All future 2012 events
|Mathematics, standards, teacher shortages - UK initiatives |
14 February 2012
Professor Celia Hoyles (OBE), former mathematics advisor to the UK government and an internationally influential researcher in learning technologies and mathematics education will be presenting "The initiatives employed in the UK that have improved standards, reversed teacher shortages and increased mathematics enrolments, followed by discussions.
Coverage of this seminar:
Follow Brits and do the maths, says top adviser by Kim Arlington, SMH February 15, 2012.
UK expert adds impetus to solve the maths divide by Jill Rowbotham, The Australian February 01, 2012
Prizewinning mathematician on the importance and beauty of maths, by ABC Broadcast 12:00pm, Wed 15 Feb 2012
Push to multiply positive points of maths in minds of students, by Kim Arlington, SMH February 20, 2012
Academics pool resources to help students cope with first year maths by Verity Leatherdale, 15 February 2012.When: 4:30-5:30pm (join us from 4pm for light refreshments) - 14 February, 2012
Where: Education Lecture Theatre 351
Professor Celia Hoyles is a Professor of Mathematics Education, Institute of Education, University of London and is the Director of the National Centre for Excellence in the Teaching of Mathematics as well as a researcher in the London Knowledge Lab. View her profile
Professor Hoyles is in Australia as the keynote speaker at the Australian Mathematical Sciences Institute (AMSI) national forum on Maths for the future: Keep Australia Competitive. The forum will propose strategies to secure future mathematical and statistical skills for Australia.
|IISME 2012 kick-off event! |
15 February 2012
Kick off a brand new year in innovation in Science and Mathematics Education at IISME's 2012 special presentation...
Australia needs increasing numbers of graduates with mathematical skills and a greater number of university courses require quantitative skills. Despite this the proportion of high school students choosing adequate levels of mathematics as preparation for university continues to decline.
This forum will provide an opportunity for staff from different universities to share their experiences with students who come to university lacking the relevant mathematical preparation, exchange information about best practise and discuss useful strategies. Teachers are welcome to attend and contribute to developing direction in university mathematics education.
The forum will be held on Wednesday 15 February 2012 in the New Law School Lecture Theatre (LT101) at the University of Sydney. 10:30am for 11am start. The formal proceedings will conclude at 5pm. Includes coffee and croissant on arrival, lunch and afternoon tea.
At the conclusion of the event, networking sessions over drinks and dinner will take place. Although drinks and dinner will be at your own cost, please indicate when you register if you would like to attend, for booking purposes.
The day will begin with a keynote presentation from Jacqui Ramagge (UoW) bringing us up to date with the current pattern of mathematics study in Australian high schools.
There will be presentations from the...
There will be an opportunity for a representative from each university to give a 5 minute overview of what their university currently does to cater to diverse cohorts in first year and to raise one or two significant issues for later discussion.
Workshops on at least four of the following five issues will take place at the end of the day to come up with some valuable strategies. Please indicate when registering for the event, which two you would prefer to attend.
Register online by Wednesday 8 February 2012.
If you have any questions or would like more information, please feel free to contact Ms Jessica Morris (email@example.com) .
|Illuminating Knowledge |
29 February 2012
More about LCT, including papers, PhDs and seminars can be found at:
PowerPoint slides and audio recordings from this event are available here (zip file).
More information about what was discussed at the symposium can be found here.
Dr Karl Maton
Abstract: Shining a Light on Knowledge: What is ‘LCT’ and why is it useful for science education?
