Research Highlight: Science Research Projects at FSU

Jennie Kroeger

Recent STEM Research Projects in FSUAs a leader in the STEM field, Florida State University regularly participates in ground-breaking research projects in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. For prospective and current students interested in getting involved in research projects, or those interested in getting funding or grants for your work, please check out some of our previous posts on this blog. For now, we're going to cover a series of STEM-driven research currently underway at the College of Education pursued by one of our faculty members in Science Education, Dr. Lama Jaber.

The Dynamics of Learners' Engagement and Persistence in Science

Funded by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, this research project is determined to answer the question What contributes to students' engagement in science? In collaboration with researchers at Tufts University and Boston University, researchers at FSU are working to understand and identify classroom dynamics that promote students' rich engagement and persistence in scientific reasoning. In addition, the project presents case studies of students doing science, from early education through undergraduate studies, to help teachers and educators pay attention to science as a pursuit and not just as a body of knowledge. Ultimately, the goal of the project is to promote science learning by providing educators clear examples of what doing science looks like in the classroom, and by offering research-based ideas on classroom factors that support students' engagement and persistence in science. Visit Program Website

Learner's Emotions in Science

Another research project currently going on at FSU, led by Dr. Jaber, is directed towards understanding the emotions of learners at various stages in science education. The goal of this research is to understand how emotions play out in students' sense making and how to support students to develop productive dispositions so that they persevere in and feel motivated by intellectual challenges. From tracking a middle school student to following the progress of undergraduate students, this study attempts to explore learners' emotions and motivations in doing science from early education well into scientific careers. This research has been widely presented and published thus far - including the Journal of the Learning Science, Responsive Teaching in Science and Mathematics, and Science Education. Read the Abstract in the Journal of the Learning Sciences

Understanding Responsive Teaching

Additionally, Dr. Jaber participates in research on teacher learning, which aims to support preservice and in-service teachers to become more responsive to students' thinking in their classrooms. This work is focused on how teachers come to pay close attention to students' ideas and how they take up and pursue these in their teaching. By building on the various ideas, linguistic, and cultural resources that students bring to the classroom, this instructional approach known as responsive teaching , . holds great promise in promoting diverse students' engagement and sense of ownership in science. Similar to the study above, the information gleaned from research into responsive teaching in sciences has been widely presented at conferences. A manuscript is currently in in development for publication. Learn More About Our Science Education Graduate Programs