College of Education faculty members, Kanesa Duncan Seraphin, Paul Brandon, and Thanh Truc Nguyen, from the Curriculum Research & Development Group (CRDG) were awarded a $1.49 million grant from the United States Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences. Led by Principal Investigator Duncan Seraphin, who is also the director of the Hawaii Sea Grant Center for Marine Science Education, the project team will conduct research in Accessible Professional Development for Teaching Aquatic Science Inquiry (TSI Aquatic) over the next three years.

The aim of the TSI Aquatic project is to develop a series of inquiry-based professional development modules on marine and aquatic science. The modules will target rural and urban middle and high school teachers in Hawaii and will be taught in a hybrid face-to-face/virtual environment. Through an iterative process of development and research, the project will evaluate the extent to which a sample group of 48 teachers implements the modules and the effects of the modules on students’ learning.

The project is based on the Teaching Science as Inquiry (TSI) model begun by CRDG veteran researcher and professor, Frank Pottenger. According to Duncan Seraphin, “It will address teacher pedagogical and content knowledge and skills as well as student content knowledge in aquatic science, and the final product will lend itself well to use by a broad audience of teachers.”

“The grant is the next step in CRDG’s efforts over about the past 10 years to expand its offering of programs, professional development, and materials that help teachers and students learn by doing,” Brandon said. The grant will enable the TSI project to move forward. “And moving forward is what we need to do with our research in online communities as well,” Nguyen added. “We’ve been developing online supports for years, and now we will have a chance to ground the technologies of the online community in TSI’s high-quality content.”

April 9, 2010
Jennifer Parks
(808) 956-0416



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College of Education