-Hermosillo
  • Icon for: Sara Yeo

    Sara Yeo

    Facilitator
    May 7, 2020 | 02:30 p.m.

    That's great, thanks, Alvir and Frederick, for your responses!

  • Icon for: Nancy Shapiro

    Nancy Shapiro

    Facilitator
    May 5, 2020 | 08:09 p.m.

    I think it's great that you are giving K-8 pre-service teacher education students these hands on experiences--you say they have 4 science courses as part of their required curriculum--is only one like this one, or do they get a sequence of experiential science courses?  Are you aligning the curriculum to the NGSS?  and helping them see the connections to framework:  practice, core disciplinary ideas, cross-cutting concepts?

    Are you linking the science experiments to mathematics?  Typically, K-8 teachers who have little STEM experiences, also need some engaging mathematics courses, also.  Is this project integrated with language arts in any way--do the students do reports, or keep journals? it seems like such a rich experience for them--it would be great to get some additional spin-off benefit.

    thanks for sharing!

     
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    Dermot Donnelly-Hermosillo
    Kate Goss
    Alvir Sangha
  • Icon for: Alvir Sangha

    Alvir Sangha

    Co-Presenter
    May 5, 2020 | 11:54 p.m.

    Nancy, thank you for your comment and great questions. 

    1. This Physical Science course is the only one of its kind. It stands unique from the other classes future teachers are required to take as this course provides students opportunities to engage in authentic science experiences in a laboratory setting and is specifically designed for future elementary teachers. Currently, the other science courses are either not specifically designed for future teachers or do not provide future teachers the opportunity to learn in a laboratory setting. I suppose it would be a good idea to redesign the other courses with a similar structure, given our findings that many students appreciate the opportunities to collaborate with other future teachers when designing and conducting experiments. 

    2. Yes, the laboratory is specifically designed to support implementation of the NGSS. After each experiment is conducted future teachers are encouraged to reflect on how activities conducted within the laboratory align with the NGSS. Furthermore, they are required to give an example of how they may implement a similar activity in future classrooms and justify why and how it aligns with the NGSS. 

    3. The focus of the laboratory is to develop future teachers' scientific understanding of concepts seen in real world phenomena. However, students are provided ample opportunities within each laboratory to think about how mathematics connects with the observations they experience in each laboratory class. Many of the concepts explored within the laboratory require calculations. For example, we have a laboratory designed to explore the differences in between pressure on a surface and pressure within a container. Within this experiment students have opportunities to explore Boyle's Law and gain an understanding of the inverse relationship between volume and pressure with the collected data from their designed experiments. 

    4. They do record data in laboratory notebooks and then submit pre-laboratory and post-laboratory submissions which take into account students' ability to coherently state what it is they want to explore in the laboratory. 

     

    Thank You!

     
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    Dermot Donnelly-Hermosillo
    Kate Goss
  • Icon for: Nancy Shapiro

    Nancy Shapiro

    Facilitator
    May 6, 2020 | 09:13 a.m.

    Thanks for these thoughtful answers. (I have always thought that science education classes could be a good model for straight intro science courses because they attend to the way students learn, not just the course content.)  

    Good luck with the project!

     

     
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    Dermot Donnelly-Hermosillo
  • May 6, 2020 | 01:59 a.m.

    HI Dermot and collaborators,

    What a terrific project. I love the comments--and the excitement is palatable. How did you design the experiments? Are there supports to help students connect ideas?

    Keep up the good work,

    Marcia

     
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    Dermot Donnelly-Hermosillo
    Alvir Sangha
  • Icon for: Alvir Sangha

    Alvir Sangha

    Co-Presenter
    May 6, 2020 | 03:39 a.m.

    Marcia, thank you for your comment and interest in the EQUIPS project. Below are responses to your questions. 

    1. Each experiment is driven by a broad anchor phenomena question that has no single answer, for example, How does a substance change between solid, liquid, and gas? Developing an experiment around such broad scientific questions can be challenging for future teachers given their limited experience with science. Thus, we provide a layer of guidance in which we provide ideas for the kinds of questions that can be used to drive a students' experiment. An example being, Does water take longer to freeze or melt? The more focused questions are provided as suggestions, we encourage students to create their own questions. This way they are bringing their own ideas and curiosities into the laboratory. 

    2. The instructors in the class provide support in various forms but most commonly by troubleshooting experiments, helping make sense of collected data, and helping draw connections from experiments to the real world. Also, the general structure of the class, lecture and laboratory combined, really helps students out by allowing the opportunity to first familiarize themselves with the possible ideas and concepts during lecture and then have opportunities to engage with these concepts through scientific practices. 

    Thank You!

     

     
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    Dermot Donnelly-Hermosillo
  • Icon for: Dermot Donnelly-Hermosillo

    Dermot Donnelly-Hermosillo

    Lead Presenter
    Assistant Professor of Chemical Education
    May 6, 2020 | 11:33 a.m.

