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Young scientists and ambitious teachers improving health in an urban ecosystem

Audience

Elementary students, pre-service teachers, in-service teachers, informal educators, community members.

Subjects Addressed

Science teaching, mosquitos, disease, health.

Resources for Sharing

An additional resource that will be made available on this website is video examples of culturally-responsive, ambitious science teaching, which may benefit others interested in the preparation of science educators. An important objective of this project is the refinement and articulation of a framework that combines elements of successful teacher education for historically-excluded populations with authentic science inquiry. It is important that this framework or model be made available to a range of stakeholders, and this will be done through publications and presentations.
The teacher education program at ISU will be intricately involved in this project. Thus, there are opportunities for pre-service teacher learning, and professional development with in-service teachers and community educators.
We are currently recruiting graduate students student who will benefit from the research training and other learning that will come from participation in the project.

Dissemination Strategies

Dissemination of materials stemming from the project will be accomplished in a number of ways. Using ISU’s website hosting capacity, a project website will be developed and linked both to the ISU 4U Promise website and to the School of Education website. The Center for Technology in Learning and Teaching will provide support for the development and maintenance of this site. Updates on the work being done at the schools, in the community, and in the teacher education program will be shared via this website, including summaries of data collected by youth inquiry teams and student-produced outreach products. Many materials on this site will be written for consumers who are non-science specialists. Recognizing that new media, other than a website, may be more useful for disseminating the above information, we will be using those other options, as well. Particularly because we are working with youth and positioning them as producers of knowledge, we will embrace their use of social media and explore its use as a dissemination tool.

Abstract

People of color who live in low income, urban communities experience lower levels of educational attainment than whites and continue to be underrepresented in science at all educational and professional levels. It is widely accepted that this underrepresentation in science is related, not only to processes of historical exclusion and racism, but to how science is commonly taught and that investigating authentic, relevant science questions can improve engagement and learning of underrepresented students. Approaching science in these ways, however, requires new teaching practices, including ways of relating cross-culturally. In addition to inequity in science and broader educational outcomes, people of color from low income, urban communities experience high rates of certain health problems that can be directly or indirectly linked to mosquitoes. Recognizing that undertaking public health research and preventative outreach efforts in these communities is challenging, there is a critical need for an innovative approach that leverages local youth resources for epidemiological inquiry and education. Such an approach would motivate the pursuit of science among historically-excluded youth while, additionally, involving pre-service, in-service, and informal educators in joint participatory inquiry structured around opportunities to learn and practice authentic, ambitious science teaching and learning.

Our long-term goal is to interrupt the reproduction of educational and health disparities in a low-income, urban context and to support historically-excluded youth in their trajectories toward science. This will be accomplished through the overall objective of this project to promote authentic science, ambitious teaching, and an orientation to science pursuits among elementary students participating in a university-school-community partnership promise program, through inquiry focused on mosquitoes and human health. The following specific aims will be pursued in support of the objective:

1. Historically-excluded youth will develop authentic science knowledge, skills, and dispositions, as well as curiosity, interest, and positive identification with science, and motivation for continued science study by participating in a scientific community and engaging in the activities and discourses of the discipline. Teams of students and educators will engage in community-based participatory research aimed at assessing and responding to health and well-being issues that are linked to mosquitoes in urban, low-income communities. In addition, the study of mosquitoes will engage student curiosity and interest, enhance their positive identification with science, and motivate their continued study.

2. Informal and formal science educators will demonstrate competence in authentic and ambitious science teaching and model an affirming orientation toward cultural diversity in science. Pre-service, in-service, and informal educators will participate in courses and summer institutes where they will be exposed to ambitious teaching practices and gain proficiency, through reflective processes such as video study, in adapting traditional science curricula to authentic science goals that meet the needs of historically excluded youth.

3. Residents in the community will display more accurate understandings and transformed practices with respect to mosquitoes in the urban ecosystem in service of enhanced health and well-being. Residents will learn from an array of youth-produced, culturally responsive educational materials that will be part of an ongoing outreach and prevention campaign to raise community awareness of the interplay between humans and mosquitoes.
These outcomes are expected to have an important positive impact because they have potential for improving both immediate and long-term educational and health outcomes of youth and other residents in a low-income, urban community.

Evaluation(s)

The Research Institute for Studies in Education (RISE) at Iowa State University will serve as the evaluator for the project. Leading the evaluation team will be Dr. Mandi Anderson. The evaluation will be based on the AEIOU approach, developed by RISE, that examines: Accountability – did the project conduct the activities as planned?; Effectiveness – how well were the activities done?; Impact – what changed as a result of the activities?; Organizational or contextual factors – what outside elements enhanced or limited goal accomplishment?; Unanticipated outcomes – what else happened as a result of the project? Data collected in conjunction with the research questions for the three Aims will comprise the bulk of the evaluation. In addition, other project records, regular meetings with key project staff, and on-site visits will be used to answer the questions above. RISE will provide advice and/or assistance regarding data management, instrument development and/or modification, and data analysis. RISE will provide annual technical reports detailing findings for each Aim.

