Ashley M. Dawkins
Mentor: Paul Grobstein
There are a variety of new educational approaches that have been developed in order to improve on traditional ways of teaching and learning science and math. I believe improving upon the current state of science and math education is important, and hence, that it is necessary to inquire into these approaches. To do so, I will read about and gain practical experience related to these new approaches as well as contribute to them through reflection on their related pros and cons.
I will begin by supporting the open ended transactional approach to science education available on Serendip. In doing so, I will update the informational links that support an interactive approach to learning science. In addition I will create a new resource on math education. I will also take part in the three Bryn Mawr College summer institutes for K-12 teachers that encourage discovery-based learning in the classroom. Here I will serve as an aide and participant allowing me to gain experience and reflect on the methods being used. This will result in an evaluation and summary of the programs and my newfound knowledge. I will also explore how computer models can be used to characterize forms of learning and how such an analysis can contribute to the further understanding of how and why some forms of science and math education are more effective than others.