ECR Projects

Explore past and current fundamental STEM education research projects across the three research areas that NSF's EDU Core Research (ECR) program funds, as well as across ECR funding types. Other search filters draw from both NSF's data and the ECR Hub's hand coding of award abstracts.

Ninth-grade biology students create cell models using clay.

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STEM Learning and Learning Environments STEM Learning and Learning Environments  

Designing an Equitable Approach to Multiplicative Reasoning through Dynamic Measurement for Area (DYME-A)

Effective Years: 2023-2026

This project uses technology as both a pedagogical tool and a democratizing force to expand student access to the mathematics of area measurement and multiplication, and to support meaningful connections between these topics and students' everyday lives. The project builds on prior work with Dynamic Measurement for Area (DYME-A), an approach that engages students in exploring models of area as a dynamic sweep of a line segment over a distance. Prior results suggest that this approach supports students' multiplicative reasoning about area as a continuous quantity that can dynamically change based on two linear measures: length and width. Findings also showed DYME-A's potential for supporting students' reasoning about multiplication and division. To make the DYME-A approach accessible to a diverse population of students, this project aims to expand it to multiplication of whole numbers in fourth grade through the design of dynamic area models that attends to students' culturally relevant and context-appropriate learning experiences.

The project's guiding questions are: (1) How can students' DYME-A reasoning support their development of multiplicative reasoning? (2) What type of an intervention design for DYME-A can reach a more diverse population of students and broaden its impact? (3) How may the design experiment methodology be informed by equity research to engineer more equitable designs and theories? This project builds the capacity of the principal investigator through a professional development plan with mentorship that involves (a) delving deeper into the multiplicative reasoning research to describe the interplay with DYME-A, and (b) problematizing the current use of design experiment methodology and finding ways to merge established methods used in equity research to engineer more equitable designs and theories. The DYME-A approach opens novel avenues toward establishing stronger connections between measurement and multiplication that may support other areas of K-8 mathematics, such as fractions and proportional reasoning. Working to develop principles for more equitable design experiments will also contribute to research on innovative methodological approaches.

The project is supported by NSF's EDU Core Research Building Capacity in STEM Education Research (ECR: BCSER) program, which is designed to build investigators' capacity to carry out high-quality STEM education research.

This award reflects NSF's statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation's intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.