Sunday, January 4, 2009

Dissertation data collection: A critical time in the next few weeks

My dissertation data collection begins in earnest this week, with the pre-administration of two surveys of science teacher knowledge: the Flexible Application of Student-Centered Instruction (FASCI) and the physics-FASCI. For more information on each of these surveys, visit the FASCI webpage at The FASCI survey is content-neutral, in that the classroom scenarios presented and the questions asked are not placed in the context of any particular science content, only a "high school science class." The physics-FASCI places the same scenarios into the context of specific physics content, such as statements like "you are teaching Newton's 3rd Law..." My goal in administering these two versions of the FASCI is to investigate the domain-specificity of this particular aspect of science teacher knowledge. 

Participants from four universities around the country will be randomly assigned to take one version or the other, both pre- and post-semesters' instruction. The first of these administrations begins this week, and hopefully all pre-administrations will be complete within the next three weeks. I will then conduct think-aloud interviews and observe the teaching practice of a subset of respondents in order to contribute to a validity argument for each version of the instrument. The full research proposal can be seen at the website mentioned above.

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