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WKU research project recognized at international education conference

WKU student Courtney Inabnitt and Associate Professors Dr. Lisa C. Duffin and Dr. Martha M. Day presented their research at the Clute Institute International Education Conference Jan. 3-7 in Orlando, Florida.

From left: Dr. Martha M. Day, Dr. Lisa C. Duffin and student Courtney Inabnitt visited the Kennedy Space Center during a trip to the Clute Institute International Education Conference.

From left: Dr. Martha M. Day, Dr. Lisa C. Duffin and student Courtney Inabnitt visited the Kennedy Space Center during a trip to the Clute Institute International Education Conference.

The presentation is part of Inabnitt’s undergraduate honors thesis project. Inabnitt, a senior from Nancy, will graduate from WKU this spring with degrees in both Science and Mathematics Education and Mathematics.

Her research paper, directed by Dr. Duffin (Psychology/SKyTeach) and Dr. Day (SKyTeach/School of Teacher Education), is titled “Testing the Effects of Professional Development on Elementary Pre-Service Teacher’s Beliefs about Mathematics Inquiry Instruction.” The paper received the Best Paper in Session Award by a majority vote from peer scholars.

The project involved a collaborative research effort with Dr. Carla Gerberry, a mathematics education professor at Xavier University in Cincinnati, Ohio. The research group tested the effects of using inquiry – specifically, the 5E model – to design the professional development and to teach the model to elementary pre-service teachers for use in elementary mathematics.

WKU student Courtney Inabnitt presented her research at the Clute Institute International Education Conference.

WKU student Courtney Inabnitt presented her research at the Clute Institute International Education Conference.

The participants experienced an inquiry-based model mathematics lesson on the topic of permutations as part of the professional development, which they later deconstructed and explored during the experience. Additionally, the participants applied the knowledge acquired during the professional development to design their own inquiry mathematics lessons. Participants were surveyed both prior to and at the conclusion of the professional development on their beliefs and perceptions with regard to inquiry teaching.

This research was supported in part by a WKU Faculty-Undergraduate Student Engagement (FUSE) grant.

Contact: Martha Day, (270) 745-4411 or martha.day@wku.edu

 

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