Dr. Anna S. Grinath

Assistant Professor

Dr. Anna S. Grinath
(615) 898-5868
Room 2147, Science Building (SCI)
MTSU Box 60, Murfreesboro, TN 37132

Degree Information

  • Ph.D., Florida State University (2017)
  • M.S., Florida State University (2012)
  • B.A., Middlebury College (2007)

Areas of Expertise

My research centers on the idea that professional biologists engage in a broad range of practices to generate biological knowledge and, therefore, students should also engage authentically in the practices of biology to develop science proficiency. This focus is well aligned with the current vision for undergraduate biology education, which aims to move beyond a central focus on just what content students should know and towards engaging students as scientists in th...

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My research centers on the idea that professional biologists engage in a broad range of practices to generate biological knowledge and, therefore, students should also engage authentically in the practices of biology to develop science proficiency. This focus is well aligned with the current vision for undergraduate biology education, which aims to move beyond a central focus on just what content students should know and towards engaging students as scientists in the classroom to develop a deep understanding of both the content as well as the practices of science. I use the framework of Ambitious Science Teaching (Windschitl et al., 2012) to guide the design of learning experiences that engage students as biologists in the classroom. The practices of Ambitious Science Teaching emphasize student ideas as a basis of instruction and the use of authentic investigations as a way to shape those ideas through discourse rich practices, placing a premium on classroom talk as an essential mechanism of science learning. Ambitious Science Teaching was described specifically for beginning K-12 teachers, however my research examines how this framework may also be fruitful for beginning postsecondary biology instructors in both large biology lecture and biology laboratory settings. My research interests in ambitious science teaching in undergradaute biology settings fall into four focal areas:

1. Curriculum Development: designing learning experiences with opportunities to engage students in ambitious science teaching

2. Student Learning: examining how students engage in the discursively rich practices of ambitious science teaching and what students learn from such engagement

3. Instructor Learning: examining instructor learning in terms of how instructors take up ambitious science teaching practices and how instructors develop disciplinary expertise through ambitious science teaching practices

4. Instructor Professional Development: Designing professional development experiences to support instructors in ambitious science teaching practice

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Biography

Doctor of Philosophy, (2017), Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL

Curriculum & Instruction, School of Teacher Education, College of Education

Concentration: Science Education

Dissertation title: Ambitious instruction in a general biology laboratory course

 

Master of Science, (2012), Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL

Department of Biological Science, College of Arts and Sciences

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Doctor of Philosophy, (2017), Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL

Curriculum & Instruction, School of Teacher Education, College of Education

Concentration: Science Education

Dissertation title: Ambitious instruction in a general biology laboratory course

 

Master of Science, (2012), Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL

Department of Biological Science, College of Arts and Sciences

Concentration: Ecology and Evolution

Thesis title: Filter feeding ecology of erect branching sponges on Caribbean coral reefs

 

Bachelor of Arts, (2007), Middlebury College, Middlebury, VT

Concentration: Biology

Thesis title: Differential colonization of macrophytes with similar architecture by invertebrates and epiphytic algae in Vermont lakes

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Publications

Published Refereed Journal Articles

Strimaitis, A.M., Southerland, S.A., Sampson, V.D., Enderle, P.J., Grooms, J., (2017). Promoting equitable biology lab instruction by engaging all students in a broad range of science practices: An exploratory study. School Science and Mathematics, 117, 92–103. doi:10.1111/ssm.12212.

Swain, T. D., Strimaitis, A. M., Reuter, K. E., & Boudreau, W. (2017). Towards integrative...

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Published Refereed Journal Articles

Strimaitis, A.M., Southerland, S.A., Sampson, V.D., Enderle, P.J., Grooms, J., (2017). Promoting equitable biology lab instruction by engaging all students in a broad range of science practices: An exploratory study. School Science and Mathematics, 117, 92–103. doi:10.1111/ssm.12212.

Swain, T. D., Strimaitis, A. M., Reuter, K. E., & Boudreau, W. (2017). Towards integrative systematics of Anthozoa (Cnidaria): evolution of form in the order Zoanthidea. Zoologica Scripta, 46(2), 227-244. doi:10.1111/zsc.12195.

