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Research in Science Education

Teachers Starting Their Own Research

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Lauren Cramer Lauren Cramer 2025 Points

Hello all!

I have always wanted to be involved in and have my classes involved in research, but I am unsure of how to get started. I am interested in data collection in the stream on campus. Any tips or thoughts would be greatly appreciated! 

Dear Lauren Regarding your post, I recommend The GLOBE Progam ( as an ideal starting point for research involvement in your classes. Begin by navigating the site, exploring the concept of Citizen Science, continuing with the e-training program, and doing the certification process by taking the Introduction to GLOBE e-test and the Introduction to One of the Spheres, plus one protocol e-test. You will see that GLOBE won´t be just a Citizen Science program sponsored by NASA and NSF but also a world community of practice where you can grow and flourish as a teacher and as a Citizen Scientist. My best Juan

Patrick Leighton Patrick Leighton 348 Points

Hello Lauren, I am a longtime science STEM teacher recently retired who started off on action research 35 years ago after earning an EdD. It was an interesting voyage through twelve different schools teaching every grade level from 2nd to AP physics. The opportunities for significant research are many and can be highly significant to teaching and learning practice. I would caution you however that this is a rocky path to academic publication and dialogue on research that you yourself direct, from hypothesis on. If you are intending to follow your own curiosity about the learning you deal with daily, then it will be difficult to share within the wider community of STEM practitioners . There are many opportunities for classroom teachers to participate in ed researchers’ research, directed by them from outside, not you. There are no villains. The ed research institution cannot structurally take its lead from practitioners. If you are going to embark on one of the most satisfying ways to be a teacher, then perhaps I could share: I found it (ultimately) invaluable to start with an operative/predictive model of teaching and learning. For example, “inquiry” is an overall 2-D model of the same. What do you think of the 3-D model espoused by the NGSS framework? As the existing models disappointed, I slowly amended and added. I needed some scheme to “guess” what teaching strategy was going to produce the type and level of learning that I wanted - which means you need to assemble a valid and reliable rubric for measuring it, which means you need a model of that, one that is prescriptive for what to do different in a classroom. Still interested? I found decades of action research to be the most effective and fastest route to becoming a good teacher. Your career becomes exhilarating even through the drudgery. Your audiences however will be Your colleague and most important, your students. Pat leighton

Lauren Cramer Lauren Cramer 2025 Points

Thank you both. I appreciate your thoughtful feedback and suggestion! :)

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