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01-22-2016

Clarkson University Prof Presents Research on How Technology Can Help New Science Teachers Learn How to Teach

Research shows that when student teachers practice their lessons in front of peers or friends, the feedback they receive may be biased.

ASTEClarkson University Assistant Professor of STEM Education Seema Rivera says digital learning environments can help these preservice teachers develop their instructional methods and classroom management skills through objective analysis. STEM stands for science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

By practicing lessons in front of avatars in the TLE TeachLivE Lab, Rivera said, preservice teachers can learn new skills and reflect on their performance by watching videos of themselves afterward. TeachLivE is a mix-reality classroom with simulated students that provides teachers the opportunity to develop their pedagogical practices in a safe environment that doesn't place real students at risk.

Rivera teaches at Union Graduate College, which will soon become Clarkson's Capital Region Campus, and she presented her science education research at the Association for Science Teacher Education (ASTE) 2016 International Meeting this month in Reno, Nev.

She presented "Exploring How TeachLivE Can Influence Beliefs about Science Teaching and Reformed Science Pedagogy with Elementary Preservice Teachers at an Historically Black College or University" with Assistant Professor of Science Education Meredith Kier of The College of William and Mary. Their presentation examined how technology can help science teachers improve lessons and engage students.

"We wanted to make people aware of what technology is available to preservice teachers to give science teachers an opportunity to reflect on how they teach and become better teachers," she said.

Rivera continues to research how technology can help science teachers improve. She is now working to develop a teaching assistant (TA) boot camp for this summer that aims to enhance the types of training available to TAs who teach science.

ASTE promotes leadership and support for professionals involved in the education and development of teachers of science at all levels.

Clarkson University launches leaders into the global economy. One in five alumni already leads as a CEO, VP or equivalent senior executive of a company. Clarkson is a nationally recognized research university for undergraduates with select graduate programs in signature areas of academic excellence directed toward the world’s pressing issues. Through 50 rigorous programs of study in engineering, business, arts, sciences and the health professions, the entire learning-living community spans boundaries across disciplines, nations and cultures to build powers of observation, challenge the status quo, and connect discovery and engineering innovation with enterprise.

Photo caption: Assistant Professor of Science Education Meredith Kier of The College of William and Mary, left, and Clarkson University Assistant Professor of STEM Education Seema Rivera present research on science education at the Association for Science Teacher Education 2016 International Meeting.

[A photograph for media use is available at http://www.clarkson.edu/news/photos/srivera-aste.jpg .]

[News directors and editors: For more information, contact Annie Harrison, Director of Media Relations, at 315-268-6764 or aharrison@clarkson.edu.]

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