By Jennie Kroeger | July 5, 2016 | Posted in: Research
As a leader in STEM education and policy, FSU’s College of Education is always participating in cutting-edge research projects. Our faculty is regularly recognized for their involvement in projects that help to optimize and influence policy, technique, and understanding of the country’s education industry.
Below, you can learn about some of our most recent research projects involving STEM fields.
Dr. Lara Perez-Felker, in conjunction with graduate students Kirby Thomas and Samantha Nix, have recently garnered widespread attention on a study that analyzed why students of a certain gender are prone to shun or pursue math-intensive subjects in their education. You can read about their findings here. Dr. Perez-Felker continues to study, analyze, and write about gender politics in STEM fields.
Another one of our STEM research projects is led by Dr. Ian Whitacre and focuses on helping middle school students learn mathematics and algebra through computer engineer simulations. Funded by the National Science Foundations Discovery Research program, Dr. Whitacre and his research assistants are looking for new and better ways to help students learn and synthesize information with the help of technology.
Additionally, the National Science Foundation is funding another study led by Dr. Christine Andrews-Larson from our School of Teacher Education. Her research, entitled “Teaching Inquiry-Oriented Mathematics: Establishing Supports,” is dedicated to helping teachers and schools improve access to the implementation of inquiry-oriented teaching models for mathematics subjects.
One of the more unique studies that involves FSU faculty is the “Seminar on the Transition Problem from School to University” project. Our own , . Dr. Kathleen Clark of the School of Teacher Education is helping to reduce an effect called “abstract shock” for university students, who often find that the application of an advanced degree in mathematics is often more esoteric in nature than it is formal. This research is unique in that it not only aims to improve the understanding of mathematics, but also strives to improve our ability to teach it to incoming students.
Our faculty is also involved in helping teachers improve their ability and knowledge to teach STEM subjects. Dr. Sherry Southerland is on a team of researchers, funded by the National Science Foundation, who are working to understand effective teaching methods for novice STEM teachers in high-needs situations. The study is designed to answer three specific questions:
1. What constellation of affective dispositions and beliefs position preservice teachers- for success in delivering ambitious STEM instruction in high needs settings during apprentice teaching?
2. How can STEM teacher preparation programs support preservice teachers whose affect and beliefs do not align with this profile?
3. What factors related to school setting and leadership in high needs settings best support ambitious STEM instruction by all novice Noyce graduates?
For more information on our faculty’s latest research initiatives, visit this page.