2008 News

2008 News

News Archives

2008

Faculty in the news

Dr. Dave Rudge's "Kettlewell, H.B.D. (1907-1979)" has just been published as one of many short entries on evolutionary topics that appear in Michael Ruse and Joseph Travis (2009) Evolution: The First Four Billion Years. Harvard University Press: Cambridge, MA.

Dr. Renee' Schwartz has a new publication in the journal "The Science Educator." 

Schwartz, R. S., & Gess-Newsome, J. (2008). Elementary science specialists: A pilot study of current models and a call for participation in the research. The Science Educator, 17(2), 19-30.

Dr. Schwartz is working in collaboration with Dr. Julie Gess-Newsome of Northern Arizona University to study instructional models and effectiveness of elementary science specialists. Their work continues with a call for participation in a large-scale study.

Bill CobernDr. Bill Cobern, professor of biological sciences and director of MISE, was honored as a Distinguished Faculty Scholar during WMU's Academic Convocation on Oct. 30. Scholars from around the globe wrote in support of his nomination, pointing to Cobern's groundbreaking work on worldviews and the impact that cultural orientation has on science learning as among his most significant achievements. Congratulations, Bill!

Drs. Renee' Schwartz and Bill Cobern recently returned from a research trip to Sakarya University in Turkey. In addition to research activities, Dr. Schwartz gave a demonstration lesson on the nature of science for about 100 middle schoolers and their teachers. Dr. Cobern gave a lecture to faculty and university students on the "Scientific Pipeline." At a special dinner hosted by the University Rector (President), Dr. Schwartz demonstrated her expertise (QuickTime movie) at cultural boundary crossing. Click here to see this amazing event documented in film. One of the significant outcomes of this trip is the opportunity for developing a WMU-MISE cooperative graduate program with Sakarya University for the purpose of preparing Turkish science educators and researchers. We will be reporting our progress in the near future.

Turkey Meeting

On Oct. 13 and 14, Dr. Charles Henderson was an invited participant in the The National Academy of Sciences' Workshop on Linking Evidence and Promising Practices in STEM Undergraduate Education.  He presented a talk at the workshop and co-authored a commissioned paper. 

  • Dancy, M. & Henderson, C. (2008, October) Barriers and Promises in STEM Reform, Commissioned Paper for National Academies of Science Workshop on Linking Evidence and Promising Practices in STEM Undergraduate Education, Washington, DC, Oct 13-14, 2008.
  • Dancy, M. & Henderson, C. "Barriers and Promises in STEM Reform Part 1: Examining the Development and Dissemination Change Model", invited talk, National Academies of Science Workshop on Linking Evidence and Promising Practices in STEM Undergraduate Education, Washington, DC, Oct. 14, 2008.
  • Henderson, C. & Dancy, M. "Barriers and Promises in STEM Reform Part 2: The
    Study and Improvement of STEM Change Strategies", invited talk, National
    Academies of Science Workshop on Linking Evidence and Promising Practices in
    STEM Undergraduate Education, Washington, DC, Oct 14, 2008.

Matthew LudwigWe are pleased to recognize the latest papers from our faculty, students and alumni.

The following papers were presented at the 2008 Joint Geological Society of America national meeting in Houston, Texas on Oct. 6-9 by Matthew Ludwig, MISE doctoral fellow, and Dr. Heather Petcovic, Geosciences/MISE, with contributions from Dr. Robert Ruhf, MISE alumnus, and Dr. Herb Fynewever. Chemistry/MISE. Matthew received two travel grants to fund attendance at the meeting.

  • Ludwig, M., Petcovic, H.L., and Fynewever, H., 2008, Classroom Observation Methodologies to Assess Student Engagement
  • Petcovic, H.L., and Ruhf, R.J., 2008, Preservice Elementary Teachers' Conceptual Knowledge of the Earth: Results from the Geoscience Concept Inventory (Invited Presentation)
  • Petcovic, H.L., Libarkin, J.C., and Baker, K.M., 2008, Problem-Solving in the Field: Novice to Expert Geologic Mapping Strategies, Behavior, and Cognition

Dr. RudgeDr. David Rudge gave one of three keynote addresses at the 24th Regional Conference on the History and Philosophy of Science, University of Colorado, Bolder CO, on Oct. 10.

