Schultheis, E. H., M. K. Kjelvik, J. Snowden, L. Mead, and M. Stuhlsatz. Effects of Data Nuggets on student interest in STEM careers, self-efficacy in data tasks, and ability to construct scientific explanations. International Journal of Science and Mathematics Education (in press).
This paper describes a randomized and controlled efficacy study conducted in high school biology classrooms across the United States. In this study, teachers implemented the use of Data Nuggets, activities designed to bring real research and data into the classroom. These materials can be embedded within the existing instructional modality of any given curriculum, thus infusing these curricula with science stories and associated datasets. Our design had teachers incorporate Data Nuggets into one the of their class sections, while teaching a second class section in a business-as-usual manner. Though students in both conditions improved similarly in overall QR over the course of the study semester, we saw several key differences for students taught using the intervention as compared to those taught using only standard instruction. Students in classrooms that utilized Data Nuggets spent more time engaged in the practices of science and had larger increases in their ability to construct scientific explanations. Additionally, students using the intervention activities showed increases in both their (1) self-efficacy in data-related tasks and (2) their interest in STEM careers. Finally, the effects of teacher implementation on student outcomes when using Data Nuggets was assessed.
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