    Thank you Marcia.  The Knowledge Integration framework guides a lot of what we do. 

    Our open-response explanation pre-tests over several semesters consistently show students enter the course with mostly non-normative ideas for Chemistry and Physics concepts.  As a result, we spend a lot of time in the course trying to elicit these ideas before adding ideas and supporting students to make connections, both in the lecture and the laboratory.

    In my lectures, I commonly have students make predictions through a response system or answer questions using a shared Google Doc (All students are required to have devices - Fresno State has a device program). These activities are followed by a mix of simulations, demonstrations, and/or discussions focused on both adding new ideas and connecting with previous student ideas. I especially enjoy the Google Doc as it illustrates the varied types of materials/images students take from online to answer the same question. It is a fun way to critique such resources while improving understanding of concepts. 

    As Alvir noted, the laboratory is guided by a lot of instructor support and also rather detailed requirements for pre/post laboratory submissions.  As an example, our post-labs require students to consider items such as how their laboratory experience connects to their future teaching, to the NGSS, and overall science understanding.

     
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    Dermot Donnelly-Hermosillo
  • Icon for: David Andrews

    David Andrews

    Co-Presenter
    May 6, 2020 | 09:41 a.m.

    The student centered aspect of the presentation is always highly valued.

     
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    Dermot Donnelly-Hermosillo
  • Icon for: Ivory Toldson

    Ivory Toldson

    Facilitator
    May 6, 2020 | 03:31 p.m.

    Thank you for sharing this video. I agree that finding ways for students to feel invested is of critical importance. Thank you for the inclusion of student testimonials. It truly adds the richness of this project. I believe hat learning how concepts can apply in various ways and the ability to learn form peers makes this an especially fruitful experience for students. Very well done.

    Regarding the future elementary teachers enrolled in a Liberal Arts degree program who participate in this program, are you able to track where students are employed after completion of their degree. Are they working in districts that serve underserved populations?

     
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    Dermot Donnelly-Hermosillo
  • Icon for: FREDERICK NELSON

    FREDERICK NELSON

    Co-Presenter
    May 6, 2020 | 04:54 p.m.

    Hi Ivory,

    Thank you for your interest. 

    This course is part of the Liberal Studies program at Fresno State, which is a major that provides subject matter competence for undergraduates who want to become elementary teachers. The elementary teacher education program is a three semester, post-baccalaureate program. They take this Integrated Physical Science course ideally as sophomores, so a lot of time can pass before they are hired as teachers. We are working to follow their progress into their upper division undergraduate and post-baccalaureate coursework, to get a sense of the impact these learning experiences have on their perspectives on teaching science.

    The vast majority of our teacher candidates obtain teaching positions in their home communities in the California Central Valley. Almost all of our districts are composed of underserved populations. These include classes with large numbers of free and reduced lunch recipients and emerging bilingual students. 

     
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    Ivory Toldson
    Dermot Donnelly-Hermosillo
  • Icon for: Hannah Sevian

    Hannah Sevian

    Higher Ed Faculty
    May 7, 2020 | 12:40 p.m.

    Thanks for creating this excellent video. It is great to see pre-service elementary teachers getting experience designing laboratory activities and figuring out how they work. I noticed in one of the student testimonials that the student is talking about how she sees her role as a teacher to be explaining the science to students so that they can understand it. I'm wondering how do you attend to helping the pre-service teachers in your courses make the transition from developing identities as teachers who know science and can explain it to others into teachers who (like you are doing with these pre-service teachers) provide their students with valuable and productive opportunities to do their own sense-making?

     
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    Renee Cole
    Dermot Donnelly-Hermosillo
  • Icon for: Dermot Donnelly-Hermosillo

    Dermot Donnelly-Hermosillo

    Lead Presenter
    Assistant Professor of Chemical Education
    May 7, 2020 | 03:57 p.m.

    Thank you Hannah.

    You make a salient point and it is one we work hard on to address each semester.  Some specific examples of how I address it is through online discussion assignments about power and ownership of knowledge. It is common in such discussions for students to say things like "When I am a teacher, I will know the content/have sufficient expertise and be able to explain it to students."  I prompt them to think about who decides when we have enough knowledge of the content and if it is some finish line we have to cross.  Such a prompt helps many students recognize that it should be an ongoing process. We also have other discussions that focus on argumentation that help students see the tentative nature of knowledge.

    As part of the lecture component, my students get an opportunity to teach a Physical Science class at the end of the semester in a local school.  When they submit their planned activities to me for review, I direct students to focus on sense-making activities for students.  My students are generally good to include student-centered approaches, but there are always ways to refine such activities.

  • May 8, 2020 | 05:51 a.m.