Swain, T.D., Schellinger, J.L., Strimaitis, A.M., Reuter, K.E. (2015). Evolution of anthozoan polyp retraction mechanisms: convergent functional morphology and evolutionary allometry of the marginal musculature in order Zoanthidea (Cnidaria: Anthozoa: Hexacorallia). BMC Evolutionary Biology, 15(1), 123-141. DOI 10.1186/s12862-015-0406-1

Strimaitis, A.M., Schellinger, J., Jones, A., Grooms, J. and Sampson, V. (2014). Development of an instrument to assess student knowledge necessary to critically evaluate scientific claims in the popular media. Journal of College Science Teaching, 43(5), 55-68.

Strimaitis, A.M. and Sheldon, S.P. (2011). A comparison of macroinvertebrate and epiphyte density and diversity on native and exotic complex macrophytes in three Vermont lakes. Northeastern Naturalist, 18, 149-160.

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Presentations

Invited Research Presentations:

Grinath, A.S. (2018, February). Ambitious discursive moves that support explanatory rigor in an undergraduate biology laboratory course. 12th Annual TN STEM Education Research Conference. Middle Tennessee State University, Murfreesboro, TN.

Grinath, A.S. (2017, November). Talking science as an essential feature of learning science. Research Exchange. College of Basic and Applie...

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Invited Research Presentations:

Grinath, A.S. (2018, February). Ambitious discursive moves that support explanatory rigor in an undergraduate biology laboratory course. 12th Annual TN STEM Education Research Conference. Middle Tennessee State University, Murfreesboro, TN.

Grinath, A.S. (2017, November). Talking science as an essential feature of learning science. Research Exchange. College of Basic and Applied Science, Middle Tennessee State University, Murfreesboro, TN.

Grinath, A.S. (2017, August). Ambitious instruction in undergraduate biology laboratories. Math and Science Education Seminar Series. College of Basic and Applied Science, Middle Tennessee State University, Murfreesboro, TN.

Strimaitis, A.M. (2017, January). “It’s hard to predict what students will say”: Instructor and student learning through ambitious instruction in a general biology laboratory course. Biology Seminar Series. Department of Biology, Middle Tennessee State University, Murfreesboro, TN.

Strimaitis, A.M. (2016, December). “It’s hard to predict what students will say”: The relationship between ambitious instruction and teaching assistant knowledge integration of biological concepts. School of Teacher Education Colloquium Series. College of Education, Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL.

Refereed Papers Presented at Conferences:

Grinath, A.S., Carter, T.B., Google, A.N., Jia, Z. (2018, August). Orchestrating scientific discussions of ecological conceptual models in an undergraduate biology laboratory course. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Ecological Society for America (ESA), New Orleans, LA.

Grinath, A.S., Southerland, S.A. (2018, June). Eliciting student explanations in an undergraduate biology laboratory course.  Paper presented at the biannual meeting of the International Society of the Learning Sciences (ICLS), London, UK.

Grinath, A.S., Southerland, S.A. (2018, March). Exploring how biology teaching assistants use positioning acts to promote or constrain scientific discourse. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the National Association for Research in Science Teaching (NARST), Atlanta, GA.

Coker, R.C., Grinath, A.S., Hill, K.M., Kraft, B.K. (2018, March). Instructor noticing in a general biology lecture course for non-majors. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the National Association for Research in Science Teaching (NARST), Atlanta, GA.

Strimaitis, A.M., Southerland, S.A., Kraft, B., Schultz, C. (2017, April). Relationship between enacting ambitious instruction and developing sophisticated conceptual frameworks of biological knowledge. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the National Association for Research in Science Teaching (NARST), San Antonio, TX.  

Strimaitis, A.M., Southerland, S.A. (2017, April). “Tell me why”: Eliciting and responding to student ideas in an undergraduate biology laboraotry course. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the National Association for Research in Science Teaching (NARST), San Antonio, TX.  

Strimaitis, A.M., Southerland, S.A. (2017, April). “I know that’s a weird question”: How undergraduate biology laboratory teaching assistants elicit student explanations. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Education Research Association (AERA), San Antonio, TX.  

Strimaitis, A.M., Southerland, S.A. (2016, August). Developing ambitious biology teaching practices to become a sophisicated scientist. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Ecological Society of America (ESA), Fort Lauderdale, FL.  

Schultz, C., Strimaitis, A.M. (2016, June). Authentic ecology field investigation for large (or small) general biology lab courses. Major workshop presented at the annual meeting of the Association for Biology Laboratory Education (ABLE), Houston, TX.  

