Spotlight

Our AERA Conference Presentations

It is the biggest educational research conference in the world and, once again, Learning Sciences Lab is looking forward to both sharing our projects and learning about work from our colleagues around the world at this year's Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (AERA). Four brave souls will endure the day-long trip from Singapore to New Orleans and here are the details about their presentations. We hope you'll attend their presentations and ask them thought-provoking questions. 

Paper Presentations

Preservivce Teacher Education: Curricula and Tactics

New Generation of Student Teachers "Are They Really Different?" A Study on Korean and Singapore Samples 

Hyo-Jeong So (Presenter), Hyungshin Choi (Chuncheon National University of Education), Wei-Ying Lim, & Yao Xiong

ABSTRACT. The purpose of this paper is to examine the profile of the first-year student teachers in terms of the relationships among their past ICT experiences, personal computer use, constructivist belief, computer efficacy, attitude toward computer in education, and prospective computer use. Participants include student teachers in the first year of teacher education programs in Korea (N=163) and Singapore (N=55). Findings indicate that participants in both countries had fairly negative or neutral ICT experiences in primary schools. In Korean data, past ICT experiences were significantly related to computer efficacy, attitude toward computer in education, and prospective use of computer while no significant relationships were found between past ICT experiences and other variables in Singaporean data.

Designing Mathematics Assessments That Are Sensitive to Instruction: An International Approach From the Classroom to Large-Scale Implementation 

How You Look at It: Multiple Views of a Generative Data Set 

Sarah M. Davis (Presenter)

ABSTRACT. This paper reports on research by the GenSing (Davis, 2007a) project to create a suite of visualization tools for the assessment and analysis of large datasets created by Generative Activities. Generative Activities as facilitated by a classroom network, can result in a dataset generated by one classroom, in one session, consisting of over 300 expressions (Davis, 2007b). Theoretical framework The curricular activities were created using the principals of generative design (Stroup, Ares, Hurford, & Lesh, 2007), incorporating function-based algebra (Kaput, 1995) and facilitated by the use of a classroom network (Roschelle, Penuel, & Abrahamson, 2004; Stroup et al., 2002). Research has shown that the generative function-based approach to teaching algebraic concepts has the potential to improve students’ understanding of the structural aspects of introductory algebraic concepts (Stroup, Carmona, & Davis, 2005). The project is developing software visualization tools that permit teachers to utilize the data created by these activities in new forms of formative assessment (Hamilton, 2007). Methods Research Design The design study (Kelly, Lesh, & Baek, 2008) focused on students’ developing understanding of function-based algebra and the teachers’ pedagogical practices needed to foster these activities. Participants Data was collected at an upper-performing secondary school in Singapore. The participants encompassed all of the 2008 school year, Secondary 1 (12 to 13-year-olds) express-track students (n = 239) at the research site. Data was collected from six sections (classes) of 39-41 students, each taught by a different teacher. Intervention Data for this paper comes from the introductory generative activity in the sequence. As part of that activity, students are asked to generate expressions equivalent to 4X. Given the expression 4X, students are asked to come up with three new expressions that create the same graph. In all of the Generative Activities, the questions and the opportunity for student input are structured to allow for students’ individual creativity and exploration of the mathematical topic. Data Sources The data discussed in this paper was collected via the TI navigator system. A data collection script was created that allowed all of the expressions, and their metadata (e.g. timestamp, student ID), submitted by students to be saved to a spreadsheet. A number of different visualization tools were then created to allow for different views onto the data set. Each view was created to focus on different assessment needs of the varying stakeholders; teachers, researchers, curriculum developers, professional development providers, and funding agencies. Discussion The views onto the data privilege different aspects of an activity's enactment. Figures 1 and 2 (Davis & Brady, 2008) show timeline views of the data that give a sense of different submission patterns. Figure 3 (Davis & Effendi, 2010) shows the unique functions submitted during the class period, where the length of the line indicates when, in relation to the beginning of the activity, it was first submitted. Figure 4 (Davis & Brady, 2010) shows a tool that allows the user to load multiple class activity files and view either a student or a class across multiple activities.

