Research


This research projects in which I am engaged are ordered here, beginning with the most recent:

Research Practices and Values of Academics who Study Science Teaching & Learning (2015 – present)

I am using a critical post-qualitative methodological approach to study the research practices and values of those academics who study science teaching & learning (myself included). I conceive of our research engagements as a produced landscape, where we normalize some research practices and not others. Thinking with philosophers Foucault and Deleuze, I consider how normalization of practices produce ideal forms of practice. Through document analysis and unstructured interviewing, I study with other researchers the historical forces and logics informing our research practices, normalized or not, in addition to their material (intellectual, spatial, affectual) effects on our landscape. Such a deconstruction of our practices enabled what I consider an exploration of our becoming – our possibilities of reconfiguring our landscape of research practices according to other-logics aligned with specific ethical attunements. This methodological approach is called cartography, a project in mapping current landscape features to contemplate and imagine them otherwise. This approach stands in contrast to methodologies that seek to reduce complex data forms through description, groupings, and orderings.

Cartographic work is never complete: cartography is attuned to the now of our doings, and our doings are a part of an ever-evolving landscape. Twenty-seven (27) academics-of-st&l spanning science education, biology education, chemistry education, engineering education, geology education, and physics education have currently contributed their time toward this study.

Wooten, M. M. (2018). A cartographic approach toward the study of academics’ of science teaching & learning research practices and values. Canadian Journal of Science, Mathematics and Technology Education, 18(3), 210–221. https://doi.org/10.1007/s42330-018-0029-9

Wooten, M. M. (2018). A critical materialist entry into the comforts and dangers in defining academics’ of science teaching and learning research communities. Advanced online publication. Cultural Studies of Science Education. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11422-018-9871-3

Dissertation Title: Producing Transversal Flows: An n-1 cartography of academics of science teaching & learning research practices and values

Learning Progressions in Physics (2018 – 2019)

From 2018 - 2019 I worked with Dr. Alicia Alonzo at Michigan State University to study the modes in which high school physics teachers make use of learning progressions. Learning progressions are representations of how disciplinary knowledge develops in sophistication. In developing learning progressions, researchers often begin by surveying students’ ideas about a topic, and then mapping these ideas in terms of increasing degrees of sophistication (sometimes marked in terms of levels). Lower levels in a learning progression include incomplete or inaccurate ideas, and thus learning progressions are distinguishable from descriptions of correct ideas alone.

While learning progressions are developed based on theorizing about how people learn, one reason researchers are interested in generating and disseminating learning progressions is that they characterize typical student learning as processual. Perhaps by being able to place student ideas within a larger framework of developmental knowledge, student thinking can be thought of as more than just right or wrong. Such a (re)directing of focus on idea development has been discussed by some researchers as removing demoralizing attributions associated with right and wrong responses (e.g., good student, bad student, respectively).

Alicia spent five years leading professional development for teachers on the use of physics learning progressions in force, momentum, and energy. I helped her analyze interview and observation data she collected on teachers’ uses of the learning progressions in their formative assessment practices. We are currently writing our analyses.

The Alliance for Physics Excellence (APEX) Professional Development (2013 – present)

The Effects of Mathematics Professional Development for Elementary Educators

Livers, S. D., Zhang, S., & Wooten, M. (2017). Improving mathematical practices for elementary teachers through long-term professional development. New England Mathematics Journal, L(2), 42–51.

A Program Evaluation of a Nashville Non-Profit’s Food Access and Injustice High School Internship (2014)

Corlew, J., & Wooten, M. M. (in press, 2018). Engaging Nashville’s youth in farming, food choice, and food access issues: Two programs by a Nashville nonprofit. In A. Patchen, A. Barnett, L. Esters, & N. Knobloch (Eds.), Designing urban agriculture programs to improve STEM learning and teaching. Springer.

The Effects of Research Based Science Education for Undergraduates (RBSEU) Instruction in Astronomy Education (2010 – 2013)

Rector, T. A., Puckett, A. W., Wooten, M. M., Vogt, N. Coble, K., & Pilachowski, C. A. (in press). The use of an authentic research experience in astronomy to teach the process of science. In C. Impey, & S. Buxner (Eds.), Astronomy education: A practitioner’s guide to the research (2nd ed). Institute of Physics Publishing.

Rector, T. A., Wooten, M. M., Puckett, A. W., Pilachowski, C., & Coble, K. (2018). Searching for stellar explosions to teach the process of science. The Physics Teacher, 56(7), 455–457. https://doi.org/10.1119/1.5055328

Wooten, M. M., Coble, K., Puckett, A. W., & Rector, T. A. (2018). Investigating introductory astronomy students’ perceived impacts from participation in course-based undergraduate research experiences. Physical Review Physics Education Research, 14(1), 010151, 1– 21. https://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevPhysEducRes.14.010151

A Planetarium-Based 5E Conceptual Change Approach to Astronomy Education (2007 – 2010)

Wooten, M. M., Cool, A. M., Prather, E. E., & Tanner, K. D. (2014). Comparison of performance on multiple-choice questions and open-ended questions in an introductory astronomy laboratory. Physical Review Special Topics – Physics Education Research, 10(2), 020103,1–22. https://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevSTPER.10.020103