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March 25, 2009

GeoThentic: Designing and Assessing with Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge

GeoThentic, an online teaching and learning environment, focuses on engaging teachers and learners in solving real-world geography problems through use of geospatial technologies. Designed on the premise of providing cognitive apprenticeship by situating learning within an authentic context, GeoThentic creates opportunities for students to learn with geospatial technologies by solving authentic, complex problems. The design of this learning environment is grounded in the Technological Pedagogical And Content Knowledge (TPACK) framework as a metacognitive tool for instructors. In this poster we will describe how the TPACK framework has informed our design endeavors and how a set of assessment models within GeoThentic can be used to assess teachers' TPACK. We will also have a live version of the current GeoThentic online environment displayed for attendees to interact with and explore the engaging and dynamic nature of the multi-scaffolding system. Additionally, we will highlight of how K-12 geography teachers across Minnesota are being involved in the design and development process of this learning environment by showcasing the results of a recent workshop with 30 teachers.

Author(s)/Presenter(s): Charles Miller (Assistant Professor, Learning Technologies), Aaron Doering (Assistant Professor, Learning Technologies), Cassandra Scharber* (Teaching Specialist, Learning Technologies), & Bjorn Pederson (Learning Technologies Ph.D. student)

Cultural Relevance in Science Pedagogy

In partnership with the Science Museum of Minnesota, we have developed a Cultural Relevance in Science Pedagogy (CRISP) action research network comprising groups in four Minnesota school districts (Duluth, St. James, St. Paul, and Rochester). Four local facilitators work with 26 K-6 science teachers in collaborative action research settings focused on how cultural relevance can play a part in science teaching and learning. Current data include pre-measures of cultural relevance and science pedagogies from teachers, written reflections by teachers, audio recordings of action research meetings, and audio recordings of facilitator meetings. Research questions address both development in teachers’ classroom practice and development of facilitator’s practice. To date, we have identified what science teachers associate with culturally relevance in teaching science, the questions that teachers raise from their own practice about enacting culturally relevant pedagogy in science, and the images of facilitation that guide facilitators’ work with teachers engaged in classroom action research.
Author(s)/Presenter(s): ): Misty Sato, Assistant Professor and Stacy Ernst, Graduate Assistant