Tag Archives: PIESC3

Graduation for Laura Zangori

Me and Cory_May 8_2015Congrats again to Laura Zangori for successfully completing her doctoral studies and graduating from the Department of Teaching, Learning, and Teacher Education in the UNL College of Education and Human Sciences.  It’s been a long journey across three states (and many different classrooms, professional development workshops, and conferences across both the PIESC3 and MoHSES projects) to arrive at this point.  What a wonderful accomplishment.  Good luck next year at Mizzou!

Laura Zangori, Ph.D.

Congratulations to Dr. Laura Zangori for successfully defending her dissertaIMG_7407tion study, entitled, “EXPLORING 3RD-GRADE STUDENTS’ MODEL-BASED EXPLANATIONS ABOUT PLANT GROWTH AND DEVELOPMENT”.  Laura has worked on both the PIESC3 and MoHSES projects, first at the University of Iowa and later at UNL.  It has been a pleasure to work with Laura as both project PI and her advisor. In August, Laura will begin a new position as an Assistant Professor of Science Education in the College of Education at the University of Missouri-Columbia.

Article published in International Journal of Science Education

A new paper was published in the September issue of the International Journal of Science Education.

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.


Laura Zangori accepted to the 2013 Sandra K. Abell Institute for Doctoral Students

Congratulations to MoHSES and PIESC3 project doctoral student Laura Zangori for being accepted to the 2013 Sandra K. Abell Institute for Doctoral Students. The institute will be held July 15 – 19, 2013 on the George Washington University campus and the offices of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) in Washington, DC. Laura’s current research, which is embedded in the MoHSES project, focuses on characterizing 3rd-grade students’ model-based scientific reasoning about hydrologic phenomena. The work is part of broader project efforts to foster effective elementary science learning environments that afford students iterative opportunities to construct, use, evaluate, and revise models, one of 8 scientific practices articulated in A Framework for K-12 Science Education, of the water cycle over time. Laura is currently wrapping up MoHSES project Year 1 data collection in 6 3rd-grade classrooms. The Abell Institute will provide Laura an exciting opportunity to benefit from others’ feedback on her work.

Article published in Science and Children

sc1201_48_1_smallA paper from the PIESC3 group has just been published in the September issue of Science and Children. The article outlines and describes accessible strategies for modifying existing science lessons and curriculum materials to better engage students in ‘science as inquiry‘ and scientific practices.

Zangori, L., Forbes, C., & Biggers, M. (2012). This is inquiry…right? Strategies for effectively adapting elementary science lessons. Science and Children, 50(1), 48-53.

These strategies have been developed, used, and refined through almost 10 years of work with both preservice and inservice elementary teachers as part of the CASES and PIESC3 project research. We are excited to share them with many more teachers through Science and Children!

Germany 2012

014From 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!


ESERA 2011 Conference

photo3_croppedI recently returned from Lyon, France, where I attended the 2011 biannual meeting of the European Science Education Research Association (ESERA). I presented two papers at the conference, one from past research and one from new PIESC3 project work. I was fortunate to see many colleagues, as well as meet some new ones.

forbes_esera_9_2011Forbes, C.T. (2011, September). Elementary teachers’ curriculum design and pedagogical design capacity for reform-based science: Research across the teacher professional continuum. Paper presented at the bi-annual meeting of the European Science Education Research Association, Lyon, France.

Forbes, C.T., Biggers, M., & Zangori, L. (2011, September). Promoting and investigating elementary teachers’ PCK for inquiry-based science. Paper presented at the bi-annual meeting of the European Science Education Research Association, Lyon, France.


PIESC3 Year 1 Summer Institute

The first PIESC3 summer institute was held in Davenport, Iowa during the week of June 13. The PIESC3 team had the opportunity to work with an extraordinary group of 20 elementary teachers from the Davenport Community School District (DCS) around engaging students in scientific practices and inquiry in the classroom.