Adam V. Maltese

Research

Assessing Multinational Interest in STEM
Keeping America at the forefront of research and innovation is a common talking point at the highest levels of government (e.g., Obama, 2011). The US is not alone in expressing these goals, which have become a signature of global education and economic reform policies (e.g., Osborne & Dillon, 2008; Tytler et al., 2008; Woolnough et al., 1997). Recent analyses of interview (Maltese & Tai, 2010) and survey (Maltese & Tai, 2011; Tai, Liu, Maltese & Fan, 2006) data indicate that student interest in STEM coursework, informal experiences and career options plays a significant role in STEM persistence, above and beyond achievement and enrollment. While prior findings establish the importance of early development of career interest, how such interests develop and evolve over time, particularly at critical stages (e.g., choosing a major), to influence persistence remains unclear.
Student Interest in Science

Keeping students engaged and interested in the classroom is an essential factor in successful teaching and learning. To educators, the approach seems obvious: get students interested and they are more likely to engage in classroom activities. The fundamental question is how to foster this level of student interest and engagement in content, specifically, science, mathematics, and technology. Currently, we are working on a non-interventional, survey research study designed to track the interest and engagement students have with topics and activities related to science, mathematics, and technology.

A related project is our Assessment of Multinational Interest in STEM. The goal of this project is to investigate the elementary, secondary and tertiary experiences individuals had in STEM in both formal and informal educational settings. We seek to learn from those who continue to pursue STEM as well as those who were once interested but left the pathway toward a STEM degree or career. By collecting data internationally, we can begin to compare the experiences of individuals across a wide range of contexts.

Undergraduate Scientists: Measuring the Outcomes of Research Experiences from multiple perspectives (US-MORE)
Undergraduate research in the sciences is increasingly identified as a critical experience for students. However, the true nature of what occurs in these experiences and how they lead to learning has generally been under-investigated. In this project we will used mixed methods to improve both the breadth and depth of our understanding of how these experiences benefit students and more broadly, science.
Data Interpretation along the Novice – Expert Continuum
The goal of this line of research is to investigate the differences in data analysis skills along a continuum of expertise. While our original project focused on individuals on a spectrum from novice undergraduates to practicing science professionals in the earth science content domain, our current NSF Pathways project focuses on children and caregivers at science museums. Specifically, this research is intended to better understand how people read, interpret and create graphical representations of numerical data.
Learning from the Learner's Point of View
The goal of this work is to gain a better understanding of learning by studying formal and informal educational experiences from the learners perspective. To do this we are using point of view cameras and video analysis to gauge attention and behavior during various educational activities, including science lectures, lab research and fieldwork.