Gayle Buck Research Collection

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    Examining the Levels of Reasoning Used by Urban Elementary Black Girls Engaging in TechnologyEnhanced Inquiry
    (IGI Global Publishing, 2016) Buck, Gayle A.; Beeman-Cadwallader, Nicole
    Technological tools such as interfaces, sensors and probeware are increasingly prevalent in science classrooms. With increased prevalence comes a need to improve the research base on how to use technology in ways that maximize student learning. These resources potentially support inquiry-based learning approaches through the collection and transformation of data. Furthermore, by making data trends evident, these technologies have the potential to support construction of scientific explanations and complex reasoning. The purpose of this study was to analyze the levels of reasoning displayed by African American girls engaged in technology-enhanced inquiry so as to better understand the extent to which technology can support scientific literacy. Our results indicated modest gains in the girls' ability to display data and connect data trends to scientific phenomenon. We believe that studying the experiences and learning of students from historically underrepresented backgrounds in STEM is critical for ensuring equitable educational experiences and access to STEM-related professions.
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    Teaching Science to English-as-Second-Language Learners
    (Science and Children, 2000-12) Buck, Gayle
    This article relates to the National Science Education Standards' Teaching Standard B: Teachers of science guide and facilitate learning. In doing this, teachers recognize and respond to student diversity and encourage all students to participate fully in science learning.
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    Deer tracks in the city? A kindergarten problem-based unit
    (Science and Children, 2009-10) Buck, Gayle; Quigley, Cassie; Beeman-Cadwallader, Nicole; Riggs, Morgan; Rodriguez, Antonia
    “Why would a deer print be in the city?” wondered a student. She had noticed the track near a grocery store that morning with her mother. She was familiar with deer and had noticed their prints on a trip to a local museum; however, she had never seen a deer in the city before this experience. As she retold the story to her classmates, her question became the inspiration for a problem-based lesson during a unit on animal habitats, weather, and human involvement in the environment.
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    The NOS challenge: Thirty days of nature of science instruction for elementary students
    (Science and Children, 2011-10) Buck, Gayle; Quigley, Cassie; Akerson, Valarie
    In this article, we outline the 30-day unit, provide journal prompts, and give examples of student’s ideas through their quotes and journal entries. It is our hope that teachers will see the value and importance of teaching NOS aspects from an early age and take the NOS challenge!
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    All about me/ all about Gary: Kindergarteners use cameras to share the results of their localized research
    (Science and Children, 2011-05) Buck, Gayle; Cook, Kristin; Quigley, Cassie; Escabedo, Antonia
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    Pre-service Teachers’ Understanding of the Nature of Science through Socio-scientific Inquiry
    (Electronic Journal of Science Education, 2013) Cook, Kristin; Buck, Gayle
    This study explored the ways in which pre-service teachers‟ (PSTs) understanding of the nature of science (NOS) emerged in their experience of a socio-scientific inquiry-based (SSI) experience. In this study, an undergraduate science course with structured collaboration on a SSI-based inquiry between PSTs and campus scientists was intertwined with their changing conceptions of NOS. Qualitative and quantitative data were collected and progressively analyzed to illuminate changes in twenty-four PSTs‟ understanding of the nature of science throughout the experience. Results indicated that that PSTs experienced substantial growth in the targeted understandings of NOS. However, findings also revealed some aspects of NOS for which several of the PSTs continued to hold uninformed conceptions. Insights from this study that add to the on-going discussions about the relationship of SSI and NOS include 1) the importance of inquiry and 2) NOS understanding as linked to PSTs perception of inclusion in the process of SSI investigations.
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    Exploring the Potential of Using Explicit Reflective Instruction through Contextualized and Decontextualized Approaches to Teach First-Grade African American Girls the Practices of Science
    (Electronic Journal of Science Education, 2014) Buck, Gayle; Akerson, Valarie; Quigley, Cassie; Weiland, Ingrid S.
    Contemporary science education policy documents call for curriculum and pedagogy that lead to students’ active engagement, over multiple years of school, in scientific practices. This participatory action research study answered the question, “How can we successfully put twenty-three first-grade African American girls attending a gender school in an impoverished school district on the path to learning the practices of scientists”. The Young Children’s Views of Science (YCVOS) (Lederman, 2009) was used to interview these first-graders pre-, mid- and post-instruction during an instructional unit designed in response to many of the pedagogical strategies research has demonstrated to be effective in other contexts; explicit reflective instruction utilizing contextualized and decontextualized activities. Classroom observations, copies of student work and planning documents were also collected and analyzed. The cumulative findings indicated that the decontextualized aspects of our science initiative had positive impacts on the girls’ understandings of observation and inference while the contextualized aspects of instruction supported an increase in their understandings of empirical evidence. The contextualized aspect of instruction appeared to hinder our efforts in regards to observation and inference. The results extend current understandings of the potential of using these approaches to teach first-grade African American girls the practices of science by supporting some of the aspects of these approaches and raising questions in regard to others.
