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Using Science Concepts in a Mathematics Professional Development Program To Improve Student’s Standardized Test Scores

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Conference

2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access

Location

Virtual Conference

Publication Date

July 26, 2021

Start Date

July 26, 2021

End Date

July 19, 2022

Conference Session

Mathematics Division Technical Session 2

Tagged Division

Mathematics

Tagged Topic

Diversity

Page Count

23

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/37999

Download Count

23

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Paper Authors

biography

Allen J. Antoine Jr Rice University Office of STEM Engagement

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As Associate Director of Mathematics and Computer Science of the Rice Office of STEM Engagement (R-STEM), Allen provides mathematics and computer science support. In this role, he specializes in providing lesson ideas, professional development, and teacher mentoring in the fields of mathematics and CS. Particular points of emphasis include increasing numeracy, inquiry-based learning and culturally responsive teaching strategies. Additionally, Allen has traveled across the country with WeTeach_CS to facilitate teacher preparation courses for the high school computer science competency exam. He also serves as a master teacher for Bootstrap, a program that aims to implement computer science principles in mathematics classrooms.

Before joining R-STEM, Allen worked in various positions in the educational field. As an interventionist in Orleans Parish Schools, he worked with elementary students to improve their literacy and numeracy levels. As a middle school teacher in Alief ISD, he taught 8th grade mathematics and Algebra I. Additionally, Allen worked on mathematics curriculum development for Alief ISD and Rice University. Allen currently holds a B.S. in Computer Engineering from Xavier University of Louisiana and an M.Ed. in Teacher Leadership from Lamar University.

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Carrie A. Obenland Rice University Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0001-6775-2109

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Dr. Obenland is the Assistant Director for Outreach and Research at the Rice Office of STEM Engagement. She as her PhD in Chemistry from Rice University, as well as her Masters. Her graduate work was focused on chemical education. She earned her BS in Chemical Engineering from the University of Texas at Austin.

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Roger Ramirez Rice University Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0003-3470-296X

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I am currently the Assistant Director for Mathematics at the Rice Office of STEM Engagement where I co-facilitate the Applied Mathematics Program!. I also lead a student program called Introduction to Research and Innovative Design in Engineering Academy, or iRIDE for short. Before joining Rice STEM, I taught middle and high school mathematics for 9 years.

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Christopher Barr Office of Research, Rice University

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Rice University Office of Assessment and Evaluation of STEM Programs led by Dr. Barr is the Director of Assessment and Evaluation of STEM Programs at Rice University. He has been an evaluator and psychometric expert on several federally funded projects in education, natural science, and engineering. His focus is to conduct rigorous quantitative and qualitative measurement and program evaluation utilizing validated assessment tools with published psychometric properties, qualitative rubrics with reliable scoring procedures, and developing and validating assessments in-line with the recommendations of the Standards for Educational and Psychological Testing.

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Matthew Cushing Rice University

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As Executive Director of the Rice Office of STEM Engagement (R-STEM), Matthew oversees all programs and operations for the department. R-STEM offers K-12 teacher professional development, K-12 student programs, and research opportunities for undergraduates in Houston, Texas. He has a M.S. in Instructional Technology with a Specialization in Human Resources Management from University of Houston Clear Lake and a B.S. in Interdisciplinary Studies from the University of Houston.

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Carolyn Aitken Nichol Rice University

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Dr. Carolyn Nichol is a Faculty Fellow in Chemistry and the Director of the Rice Office of STEM Engagement (R-STEM). R-STEM provides teacher professional development to elementary and secondary teachers in science and math content and pedagogy, while also providing STEM outreach to the Houston Community. Dr. Nichol’s research interests are in science education and science policy. She received her B.S. in chemical engineering from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, her doctorate in chemical engineering from the University of Texas (UT) at Austin, and served as a postdoctoral fellow in the College of Pharmacy at UT Austin. Prior to joining Rice University, she worked at Boehringer Ingelheim on innovative drug delivery systems and she was an Assistant Professor in Diagnostic Radiology at UT MD Anderson Cancer Center, where she conducted research on nonviral gene therapy systems. At Rice University she has developed and taught courses in The Department of Bioengineering including Numerical Methods, Pharmaceutical Engineering, Systems Physiology, Biomaterials and Advances in BioNanotechnology.

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Abstract

Algebra I, formally described as a course covering expressions, functions, inequalities, systems of equations, exponents, real numbers and polynomials, has been known as a predictor of student success and college readiness. With this in mind, there is an urgent need to improve student performance in these courses. This paper describes a unique teacher professional development program that has the goal of increasing student success in mathematics using inquiry and team-based pedagogical strategies and integrating other STEM subject-area concepts into mathematics classrooms. In this article, we describe this regional, year-long professional development program composed of mathematics and science teacher pairs from the same campus. The program was designed to pair educators across content areas to discuss and implement best practices for teaching a curriculum aligning mathematics and science Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS). The cohort of 79 8th and 9th grade mathematics and science teachers received over 100 hours of training throughout the year with the primary goals of providing resources and training, connecting mathematics and science classrooms, and providing teachers with team-building, mentoring and support. The educator cohort experienced both collaborative and inquiry-based, grade-level and content-specific professional development sessions. Teacher participants responded favorably to the program and that resulted in significant changes in teacher and student outcomes.

We evaluated the impact of the program on teachers through interviews, pre and post content tests, along with surveys. Several themes were apparent in the evaluation including an appreciation for learning how grade-level science themes can provide meaningful context for mathematics instruction and how peer-observation and mentoring opportunities are imperative for teachers of all levels of experience. Participating teachers had significant gains in both leadership assessments (total gain of 18.8%, p<0.05) and Algebra content post-tests (gain of 13%, p<0.05) using the Diagnostic Mathematics Assessments for Middle School Teachers (DTAMS). They also reported growth in readiness to teach core mathematics standards, teach mathematics to diverse student populations and implement inquiry-based mathematics techniques.

Student evaluation was primarily conducted through an analysis of student performance on state mathematics assessments. Employing the Texas Education Research Center (EdRC) database, which is a repository of Texas Education Agency (TEA) data, we have found that students of participating teachers had a significant increase in their performance on the Algebra I mandated state assessment test as compared to a well-matched group of comparison students. The mean score on the state Algebra I test for students of these teachers was 4065.3 (N=2456), in contrast to the mean scores of the comparison student group of 3954.7 (N=24,560). It is interesting to note that this correlates to participating teachers’ students having an average score in the “Meets Expectations” category while the comparison group fell in the “Approaches Expectations” category as defined by the Texas Education Agency (TEA). This report will provide a practical groundwork for crafting cross-curricular professional development opportunities that lead to increased teacher self-efficacy and student achievement on standardized mathematics assessments.

Antoine, A. J., & Obenland, C. A., & Ramirez, R., & Barr, C., & Cushing, M., & Nichol, C. A. (2021, July), Using Science Concepts in a Mathematics Professional Development Program To Improve Student’s Standardized Test Scores Paper presented at 2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual Conference. https://peer.asee.org/37999

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