2000     Annual Colloquium Journal on Research in

Mathematics and Science Education


University of Massachusetts Lowell

Graduate School of Education






Regina M. Panasuk


On the threshold of a new century and a new millennium we scrutinize what have been done in the educational research and where we are going as a mathematics and science education research community. The Graduate School of Education students and graduates being actively involved in their own professional development experiment and investigate new research directions and the methods of addressing research questions. Some outcomes of their efforts have been presented in this issue of the Colloquium Journal.

The articles included in the fourth issue of the Journal critically examine topics related to the development of number sense in elementary school students, laboratory activities in secondary science classrooms, assessment in elementary science education and teacher pedagogical content knowledge.

The science laboratory is the setting where students can be engaged in the process of investigation, inquiry and verification of science concepts.Lisa Dana argues that laboratory activities based on student interaction with materials and observation of phenomena are the means for developing studentsí scientific thinking and understanding.

Rebekah Ravgiala discusses pedagogical content knowledge of expert and novice teachers and their subsequent performance. She addresses the nature of expertise in teaching, the characteristics of alternative and traditional teachers certification programs, and the significance of pedagogical content knowledge in the training of prospective teachers.

The assessment reform movement puts strong emphasis on the quality of assessment instruments as well as the knowledge of those who use the instruments. Michelle Scibner-Maclean has examined the assessment literacy levels of elementary teachers who utilized science kit. She found that effective assessment is linked to effective overall teaching. The evidence provided by her study indicates that experience in using assessment kits is not enough to enable teachers to become assessment literate.

Jeff Todd is in the process of planning his study. He is interested in how students generate written external representation and understand these representations when they work in pairs. He will examine how middle school students working in pairs on a non-routine problem use inscriptions when solving problems together.

Our guest from Tufts University, Ann Goodrow discusses how children express their mathematical thinking as they develop their understanding of number. The article describes the study that examines how different teaching approaches influence the way children deal with computations when inventing new strategies and explore numbers and number representations.

Bradford Allen, who received his Ed. D. in 1998 from the UML has continuously shared with his research interests and findings. His article, published in the rubric Educational Resources, describes how to create a web course to allow students the Internet access to syllabi, schedules, libraries and other educational information.

††††††††††† All the articles are the result of a scrupulous and thoughtful work, and contain valuable information and insights about important aspects of educational research. Many thanks to all contributors for their efforts and support in the development of the Mathematics and Science Education Doctoral Program.

††††††††††† Consider submitting your manuscript to the next issue to advance the field and to strength you writing skills.




Table of Contents






Pedagogical Content Knowledge: Implications for Alternatively and Traditionally Trained Teachers

Rebekah Ravgiala, Manchester High School, NH††††††††† †††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††


Investigating the Effects of Laboratory Activities in Secondary Science Classrooms on Student Achievement

Lisa Dana, Lynn Public Schools, MA†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††



Modes of Teaching and Ways of Thinking in Elementary Mathematics Classrooms

Ann Goodrow, Tufts University††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††


Exploration of Assessment Practices of Elementary Teachers Using Science Kits

Michelle Scribner-MacLean, University of Massachusetts Lowell††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††


Pondering Studentsí Genesis and Understanding of Written External Representations Generated While Problem Solving in Pairs

†††††††††††††† Jeff Todd, University of Massachusetts Lowell†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† †††††††††††††††



Educational Resources


Online Course Design with web Course in a Box

Bradford Allen,†††† Florida Institute of Technology†††††††