2006 Archives

2006 Archives

News Archives


2006 MISE Distinguished Alumni Award Recipient

jDr. VanKoeveringWe are pleased to announce that Dr. Thomas E. Van Koevering of Manitowoc Wisconsin,  has been selected to receive the 2006 Mallinson Institute for Science Education Distinguished Alumni Award.
In 1965, the PhD in Science Education was among the very first doctoral degree programs inaugurated at Western Michigan University. The very first graduate of that doctoral program was Thomas E. Van Koevering.
Tom also received his bachelor’s degree from WMU before becoming a science teacher at Wyoming Park and Gobles, Michigan. After completing his doctoral program, Tom began what was to become a 30 year career at the University of Wisconsin, Green Bay, where he served as professor of science education and chemistry. Tom did a variety of things at the University of Wisconsin/Green Bay but primarily was involved in teaching chemistry to undergraduates and working in computer education as well as teacher education.
Tom came to the Green Bay campus at its beginning. The campus was to have an environmental focus with an innovative curriculum involving the integration of subjects with an emphasis on understanding the environment. Using this worldview, classes would address issues of population growth, pollution, fossil fuel resources and dependence, and humanities intervention in the natural world. With his very strong interests in the environment, Tom was instrumental to this innovative curricular movement at Green Bay.
Over the years Tom published textbooks and numerous scholarly articles. He was much involved with Wisconsin schools and vigorously promoted school level science and environmental education from the earliest days of the environmental movement.
Thomas E. Van Koevering is one of science education’s pioneers and it is with considerable pleasure and pride that the faculty of The Mallinson Institute for Science Education names Thomas Van Koevering its Distinguished Alumni Award recipient for 2006.

Faculty in the News:

The Institute congratulates Dr. Charles Henderson who has had a very busy and productive summer. Dr. Henderson was recently elected as the 2nd Vice President (to progress to president) of the Michigan Section of the American Association of Physics Teachers. 

The July/August issue of the Journal of College Science Teaching contains an article relating to work that Dr. Henderson towards improving the introductory calcul-based physics courses.  Henderson, C. & Rosenthal, A. (2006) Reading Questions: Encouraging Students to Read the Text Before Coming to Class, Journal of College Science Teaching, 35 (7), 46-50.

In August 2006, Dr. Henderson gave an invited talk at the 19th Biennial Conference on Chemical Education held at Purdue University.  The talk, titled Build it and they will come, and other myths about science education reform, was part of a session of talks by physics education researchers with a goal of promoting dialog between the chemistry education and physics education communities.

And now we have learned that Dr. Henderson has just received an NSF award of $97,011 for a project titled: Facilitating Change in Higher Education: A Multidisciplinary Effort to Bridge the Individual Actor and System Perspectives.  The project will run for two years and involves planning a national multidisciplinary conference for researchers interested in studying and promoting change in higher education.

Well done!

MISE Students and Faculty in the News:

The 50th annual conference of the Korean Association for Research in Science Education was held the 10th and 11th of August at Gangwon National University. MISE was represented by our graduate student Hang-Hwa Hong who presented a paper titled, "Korean Elementary Pre-service
Teachers' Views of Nature of Science." The paper was co-authored by Drs. Renee' Schwartz and Gunilla Holm. Congratulations to all three.

Faculty News
Dr. Cobern and Professor Birkok
This past summer MISE has had a visitor--Professor M. Cuneyt Birkok from Sakarya University, Turkey. Professor Birkok is in Kalamazoo with his wife, a visiting scholar with the WMU Department of Physics. Professor Birkok will be at WMU until November. Anyone wishing to meet with him can reach him directly at birkok@gmail.com.

National Science Foundation Project with 8th Graders
See photos of this summer's events.

Faculty in the News

Dr. Dave Rudge recently gave an invited talk at the Sixth International Congress for the History of Science in Science Education: Constructing Scientific Understanding Through Contextual Teaching, Carl-von-Ossietzky University Oldenburg, Germany on July 14,2006. The title of his presentation was "History of Science in the Service of Middle School Science Teacher Preparation".

Student News

Congratulations to Dr. Pat Meyer. Pat is the most recent graduate at MISE and he has just accepted a position in the Chemistry Department at Grand Valley State University. Well done, Pat!

Several MISE graduate students assisted in the development of a presentation entitled "Being a doctoral student: A visual self-study" that was given at the 18th Annual Conference Ethnographic and Qualitative Research in Education" (EQRE) on the campus of Cedarville University, OH on June 9-10, 2006. The presentation had three primary authors, Gunilla Holm, Fang Huang and Hong Yan Cui, and several additional co-authors: Brandy Skjold, Hang Hwa Hong, Robert Kagumba, John Hoye, Fatma Ayyad, Shawn Bultsma, Maxine Gilling, Julien Kouame, Michael Nokes, , Hong Zhong, and Curtis Warren. (MISE graduate students are indicated in boldface.)

