Colloquium Friday, November 5: Dr. Annamarie Conner, UGa

please join us at 3 PM in room 103A Walker Hall to hear Dr. Conner speak on...

Elementary Teachers' use of Argumentation in Integrative STEM Instruction: Focus on Mathematics and Coding. Please contact one of the colloquium coordinators for zoom information.

About the Speaker: Dr. Conner was the AMTE 2020 Excellence in Scholarship Award recipient. She grew up in Maryland, and taught high school mathematics in Virginia and Pennsylvania before earning her Ph.D. from Penn State University under the direction of Dr. Rose Mary Zbiek in 2007. Her research is classroom based and longitudinal, crossing boundaries between instruction in university courses and classroom teaching in school districts. She investigates teachers’ beliefs and identity construction during teacher education and how teachers learn to support collective argumentation in mathematics classes. These two lines of research come together in findings describing how teachers’ beliefs impact their classroom practice with respect to collective argumentation. Dr. Conner’s work investigates the complex connections between teacher education, teacher characteristics, and teacher practice. While her early work, funded by an NSF CAREER grant, focused on secondary mathematics teachers, in her current project she collaborates with faculty across the university to investigate how elementary teachers can use argumentation in their teaching of mathematics, science, and computer coding, made possible by an NSF STEM-C grant. Dr. Conner was an inaugural member of the UGA Teaching Academy Faculty Fellows program and a recipient of the Carl Glickman Faculty Fellow Award for excellence in research, teaching, and service.  Abstract: A persistent question in integrative STEM instruction is whether mathematics can be learned rather than simply applied within STEM tasks. We engaged elementary teachers in professional development focused on teaching mathematics, science, and computer coding (with robotics) using collective argumentation. We followed a subset of the teachers into their classrooms to see how they engaged students in lessons involving integrative STEM. We observed several lessons in which teachers integrated mathematics with coding (robotics) and noted that some lessons involved applying mathematics in service of coding while others intentionally focused on learning mathematics in order to accomplish the coding task. Additionally, our analysis of the warrants (reasoning) involved in collective argumentation related to mathematics and coding revealed differences in the kinds of warrants students contributed depending on the focus of the task. In this talk, I will present tasks used by elementary teachers to integrate mathematics and coding and examine characteristics of arguments within this integrative instruction. This presentation is based on research conducted by a large team of faculty and graduate students in an NSF-funded STEM+C project, Collective Argumentation Learning and Coding, and would not be possible without our wonderful group of participating teachers.

Published: Nov 1, 2021 12:13pm