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Active Learning in an Introductory Oceanography Course: A Case Study of Promoting Scientific Interest and Literacy through Renewable Energy and Plate Tectonic Assignments
Jane Ellen Dmochowski, & Elizabeth K. Coward
pp. 689-701 | Article Number: ijese.2018.061
Introductory Oceanography in the Earth and Environmental Science Department at the University of Pennsylvania has moved from a traditional lecture-based course to a Structured Active In-class Learning (SAIL) model, where students individually acquire the basics of the material before class, and in-class activities are designed to help students reach the higher order learning objectives through collaborative exercises. In implementing tools such as online modules, data-driven, quantitative in-class activities, pre- and post-lecture exercises, reflective writing assignments, and peer review, we aim to increase the science literacy of the student population, enhance their critical thinking skills, and correct common scientific misconceptions. This course is the product of three years of refinement via an annual SAIL university seminar with other faculty, the National Association of Geoscience Teachers Introductory Course Workshop at the 2014 American Geophysical Union conference, and surveys conducted by the University of Pennsylvania’s Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL). While implementing active learning techniques with college students is not without complications, in this case study we explore how a SAIL course that utilizes technology to flexibly and creatively account for class size and STEM experience can foster an inquisitive classroom dynamic and knowledge acquisition, particularly as it relates to science literacy and increased interest in earth and environmental science. Results from pre- and post-instruction surveys, course reviews and student performance indices illustrate this objective. In addition to a summary of our assessment, readers will see examples of student exercises focused on ocean renewable energy and seafloor spreading that help students to understand fundamental concepts of plate tectonics, ocean tides and waves. Readers will also gain insight into the design and implementation of innovative teaching tools in introductory earth and environmental science courses.
Keywords: active learning, curriculum innovation, renewable energy, introductory STEM education, scientific literacy
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How to Live Happy and Good Life? Secondary School Students’ Views about Bhutan’s Gross National Happiness Policy
Päivi Anneli Ahonen, Eila Jeronen, & Riitta- Liisa Korkeamäki
pp. 703-718 | Article Number: ijese.2018.062
The Bhutanese Gross National Happiness (GNH) development policy highlights traditional Bhutanese values promoting environmentally friendly, collective, societal happiness. In this case study, we describe the Bhutanese secondary school students’ views about happiness and good life and view the values behind the GNH-policy-based teaching. The writings of 178 students, responding the questions addressing these topics, were analyzed using the thematic content analyses method based on GNH pillars and domains. The most important reason bringing happiness and good life, according to the students is good governance, and the second important reason is sustainable and equitable socio-economic development. Many of the students wrote that happiness and good life mean problem-free life. The values such as compassion, calmness and gratitude, occurred in many writings. Many students wrote about happiness, peace, equality and the importance of family relations. Least references on happiness and good life were related to the conservation of environment. Reason for the students not mentioning environment may be Bhutanese traditions to respect nature and environment in everyday life. The students’ views were well connected with the GNH policy focused education and teaching. They reflect well the history of Bhutan, values connected Buddhist principles and the recent democratic development going on in Bhutan. The knowledge of cultures outside Bhutan was fairly low, so the basic education can be developed by adding to the curriculum the knowledge of different cultures.
Keywords: students’ views, good governance, sustainable and equitable socio-economic development, compassion, environment
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The Profile of Students’ Scientific Literacy Competence Skill at SMA Batik 2 Surakarta
Shofwan Ridho, Nonoh Siti Aminah, & Agus Supriyanto
pp. 719-725 | Article Number: ijese.2018.063
Some research showed that many teachers have scientific literacy skills but they have not used them in the classroom yet. This research aimed to describe scientific literacy competence of SMA Batik 2 Surakarta students and teachers. The research used a qualitative descriptive method. The study was conducted at SMA Batik 2 Surakarta with 10th grade science class students as the subjects. There were 88 students and 2 teachers as the subjects. The samples selected by using total sampling technique. The research instrument used in this study is scientific literacy test adapted from PISA (Programme for International Student Assessment). The data analysis technique used is percentage. The result of this study shows that 57.41% student mastered the scientific literacy competence, the student completed in scientific literacy competence included in the middle level of this research. The interviews with teachers and students show that the use of scientific literacy in the classroom is still low. This research is complementary to the study of the importance of teacher ability analysis in the use of scientific literacy skill in the classroom. Scientific literacy skills that are applied in learning will make students have adequate scientific literacy skills, equivalent to other countries.
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Comparison between Second-Hand Apparel Shoppers versus Non-Shoppers: The Perspectives of Consumer Ethics
Su Yun Bae, & Ruoh-Nan (Terry) Yan
pp. 727-736 | Article Number: ijese.2018.064
Second-hand apparel shopping has been increasingly popular, and the industry is one of the fastest growing retail sectors. It is also considered as one of the eco-friendly consumption choices. The importance to investigate the sector to promote consumer ethics prompts in-depth understanding about the ethical traits and decision-making processes of second-hand consumers. The purpose of the study is to compare consumer ethics between shoppers and non-shoppers of second-hand apparel products. This study specifically focuses on finding differences in ethical traits such as altruism, ethical concerns, and ethical obligation; attitudes toward social responsibility in the apparel and textile industry; and ethical purchase and post-purchase returning intentions between the two consumer groups. An independent samples t-test was used to compare the groups on the means of individual ethical variables listed above. The analyses identified that second-hand shoppers were higher than non-shoppers on most of the variables examined.