Publication News

"The Mallinson Institute is pleased to announce the publication of a peer-reviewed conference paper based upon Elen Cutrim's work with Dave Rudge, Kara Kits, and Jackie Mitchell on the E3 grant:

Cutrim, E., Rudge, D., Kits, K., Mitchell, J. & Nogueira, R, (2006) “Changing Teaching Techniques and Adapting New Technologies to Improve Student Learning in an Introductory Meteorology and Climate Course” in Advances in Geosciences (ADGEO) Special Issue: Earth System Science Data Access, Distribution and Use for Education and Research, Volume 8: 11-18.

Dr. Rudge Participates in Symposium

Dave Rudge participated in the First Symposium on Philosophy,
History, and Methodology of E.R.R.O.R. 2006, at Virginia Tech,
Blacksburg, VA on June 1-5, 2006. He was a member of the program
committee and in charge of the conference web site. His poster,
"Kettlewell from an Error Statistician's Point of View", was one of
four identified as best posters (he received a prize of $150). Anyone
who would like to see it may view it hanging next to his office door.

Student News

Brandy Skjold received a $10,000 grant from the Waksman Foundation for Microbiology to conduct research during the 2006-2008 school years. Her research is entitled "Creating a microbiology unit for pre-service elementary education students." She will be collaborating with Dr. Renee' Scwartz and Dr. Bill Cobern from the Mallinson Institute, as well as Dr. Silvia Rossbach from the Department of Biological Sciences on this project.

New Grant from the National Science Foundation

Congratulations to David Schuster, Charles Henderson and Paul Vellom who have been awarded a $200,000 grant from NSF for their project titled: Integrated Apprenticeship in the Teaching of Elementary Science. The project will run for three years

Graduate Student Awards:

The Mallinson Institute is proud to announce that several of our graduate students have won awards for teaching and research:

Adriana Undreiu was awarded the University Doctoral-level Teaching Effectiveness Award.

Robert Ruhf was awarded the Institute Doctoral-level Research Award.

Brandy Skjold was awarded the Institute Doctoral-level Teaching
Effectiveness Award.

Betty Adams was awarded the Institute Masters-level Teaching
Effectiveness Award.

Faculty and Student News

Several MISE faculty, graduate students and alumni made presentations at this year's annual international conference of the National Association for Research in Science Teaching (NARST), April 3-6, 2006, held in San Francisco. The presentations are:


Brown, M. & Schwartz, R. Pre-service Teachers' Conceptions of Photosynthesis and Cellular Respiration as belonging to Systems.

Henderson, C. & Dancy, M. Divergent Expectations as Barriers to the Diffusion of Innovations.

Howe, E.M. & Rudge, D.W. Using Explicit and Reflective Pedagogy and the History of Science to Affect Students’ Nature of Science Conceptions: The Results of an Empirical Study.

Schwartz, R. Exploring Contextually-Based Views of NOS and Scientific Inquiry: What Scientists Say.

Roundtable Session:

Beilfuss, M., Hagevik, R. & Dickerson, D. Literature Review: Multiple Representations in Science Education.

Interactive Posters:

Adams, B., Undreiu, A. & Cobern, W. The Presence of Inquiry in Science Education: What Do We Know?... and What Don't We Know Yet?

Fetters, M. Hickman, P. & Wolter, M. PhysTEC: Developing a Coalition to Support Pre-Service and Novice Physics Teachers.

Congratulations to all!

Faculty in the News

Congratulations to Charles Henderson and David Rudge on their latest publications.

HendersonRosenthal, A. & Henderson, C. (2006). Teaching about Circuits at the Introductory Level: An Emphasis on Potential Difference, American Journal of Physics, 74 (4), 324-328.

ABSTRACT: Introductory physics students often fail to develop a coherent conceptual model of electric circuits.
In part, this failure occurs because the students did not develop a good understanding of the concept of electric potential.We describe an instructional approach that emphasizes the electric potential and the electric potential difference. Examples are given to illustrate this approach and how it differsfrom traditional treatments of these concepts. Assessment data is presented to suggest that thisapproach is successful in improving student understanding of electric potential and electric circuits.

Rudge, D.W. (2006) "Myths About Moths: A Study in Contrasts." Endeavour. 40(1):19-23.

