The University of Minnesota's Department of Neuroscience and Department of Curriculum and Instruction in conjunction with the St. Paul Public Schools and Anoka-Hennepin School District propose to develop, implement, evaluate, and disseminate a model high school biomedical science education program combining neuroscience and inquiry-based instruction. The project, BRAIN (BRINGING RESOURCES, ACTIVITIES, &INQUIRY IN NEUROSCIENCE) TO HIGH SCHOOLS, will combine University expertise with that of district coaches to promote enhanced understanding and application of neuroscience and its health-related issues into high school science curriculum. We propose to develop, implement, test, evaluate, and disseminate a two-year sequence of summertime teacher institutes (called BrainU 101 and BrainU 202) aimed at high school science teachers and district coaches from the two largest school districts in the state of Minnesota. In grades 9-12, the 2004 MN Science Standards now require an understanding of how the nervous system maintains homeostasis, a sophisticated concept appropriate for the maturity of high school students. Thus, the content focus of the institutes will be neuroscience, including an understanding of cognition, learning, emotions, the clinical trial process and how the autonomic nervous system regulates homeostasis, with an emphasis on inquiry pedagogy. The program will expand a successful model previously developed for training middle school science teachers to inculcate biology teaching practices within schools buildings and districts that support developing higher order thinking and inquiry skills. The educational research question posed in this proposal is how does this in-depth teacher neuroscience and inquiry training affect student learning. A quasi-experimental design is proposed that will compare teacher and student knowledge and attitudes, and use of inquiry practices. Participating teachers and their classrooms will be compared before and after attending the BrainU institutes. Participating teachers and their classrooms will be compared to those of non-participating, within district biology teachers. In addition, standardized student scores on the MN MCA-II Science test from participating high schools will be compared to those from non-participating high schools, matched for socioeconomic variables. By participating in the training experience and in in-service follow-up, district coaches will themselves be trained to assume leadership roles in maintaining the content and pedagogy resident within their districts.

Public Health Relevance

(provided by applicant): The University of Minnesota's Department of Neuroscience and Department of Curriculum and Instruction in conjunction with the St. Paul Public Schools and Anoka-Hennepin School District propose to develop, implement, evaluate, and disseminate a model high school biomedical science education program combining neuroscience and inquiry-based instruction for high school biology classrooms. The educational research question posed is how does this in-depth teacher neuroscience and inquiry training affect student learning. A quasi-experimental design is proposed that will compare teacher and student knowledge and attitudes, and use of inquiry practices.

Agency
National Institute of Health (NIH)
Institute
Office of The Director, National Institutes of Health (OD)
Type
Education Projects (R25)
Project #
5R25OD011131-05
Application #
8516612
Study Section
Special Emphasis Panel (ZRR1-SEPA-6 (01))
Program Officer
Beck, Lawrence A
Project Start
2009-09-30
Project End
2014-07-31
Budget Start
2013-08-01
Budget End
2014-07-31
Support Year
5
Fiscal Year
2013
Total Cost
$247,734
Indirect Cost
$18,351
Name
University of Minnesota Twin Cities
Department
Neurosciences
Type
Schools of Medicine
DUNS #
555917996
City
Minneapolis
State
MN
Country
United States
Zip Code
55455