Young scientists and ambitious teachers improving health in an urban ecosystem /grants/young-scientists-and-ambitious-teachers-improving-health-urban-ecosystem R25 OD020213 K-5 IA 2015 08/12/2015 06/30/2020 Iowa State University Iowa State University of Science and Technology
1740B Lagomarcino Hall
Ames IA 50011-3192 School of Education PI SEILER GALE PhD 515-294-4343 gseiler@iastate.edu OTHER CONTACT BARTHOLOMAY LYRIC COLLEEN PhD 608-890-1965 lbartholomay@wisc.edu

Elementary students, pre-service teachers, in-service teachers, informal educators, community members.

Science teaching, mosquitos, disease, health.

An additional resource that will be made available on this website is video examples of culturally-responsive, ambitious science teaching, which may benefit others interested in the preparation of science educators. An important objective of this project is the refinement and articulation of a framework that combines elements of successful teacher education for historically-excluded populations with authentic science inquiry. It is important that this framework or model be made available to a range of stakeholders, and this will be done through publications and presentations.
The teacher education program at ISU will be intricately involved in this project. Thus, there are opportunities for pre-service teacher learning, and professional development with in-service teachers and community educators.
We are currently recruiting graduate students student who will benefit from the research training and other learning that will come from participation in the project.

Dissemination of materials stemming from the project will be accomplished in a number of ways. Using ISU’s website hosting capacity, a project website will be developed and linked both to the ISU 4U Promise website and to the School of Education website. The Center for Technology in Learning and Teaching will provide support for the development and maintenance of this site. Updates on the work being done at the schools, in the community, and in the teacher education program will be shared via this website, including summaries of data collected by youth inquiry teams and student-produced outreach products. Many materials on this site will be written for consumers who are non-science specialists. Recognizing that new media, other than a website, may be more useful for disseminating the above information, we will be using those other options, as well. Particularly because we are working with youth and positioning them as producers of knowledge, we will embrace their use of social media and explore its use as a dissemination tool.

People of color who live in low income, urban communities experience lower levels of educational attainment than whites and continue to be underrepresented in science at all educational and professional levels. It is widely accepted that this underrepresentation in science is related, not only to processes of historical exclusion and racism, but to how science is commonly taught and that investigating authentic, relevant science questions can improve engagement and learning of underrepresented students. Approaching science in these ways, however, requires new teaching practices, including ways of relating cross-culturally. In addition to inequity in science and broader educational outcomes, people of color from low income, urban communities experience high rates of certain health problems that can be directly or indirectly linked to mosquitoes. Recognizing that undertaking public health research and preventative outreach efforts in these communities is challenging, there is a critical need for an innovative approach that leverages local youth resources for epidemiological inquiry and education. Such an approach would motivate the pursuit of science among historically-excluded youth while, additionally, involving pre-service, in-service, and informal educators in joint participatory inquiry structured around opportunities to learn and practice authentic, ambitious science teaching and learning.

Our long-term goal is to interrupt the reproduction of educational and health disparities in a low-income, urban context and to support historically-excluded youth in their trajectories toward science. This will be accomplished through the overall objective of this project to promote authentic science, ambitious teaching, and an orientation to science pursuits among elementary students participating in a university-school-community partnership promise program, through inquiry focused on mosquitoes and human health. The following specific aims will be pursued in support of the objective:

1. Historically-excluded youth will develop authentic science knowledge, skills, and dispositions, as well as curiosity, interest, and positive identification with science, and motivation for continued science study by participating in a scientific community and engaging in the activities and discourses of the discipline. Teams of students and educators will engage in community-based participatory research aimed at assessing and responding to health and well-being issues that are linked to mosquitoes in urban, low-income communities. In addition, the study of mosquitoes will engage student curiosity and interest, enhance their positive identification with science, and motivate their continued study.

2. Informal and formal science educators will demonstrate competence in authentic and ambitious science teaching and model an affirming orientation toward cultural diversity in science. Pre-service, in-service, and informal educators will participate in courses and summer institutes where they will be exposed to ambitious teaching practices and gain proficiency, through reflective processes such as video study, in adapting traditional science curricula to authentic science goals that meet the needs of historically excluded youth.

3. Residents in the community will display more accurate understandings and transformed practices with respect to mosquitoes in the urban ecosystem in service of enhanced health and well-being. Residents will learn from an array of youth-produced, culturally responsive educational materials that will be part of an ongoing outreach and prevention campaign to raise community awareness of the interplay between humans and mosquitoes.
These outcomes are expected to have an important positive impact because they have potential for improving both immediate and long-term educational and health outcomes of youth and other residents in a low-income, urban community.

The Research Institute for Studies in Education (RISE) at Iowa State University will serve as the evaluator for the project. Leading the evaluation team will be Dr. Mandi Anderson. The evaluation will be based on the AEIOU approach, developed by RISE, that examines: Accountability – did the project conduct the activities as planned?; Effectiveness – how well were the activities done?; Impact – what changed as a result of the activities?; Organizational or contextual factors – what outside elements enhanced or limited goal accomplishment?; Unanticipated outcomes – what else happened as a result of the project? Data collected in conjunction with the research questions for the three Aims will comprise the bulk of the evaluation. In addition, other project records, regular meetings with key project staff, and on-site visits will be used to answer the questions above. RISE will provide advice and/or assistance regarding data management, instrument development and/or modification, and data analysis. RISE will provide annual technical reports detailing findings for each Aim.

Underrepresented youth, community, insects, health, participatory research, citizen scientists, authentic science, culturally responsive teaching