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A Survey Of Authentic Teaching In Secondary Math And Science Classrooms

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2003 Annual Conference


Nashville, Tennessee

Publication Date

June 22, 2003

Start Date

June 22, 2003

End Date

June 25, 2003



Conference Session

K-12 Outreach Initiatives

Page Count


Page Numbers

8.129.1 - 8.129.16



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Paper Authors

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Tamy Fry

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Mark A. Nanny

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Mary John O'Hair

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Teri Reed Rhoads

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Session 2530

A Survey of Authentic Teaching in Secondary Math and Science Classrooms

Tamy L. Fry1 , Teri Reed Rhoads 1 , Mark Nanny 2 and Mary John O’Hair3 The University of Oklahoma School of Industrial Engineering 1 School of Civil Engineering and Enviro nmental Science 2 Center for Educational and Community Renewal3

Abstract The Authentic Teaching Alliance (ATA) is a project funded through the National Science Foundation GK-12 program in which University of Oklahoma Fellows from engineering and education disciplines team with local teachers to design, implement, and assess authentic, inquiry-based activities to teach secondary science and mathematics. This paper discusses the adaptation and implementation of an instrument to survey the students’ science and math classroom experiences and to assess whether the ATA activities had a measurable effect on the students' desire to learn. The search for a validated instrument to serve our needs led to a survey developed in the Netherlands by Roelofs and Terwel (1997)1 . The survey was modified to elicit information about the existing state of the science and math classroom environment as perceived by the teachers and the students. Pre-post implementation was utilized to help us evaluate the success of the project by comparing responses before and after implementation of the ATA activities.

The Authentic Teaching Alliance In recent years, the nation’s educators have expressed growing concern as they witness the dwindling numbers of students entering math, science, and engineering fields. According to the National Science Foundation (NSF), enrollment in engineering dropped by more than 20 percent between 1983 and 1999, and continues to decline2 . Interest in math and science seems to be at an all- time low. The National Center for Education Statistics (2002) reported that attitudes toward math have been shown to decline from grade eight to grade twelve for the majority of students, and are generally more negative for females3 . This is also reflected in the national math and science performance figures reported in the Third International Mathematics and Science Study-Repeat (TIMSS-R) conducted in 1999, which showed a drop in performance from the eighth grade to the twelfth grade4 . Internationally, the math and science achievement scores for students in the United States were significantly lower than 14 countries, including Singapore, the Republic of Korea, Chinese Taipei, Hong Kong (SAR), Japan, Flemish Belgium, Australia, the Netherlands, the Slovak Republic, Hungary, Canada, Slovenia, the Russian Federation, and Finland.

In response to this looming problem, the NSF Graduate Fellow K-12 (GK-12) program was initiated to attempt to reverse this alarming trend, and to encourage students to consider occupations in math and science-related careers. The Authentic Teaching Alliance (ATA) at the University of Oklahoma was one of 24 projects selected for funding by the NSF GK-12 program

Proceedings of the 2003 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2003, American Society for Engineering Education

Fry, T., & Nanny, M. A., & O'Hair, M. J., & Rhoads, T. R. (2003, June), A Survey Of Authentic Teaching In Secondary Math And Science Classrooms Paper presented at 2003 Annual Conference, Nashville, Tennessee. 10.18260/1-2--11923

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