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                            University of Missouri, St. Louis
IRL @ UMSL
	5-12-2014
Researching the Real: Transforming the Science Fair through Relevant and Authentic Research
	Rosemary McBryan Davidson
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University of Missouri, St. Louis
IRL @ UMSL

Dissertations UMSL Graduate Works

5-12-2014

Researching the Real: Transforming the Science
Fair through Relevant and Authentic Research
Rosemary McBryan Davidson
University of Missouri-St. Louis, [email protected]

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Running Head: RESEARCHING THE REAL 1







Rosemary McBryan Davidson

M.Ed., Secondary Education, University of Missouri-St. Louis, 1980

B.A., Biology, St. Louis University, 1975



Researching the Real:

Transforming the Science Fair through Relevant and Authentic Research



A Dissertation Submitted to the Graduate School at the University of Missouri-St. Louis

in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree

Doctor of Education with an emphasis in Educational Practice



April, 2014



Dissertation Committee

Dr. Charles Granger, Ph.D.

Chairperson



Dr. E. Wendy Saul, Ph.D.

Dr. Alan Newman, Ph.D.

Dr. Angela Kohnen, Ph.D.



















Research supported by the National Science Foundation DRL-0822354

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RESEARCHING THE REAL 107





Changes in Teacher Perspective

In addition to the classroom processes for the science research project changing

with the use of science journalism, my teacher attitude and outlook have changed.

During an interview, I describe how my perception of the needs of my students is

beginning to shift:

little scientist (O'Neill & Polman, 2004) and focus on the little citizen, the

ind

taking that and

journalism skills come in.

everybody in the class is going to go on and get a masters in science and

be a little scientist

but I still expected them to know the science as though they were going to

be, ... now

what they do need to know to survive life on our planet

and in the United States in the 21
st
century? The SciJourn project helped

build skills and to see that these pieces of information, this knowledge

base was changing constantly and related to them, not something dead and

memorized and put in a file box and forgotten about; it actually had some

application to their lives that actually feeds into the ...responsibility to

Page 109

RESEARCHING THE REAL 108





foundation for the rest of their

believe my responsibility is also for them to see that it

does fit with the rest of their lives.

When we get up to the junior honors courses, most of those kids, if you

college level science work, I do have to prepare the little scientist,. But I

also need for them as scientists to understand their role as a citizen and

how it affects .the rest of the planet. So it is not just science for



It is not enough to b

the rest of the world and addressing the needs out there (Davidson, 2011).

King (1993) introduced the idea of teachers moving from the stance of sage on the

stage to guide on the side. Through my work on integrating journalistic activities into the

student research projects, I have begun to understand the value in making that transition.

As I worked with Read Aloud-Think Alouds with my students I found the

students to be more attentive and engaged in the process when they were the ones

actually reading the articles. I have found that during class discussions if we sit in a

circle, and I take the same position as the students in the circle, that the discussion will be

more fruitful and longer in duration than if I stand at the front of the room or to the side

of the group. I find myself looking for ways to move the center of attention from me as

the teacher to that of the students interacting with each other.

Page 215

RESEARCHING THE REAL 214





SciJourn Project. (2011, June). Science News Article Organization Lesson. Retrieved

from Teach4SciJourn: http://teach4scijourn.org/wp-

content/uploads/2011/06/lesson-Science-News-Article-Organization.pdf

SciJourn Project. (n.d.). Teach 4 SciJourn. Retrieved from http://teach4scijourn.org/

Smith, M. K. (2002). Jerome Bruner and the Process of Education. Retrieved from The

Encyclopedia of Informal Education: http://www.infed.org/thinkers/bruner.htm

Sue. (2011). SciJourn Participant Interview 2. (A. Kohnen, Interviewer)

Sue. (2011). SciJourn Participant Interview 2. (A. Kohnen, Interviewer)

SurveyMonkey.com. (2014). SurveyMonkey: Create Surveys. Get Answers. Retrieved

from SurveyMonkey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/

Tabak, I., & Baumgartner, E. (2004). The Teacher as Partner: Exploring Participant

Structures, Symmetry, and Identity Work in Scaffolding. Cognition and

Instruction, 393-429.

Bruner. Interchange, 1-19.

The College Board. (2011). About PSAT/NMSQT. Retrieved June 2011, from The

College Board: http://www.collegeboard.com/student/testing/psat/about.html

United States Department of Education. (2010). A Complete Education. Washington,

D.C.: United States Department of Education.

Vernier Software & Technology , LLC. (2013). Loggerpro is award winning, data

collection and analysis software for Windows and Mac computers. Retrieved

from Vernier: http://www.vernier.com/products/software/lp/

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RESEARCHING THE REAL 215





Wells, G. (2009). Dialogic Inquiry as Collaborative Action Research. In s. Noffke, & B.

Somekh (Eds.), The Sage Handbook of Educational Action Research (pp. 50-61).

London: Sage Publications Ltd.

Wiggins, G., & Tighe, J. (2006). Understanding by Design. Upper Saddle River, New

Jersey: Pearson Education, Inc.

Wilson, D., Taylor, J., Kowalski, S., & Carlson, J. (. (2010). The Relative Effects and

Equity of Inquiry-

Knowledge, Reasoning and Argumentation. Journal of Research in Science

Teaching, 276-301.

Wood, D., Bruner, J., & Ross, G. (1976). The Role of Tutoring in Problem Solving.

Journal of Child Psychiatry and Psychology, 89-100.

Zeni, J. (2001). A Guide to Ethical Decision Making for Insider Research. In J. Zeni

(Ed.), Ethical Issues in Practitioner Research (pp. 153-165). New York: Teachers

College Press.

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