Using the Algebra Project Method to Regiment Discourse in an Energy Course for Teachers Documents

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Using The Algebra Project Method To Regiment Discourse In An Energy Course for Teachers 

written by Hunter G. Close, Lezlie S. DeWater, Eleanor W. Close, Rachel E. Scherr, and Sarah B. McKagan

The Algebra Project, led by R. Moses, provides access to understanding of algebra for middle school students and their teachers by guiding them to participate actively and communally in the construction of regimented symbolic systems. We have extended this work by applying it to the professional development of science teachers (K-12) in energy. As we apply the Algebra Project method, the focus of instruction shifts from the learning of specific concepts within the broad theme of energy to the gradual regimentation of the interplay between learners' observation, thinking, graphic representation, and communication. This approach is suitable for teaching energy, which by its transcendence can seem to defy a linear instructional sequence. The learning of specific energy content thus becomes more learner- directed and unpredictable, though at no apparent cost to its extent. Meanwhile, teachers seem empowered by this method to see beginners as legitimate participants in the scientific process.

Published August 24, 2010
Last Modified October 2, 2010

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