Strimaitis, A.M. (2016, April). Enactment of ambitious instruction in an undergraduate general biology laboratory course for nonscience majors. Poster presented in the Sandra K. Abell Institue for Doctoral Students Symposium at the annual meeting of the National Association of Research in Science Teaching (NARST), Baltimore, MD.  

Whittington, K., Gooden, S., Bowen, M.B., Strimaitis, A.M., Southerland, S.A. (2016, April). Validation of the Science Wrap-Up Observation Protocol (SWOP). Poster presented at the annual meeting of the National Association of Research in Science Teaching (NARST), Baltimore, MD.  

Enderle, P. J., Strimaitis, A. M., Grooms, J.A., Sampson, V.D., Southerland, S. A. (2016, April). Comparing laboratory instruction for differently tracked groups of students. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the National Association of Research in Science Teaching (NARST), Baltimore, MD.

Strimaitis, A. M., Browning, K. M., Southerland, S.A., Schultz, C. (2016, April). Reconciling “Everyday Talk” with “Science Talk” in an undergraduate biology laboratory course for nonscience majors. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the National Association of Research in Science Teaching (NARST), Baltimore, MD.  

Strimaitis, A.M., Whittington, K., Southerland, S. A., Schultz, C., (2016, April). Reconciling “Everyday Talk” with “Science Talk” in an undergraduate biology laboratory course. Poster presented at the Council on Research Education (CORE) 2016 Marvalene Hughes Research in Education Conference, Tallahassee, FL.  

Schellinger, J., Strimaitis, A.M., Southerland, S.A. (2015, October). Assessing secondary student knowledge necessary to critically evaluate scientific claims in the popular media. Paper presented at the Florida Association of Science Teachers (FAST) conference, Tallahassee, FL.  

Southerland, S.A., Strimaitis, A.M., Hester, M. (2015, October). Challenging the idea that ADIs are only for “high achievers”: Comparing the success of different acheivement groups. Workshop presented at the Florida Association of Science Teachers (FAST) conference, Tallahassee, FL.  

Strimaitis, A. M., & Browning, K. M. (2015, August). Discursive interactions about ecological interactions: Making student thinking about trophic relationships visible. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Ecological Society of America (ESA), Baltimore, MD.  

Strimaitis, A.M. and Wulff, J.L. 2015. Reciprocal relationships: Responsive removal of picoplankton resources by Caribbean coral reef sponges. Poster presented at the Annual Meeting of the Ecological Society of America (ESA), Baltimore, MD.  

Southerland, S.A., Strimaitis, A.M., Enderle, P.J., Sampson, V.D., Grooms, J.A. (2015, May). The Effectiveness of Argumentation in Fostering Science for All: Examining the Effects of Ambitious Instruction in Biology Laboratories. Annual UTeach Conference, Austin, TX.  

Strimaitis, A.M., Enderle, P., Grooms, J., Sampson, V., and Bremer, M., (2015, April). How Teachers Promote Scientific Argumentation Between Students During School Science Laboratories. Paper presented at the Annual Conference of the American Education Research Association (AERA), Chicago, IL.  

Strimaitis, A.M., Southerland, S. A., Grooms, J., Enderle, P., and Sampson, V., (2015, April). Structuring Chemistry Laboratories around Argumentation:  Examining the Effectiveness of Argumentation in Fostering Science for All. Paper presented at the Annual Conference of the American Education Research Association (AERA), Chicago, IL.  

Strimaitis, A.M., Southerland, S. A., Grooms, J., Enderle, P., and Sampson, V., (2015, April). Structuring Chemistry Laboratories around Argumentation:  Examining the Effectiveness of Argumentation in Fostering Science for All. Paper presented at the Council on Research Education (CORE) 2015 Marvalene Hughes Research in Education Conference, Tallahassee, FL.  

Strimaitis, A.M., Southerland, S. A., Grooms, J., Enderle, P., and Sampson, V., (2015, April). The Potential of Ambitious Instruction for Fostering Science for All: A Comparative Case Study. Paper presented at the Annual International Conference of the National Association for Research in Science Teaching (NARST), Chicago, IL.  

Strimaitis, A.M., Enderle, P., Grooms, J. and Sampson, V., (2015, April). Validation of New Biology Instruments that Assess Three Aspects of Science Proficiency. Poster presented at the Annual International Conference of the National Association for Research in Science Teaching (NARST), Chicago, IL.  