Dr Christine Lindstrøm
Abstract: In 2007, a successful year-long teaching intervention in tutorials for first year students was trialled in the School of Physics at the University of Sydney. Owing to its success, these tutorials, called Map Meetings, have since 2008 become integrated into the two first-year courses offered to students with the least prior knowledge of physics. The centrepiece of Map Meetings is Link Maps: two-dimensional non-linear representations of the core knowledge of the weekly topic covered in lectures. LCT has been instrumental in understanding why Link Maps were both liked by students and helped novices learn physics. In my talk I will discuss two analyses of Link Maps using LCT. First, I describe how the collection of Link Maps in the Mechanics module introduces students not only to physics content knowledge but also to the underlying structure of how this knowledge is organized. The highly integrated knowledge structure of physics is referred to as a hierarchical knowledge structure, and understanding this structure is essential to the learning of physics but rarely taught explicitly. In my second analysis I use the LCT concepts of semantic gravity and semantic density to show that in physics we quickly expect students to understand very abstract concepts that are strongly connected with other abstract concepts, a characteristic of physics (as well as other hard sciences) that strongly contributes to it being a particularly challenging subject for students.
Abstract: Biology is one discipline of natural science that largely concerns about its knowledge application in human’s life. By investigating students essays in undergraduate years, we can see the biological knowledge that is recontextualised in the written texts and its interrelation with other applied fields (e.g. medicine, industry) and with human’s daily life. The recontextualisation of knowledge implies a underlying principle of knowledge integration in the discipline of biology. This presentation takes one third year HD biology essay to demonstrate in what way the student’s presentation of knowledge is highly valued by the educators. Drawing on Semantics from LCT and the notion of field in Systemic Functional Linguistics (SFL), I will show a ‘macro-’ semantic wave influenced by the ‘field drift’ across the text. The drift of fields is among those of biology, medicine, industry, bureaucracy, everyday, etc. This finding highlights the relationship between the knowledge of biology and its application in human's society and daily life. It suggests an explicit modelling that helps students to demonstrate their knowledge is needed.
Abstract: Physics is a fundamentally multisemiotic discipline. In order to convey knowledge to students, language is complemented by mathematics, images, demonstration apparatus, gesture and many other meaning making resources. This talk will extend the concepts of semantic gravity and semantic density to describe the use of mathematics and images in the teaching of undergraduate quantum physics. Drawing on textbooks and course notes provided in Sydney Uni Physics' first and third year program, we will be able to make explicit the differences in generality and specificity of images and mathematics being used to teach. Further to this we will see how these resources are encoded with the technical meanings of physics. An understanding of these features will provide greater detail for curriculum development and classroom teaching, whilst also helping to develop tools for improving student work by allowing for the modelling of movement between generalised theory and its application in specific situations.
Abstract: Physics students at the first year level consistently have difficulty with the subject of thermal physics. Understanding student reasoning in this subject may help illuminate the explanation behind this specific difficulty as well as potentially revealing the workings of student’s thinking in physics generally. Data were collected in the way of a series of written responses to contextually rich questions throughout a first year thermodynamics module at the University of Sydney. Aspects of the theoretical framework Legitimation Code Theory (LCT) were used to analyse this data for the purposes of providing a contextually independent qualitative examination — otherwise lacking in the literature pertaining to this subject. This talk will provide an explanation of the analysis of a sample of the responses from one of the questions, which was selected on the count of the low quality of student responses and of being difficult to code using previous techniques (SOLO and phenomenography). There were 146 responses with an average length of 40 words and the question was based around the thermodynamics of an expanding gas and the changes of state. The concepts of semantic gravity and semantic density were used to show three main results: that there is a clear semantic pattern to student responses; that the use of particular relative levels of semantic gravity appear to be related to more successful responses; and that the analysis on the whole showed potential for extension across the other questions.
|IISME Seminar on Computational Scientific Inquiry |
28 March 2012
Computational Scientific Inquiry: Agent-based virtual environments for understanding complex biological systems with Professor Michael J. Jacobson and Dr. Charlotte E. Taylor.
When: 4:30-5:30pm (join us from 4pm for light refreshments) - 28 March, 2012
The practice of science in the 21st century is increasingly embracing computational modeling techniques to compliment traditional quantitative and observational approaches for conducting research. Yet, despite calls that students learn science by doing science as inquiry, students in Australia and internationally have relatively few opportunities to do computational scientific inquiry in ways that mirror computational modeling is being done in research in the physical and biological sciences.
