August 23, 2017
Purdue College of Education research examining difficulty students have understanding scientific evidence received funding from the National Science Foundation.
The work being led by Ala Samarapungavan, a professor of educational psychology and research methodology, received a new grant totaling $1.2 million for three years.
“Instructors often assume that the evidence for scientific concepts is self-evident to students and neglect teaching about the methodological practices and standards by which evidence is collected and evaluated,” Samarapungavan said.
Purdue researchers will examine high school and undergraduate students’ ability to understand evidence in the context of biology teaching and learning, working with instructors of those respective groups.
“Our findings should help educators better prepare students who want to pursue careers in science, including research careers,” Samarapungavan said, adding the research will contribute to STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) by providing “a framework and tools for instruction” to educators.
Co-principal investigators in the research are Nancy Pelaez, associate professor of biology; Stephanie Gardner, assistant professor of biology; and Kari Clase, professor of agricultural and biological engineering and technology leadership and innovation.
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