Student Research on Visual Literacy to be Presented at International Science Education Conference

Education Department Chair Mike Taber is excited to be presenting a research paper he co-authored with two education majors, Elizabeth Benedict and Elizabeth Waterman.

Dr. Taber will present “The Cognitive Development of Visual Literacy for Scientific Symbolic Problem Solving” at the New Perspectives in Science Education Conference in Florence, Italy in March, 2015.

The paper examines the extent to which novice scientists (i.e. students just learning science) are able to holistically interpret data. Where is the science learner’s level of visual literacy in terms of spatial thinking, recreating visual representations of information in visual format(s), and communication of complex patterns?

The preliminary study examined how well participants employed visual literacy skills in solving a symbolically driven problem.  Results showed that participants who possessed greater linguistic skills as well as spatial observation and reasoning skills were more likely to correctly identify all seven elements on the unknown cube face.

Elizabeth Benedict

Elizabeth Benedict

Liz Waterman

Liz Waterman









Congratulations, Elizabeth and Liz!

i3 Adds STEM to Second Round Priorities

[From the Triangle Coalition for Science and Technology Education]

The U.S. Department of Education announced that STEM education is one of the new “absolute priorities” in the Investing in Innovation (i3) grants. The i3 competition was created under the Recovery and Reinvestment Act to encourage districts, along with community partners, to explore evidence-based, innovative approaches to improving student achievement. The first round in 2010 drew nearly 1,700 applications competing for a slice of $650 million.

The second round of i3 will be much smaller, providing a total of $150 million and awarding up to 22 winners. While the previous round required grant winners to secure 20% matching funds from the private sector, the matching requirements will be lower and scaled to the type of grant awarded.  According to the Department of Education, the smaller matching fund requirement, along with fewer selection criteria are part of “simplifications” made in response to feedback from prior applicants and other stakeholders. Click here for more information.

CDE Analysis Shows Achievement Data An Indicator of College Readiness From As Early as Sixth-Grade

Anyone interested in assessment will be interested in the new report from the Colorado Department of Education and the Department of Higher Education. The study shows that students who need remediation or who were on track toward postsecondary readiness could have been identified by looking at CSAP scores from as early as sixth grade. Click here for the full report. Continue reading