In this talk, we discuss our work on an ARC Discovery project, over the past two years, in which we have developed an agent-based virtual environment consisting of an immersive virtual world for experiencing and exploring a complex ecosystem. The system incorporates predator-prey interactions that are linked to an agent-based modeling tool. We will discuss preliminary findings from a recent study in which Year 9 students in selective and comprehensive classes used the Omosa Virtual World over a two week period to engage in computational scientific inquiry as they learned about experimental design and a predator-prey ecosystem. Our plans for year three research are discussed, as well as implications of this approach to complement the new National Curriculum and enhance science education more generally in Australian schools.
Michael J. Jacobson, Ph.D., is a Professor and Chair of Education in the Faculty of Education and Social Work at the University of Sydney. He also is the Co-director of the Centre for Research on Computer-supported Learning and Cognition (CoCo) and Deputy Director, Institute for Innovation in Science and Mathematics Education. His research has focused on the design of learning technologies to foster deep conceptual understanding, conceptual change, and knowledge transfer in challenging conceptual domains. Most recently, his work has explored learning with immersive virtual environments and agent-based modeling and visualization tools, as well as cognitive and learning issues related to understanding new scientific perspectives emerging from the study of complex systems. In July 2012, he will serve as the Chair of the 10th International Conference of the Learning Sciences, which has the conference theme of "the future of learning."
Dr Charlotte Taylor is the Faculty of Science Associate Dean for the Student Experience, and has over 20 years experience in developing and researching first year curricula in biology, for which she received a university excellence award and an ALTC national citation. Her research focuses on an integration of urban ecology, scientific literacy and biodiversity education, and in 2008 was awarded a national Eureka Prize for Environmental Sustainability Education. Current research projects are investigating how students, and schoolchildren, understand difficult biological concepts and cross 'learning thresholds'. She is currently collaborating with Birdlife International, and the Encyclopedia of Life project at Harvard University, to develop learning activities on biodiversity and science inquiry for schools, universities and public education programs.
|Making Sense of Science through Visualization |
20 April 2012
Join us on April 20th, from 11am-12pm, when Professor Roy Tasker, 2011 Australian University Teacher of the Year, presents a seminar on "Making Sense of Science through Visualization".
A deep understanding of chemistry requires the ability to imagine the invisible molecular world to explain the observable world. Only then do abstract chemical formulas and equations become meaningful communication, and fundamental concepts become 'internalised'. Indeed, all sciences require seamless movement between observable, imagined and symbolic thinking levels.
In this seminar, Roy will discuss how thinking at these levels can be facilitated through learning designs - sequences of learning activities with specific learning outcomes. He will show how a simple, but powerful, evidence-based model for how we learn can be used to inform learning designs. Examples will focus on the use of molecular-level visualisation using animations and simulations in chemistry, although the guiding principles apply to visualisations in any discipline.
After graduating from the University of Queensland in 1978 Professor Tasker obtained his PhD in synthetic inorganic chemistry at the University of Otago in 1982. Following teaching positions at Brisbane Grammar School, the University of Tasmania, and the University of Adelaide, he was appointed as a Foundation Lecturer at the University of Western Sydney in 1985. He is now Professor of Chemical Education with primary teaching responsibilities at first-year level, and research interests in the use of molecular-level visualisation and interactive multimedia for learning chemistry. In 2011, he received the highest ALTC accolade; The Prime Minister's Award for Australian University Teacher of the Year.
|IISME Seminar by award winners in science and mathematics education |
22 May 2012
The Institute for Innovation in Science and Mathematics Education (IISME) are hosting a series of seminars presented by 2011 award winners in the field of science and mathematics education.