    The sense of self-efficacy that these future teachers gain as a result of their creative approaches and testing is so important for them to be confident teachers and for them also to know how to give their future students hands-on science activities.  Question: are the materials and questions ones that their future elemantary students are likely to have available?  We all like the idea of "hands-on" experience in science; it's not always followed up in the school systems with adequate funding for materials or "room in the curriculum" for the slower pace of "content" that learning science process entails. 

     
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    Dermot Donnelly-Hermosillo
  • Icon for: FREDERICK NELSON

    FREDERICK NELSON

    Co-Presenter
    May 8, 2020 | 01:02 p.m.

    Hi Jeffrey,

    Thanks for your questions.

    The specific content addressed in the course is connected to the science learning experiences  future elementary teachers will be constructing, as the course is aligned to NGSS. More explicitly, the emphasis on a phenomenon as the focus of learning helps them move away from a "textbook content" orientation to curriculum, and instead consider the three-dimensional approach advocated by NGSS.

    The larger issue you bring up of what happens in the school system is real, and takes a more extensive effort to change. Yes, instructional time for science, especially an activity-based curriculum like this one, is not a top priority for many schools. However, many of the teachers who have completed our program are now school science leaders, advocating for classroom science inquiry. We have hope for the future!

     
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    Dermot Donnelly-Hermosillo
  • May 12, 2020 | 04:17 p.m.

    good luck.

  • Icon for: DeeDee Wright

    DeeDee Wright

    Graduate Student
    May 8, 2020 | 12:05 p.m.

    I'm excited to see pre-service elementary teachers engage in understanding science concepts. From the years I worked as a science specialist, I found that many K-5 teachers wanted to incorporate more science in their classroom but often hesitated because they were uncertain of how to explain the science. This is a great way to support the development of a teacher's science identity.

  • Icon for: Dermot Donnelly-Hermosillo

    Dermot Donnelly-Hermosillo

    Lead Presenter
    Assistant Professor of Chemical Education
    May 8, 2020 | 02:17 p.m.

    Thank you for your comment on our video.  We have been pleasantly surprised by the nature of students' comments after the course - students have felt ownership and creativity in their laboratory experiences and feel excited to share it with their future students.

  • May 8, 2020 | 12:26 p.m.

    This is great opportunity for hands-on, contextualized and collaborative learning for pre-service teachers.  Is this an exploratory project, or is there a theoretical framework underlying the course development?   It's great that you have their laboratory notebooks - are there outcomes that you are looking for in their notebooks to evaluate progress/efficacy?  

     
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    Dermot Donnelly-Hermosillo
  • Icon for: Dermot Donnelly-Hermosillo

    Dermot Donnelly-Hermosillo

    Lead Presenter
    Assistant Professor of Chemical Education
    May 8, 2020 | 02:34 p.m.

    Thank you for your comment Michael.  We have been guided by the constructivist knowledge integration framework (Linn & Eylon, 2011), guided-inquiry features (Blanchard et al., 2011), and power relations framework (Donnelly et al., 2014), for designing pre/post open-response assessments for the course and informing the design of the laboratories. We are also conscious of alignment with the SEPs of NGSS.

    We have lots of data on laboratory submissions from students (five semesters worth), but it is not something we have got around to analyzing in detail yet.  Hopefully this summer!  We will be looking for progression in hypothesis generation, as our laboratory instructors often explain it is something the students can find challenging and that requires a lot of exemplification throughout the semester.

    Something tentative that has been interesting from the laboratory notebooks is that in earlier semesters, many students were drawing on resources such as Pinterest and Youtube for inspiration of what to investigate. They can still do that, but we've now required students to include at least three practitioner journals to better inform the types of investigations they would like to conduct and the types of concepts that would be relevant to consider.

  • Icon for: Renee Cole

    Renee Cole

    Higher Ed Faculty
    May 11, 2020 | 11:43 a.m.

    Very interesting work - that hopefully translates into more inquiry and confidence in science in the classroom. You mentioned in an earlier response that you have discussions that focus on argumentation. Do you do any assessment of their argumentation and other science practices? This is an important component of modeling how instructors can value more than just the content explanations.

  • Icon for: Dermot Donnelly-Hermosillo

    Dermot Donnelly-Hermosillo

    Lead Presenter
    Assistant Professor of Chemical Education
    May 12, 2020 | 11:27 a.m.

    Thank you Renee.  Science practices are part of our on-going work.  We have embedded assessments throughout the laboratory course that target the eight SEPs so we will be able to better speak to how the course informs these practices.  Our main focus with content explanations is for the pre/post measures.

  • Icon for: Matt LaDue

    Matt LaDue

    Higher Ed Faculty
    May 12, 2020 | 11:24 a.m.

    Very interesting video!  This seems very similar to the video from the High School Research Initiative, in that students are learning about scientific concepts through inquiry.

    Is this course currently only offered at Fresno State, or are any other California schools replicating it for their teacher programs?

  • May 12, 2020 | 05:14 p.m.

    Thanks for a palpable example of promoting meaningful student agency - nice work!

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