Partnership for Reform through Inquiry in Science and Mathematics (PRISM)
Bowling Green State University
PRISM offers graduate fellows a range of experiences that improve communication skills. By working directly with K-12 students, fellows learn to express scientific or mathematical ideas clearly and without relying on jargon. Fellows point out that by having to think about how to explain concepts to an elementary school student, they learn more about the concept, even in a familiar subject area. In addition, the collaborative planning and teaching with partner educators give Fellows experience communicating information about content and teaching strategies to adults. Through inquiry-based teaching, the Fellows begin to see that communication is more than just stating an idea – it’s helping the other person grasp that idea. A novel aspect of our program introduced in 2005 is to involve the K-12 educators in their Fellows’ research. Fellows gain valuable assistance and a fresh understanding of their own research through explaining it to their teacher partners. Teachers gain a better understanding of how science research is conducted, as well as greater knowledge of the content focus of the research. Fellows and teachers shared their experiences with this collaborative research program at the Northwest Ohio Symposium on Science, Mathematics and Technology Teaching in November 2005 and generated a lot of interest among teachers at the session.