Abstract: Classes of 1000-2000 students provide a unique challenge for curriculum design, particularly in a research intensive university, since we need to immerse them in our research culture from the beginning of their university experience. I will present two examples of designing and evaluating such learning experiences :
RSVP: 17 May 2012 for catering purposes.
|Scaffolding for a successful inquiry-based learning experience |
19 June 2012
Join us on June 19th when Kathy Takayama of the Sheridan Center for Teaching and Learning and Department of Molecular Biology, Cell Biology and Biochemistry, Brown University presents Scaffolding for a successful inquiry-based learning experience.
Kathy Takayama holds a B.S. in Biology from MIT, and a Ph.D. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School (formerly Rutgers Medical School). She was a National Institutes of Health Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Biochemistry at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. In 1994 she moved down under to the University of New South Wales (UNSW) in Sydney, Australia as an Australian Research Council Senior Research Associate. Her research interests have focused on how RNA processing mechanisms control the regulation of gene expression in a wide variety of biological systems, including frogs (Xenopus), viruses, and bacteria. Kathy became a faculty member of the School of Biotechnology and Biomolecular Sciences at UNSW in 2001, where she continued to investigate how RNA processing controlled bacterial stress responses; at the same time, she developed an active research program in science education and the scholarship of teaching and learning (SoTL). In 2007, she joined the Sheridan Center as the Associate Director for Life & Physical Sciences, and was appointed Director of the Center in 2010. Kathy has received many awards and recognition for her work and has delivered keynotes on her work in visualizations and learning in the sciences; collaborative online communities, the integration of art + science in teaching; and interdisciplinary pedagogies in the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning.
Abstract: How does one teach students to experientially understand the process of inquiry? This presentation explores whether we are teaching students to engage in inquiry in the same way we engage in our own scholarly research. The creation of successful collaborative learning communities stems from a crucial starting point: 'thinking about thinking', whereby learning is enhanced through reflection and analysis of the inquiry process. We will discuss inclusive approaches for scaffolding inquiry learning, and alignment of assessment strategies for collaborative inquiry-based learning. The emphasis on research-informed learning and teaching as an iterative model is relevant not only to undergraduate courses, but can serve as a mentorship model for research supervisors.
|Teacher Creativity workshop (pt 1) - ICLS linked session |
2 July 2012
Seeking NSW mathematics and science secondary school teachers who are ready to make videos for their classes!
This workshop on video making will be held on Monday July 2nd at the University of Sydney. It especially emphasizes using teacher skills and creativity, and will provide hands-on instruction. The workshop will provide software and tablet computers and furnish instruction in producing videos for use in classrooms.
It will also explore potential long-term media collaborations between teachers and students in Australia, Africa and the USA. Depending on interests, additional instructional workshops may be held at individual schools during the week of 3 July. Secondary school students, with parent permission, are welcome both on 2 July and at any workshops later in the week at their own schools. Equipment will be furnished for the workshop; teachers bringing laptop computers will be furnished with professional video editing software for use during and after the workshop. There is no cost for participating.
Who should participate?
Please register athttps://www.surveymonkey.com/s/IISMI-Pepperdine-Lesotho-July2012
The Institute for Innovation in Science and Mathematics Education at the University of Sydney
The second session, which builds on this first part, is an official part of the ICLS program, and those attending must also register for the conference and pay a fee.
(The first 8 people to register will recieve free places, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more details.)
|Sliding toward inquiry |
12 July 2012
Sliding toward inquiry: Using the Essential Features of Inquiry to improve learning in the laboratory environment
MaryKay Orgill, Associate Professor of Chemistry, University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV), USA. email@example.com
Bio: Dr. MaryKay Orgill is an Associate Professor of Chemistry at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (USA). After a high school teacher told her that girls couldn't "do chemistry," she entered Brigham Young University as a chemistry major (B.S. 1995). She was surprised to find that she actually liked chemistry—and loved teaching it; so she enrolled in a graduate program at Purdue University to study both biochemistry (M.S. 1999) and chemical education (Ph.D. 2003). She continued to pursue both interests as a first-year faculty member with a joint appointment in biochemistry and science education at the University of Missouri-Columbia. During that year, she took on the extra challenge (and incredible learning experience) of teaching a high school chemistry class. In 2004, she moved to UNLV, where her research focuses on using qualitative methods to examine students' understandings of chemistry and biochemistry concepts (for example, students' understandings of buffers or of protein translation).