The theme of the conference was philosophy of experiment, and the title of his talkwas "How Did Kettlewell's Experiment End?"

 

 

 


Congratulations to Drs. Henderson, Fynewever, and Petcovic on their new grant:

C. Henderson (PI), with H. Fynewever and H. Petcovic (co-PIs) Developing Technology Educator - Educational Researcher Partnerships towards Improving Capacity in Technology Education Research", Subaward from University of Colorado-Boulder under NSF # 0832874, $98,237 awarded for the period Oct. 1, 2008-Oct. 31 2010.

Drs. Charles Henderson and David Rudge have been selected to serve as members of the editorial board for the new book series "Science & Engineering Education Sources." This series is devoted to the publication of monographs and collections of papers of general significance to theory development and research in science and engineering education and is published by Information Age Publishing Inc. under the direction of Dr. Calvin S. Kalman (Concordia University), Editor-in-Chief.

MISE is pleased to announce that Dr. Heather Petcovic of the Institute has just been awarded a National Science Foundation research grant titled, "Collaborative Research: Learning across the Expert-Novice Continuum: Cognition in the Geosciences." the grant is for $500,000 over 3 years. Her co-researcher on the grant is Dr. Kathleen M. Baker of the WMU Department of Geography and external collaborators are Dr. Julie Libarkin and Dr. Zach Hambrick of Michigan State University. Well done, Heather!

Bob Poel has continued his significant contributions to physics education by presenting a one-day workshop at the Summer Conference of the American Association of Physics Teachers in Edmonton Canada in July:

Poel, Robert H. ( 2008), Workshop 04, InterActions in Physical Science:  A Coordinated Set of Curriculum and Professional Development Materials, American Association of Physics Teachers Summer Conference, July 19-23, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada.

Well done Bob!

Dave Rudge and Bill Merrow recently created two ecology simulations using NetLogo, a cross-platform multi-agent programmable modeling environment:

Rudge, D.W. & Merrow, W. (2008) NetLogo: Population Dynamics. Center for Connected Learning and Computer Based Modeling. Northwestern University, Evanston, IL. and

Rudge, D.W. & Merrow, W. (2008) NetLogo: Community Structure. Center for Connected Learning and Computer Based Modeling. Northwestern University, Evanston, IL.

Dr. Herb Fynewever published, "A comparison of the effectiveness of web-based and paper-based homework for General Chemistry," The Chemical Educator, 13, 1-6 (2008).

David Rudge presented "Images as Rhetoric: H.B.D. Kettlewell's Use of Photographs and Films to Silence Skeptics" at the annual meeting of the British Society for the History of Science, part of a three society conference held at Keble College, Oxford University, UK, on July 5, 2008.

Bill Cobern, MISE Director, recently delivered the closing plenary address at the 2008 Conference of Asian Science Education in Taiwan. His address was titled, Science Education Buffeted by the Gales of Fundamentalism and Relativism. Other plenary speakers included: Nancy Brickhouse (USA), Glen Aikenhead (Canada), John Loughran  (Australia), and Masakata Ogawa (Japan). See the video for an insider's look at the international conference.

Nationally Ranked Program in Science Education
The Mallinson Institute for Science Education has been ranked the third best doctoral program in the country for Science Education according to the Faculty Scholarly Productivity Index featured in The Chronicle for Higher Education 2007-08 Almanac. The Index reviewed 375 universities and ranked 172 different disciplines based on faculty activities, such as faculty book and journal publications, citations, and federal grant funding, among others. Congratulations to our faculty members for all their hard work that has led to this outstanding accomplishment.

Dr. Dave Rudge has been chosen as President-elect of the International History, Philosophy and Science Teaching Group. He will serve on the Executive Council for a total of 6 years: two as president-elect, followed by two as president, and two as past president.

Dr. Bill Cobern recently traveled to Malawi, Africa, to visit Chancellor's College, University of Malawi and the University of Mzuzu in December to present a paper"A New Perspective for Doctoral Studies in the Sciences" to faculty and students at both universities.