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    Attempting to Make Place-Based Pedagogy on Environmental Sustainability Integral to Teaching and Learning in Middle School: An Instrumental Case Study
    (Electronic Journal of Science Education, 2016) Buck, Gayle; Cook, Kristin; Carter, Ingrid W.
    Local environmental topics can serve to motivate and empower students to change their behavior and take action for sustainable practices. In order to better support middle level teachers as they incorporate such topics into their professional practice, we sought to enhance our own understanding of their classroom-based experiences. In light of this, we conducted this study on a middle level teacher as she attempted to integrate place-based pedagogy on environmental sustainability into her science curriculum. The guiding questions of the study were: a) What student experiences emerged as a result of the teacher’s implementation of the curriculum?, and b) What beliefs, understandings and practices emerged for the teacher as a result of the experiences? Data sources included interviews, observations and written documents. The findings revealed that the teacher’s efforts to connect the instruction to a local issue of water quality led to student engagement and an eagerness on the part of the students to share what they did with others. Unfortunately, several aspects of the teacher’s efforts did not successfully lead to greater student understanding of content and multiple viewpoints on local issues. The results extend current understandings of how to support middle level teachers in the development, enactment, and refinement of place-based pedagogy on environmental sustainability.
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    Exploring Alternatives Conceptions in our Environmental Education Classroom
    (Science Scope, 2001-09) Buck, Gayle; Meduna, Patricia
    Teaching is an inexact science. Even experienced teachers have difficulty assessing the effectiveness of their lessons and students' mastery of concept. Teachers must be particularly careful to avoid introducing or reinforcing student misconceptions. The following describes how we scrutinized and modified our own environmental education teaching practices to ensure that our students were learning what we were teaching.
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    First-class inquiry
    (Science Scope, 2005-02) Buck, Gayle; Hesser, Kathi; Dopp, Sandra
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    Science role models for adolescent girls
    (Science Scope, 2008-12) Buck, Gayle; Plano Clark, Vicki; Beeman-Cadwallader, Nicole
    As teachers interested in helping girls to realize more opportunities in scientific careers, we can celebrate the fact that girls' achievement has improved in the last 20 years, opening up the doors to those careers (Gilbert and Calvert 2003). However, even though the girls leaving our classrooms are realizing the achievement levels needed, too many of them are turning away from such careers. We must now ask ourselves why they are leaving the scientific pipeline and what we can do to encourage them to pursue scientific careers.
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    Photovoice: A Community-Based Socioscientific Pedagogical Tool
    (Science Scope, 2010-03) Cook, Kristin; Buck, Gayle
    Situating instruction in a local context, socio­scientific issues (SSis) offers students an opportunity to become active participants in the community and has the potential to encourage them to authentically and critically par­ticipate and engage in understanding, caring for, and transforming the world to which they belong. Photovoice is one way teachers can empower stu­dents and reach these goals.
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    Fix the potholes! Helping students translate their interests and life experiences into scientific investigations
    (Science Scope, 2010-05) Buck, Gayle; Quigley, Cassie; Beeman-Cadwallader, Nicole
    Many students, particularly those from socioeco­nomically or resource-challenged communities, often question school science because it has little relevance and bears scant resemblance to the knowl­edge and skills they use in their everyday lives (Fus­co 2001). Differentiated instruction that responds to individual students' and student groups' diverse needs can ensure that science learning becomes both effective and meaningful for them (Tomlinson 1999). One strategy for differentiating science instruction that shows promise is a shift toward valuing students' questions and life experiences (Barton 1998; Upadhyay 2006). Such a shift requires viewing students' home and family experiences as resources, or "funds," of knowledge (Moll 1992). To draw upon these "funds," we need to find out from students themselves what is important to them. Therefore, our challenge as science educators is not identifying students' general interests, but in eliciting rich descriptions of their interests and life experiences, finding overlaps among them, and helping students translate their interests into investigable questions. In this article, we present potential techniques for identifying students' specific interests and important life experiences. Also, we present ideas from our classrooms where we began to help our students practice science that grows out of their interests, concerns, and life experiences.
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    Assessment for Learning: Using formative assessment in problem - and project-based learning
    (The Science Teacher, 2011-01) Trauth-Nare, Amy; Buck, Gayle
    Problem-based learning (PBL) and project-based science (PBS) are increasingly popular approaches for engaging students in scientific inquiry. Though these approaches have different origins, they are similar in practice. Both PBL and PBS are centered on authentic problems or meaningful questions that serve to organize learning. Both are student-oriented and experiential- students solve a problem by practically applying science concepts (Hmelo-Silver 2004).
