by Claire Miller
In his role as associate dean for research, outreach and technology in the College of Education at The Pennsylvania State University, Greg Kelly can see both the opportunities and challenges educators face in teaching science content and actively recruiting students to work in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields.
In his two most recent research studies, Kelly examined non-science majors’ writing samples from an undergraduate oceanography course and education majors’ self-reflections on their teaching. He videotaped classroom interactions, collected student work and conducted ethnographic interviews, which gave his research a sociocultural perspective.
Both of these studies were framed around the idea of understanding how individuals think and talk about science content, and how this can inform teaching practice and influence teacher training.
“In my view, studies of classroom discourse can be used to demystify scientific and teaching practices,” he told College of Education students, faculty and staff at the March 21 Research Wednesdays. “We need to understand how teachers see the content and how this might be useful for teacher education.”
The Research Wednesdays Speaker Series is designed to fulfill three goals: to provide a platform for explorations of new ways of conducting and disseminating educational research, to discuss new methods of mentoring doctoral students in an effort to enhance their development as researchers, and to fill a professional development need by providing access to cutting edge researchers at the state and national levels.
For more information on Kelly and the Research Wednesdays Speaker Series, visit http://education.gsu.edu/main/coe_events.htm.