Author

Levi Lucy

Date of Award

12-2013

Level of Access

Campus-Only Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Teaching

Advisor

Michael Wittmann

Second Committee Member

Natasha M. Speer

Third Committee Member

MacKenzie Stetzer

Abstract

Research in energy education is important due to increased attention to energy in recent standards. Within education research, looking at the different knowledge teachers have and use while teaching is also a growing area. This study was a pilot study in looking at whether and if so, how, the different knowledge teachers have and use correlates with student performance, in an effort to help focus professional development and pre-service teacher programs. A single survey was used to measure two different types of teacher knowledge: knowledge of common content, and knowledge of content and students, as well as student performance. The results show that where correlations between teachers knowledge and student performance could exist, they did. Students of teachers who gave more detailed responses in a free response question performed better after instruction, than those that were not. Additionally, students of teachers who were able to predict and explain student misconceptions on the same questions used on the student performance assessment, performed better after instruction. Modifications to the teacher assessment are needed tools to investigate teachers’ knowledge of energy more deeply, and to engage teachers more in the assessment tasks.

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