Abstract: In recent years, there has been a repeated call for science instructors to improve learning in the laboratory environment by modifying laboratory activities to make them less "cookbook" ("recipe book") and more inquiry-oriented. But what does that mean? What is "inquiry"? What does it look like in a laboratory learning environment, and what can an instructor do to make a laboratory activity more inquiry-oriented? In this session, we will discuss four historical laboratory instructional styles, their relationships to "inquiry," variations of "inquiry," and how instructors can use the "Five Essential Features of Inquiry" to make their laboratory activities more inquiry-oriented.
|IISME August Seminar - Dr Beat Schwendimann |
15 August 2012
Why is Evolution so hard to understand? Insights from implementing a human evolution case study in a technology-enhanced learning environment.
DR BEAT A SCHWENDIMANN, Postdoctoral Research Associate, CoCo Research Centre, Faculty of Education and Social Work, University of Sydney
Abstract :: Many students leave school with a fragmented understanding of biology, which prohibits them from connecting scientific ideas to their everyday lives. Especially one of the core ideas of biology, the theory of evolution, has been found difficult to understand as it incorporates a wide range of ideas from different areas and often gets in conflict with existing contradictory ideas learners' bring to the classroom. Dr. Schwendimann developed an evolution curriculum, "Gene Pool Explorer", using the web-based inquiry science environment (WISE) that combines concept mapping and guided inquiry activities. The WISE curriculum used an example from human evolution as a case study. This talk will discuss the challenges of teaching and learning the theory of evolution and present findings from implementing the WISE "Gene Pool Explorer" curriculum in authentic science classroom environments.
Biography :: Dr. Beat A. Schwendimann is a postdoctoral research associate in the Laureate Fellowship team at CoCo. He conducted his Ph.D. as a Fulbright Scholar in science education research at the University of California, Berkeley. After receiving his master degree in biology from the Federal Institute of Technology (ETH), he worked for several years as a science educator in Switzerland, USA, and India. Dr. Schwendimann was a research fellow at the Center for Technology Enhanced Learning of Science (TELS) where he developed an evolution curriculum using the web-based inquiry science environment (WISE), dynamic simulations, and different forms of concept maps. He is interested in how different forms of knowledge visualizations can support collaborative construction of connections between scientific concepts. His research interests include science education, technology-supported learning environments, inquiry-based learning, collaborative learning, and knowledge visualizations.
|DNS Forum : From flipping to interactivity |
11 September 2012
The Division of Natural Sciences present a special forum -
We ask the question, 'how might the lecture format look in the future in light of students' changing learning behaviours and advances in multimedia?' Various possibilities exist. Flipped lectures expect students to become familiar with material beforehand, using activities ranging from viewing pre-recorded material, reading text, to engaging in on-line activities. The lectures are then available for activities other than a PowerPoint delivery summarising content. The other activities could range from interactive demonstrations to discussion of difficult and challenging concepts. This engaged inquiry approach requires more effort from students but is better aligned with student behaviours - a trade-off that could prove effective.
Dr Tony Mogg and Associate Professor Adam Bridgeman will provide a brief overview of flipped lectures followed by discussions. This will be part of a series of monthly forums with a retreat planned for December (DNS L&T Strategy Group).
|IISME Special Forum |
19 September 2012
The "Great Teaching, Inspired Learning" in public schools discussion paper that has been released by the NSW Government. In the discussion paper, questions were posed about ways to inspire learning through:
The discussion paper is now open for public consultation. The purpose of the consultation is to encourage all education stakeholder groups and the broader community to have a conversation about what we can change and improve in order to have the best possible teaching in NSW classrooms.
