LSRI welcomes Andee Rubin, a senior scientist with TERC, as she shares her latest work, the Zoo and Aquarium Action Research Collaborative (ZAARC) project.
The goal of her project is to investigate how action research-based professional development can be implemented in informal science settings, particularly in zoos and at aquaria, and in which ways it can impact both individual practitioners and institutions.
Rubin will speak from 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. on May 3.
Keep reading for more about her project and her research background.
By definition, action research is the study of one's own practice, guided by questions that arise from everyday events and dilemmas. Traditionally, action research involves detailed documentation using field notes and video, and collaborative discussion of gathered data, leading to a cycle of planning and implementing change.
Although action research has rarely been carried out in zoos or aquaria, the ZAARC project is studying how zoo and aquarium educators might carry out similar practices to understand their visitors' learning experiences in more detail.
Rubin will talk about how zoo and aquarium educators from ZAARC's six collaborating institutions have taken on the task of doing action research, what they have found most challenging and most rewarding, and what mentors have found to be the most significant challenges and rewards.
Andee Rubin has done research and development in the fields of mathematics education, educational technology, and informal learning for more than 30 years. Her recent research has focused on the use of tablet computers for math and science education in elementary classrooms and the potential of action research as a tool for professional development in zoos and aquaria. She has also studied how students and teachers develop statistical reasoning using computer tools, how mathematics can be integrated into informal settings (such as science centers, zoos and aquaria), and how video can be used as mathematical data to introduce ideas of change over time. Rubin also has been a math consultant for ZOOM! and FETCH, two popular public television series for elementary school students. She is the author of Electronic Quills: A Situated Evaluation of Using Computers for Writing in Classrooms (with Bertram Bruce) and editor (with Nicola Yelland) of Ghosts in the Machine: Women's Voices in Research with Technology.