Our research in STEM education investigates models of job-embedded professional development for science and mathematics educators at the K-5 level. Our current project, Groundwork Education in Mathematics and Science (GEMS), is a collaborative effort between U of L professors in chemistry, geosciences, and mathematics and math/science content specialists in the Jefferson County Public Schools. Funded by the NSF GK-12 program, 12 GEMS graduate fellows pair with K-5 teachers in Title 1 elementary classroom to support the delivery of inquiry-based instruction. One goal of the project is to assess the efficacy of a learning community apporach as a strategy for fostering sustained improvements in both content mastery and best teaching practices.
Other areas of interest include (1) development and integration of discovery-based experiments into the college laboratory curriculum, and (2) informal assessment strategies that gauge student learning of state and district core content at the K-12 level.