IISME would like to make a submission and invite you to help us. For this reason, IISME will be holding a forum to gather you opinions about the discussion paper to include in the submission. Feel free to view the discussion paper (pdf) and FAQs (pdf). More information can be found at http://www.schools.nsw.edu.au/news/greatteaching/index.phpRSVP by 12 September, 2012.
|Career pathways seminar |
6 November 2012
Special IISME Seminar:What is science/mathematics education and where can it take you? Teaching, government policy to TV personality...
Join IISME to hear about what students in science education are doing and career pathways. Plus join in the festivities of Melbourne Cup Day!
Proposed program (subject to change):
2:45pm - Bring your hats, fascinators and BYO drinks to view the Melbourne Cup race.
Refreshments will be provided (cheese, crackers, and juice)
3:30pm-3:45pm: Manju Sharma - Careers
3:45pm-4:00pm: Matt Hill - Physics Education PhD project
4:00pm-4:15pm: Kat Badiola - Chemistry Education TSP project
4:15pm-4:30pm Melissa Slarp -Biology Education MSc project
4:30pm-4:45pm: Helen Georgiou - Physics Education PhD project
4:45pm-5:05pm: Judy Anderson and Louise Sutherland - Mteach pathway
5:05pm-5:20pm: Alexandra Yeung - Career options so far
5:20pm-5:25pm: Beat Schwendimann - Career options after Science Education PhD
5:25pm-5:30pm: Thanks and wrap up
RSVP: Friday 2 November 2012 for catering purposes
|Effective use of lecture prep time |
6 November 2012
The Division of Natural Sciences present a special forum on "Effective use of lecture prep time: Sequencing and strategies".
The discussion during our DNS forum titled "Re-engaging students with lectures: From flipping to interactivity" was indeed engaging, with some key points listed below.
This next forumwill delve into some of these issues.
Assoc Prof Manjula Sharma will provide a brief introduction to sequencing in a lecture series, followed by Mr Caleb Owens who will share his experiences of using pre-lecture materials in his units. There will be lots of time for discussion again.
Venue: Veterinary Science Conference Centre WP Young Room
Annison Room - Camden via video-link
|International comparisons: Good and bad experiences from the OECD - PISA project |
7 December 2012
On December 7th Prof Svein Sjøberg will present "International comparisons: Good and bad experiences from the OECD - PISA project".
The PISA project has positive as well as more problematic aspects, and it is important for educators and researchers to engage in critical public debates on this utterly important project, including its uses and misuses. The PISA project sets the educational agenda internationally as well as within the participating countries. PISA results and advice are often considered as objective and value free scientific truths, while they are, in fact embedded in the overall political and economic aims and priorities of the OECD. Through media coverage PISA results create the public perception of the quality of a country's overall school system. I will raise critical points from several perspectives. The main point of view is that the PISA ambitions of testing "real-life skills and competencies in authentic contexts" are by definition alone impossible to achieve. A test is never better than the items that constitute the test. Hence, a critique of PISA should not mainly address the official rationale, ambitions and definitions, but should scrutinize the test items and the realities around the data collection. The secrecy over PISA items makes detailed critique difficult, but I will illustrate the quality of the items with two examples from the released texts. I will also raise serious questions about the credibility of the results, in particular the ranking. I will assert that young learners in different countries and cultures may vary in the way they behave in the PISA test situation.
Prof Svein Sjøberg functions as special advisor to the EU, OECD and a number of European countries on the areas of learning and the natural sciences. Based on his experiences as part of these executive committees, he will share his critical concerns about this undertaking.
Professor Svein Sjøberg is professor in science education at Oslo University and Copenhagen University. His current research interests are: Social, cultural and ethical aspects of science; science education in an international context; critical approach to issues of scientific literacy; and public understanding of science. More information and articles here.