Charles Henderson has recently published three papers regarding his research:

Congratulations to Drs. Herb Fynewever (PI), Charles Henderson, Heather Petcovic, and Marcia Fetters on their latest R&D grant titled, "Alignment of Secondary Science Teacher Practice and Materials in the Battle Creek Region", funded by the Michigan Department of Education Title II program for Improving Teacher Quality ($215,287 / 21 months). This program will focus on science teacher professional development for Battle Creek regional schools (4 public schools + 2 private schools). An interdisciplinary team of WMU faculty will research the use of lesson-study to promote best practices for test writing, homework construction, formative assessments, and supporting students in developing metacognitive skills.  The project will also work to re-align Battle Creek regional curriculum with Michigan's new High School Content Expectations.

and to Dr. Dave Rudge who with Kostas Kampourakis has been chosen as guest editor of a special journal issue of Science & Education devoted to celebrating the 150th anniversary of the publication "On the Origin of Species" (1859).  The anticipated publication date is November 2009.

Congratulations to the Dr. Herb Fynewever along with current MISE student Ms. Hang Hwa Hong and MISE alumnus Dr. Pat Meyer who have just published: "Inquiry-Based Chemistry Curriculum for Pre-Service Education Students," The Chemical Educator 13 (2008), 120-125.

Dr. Bob Poel was very busy at the recent National Science Teachers Association Conference!

  • Poel, R. & Custer, T. (2008), InterActions in Physical Science, National Science Teachers Association Conference, March 28, 2008, Boston MA.
  • Poel, R (2008), Physics for Everyday Thinking & Physical Science for Everyday Thinking, National Science Teachers Association Conference, March 29, 2008, Boston MA.
  • Poel, R. & Sandifer, C. (2008), Inquiry into Inquiry Based Middle School Physical Science, National Science Teachers Association Conference, March 30, 2008, Boston MA.
  • Poel, R. et al. (2008), Physical Science Quickies from Operation Physics and Operation Physical Science, National Science Teachers Association Conference, March 28, 2008, Boston MA.

Dr. Renee Schwartz recently presented the following papers:

Dr. Heather Petcovic received a grant of $610 from the Michigan Space Grant Consortium Teacher Training Program to support research conducted by MISE doctoral student Matthew Ludwig. The title is: Course-Embedded Formative Assessment as a Tool to Enhance the Preparation of Pre-service Elementary Teachers in Earth System Science.
 
Abstract: Formative assessment teaching strategies, termed Assessment for Learning (AfL), have been widely shown to enhance student achievement. A comprehensive study will examine the effects of AfL modeled teaching strategies on the motivation and achievement of pre-service elementary teachers in an earth science course at Western Michigan University. The project comprises two phases: (1) control group data will assess current motivation and achievement in this course, (2) teaching strategies based on AfL research will be developed, implemented, and assessed by comparing student motivation and achievement to the control group. Results will guide optimization of the earth science curriculum in this course and are expected to be generalize-able to other earth science courses.

The following presentations were made:
at the Michigan Science Teachers Association 2008 Conference on March 6-8 in Lansing:

  • Robert Poel, Robert and Mary Roobol: Can Your Students Think Like a Scientist? 
  • Robert Poel and others: Professional Development Using Student Materials
  • Robert Poel: Professional Development Strategies and Materials for College Science Faculty Working with Middle Level Science Teachers

at the Physics Teacher Education Coalition 2008 Annual Conference on Feb. 29- March 2 in Austin Texas:

  • Invited Session:  Robert Poel, A. Isola, and D. Merrell: How to Maximize the impact of a Teacher-in-Residence
  • Invited Full Day Workshop:  Robert Poel and F. Goldberg: InterActions in Physical Science: A New Middle-School Research-Based, Inquiry-Oriented Physical Science Curriculum,              

Herb Fynewever presented "Stochiometry--Where Students Stumble" and emeritus professor Robert Poel presented "Professional Development Using Student Materials" at this year's Michigan Science Teachers Association meeting held March 7-8.

Dave Rudge presented "Images as Rhetoric: H.B.D. Kettlewell's Use of Photographs and Films to Silence Skeptics" at this year's annual meeting of the Michigan Academy of Science, Arts & Letters at WMU on March 7.

Dave Rudge and Eric Howe's 2004 essay "Incorporating History into the Science Classroom" pdf has been translated into Greek and republished in Koulaidis, V., Apostolou, A. & Kampourakis, K. (2008). The Nature of Sciences: Didactical Approaches. Child Services Editions, Athen.

