P762: Promoting self-efficacy and habits in science, sustainability, and service by designing experiences that unify learning across school, family, and community contexts

Author: Patrick L. Daubenmire, Loyola University Chicago, USA

Co-Author: Adam Tarnoff, Charles Bilodeau, Natalie J. Hall and Mary T. van Opstal, Loyola University Chicago, USA; Leah A. Bertke, Gordon Tech College Preparatory, USA; Eleanor D. Flanagin, Senn High School, USA; Brian C. Hayes, Taft High School, USA; Neil T. Reimer, Muchin College Preparatory, USA

Date: 8/6/14

Time: 10:35 AM10:55 AM

Room: MAK B1138

Related Symposium: S59

Evolving mobile technology and the rapid spread of STEM-focused informal learning environments has created a unique opportunity to break through the barriers that have traditionally separated diverse learning contexts such as school, family, and community. At least one theoretical perspective has claimed that in a well-designed family learning environment both parents and children can make significant gains in science knowledge, science skills, positive attitudes towards science, and academic self-efficacy (Brassett-Grundy, 2002; Haggart, 2000; Ostlund, Gennaro and Dobbert 1985). Families, Organizations, and Communities Understanding Science, Sustainability, and Service (FOCUSSS) is a design-based research project created to blur the boundaries between different learning contexts, and, in doing so, promote adoption of real-word behaviors that have tangible positive impacts on individuals, families, communities, and the environment. Data from this two-year proof-of-concept program present strongly encouraging, albeit preliminary, evidence that cutting across contexts does indeed correlate with increased self-efficacy and positive changes in behavior in participants. Furthermore, the FOCUSSS design framework appears to be quite robust, delivering consistent results across variations in the students’ teacher, grade level, school type (neighborhood, charter, private), parent education level, and other factors that might otherwise lead to alternate explanations of these differences in student outcomes.

P658: Shared best practices and products of adaptable design within the FOCUSSS teacher professional learning community

Author: Eleanor D. Flanagin, Senn High School , USA

Co-Author: Leah A. Bertke, Gordon Tech College Preparatory, USA; Brian C. Hayes, Taft High School, USA; Neil T. Reimer, Muchin College Preparatory, USA; Patrick L. Daubenmire, Adam Tarnoff, Charles Bilodeau and Mary T. van Opstal, Loyola University Chicago, USA

Date: 8/5/14

Time: 5:15 PM6:30 PM

Room: LIB

Related Symposium: S33

The list of challenges endemic to teaching in urban schools is long, and there is significant variability in what a particular teacher in a particular school facing a particular group of students might perceive to be his/her most pressing challenge. The Families, Organizations, and Communities Understanding Science, Sustainability, and Service (FOCUSSS) hypothesizes that arming teachers with adaptable expertise and adaptable, flexible resources can prepare them to cope with inevitable change. This poster will present four case studies demonstrating how four adaptable experts (i.e. teachers) worked with FOCUSSS resources in four different contexts, and produced instructional designs that were appropriately differentiated for each context, but that retained “coherence and meaning” (Brown, 2004) with respect to the overall programmatic goals.

P135: Teachers as species: Survive, interact, adapt, and thrive

Author: Neil T. Reimer, Muchin College Preparatory, USA

Co-Author: Leah A. Bertke, Gordon Tech College Preparatory, USA; Brian C. Hayes, Taft High School, USA; Eleanor D. Flanagin, Senn High School, USA; Patrick L. Daubenmire, Adam Tarnoff, Charles Bilodeau and Mary T. van Opstal, Loyola University Chicago, USA

Date: 8/4/14

Time: 11:10 AM11:30 AM

Room: MAK BLL 126

Related Symposium: S5

The adage, “The only constant is change,” is often used to describe the state of perpetual reform in urban schools. While some change can be good, constant change can create challenges for the teaching profession (Fung, 2012). While much must be done to combat instability (Payne, 2008), it is also necessary to better prepare teachers to cope with change. This requires “adaptable expertise,” the ability to excel in both routine and unpredictably shifting conditions (Clark &Feldon, 2008). Developing the robust ability to be adapters (Brown, 2004) in these environments, we argue, is a central component for success and longevity in the field of teaching. In this presentation, four experienced urban teachers share their reflections. These teachers have participated in two aligned professional development programs developed by Loyola University Chicago. Key characteristics of these programs include: (1) long-term teacher participation; (2) sustained relationships with mentors and peers; (3) equal emphasis on constructing knowledge and applying/refining knowledge in classroom practice; (4) adaptable instructional resources that are open-ended enough to encourage flexible use but structured enough to support fidelity of implementation (Brown, 2004); (5) emphasis on sound reasoning over “correct” solutions; and (6) a professional learning community that reinforces shared personal and professional values that remain stable despite external change. Teachers will trace their experiences with these programs, underscoring connections to program elements, and share thoughts about why these elements may be supporting their own longevity in the profession.