AERA 2021

A Virtual Conference
April 8–12, 2020
Conference Website

The theme of the American Educational Research Association Annual Meeting (AERA) 2021 conference is “Accepting Educational Responsibility.” AERA is the world’s largest gathering of education researchers and a showcase for groundbreaking, innovative studies in an array of areas. This meeting offers a wide array of sessions that advance knowledge and connect to policy and practice.

Saturday, April 10

Supporting Kindergarten Students’ Learning About Matter Through Model-Based, Technology-Mediated Explorations of Particle Behavior

Ala Samarapungavan, Bima Kumari Sapkota, Lynn A. Bryan, Carolyn Staudt, Alaina Glidden, Jamie Broadhead, Hector Emilio Will Pinto, Krista Hook

10:40 AM – 12:10 PM (EDT) | Paper Session, Modeling in Multiple Forms

This mixed-methods longitudinal study investigated kindergarten students’ developing models of matter through participation in technology-mediated, inquiry-based modeling instruction implemented by their regular public school teachers. One hundred and thirty-nine students from seven classrooms investigated the properties of matter in solid, liquid, and gas states and during phase changes, constructing model inscriptions in their science notebooks to represent these properties. Individual interviews were conducted to assess changes in students’ models of matter before and after instruction. Analysis of science notebook inscriptions during learning and interview data showed that kindergartners moved from initial macroscopic descriptions to particle-based representations of matter as they progressed through the curriculum. The findings suggest that young learners can fruitfully construct and use simple particle-based models of matter.

Monday, April 12

Stormy WATERS: COVID-19 Transition to Online Learning for a National Science Foundation–Funded Environmental Education Middle School Curriculum

Nanette I. Marcum-Dietrich, Cindy Stunkard, Steve Kerlin, Carolyn Staudt

11:10 AM – 12:40 PM (EDT) | Paper Session, Games and Emerging Technologies in Environmental Education

This exploratory study examines the challenges and celebrations of transitioning an NSF grant-funded middle school watershed curriculum from face-to-face to online delivery in the spring of 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The study includes data from teachers making changes to the curriculum, students engaged in the online learning, and parents supporting learners at home. The results indicate that having an existing curriculum that is well-developed with a strong online presence was a great starting point for the teachers tasked with creating online learning opportunities for students. The data indicate that the substitution of face-to-face instruction and outdoor hands-on field experiences for virtual student participation using web-based models/simulations and video demonstrations produced gains in students’ watershed knowledge and environmental literacy.

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