Dave Rudge's invited chapter "Peppered Moths" appears on pages 221-250 of Brian Regal's (ed.) (2008) Icons of Evolution Vol 1. Westport CT: Greenwood
Press.

Bill Cobern, MISE Director, recently delivered the closing plenary address at the 2008 Conference of Asian Science Education in Taiwan. His address was titled, Science Education Buffeted by the Gales of Fundamentalism and Relativism. Other plenary speakers included: Nancy Brickhouse (USA), Glen Aikenhead (Canada), John Loughran  (Australia), and Masakata Ogawa (Japan). See the video for an insider's look at the international conference.

Chemistry faculty Herb Fynewever, Ekk Sinn, and Don Schreiber received a Fund for the Improvement of Post-secondary Education grant.

MISE was featured in the Kalamazoo Gazette on Jan. 27. Congratulations to all!!

Article by Charles Henderson
Henderson, C. (2008) Promoting Instructional Change in New Faculty: An Evaluation of the Physics and Astronomy New Faculty Workshop, American Journal of Physics, 76(2), 179-187. 

MISE is proud to welcome two international visitors to the institute. Dr. Wuhe Chen arrived on Dec. 17, 2007 from South China University of Technology, People’s Republic of China while Dr. Osman Titrek joined us in September from Sakarya University, Turkey. Both Dr. Chen and Dr. Titrek were introduced to the institute and WMU by colleagues who were previous visitors of MISE.

ChenDr. Chen is an associate professor of physics at the South China University of Technology in Guangzhou, People’s Republic of China. He has four papers published by the Optical Society of America and focuses research on spatial optical solitons. Dr. Chen hopes to learn the pedagogy of American physics courses and would like to eventually be able to teach a physics course in English. 

 

OsmanDr. Titrek is a professor in the Department of Educational Sciences at Sakarya University, Sakarya, Turkey. Through collaboration with MISE, Dr. Titrek is working on a project that compares the differences, if any, of Turkish versus American students’ learning of science. He is also researching and preparing articles under Dr. Cobern’s direction. 

Visiting from another country can be overwhelming, yet both have found their experience at WMU very satisfying so far. Dr. Titrek states, “I want[ed] to come here to learn a different academic life, attitude, culture, and moreover to develop my English skills, also!” We welcome you both and look forward to your visit. 

The Mallinson Institute for Science Education has been ranked the third best doctoral program in the country for Science Education according to the Faculty Scholarly Productivity Index featured in The Chronicle for Higher Education 2007-08 Almanac. The Index reviewed 375 universities and ranked 172 different disciplines based on faculty activities, such as faculty book and journal publications, citations, and federal grant funding, among others. Congratulations to our faculty members for all their hard work that has led to this outstanding accomplishment.

Dr. Dave Rudge has been chosen as President-elect of the International History, Philosophy and Science Teaching Group. He will serve on the Executive Council for a total of 6 years: two as president-elect, followed by two as president, and two as past president.

Dr. Bill Cobern recently traveled to Malawi, Africa, to visit Chancellor's College, University of Malawi and the University of Mzuzu in December to present a paper"A New Perspective for Doctoral Studies in the Sciences" to faculty and students at both universities.

Charles Henderson has recently published three papers regarding his research:

Well done, Charles!

Congratulations to Drs. Herb Fynewever (PI), Charles Henderson, Heather Petcovic, and Marcia Fetters on their latest R&D grant titled, "Alignment of Secondary Science Teacher Practice and Materials in the Battle Creek Region", funded by the Michigan Department of Education Title II program for Improving Teacher Quality ($215,287 / 21 months). This program will focus on science teacher professional development for Battle Creek regional schools (4 public schools + 2 private schools). An interdisciplinary team of WMU faculty will research the use of lesson-study to promote best practices for test writing, homework construction, formative assessments, and supporting students in developing metacognitive skills.  The project will also work to re-align Battle Creek regional curriculum with Michigan's new High School Content Expectations.

and to Dr. Dave Rudge who with Kostas Kampourakis has been chosen as guest editor of a special journal issue of Science & Education devoted to celebrating the 150th anniversary of the publication "On the Origin of Species" (1859).  The anticipated publication date is November 2009.


 

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