American University of Beirut

SMEC Seminar - Delivered Talks


Collaborative and Iterative Design of GeoGebra Professional Development for In-service Secondary Mathematics Teachers and its Effect on their Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge

Houssam Kasti (Doctorial School of Literature, Humanities & Social Sciences, Lebanese University)
Thursday, November 26, 2015, 2:00 - 3:00 pm, Fisk Hall, Room 208

Integrating technology in education has not been and still is not an easy task. The availability of technology added another challenge to educators, teachers, parents as well as students. My doctoral research is a multiple case study to investigate in depth the effect of a GeoGebra (a free mathematics software) intervention on secondary mathematics teachers' technological pedagogical content knowledge, their attitude and practices regarding GeoGebra integration in their teaching. The study is a Design-Based Research (DBR) that entails working closely with practitioners in collaborative and iterative manner in the real context with the aim of producing principles that add to theory and practice. The research is in data collection phase hoping to get results this upcoming year.


From Scientific Inquiry to Scientific Practices: Redefining Teaching and Learning of Science

Professors Zoubeida Dagher (Center for Science, Ethics, and Public Policy, University of Delaware), Sibel Erduran (STEM Education at University of Limerick, Ireland), and Ebru Kaya (Department of Primary Education at Bogazici University, Turkey)
​Thursday, October 29, 2015, 2:30 - 3:30pm, Fisk Hall, Room 208

For over a century teaching science by inquiry has been promoted as the ultimate way to teach students how to think and act as scientists. Recent reform documents such as the Next Generation Science Standards in the United States, has shifted from emphasis on scientific inquiry to an emphasis on scientific and engineering practices in school science. What are scientific practices? How do they relate to the nature of science, scientific knowledge, or scientific methods? How can teachers implement them in their classrooms? This presentation will explore scientifc practices from philosophical and pedagogical perspectives, and will consider their relevance to K-12 education and teacher preparation. 

The Relationship between Understanding the Nature of Science and Argumentation Skills   

Professor Rola Khishfe, Department of Education, Science and Mathematics Education Center, AUB 
Thursday, October 2nd, 2014, 6:00-7:00 pm., FiskHall, 208

 This study investigated the relationship between high school students' understandings about nature of science (NOS) and their argumentation skills in relation to two controversial socioscientific issues. The study was conducted in five schools in Beirut. Students in all the schools responded to two scenarios that addressed  controversial socioscientific issues dealing with genetically modified food and water fluoridation. The two scenarios were followed by questions relating to argumentation and nature of science. Results and implications for the teaching of NOS and argumentation skills will be discussed.


Between "Authentic" and "Inauthentic" Education Investments: The Forensic Science Genre

Dr. Ahmad Samarji, College of Education, Victoria University
​Monday, November 10th, 2014, 6:00-7:00pm,  Fisk Hall, 208 

Over the past two decades, the field of forensic science has experienced a remarkable development, immense mass media focus, and a substantially enhanced public profile.  Consequently, forensic science education has been characteried by a rapid expansion in both the number of forensic science courses and the number of students enrolling in such courses.  Despite the concerns such rapid expansion has created, very little has been published on forensic science education and on the curricular and pedagogical approaches adopted in forensic science courses.  This presentation has a dual purpose.  The first is to share recent and ongoing research around forensic science education and highlight the current status of forensic science education in academia and the curicular and pedagogical frameworks adopted in forensic science courses.  The second is to present a forensic science context, exemplified as a problem-based learning (PBL) device, to promote learning and teaching around STEM education.  An ear-printing problem was posed to students to set a measurement task inquiry.  The second part of the presentation will also include sharing some recent and ongoing research on the benefits of, and concerns around, PBL.

The presentation powerpoint is available here

Elementary Students' Knowledge and Teachers' Pedagogical Content Knowledge (PCK) of 2D Representations of 3D Geometrical Objects 

Sanaa Shehayeb, PhD Candidate, Lebanese University
​Thursday, December 4th, 2014, 6:00-7:00 pm, Fisk Hall 208

The purpose of this study was to explore students’ knowledge as well as teachers’ pedagogical content knowledge of 2D representations of 3D geometric objects. Participants included students and their teachers from grades 4, 5 and 6 from two public and five private schools in Aley, Mount Lebanon. The total sample consisted of 96 students and 22 teachers (17 in-service and 6 pre-service). Students were given a questionnaire consisting of 65 items, which reflect different abilities in 3D geometry (recognition, classification, comparison and construction), Van Hiele levels of reasoning (1, 2a, 2b and 3) and modes of representation (drawing, picture and nets). Teachers were given a questionnaire comprised of the 15 items in which more than 50% of the students had errors. In addition to solving the items, teachers were asked to predict and explain student misconceptions and propose strategies to deal with those misconceptions. Frequencies and percentages were used to analyze students’ and teachers’ responses. In addition, student responses were compared across grade level and achievement level while teacher responses were compared by teacher service type. Results showed that students performed best on the recognition of 3D objects represented in 2D and worst on the construction of nets. Moreover, students tended to perform at low Van Hiele levels, had the most difficulty in items pertaining to the nets representation and had the highest percentage of spatial visualization misconceptions. Grade level and achievement level differences were also evident. As for the teacher analysis, findings showed that while teachers were able to predict and explain a majority of students’ misconceptions, they were unable to propose effective strategies to deal with them. Significant differences between in-service and pre-service teachers were also evident. Recommendations for future research and implications for practice are discussed. 

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