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Thesis Defense – Levi Lucy

October 2nd, 2013

The Maine Center for Research in STEM Education

Oral Thesis Defense

Levi Lucy
Advisor: Michael Wittmann

Friday, October 18, 2013
Hill Auditorium, ESRB, Barrows Hall
9:00 am

Correlations Between Teachers’ Knowledge of Students and Energy,
and Students’ Performance on Assessments

Research in energy education is an important area due to increased attention in recent standards. Within education research, looking at the different knowledge teachers have and use while teaching is also growing. This study was a pilot study in looking at how the different knowledge teachers have and use correlates with student performance, in an effort to help focus professional development and pre-service teacher programs.  A single survey was used to measure two different types of teacher knowledge: knowledge of common content, and knowledge of content and students, as well as student performance. The results show that where correlations between teachers knowledge and student performance could exist, they did. Teachers who gave more detailed responses in a free response question had students who performed better after instruction. Additionally, teachers who were able to predict and explain student misconceptions on the same questions, had students who performed better after instruction. Modifications are needed to the teacher assessment tools to investigate teachers knowledge of energy more deeply, and to engage teachers more in the tasks.

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