RudgeABSTRACT: The phenomenon of industrial melanism is the preeminent example of natural selection in textbooks and the popular media. Much of its fame stems from a set of pioneering and apparently definitive investigations by H.B.D. ‘Bernard’ Kettlewell in the early 1950s. There is a marked contrast in how the phenomenon and Kettlewell's work on it are perceived by the public and scientists. Tensions between these two perceptions have recently led to calls for the removal of the example from textbooks, and indeed allegations that Kettlewell committed fraud. This article (part of the Science in the Industrial Revolution series) will show that these charges are baseless and stem from a fundamental misunderstanding of the nature of science as a process.

New Funded Research at MISE

Professors Herb Fynewever (Chemistry Education) and Charles Henderson (Physics Education) have been awarded a $5,000 grant by the Michigan Space Grant Consortium. Their project is titled, "Reforming high school science teaching:  A focus on instructional activities that are not easily observable." Working with area high school teachers they will develop a protocol to evaluate the aspects of instruction that are not observable classroom interactions. These learning events include:  homework assignments, exam questions, and grading practices.

Well done!

MISE in the News!

The following individuals associated with MISE made presentations at the recent Michigan Science Teacher's Association Meeting in Lansing, MI, March 2-4, 2006:

Robert Poel and Leanne Larson "InterActions in Physical Science: A Standard-based, Inquiry-oriented, Middle School Curriculum"

Mark Jenness "Soil and Sand: Unlimited Learning Resources Outside the Classroom Door"

Mary Brown "Using Concept Mapping to 'Blend' Sciences"

Herb Fynewever "Expected Outcomes for General Chemistry Lab--Faculty Survey Results"

Dale Freeland "Cool Tools for Light and Color"

Matt Johnson "Global Climate: A World of Change"

Danielle Maurer "Practical Ways to Teach Environmental Literacy Across the Curriculum"

Drew Isola "What Does it Mean to be an Inquiry-Based Teacher?"

Congratulations to all!

Alumna in the news: MISE alumna Dr. Meredith Beilfuss was recently spotted in the science education literature:

Maja Planinic, William J. Boone, Rudolf Krsnik and Meredith Beilfuss (2006) "Exploring Alternative Conceptions from Newtonian Dynamics and Simple DC Circuits: Links between Item Difficulty and Item Confidence" Journal of Research in Science Teaching 43(2): 150-171.

Meredith graduated from the MISE Master's degree program in 2001. She later received her Ph.D. in Science Education from Indiana University and is currently an Assistant Professor of Science Education Specialties, Geosciences and Geography Education Research.

Well done, Meredith!

New partnership seeks more minorities in science, math
Michigan's four flagship universities joined today at the University of Michigan Detroit Center to announce their new partnership in the Michigan-Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (LSAMP) program, a federal initiative designed to attract and retain underrepresented minorities to science, technology, engineering and math--known as STEM programs. MISE will be responsible for the summer instructional program offered for LSAMP students in the summer prior to their freshman year. More...

Faculty and Alumni in the news: Several MISE faculty and an alumna participated in the Association for Science Teacher Educators [ASTE] annual conference in Portland, OR. January 12-14, 2006.

Dr. Mary Brown (MISE PhD, 2005) and Dr. Renee' Schwartz presented a paper titled "Preservice teachers' conceptions of photosynthesis and plant cellular respiration." This paper was based on Dr. Brown's dissertation research.

Dr. Renee' Schwartz was a remember of a panel discussion, "Working in two worlds: Perspectives on joint appointments," organized by Deborah Hanuscin and Pat Friedrichsen (University of Missouri - Columbia).

Dr. Schwartz also presented a paper titled "Embedding Nature of Science instruction and assessments throughout an undergraduate biology course."

Dr. Marcia Fetters, along with Theodore Hodapp (American Physical Society) and Caroline Beller (Oklahoma State University) presented a paper titled "Developing a support community for preservice and novice physics teachers."

Dr. Fetters and Dr. Paul Vellom presented a paper titled "Scaffolding preservice teachers' reflective analysis of microteaching episodes in science methods courses."

Congratulations to all!

Alumni in the News

Lansing Community College has been selected to receive a Phi Theta Kappa award for Best Practices in Science and Math Education.   As one of just ten community colleges chosen nationwide, LCC will be honored at the annual meeting of the National Association for Community College Teacher Preparation (NACCTEP) in Atlanta in March 2006.   President Cunningham, Dr. Mary Brown and two LCC students will be accepting the award. 

Patti Richardson is a high school biology teacher who recently graduated with her MA from the Institute. Patti did a thesis where she studied the effectiveness of a model she personally developed to help students understand the processes by which DNA guides the information of proteins. Her model is now commercially available from Science Kit and Boreal Laboratories. Congratulations, Patti!


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