Browning, K.M., Strimaitis, A.M., Schellinger, J., Gooden, S.L., and Southerland, S.A., (2015, April). Science Teachers' Beliefs About the Practices of Science as they Relate to Classroom Teaching. Paper presented at the Annual International Conference of the National Association for Research in Science Teaching (NARST), Chicago, IL.  

Strimaitis, A.M., Southerland, S. A., Enderle, P., Grooms, J., and Sampson, V., (2014, April). The Effectiveness of Argumentation in Fostering Science for All: Examining the Effects of Ambitious Instruction in Biology Laboratories. Paper presented at the Council on Research Education (CORE) 2014 Marvalene Hughes Research in Education Conference, Tallahassee, FL.

Strimaitis, A.M., Southerland, S. A., Enderle, P., Grooms, J., and Sampson, V., (2014, April). The Effectiveness of Argumentation in Fostering Science for All: Examining the Effects of Ambitious Instruction in Biology Laboratories. Paper presented at the Annual Conference of the American Education Research Association (AERA), Philadelphia, PA.  

Enderle, P., Strimaitis, A.M., , Grooms, J. and Sampson, V., (2014, April). Validation of new chemistry instruments that assess three aspects of science proficiency. Paper presented at the Annual International Conference of the National Association for Research in Science Teaching (NARST), Pittsburg, PA.  

Strimaitis, A.M., Schellinger, J., and Swain, T.D., (2011). Evolution of form in Zoanthidea. Poster presented at the annual Benthic Ecology Meeting (BEM), Mobile, AL.  

Biggs, B. and Strimaitis, A.M., (2011). Assessing change in sponge community composition after a disturbance: A case study of the Florida Keys 2010 Cold Shock. Presentation at the annual Benthic Ecology Meeting (BEM), Mobile, AL.  

Biggs, B. and Strimaitis, A.M.. (2010). The effect of a cold water shock on the coral reef sponge fauna of the Florida Keys, USA. Presentation at the 8th International Sponge Conference, Girona, SPAIN.  

Strimaitis, A.M. and Biggs, B. (2010). Cold shock event reinforces value of monitoring coral reef sponges. Poster presented at Linking Science to Management: A Conference and Workshop on the Florida Keys Marine Ecosystem, Duck Key, FL.

Strimaitis, A.M. (2010). Patterns of polychaete preference for mangrove sponge hosts. Poster presented at the 8th International Sponge Conference, Girona, SPAIN.  

Strimaitis, A.M. (2010). Mangrove sponge host preference of a surface dwelling polychaete. Poster presented at the annual Benthic Ecology Meeting (BEM). University of North Carolina, Wilmington, NC. 

Strimaitis, A.M. (2007). Differential colonization of macrophytes with similar architecture by invertebrates and epiphytic algae in Vermont Lakes. Presentation at the Lake Champlain Research Consortium Student Symposium. Saint Michael’s College, Winooski, VT.    

Invited Lectures

Strimaitis, A.M. 2016. “It’s hard to predict what students will say”: The relationship between ambitious instruction and teaching assistant knowledge integration of biological concepts. School of Teacher Education Colloquium Series. College of Education, Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL.  

Strimaitis, A.M. 2012. Filter feeding ecology of erect branching sponges on Caribbean coral reefs. Ecology and Evolution Seminar Series. Department of Biological Science, Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL.

Strimaitis, A.M. 2007. Differential colonization of macrophytes with similar architecture by invertebrates and epiphytic algae in Vermont Lakes. Biology and Molecular Biology and Biochemistry senior thesis presentations. Middlebury College, Middlebury, VT.

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Research/Scholarly Activity

MTSU Mathematics and Science Education Ph.D. Program

https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=3&v=pFssaRWUGnM

MTSU College of Basic and Applied Science Research Exchange, Fall 2017

Watch Dr. Anna Grinath's five minute video "Talking Science is an Essentual Feature of Learning Science" http://www.mtsu.edu/cbas/F2017videos/F2017_Dr_Grinath_Bio_RE.mp4

MTSU "On the Record" radio interview, Summer 2018

https://mtsunews.com/grinath-on-the-record-july2018/

 

Courses

BIOL 1030 – Exploring Life: Fall 2017, Spring 2018, A general biology lecture for undergraduate nonscience majors

MSE 7900 – Teaching and Learning Math and Science: Fall 2017, A graduate seminar course for Math and Science Education Program doctoral students