From Design to Practice: Current Issues in the Development and Use of Multimedia Websites in Teacher Education in the United States and Singapore

Emerging as a Change Agent for Technology Integration: A Longitudinal Case Study of a Beginning Teacher in Singapore Unit/Sub Unit

Research on Technology and Preservice Teacher Education

Gao Ping (Presenter)

ABSTRACT. Purpose This research investigates one beginning teachers’ process of emerging as a change agent for technology integration. The presentation will show how he uses information technology to enhance his students’ learning outcomes as well as how he has made an impact within his school by creating a school-wide on-line reading program and leading an action research team for beginning teachers. The presentation also draws from a videocase of his learning as a preservice student and the website he developed to encourage self-directed learning in his students. Theoretical Framework, Methods, and Data There is an increasing recognition that teachers need to be change agents in their classrooms and schools (Fullan, 1993; Katzenmeyer & Moller, 2001). Fullan (1993) identified the four core capacities for building greater change agentry: 1) personal vision-building—examining and re-examining reasons for choosing teaching as a profession; 2) inquiry—internalizing norms, habits, and techniques for continuous learning; 3) mastery—achieving deeper understanding of new ideas, and 4) collaboration—collaborating at a small and large scale to capitalize one’s strength. I employed a case study design (Yin, 1984) to document the professional growth of one teacher and explore the extent to which he developed these four core capacities. Data collection was carried out in his one-year initial teacher preparation program in teaching Chinese in Singapore and through three years of teaching Chinese as a mother tongue in a neighborhood primary school. Data included two interviews with him and observations and video-recordings of two lessons he taught while he was a preservice student. During his first year teaching, I observed and video recorded ten lessons and conducted an interview with him, his Head of Department and his principal respectively. During his second and third years, I conducted an annual interview with him as well as an informal interview with his vice principal in the third year and collected the evidence of his student learning. I also documented his initiation of leading four beginning teachers in action research. Results and Significance The major finding from this case study challenges the traditional notion of stage development, categorized by Feiman-Nemser and Remillard (1996) as “an initial state of survival and discovery, a second stage of experimentation and consolidation, and a third stage of mastery and stabilization” (p. 66). They suggest that it takes several years for teachers to reach the third stage. The case study suggests that this beginning teacher accelerated his professional growth from the initial state of survival and discovery and the second stage of experimentation and consolidation within the four years and demonstrates the core change agent capacities: he constantly examined his reasons for choosing teaching as his career; he carried out action research; he consolidated his routines for using technology to enhance student learning; and he built on his ability with technology integration to help other teachers. Ideally, this case study and related materials will stimulate teacher educators to engage in similar investigations on how to prepare preservice and beginning teachers as change agents for technology integration.

Engaging Preservice Teachers in Reflexive Practice: Developing Embodied Understanding of Technology Integration Unit

Gao Ping (Presenter)

ABSTRACT. This paper reports the qualitative findings of a two-year study aimed at investigating the impact of preserivice teachers’ reflection on the development of their embodied understanding of technology integration throughout their initial teacher preparation program. We engaged seven preservice teachers in two reflection cycles of self-analysis of their own teaching followed by peer critique, using an on-line video annotation platform, and face-to-face group discussions. One finding of the first cycle suggests that reflection can reinforce both participants’ espoused beliefs as well as an embodied understanding of technology integration. Preliminary findings from the second cycle are expected to be generated after the completion of the second cycle of data collection and analysis in November, 2010.

Professional Learning Communities, Trust, and an Examination of Best Practices in Mentoring and Collaborative Activities



The Relational Constitution of Teacher Becoming

Wei-Ying Lim (Presenter)

ABSTRACT. This paper provides a situative account of a teacher becoming a technology-using educator. The specific process of becoming was described on a micro-genetic level to show how the process of becoming is relationally constituted with an experienced other. The significance of this study is that it provides an empirical account on the increasingly important issue of identity and learning.

Poster Presentation

Advanced Technologies for Learning

Supporting Inquiry Learning With Mobile 2.0: A Two-Phased Design Approach

Hyo-Jeong So (Presenter), Yancy Toh, Ivica Boticki, Wenli Chen, & Peter Seow

ABSTRACT. This paper seeks to investigate how mobile 2.0 technologies can sustain students’ learning interests in informal learning spaces. By adopting a two-phased design approach, this study entails: a) naturalistic observation of how students are engaged in learning at the Science Centre; b) based on the insights drawn from naturalistic observation, ColInq inquiry learning application was developed and pilot-studied to expand students’ totality of experiences. It is hoped that the study will shed light on what kind of technologies can support inquiry learning in informal learning spaces and how these epiphanies can inform the design of mobile learning activities, both in and out of class.


About AERA As the largest and perhaps most diverse education conference in the world, the Annual Convention of the American Educational Research Association (AERA) is not only an opportunity to share ideas and connect with like-minded scholars but also a provocation to look beyond our own perspectives on learning, teaching, and schooling. For more information, visit the AERA 2011 Annual Meeting website.

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