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    Formative assessment requires artistic vision
    (International Journal of Education and the Arts, 2007-03) Buck, Gayle; Macintyre Latta, Margaret; Beckenhauer, April
    This two-year study focused on the lived terms of inquiry in middle-school science classrooms. The conditions that enable teachers to see and act on science learning as ongoing inquiry were deliberately sought in Year 2. Nine science teachers participated in search of capacities connecting curriculum, teaching, and assessment for greater student and teacher inquiry. An online logbook chronicled this search, serving as a dialogic medium revealing a movement of teachers seeking out and seizing back possibilities for teaching and learning in relation to the given realities of classrooms. The nature and role of formative assessments in support of learning were encountered as the obstacle to be worked out in teachers' practical action. The necessary interpretive eye and capacity to act in accordance with the dynamic character of formative assessments became the task at hand for teachers and researchers. This task demanded artistic teaching visions, attending to the creation of student meaning on an individual and collective basis. The difficulty, alongside the necessity, of educating artistic teaching visions offered glimpses into how formative assessment use holds potential to restore the participatory dynamic integral to learning. The philosophical/theoretical ground of arts based educational research was found to offer much potential to science inquiry, linking processproduct- learner in support of formative assessment use and offering implications for a participatory mode of professional development.
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    The Potential of Photo-Talks to Reveal the Development of Scientific Discourses
    (Creative Education, 2012-04) Buck, Gayle; Quigley, Cassie
    This study explores the potential of a photo-elicitation technique, photo-talks (Serriere, 2010), for under-standing how young girls understand, employ and translate new scientific discourses. Over the course of a nine week period, 24 kindergarten girls in an urban girls’ academy were observed, videotaped, photo-graphed and interviewed while they were immersed into scientific discourse. This paper explicitly de-scribes how their emerging discursive patterns were made visible through this methodological tool. The findings are presented in vignettes in three themes uncovered during our analysis which are the following: Presented the recollection of the scientific Discourse, Described the understanding of scientific Discourse, and Created an opportunity for the translation into everyday discourse. Science educators can benefit from this methodological tool as a reflective tool with their participants, to validate and/or complicate data. Additionally, this methodological tool serves to make discourse patterns more visible by providing a visual backdrop to the conversations thus revealing the development as it is occurring in young children.
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    Changing the Image of Scientists among College Students in Israel
    (American Journal of Educational Research, 2013) Buck, Gayle; Rubin, Edna; Koren, Pasit; Varda, Bar
    With this study, we sought to address some deficiencies in the image of scientists held by pre-service teachers in Israel. These include a few concerns for women scientists, as well as a lack of understanding about fieldwork and contemporary scientific equipment. The study was carried out with two groups of pre-service science students, mostly women. It was done through interference: following the web, meeting with experts and constructing leaning materials for pupils by the participants. Research was in the form of one strand research using qualitative methods. During the research, the image of women scientists changed considerably. Pre interference views were: there are no women scientists and physics and astrophysics are not for women. Women scientists were described as torn between family and work. In the post interference stage, a high appreciation for women scientists and their work in all domains was observed, woman scientist were portrayed as relaxed, taking part in team work, doing field work, and using specialized sophisticated equipment.
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    Seeking to improve young African American girls’ attitudes toward science: A participatory action research study
    (The Elementary School Journal, 2014-03) Buck, Gayle; Cook, Kristin; Quigley, Cassie F.; Lucas, Yvonne; Prince, Pearl
    In this participatory action research study, we answered the question, How can we improve attitudes toward science education of the African American girls at an elementary school? Girls in grades 3–6 completed the Modified Attitudes toward Science Inventory. A purposeful sample of 30 girls participated in several focus-group interviews throughout the year. The cumulative findings indicate that our initiative (1) had positive impacts on girls who originally demonstrated low self-efficacy in science education or low attraction to science and (2) maintained the positive attitudes of the other girls. The instructional aspects of our initiative that contributed to the improvement in attitudes included the establishment of collaborative activities, a supportive lab teacher, and inquiry-based experiences focused on local problems. Our findings also reveal aspects of our efforts that we need to improve. These areas include a more open, inquiry-based science fair and connections between the lab and classroom teachers.
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    Pre-service elementary teachers’ experience in a community of practice through a place-based socio-scientific inquiry
    (International Journal of Environmental and Science Education, 2014-04) Buck, Gayle; Cook, Kristin
    With this case study, we explored efforts to connect pre-service elementary teachers (PSTs) and campus scientists through place-based inquiry instruction. Using the framework of Community of Practice (CoP), the research question guiding this study was: what features of our place-based inquiry course intervention (involving PSTs and scientists) afforded or constrained the extent to which our students moved toward a fuller involvement in the CoP? The results indicated the PSTs were able to participate in a CoP engaged in authentic scientific inquiry and were able to move through levels of legitimate peripheral participation in varying degrees while maintaining their identities as future elementary teachers. Additionally, place-based inquiry was an effective means of including PSTs in the CoP by enabling them to provide a unique knowledge set to partnering scientists and to build arguments based on authentic local inquiry.