Busy Summer for MSED Educators

Norman Lederman, distinguished professor of mathematics and science education, and Judith Lederman, associate professor of mathematics and science education and director of teacher education, have had quite a busy summer. July 1-4 they were both keynote speakers at the New Zealand Association of Science Educators Science Conference 2012. The title of Judith’s talk was “Connecting Nature of Science and Scientific Inquiry in the Classroom,” in which she presented approaches to teaching students about scientific inquiry and nature of science, and introduced instruments that could assess primary students’ knowledge of science. Norman’s talk was called, “Nature of Science and Scientific Inquiry: Bridging Science Curriculum to Student’s Lives,” and he discussed the link between understanding of nature of science and the achievement of scientific literacy, and the importance of scientific literacy in helping students make informed personal and societal decisions. The work they presented was based on research they did in these areas with K-12 students.

Also in July, Norman and Judith organized and hosted a two-week science camp for 30 middle-school students from Mingdao Middle School in Taiwan. During this camp, the students did hands-on activities in life, physical, and earth sciences. They attended various Chicago museums such as the Field Museum and the Art Institute and participated in activities based on these visits. In the evenings, social activities included a White Sox game and trip to Navy Pier. IIT has hosted this summer science camp for the last 12 years.

On August 6, Norman was a keynote speaker at Faculty Development Week 2012 – The Talents of Teaching held at Malcolm X College in Chicago. This workshop allowed faculty of the City Colleges of Chicago to gather and learn about best practices and teaching throughout Chicago and the nation. Norman’s spoke to these faculty members about “Improving College Science and Math Teaching Through Reflective Data-Collection.”

Later in August, Judith and Norman delivered the two-day “2012 New Technologies for Classroom Instruction, Teacher Education, Research, and Supervision” workshop with three of their Ph.D. students, Stephen Bartos, Selena Bartels, and Dion Gnanakkan, in Changhua, Taiwan. Here, they presented the research and instructional uses of emerging technologies such as iPADS, LiveScribe pens, and tablets. The workshop had 150 attendees, comprised of teachers and university researchers.

Finally, Judith and Norman have been appointed the editors of the Journal of Science Teacher Education. This is the premier research journal dedicated to research in science teacher education and the official journal of the Association of Science Teacher Education (ASTE).