Over the past 7 years, I have been incredibly fortunate to collaborate with Prof. Dr. Kim Lange-Schubert, a colleague from Germany, on work related to models and modeling in elementary science classrooms. Springboarding, in part, from our earlier work on the MoHSES project, as well as a CEHS international travel fellowship awarded to former graduate student and now Assistant Professor Tina Vo, this ongoing collaboration yielded two more publications in 2019. The first is a practitioner-focused article in a German publication discussing the importance and role of models and modeling in the early grades. The second is a reporting of some smaller-scale work with students in Germany and articulation/elaboration of our underlying conceptual framework for model-based teaching and learning. We look forward to continuing this collaborative endeavor and important work yet to come.
In August, the I was fortunate to attend the 2019 annual meeting of the European Science Educational Research Association (ESERA), held in Bologna, Italy. The conference provided a wonderful opportunity to be part of a PISA-focused session, organized by Jonathan Osborne, to present results of work associated with my Fulbright in Germany. It was also great to see doctoral student Florian Böschl, who works with Prof. Dr. Kim Lange-Schubert at the University of Leipzig, present work from his summer in Nebraska (2018) as part of our ongoing collaborative research on modeling in elementary science classrooms. ESERA was a truly fantastic way to cap off a year of travel and professional work in Germany.
Böschl, F., Lange-Schubert, K., & Forbes, C. T.
(2019, August). Investigating scientific modeling practices in primary science: A comparative
study of the U.S. and Germany. Paper presented at the
2019 annual meeting of the European Science Education Research Association
(ESERA) 2019, Bologna, Italy.
Forbes, C.T., Neumann, K., Schipe-Tiska, A. (2019, August). Science teaching and learning: Analysis of
PISA data from the United States and Germany. Paper presented at the 2019 annual meeting of
the European Science Education Research Association (ESERA) 2019, Bologna,
This past week I traveled to Kiel, Germany, to begin work on my Fulbright-related research. This work focuses on data from the 2015 administration of the The Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), in which 28 million 15-year-old (secondary) students in 72 countries completed the PISA. In 2015, the focus of the PISA was science, with approximately half of the assessment devoted to science items. We are exploring observed relationships between student achievement as related to scientific literacy outcomes and reported instructional practices of high school science teachers. A special thanks to Knut Nuemann for hosting me at the IPN Leibniz Institute for Science and Mathematics Education at the University of Kiel and to and Anja Schiepe-Tiska, from the Centre for International Student Assessment (ZIB) at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), for traveling to Kiel for a few days to work with us. I very much look forward to the ongoing collaboration on this important work.
In December I had the opportunity to travel back to Germany to spend a week collaborating with colleagues Dr. Jan C. Schubert, Professor for Geographical and Geoscience Education at the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg, and Dr. Kim Lange-Schubert, Professor of Elementary STEM Education at the University of Leipzig. It was wonderful to spend time working with both of their research teams, as well as to attend Dr. Lange-Schubert’s inaugural address at the University of Leipzig. I look forward to continued collaboration and ongoing productive endeavors with these amazing scholars and science educators.
During the month of August, IANR and UNL hosted Jan C. Schubert, Ph.D. as a visiting scholar from Germany. Dr. Schubert is Professor for Geographical and Geoscience Education at the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg, Germany. During his stay, he gave an invited presentation as part of the 2015 Science Literacy seminar serites, entitled, How does German schnitzel effect the environment? Preparing students and teachers for a scientifically-literate society through STEM-based education, in which he shared information and research focused on an environmental science course for preservice secondary science teachers in Germany. Dr. Schubert’s work provides a model for innovative STEM teacher education efforts at the undergraduate level that integrate experiences with science, scientific research, and pedagogy. During his stay, he was also able to participate in teacher professional development workshops associated with the TASRs program, observe AGRI 103, and work collaboratively on a new project focused on research and development on 6th-grade students’ STEM-informed decision-making about wind energy. We look forward to ongoing collaboration with Dr. Schubert and future opportunities to work together and learn from one another.
Forbes, C.T., Lange, K., Möller, K., Biggers, M., Laux, M., & Zangori, L. (2014). Explanation-construction in 4th-grade classrooms in Germany and the United States: A cross-national comparative video study. International Journal of Science Education, 36(14), 2367-2390.
This research involved a comparative study of 4th-grade classrooms in the U.S. and Germany involving samples of videorecorded science instruction around a variety of topics. We used the P-SOP instrument to characterize scientific practices and processes of inquiry in which students were observed taking part. While there were many similarities between the nature of science teaching and learning in classrooms in the two countries, we also found key differences in how students were afforded opportunities to formulate scientific explanations, a crucial scientific practice highlighted in the Next Generation Science Standards. This study was a wonderful opportunity to extend the impact of PIESC3 project through an very fulfilling and enjoyable collaboration with colleagues from the University of Münster in Germany. I thank Kim Lange, Kornelia Möller, and Mira Laux for their contributions and collegiality. I look forward to continuing to work together on issues related to elementary science.
From January 27 – February 4, I traveled to Germany as part my work on the PIESC3 project. Through generous support from the German Research Foundation (DFG), I was invited by the Teaching and Learning of Science Research Group to give invited talks at both NWU-Essen and WWU-Münster. I spent most of the week working with colleagues in Professor Kornelia Möller’s workgroup at the University of Münster. We spent two days working to train PLUS project research team members on an observation protocol we developed and pilot-tested during the past year as part of the PIESC3 project. In the next year, we will be conducting a comparative study of students’ engagement in inquiry and scientific practices in U.S. and German elementary classrooms. The PIESC3 team is excited to host PLUS graduate student, Mira Laux, as a visiting scholar for two months this spring at the University of Iowa. It was wonderful to meet and spend time with Nicola, Ina, Marco, Lena, Judith, and Katharina. A special thanks the Kim Lange for originally suggesting the visit and making it happen!