Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Understanding Teacher Learning Community as Support for Implementation of Open Source Physics for Conceptual Instruction

many thanks to my nie friends for getting this grant and the osp friends for doing awesome things with open educational resources! below is the more accurate abstract based on what I would do.
Understanding Teacher Learning Community as Support for Implementation of Open Source Physics for Conceptual Instruction
Project Number: OER 10/15 GWF
Project Duration: 01 July 2015 - 30 April 2017

Understanding Teacher Learning Community as Support for Implementation of Open Source Physics for Conceptual Instruction
Project Number: OER 10/15 GWF
Project Duration: 01 July 2015 - 30 April 2017

Abstract:

Science instruction is increasingly drawing on virtual and interactive technologies to help students visualize core scientific concepts (McElhaney & Linn, 2011; Wu & Huang, 2007), and then to propose, consider, and test competing models to explain the concepts and related phenomena (Schwarz et al., 2009). Physics is certainly no exception. Visualization plays a major role in the advancement of the subject (Kozhevnikov, Motes, & Hegarty, 2007; Lyna, 2008), and model-focused instruction has been increasingly emphasized (Fulmer & Liang, 2013; Liang et al, 2012). While a growing number of simulations have been developed, there is yet insufficient understanding of how teachers can incorporate simulations into classroom instruction, and how this impacts students’ growing understanding of the topic. In this study, we adapt simulations for topics within the Singapore secondary physics syllabi, and then conduct a progressive sequence of mini-studies (tied to the subject topics) with Teacher Learning Communities (TLCs). This will allow us to understand how the teachers make sense of simulations and key issues for further integration into instruction.

The computer simulations that will be used in this study are based on EasyJavaScriptSimulations and Tracker both projects in Open Source Physics ( Physlet® by Wolfgang Christian and Mario Belloni, is arguably one of the most used older java based curriculum, the OSP community has developed more resources using EasyJavaScriptSimulations these days), an interactive Java/JavaScript simulation software customizable to the instructional goals by including one or more variables involved in a system or a scientific phenomenon learned. It allows the students to manipulate the variables to see the effects on the system. Such feature helps the students identify relations among components of a system and enables them to visualize and correctly make conceptual connections between representations (Wu & Shah, 2004). In this study, EasyJavaScriptSimulations will be modified based on Singapore physics syllabi.

Building on the work from a completed Senior Specialist Track Research Fund (SSTRF) one-year project (Wee, 2014), this proposed study aims to foster students’ deep learning of physics concepts through collaborative model-based guided inquiry. The students will collaboratively create and use models to predict and explain phenomena and then compare those models with those from canonical science (Schwarz & Gwekwerere, 2007). TLCs will be structured around teachers’ common interests and problems as manifested in joint activities (Muijs, West, & Ainscow, 2010). TLCs will be used as a platform for participating physics teachers to collaborate within and across schools in cross-fertilizing ideas, providing insights, sharing resources, and solving problems throughout the study. The teachers will meet monthly, besides online interactions and discussions.

We will used a mixed-method study (with observations, interviews, artefacts, and questionnaires) of students and teachers. We will examine how teachers’ professional learning occurs in the TLCs by analyzing teachers’ interactions within and across schools. A variety of teacher and student data sources to understand the nature of the classroom instruction will also be collected and analyzed. At the teacher level, this will include qualitative data such as discussions, meeting notes, and classroom observations.

Our proposed study has potential to:

1. Provide in-depth understanding of students’ learning of physics concepts through collaborative model-based guided inquiry.

2. Suggest pedagogical strategies that emphasize collaborative model-based guided inquiry and its implications for assessments and curriculum design.

3. Generate data to help uncover the conditions for nurturing robust connections between schools that other emerging TLCs can draw upon.

Funding Source:

NIE - Education Research Funding Programme

Research Investigators:


Principal Investigator Fulmer Gavin William CTL
1st co-PI Lee Kim Eng, Christine CTL
2nd co-PI Hung Wei Loong, David OER
3rd Co-PI Wee Loo Kang Lawrence (MOE) External

Initial List of Simulations for Workshop 16,17,19,20 Nov 2015

  1. http://weelookang.blogspot.sg/2015/07/ejss-vector-sum-model.html 
    1. On Wikipedia? Phet Equivalent?
  2. http://weelookang.blogspot.sg/2015/07/ejss-vernier-caliper-model.html 
    1. On Wikipedia? Phet Equivalent?
  3. http://weelookang.blogspot.sg/2015/07/ejss-micrometer-model.html 
    1. On Wikipedia? Phet Equivalent?
  4. http://weelookang.blogspot.sg/2014/11/ejss-mass-scale-model.html 
    1. On Wikipedia? Phet Equivalent?
  5. http://weelookang.blogspot.sg/2015/02/ejss-2-cannon-aim-at-each-other.html 
    1. On Wikipedia? Phet Equivalent?
  6. http://weelookang.blogspot.sg/2015/01/shm-chapter-04.html 
    1. On Wikipedia? Phet Equivalent?
  7. http://weelookang.blogspot.sg/2015/01/shm-chapter-03.html 
    1. On Wikipedia? Phet Equivalent?
  8. http://weelookang.blogspot.sg/2015/01/shm-chappter-24.html 
    1. On Wikipedia? Phet Equivalent?
  9. http://weelookang.blogspot.sg/2015/04/ejss-gravity-03.html 
    1. On Wikipedia? Phet Equivalent?
  10. http://weelookang.blogspot.sg/2015/05/ejss-gravity-041.html 
    1. On Wikipedia? Phet Equivalent?
  11. http://weelookang.blogspot.sg/2015/05/ejss-gravity-08.html 
    1. On Wikipedia? Phet Equivalent?
  12. http://weelookang.blogspot.sg/2015/05/ejss-gravity-11.html 
    1. On Wikipedia? Phet Equivalent?