Co-teaching to Improve Control Variable Experiment Instruction in Physical Sciences Education

Main Article Content

Kenneth W. thompson
Mirah J. Dow

Abstract

National Research Council polices (NRC, 2012a, 2012b) and the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) of 2015 (Pub. L. No. 114-145) call for educators to have active roles in teaching to achieve new goals and purposes for education. A high priority is teaching content knowledge and information fluency skills that will result in deep learning, higher order thinking, and college and career readiness. This action research (Blaxter, Hughes, and Tight, 2010) investigates co-teaching in a college, undergraduate physical sciences course. Information and technology literacy skills (ACRL, 2016) were taught in the context of a 12-week unit about the design of control variable experiments. Co-teaching was done by a professor of physical sciences and a professor of library and information science. Assignment learning objectives provided a framework for analysis of 24 students’ scores that tells a story of the process of co-teaching through articulation of two professors’ engagement in instructional interactions, and creation of materials and strategies to increase science content knowledge and information fluency skills. It was concluded that co-teaching effectiveness involves intensity of effort in shared planning, organization, delivery and assessment of instruction; shared physical and/or virtual space of instruction; and in the combining two areas of academic expertise in delivery of cross-curricular instruction. 

Article Details

Section
Manuscripts (Research or Theory)
Author Biographies

Kenneth W. thompson, Emporia State University

Dr. Kenneth W. Thompson and Dr. Mirah J. Dow co-teach at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Dr. Thompson is Professor of Physical Sciences at Emporia State University, Department of Physical Sciences.  Dr. Thompson is the author of Activity-based Physical Science (2013) published by Kendall Hunt Publishing.  Dr. Dow is a Professor of Library and Information Science at Emporia State University, School of Library and Information Management. Dr. Dow is editor and chapter author of School Libraries Matter: View from the Research (2013) published by Libraries Unlimited.  Dr. Thompson and Dr. Dow co-teach at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Their university co-teaching partnership led to a national grant that is funding a three-year co-teaching project. Fifty practicing science, mathematics, technology, and engineering classroom teachers and school librarians are now enrolled and participate together in an information, technology, and scientific literacy certificate program that is comprised of four, three-credit hour courses.

Mirah J. Dow, Emporia State University

Dr. Mirah J. Dow and Dr. Kenneth W. Thompson co-teach at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Dr. Thompson is Professor of Physical Sciences at Emporia State University, Department of Physical Sciences.  Dr. Thompson is the author of Activity-based Physical Science (2013) published by Kendall Hunt Publishing.  Dr. Dow is a Professor of Library and Information Science at Emporia State University, School of Library and Information Management. Dr. Dow is editor and chapter author of School Libraries Matter: View from the Research (2013) published by Libraries Unlimited.  Dr. Thompson and Dr. Dow co-teach at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Their university co-teaching partnership led to a national grant that is funding a three-year co-teaching project. Fifty practicing science, mathematics, technology, and engineering classroom teachers and school librarians are now enrolled and participate together in an information, technology, and scientific literacy certificate program that is comprised of four, three-credit hour courses.