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Evaluating the Impact of Authentic Research on Secondary Student Self-efficacy and Future Scientific Possible Selves
Naomi Delaloye, Lisa Blank, Desirae Ware, Carolyn Hester, Tony Ward, Andrij Holian, & Earle Adams
pp. 737-746 | Article Number: ijese.2018.065
Background: As the need to involve more students in STEM learning and future careers becomes more pressing, identifying successful methods of engaging students in meaningful scientific learning that increases their interest in science is essential. Student self-efficacy (their confidence or belief in their ability to accomplish tasks) is closely tied to student interest in science, as is student future scientific possible selves.
Material and Methods: This manuscript presents the findings of a study that evaluated the Clean Air and Healthy Homes Program (CAHHP), which provides students the opportunity to design and implement authentic scientific research on indoor air quality issues. The program’s influence on student self-efficacy, scientific research and experimental design skills, and future scientific possible selves was examined. Students (n=169) from six schools completed a pre- and post-assessment at the beginning and end of the program.
Results: Results showed the greatest impact on student research self-efficacy, along with improvement in student research and experimental design skills.
Conclusions: We conclude that programs promoting authentic learning opportunities aligned with the most recent national science standards show great promise in improving both student interest and skills in science.
Keywords: NGSS, possible scientific selves, self-efficacy, secondary science
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Implementation Effort of Informal Science Education in Bengkulu, Indonesia: A Small Learning Center for Life Sciences
Aceng Ruyani, Deni Parlindungan, Zico Fakhrur Rozi, Dian Samitra, & Bhakti Karyadi
pp. 747-755 | Article Number: ijese.2018.066
Science education (SE) policies in Bengkulu are performed formally according to the national curriculum which was decided by the central government in Jakarta. These formal practices tend to ignore the principle of free choice learning, so informal science education (ISE) is also really needed as a complement to improve the quality of SE and conservation education (CE). This paper will describe implementation effort to pioneer ISE in Bengkulu during a period of five years (2014-2018). There were eight efforts as follows; Concept of ISE in accordance with local condition, Provide space for ISE activity, Build mini library including internet access, Compile simple laboratory tools, Manage life science training, Serving research needs in the field of life sciences, and Assisting to prepare scientific publications. The efforts resulted a Small Learning Center (SLC) for life sciences which was called “Sumber Belajar Ilmu Hayati” (SBIH) Ruyani with the following concept; (1) Main goal of the effort: (a) providing out-of-school experiences are synergistic with the experiences occurring within schools, and universities, (b) learning nature harmony from the facts. (2) Key educational approaches: Giving guidance for teaching, learning, research, and publication in life sciences. (3) Audience targeted: learner enthusiasts from junior high, high school, undergraduate, and graduate levels. There are still some limitations of the implementation efforts, but temporary results (work system, number of participant, and service quality) were useful as the complement to existing formal institutions. Thus, the SLC should be developed in order to make more real contribution for improving SE and CE.
Keywords: informal science education, life sciences, free-choice learning, conservation education
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Examining Consumption of Bottled Water versus Tap Water on a Sustainable College Campus
Ludmilla Francisca Wikkeling-Scott, & Amira Mohamed Karim
pp. 757-766 | Article Number: ijese.2018.067
Background: Global water consumption has been on the rise and the UAE has one of the highest rates of bottled water consumption in the world. The consumption of bottled water is a major concern because of its burden on the environment and threat to sustainability. College experience is often the last place for formal education, and an opportunity to educate young populations about the importance of sustainability and pro-environment behaviors. The aim of this study is to examine attitude towards sustainability and pro-environment behaviors, related to consumption of bottled water versus tap water from water stations, among college students at a sustainable campus.
Material and methods: A cross-sectional design was used to describe results among a random sample of 500 male and female students, using the Theory of Planned Behavior, years and type of education exposure related to environmental studies, and perceptions that determine intention to change.
Results: Results showed that exposure to environmental studies was significantly related to students’ perceived ability to change. For all five factors (access, taste, cost, convenience, and family influence), the proportion of students’ perceived ability to change, was larger among those exposed to environmental studies than those in non-environmental studies.
Conclusions: The benefits of sustainability and pro-environmental attitudes may be better understood when environmental awareness is included in the education exposure. For future research, influences such as social norms, role models and mentors, daily experiences and observations, may provide better insight into students’ pro-environmental attitude and actions to reduce plastic bottle pollution and improve sustainability.
Keywords: bottled water, tap water, theory of planned behavior, students
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Project Based Learning in the Technical and Vocational Education and Training
Noelio Vázquez Vargas, José Luis Aveleira Ortiz, & Victor Manuel Avila Ceballo
pp. 767-776 | Article Number: ijese.2018.068
Organic Agriculture is a significant research topic of Sustainable Agriculture and a key factor in ensuring the conservation of the natural environment and preservation of life. Numerous studies on Didactics have demonstrated the effectiveness of student centered methods and strategies to improve results in terms of knowledge, skills, attitudes and values in Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET). This position paper explored how to improve the professional education of skilled workers and technicians in order to solve their diversity of professional problems with the aid of a Project Based Learning (PBL) approach. The proposed solution was implemented in a suburban Technical and Vocational School (TVS) with the Second Year Agronomy students and it is a solution based on the Cuban educational context. This paper provided some key issues regarding PBL pedagogy and an example of Organic Agriculture Project which would help Agricultural Science teachers as a guide in the process of planning new projects.
Keywords: organic agriculture, project based learning, sustainable agriculture
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Using Word Associations in Learning the Human Biology- A Case with Teacher Students of the Pre-school Education in Kosovo
pp. 777-785 | Article Number: ijese.2018.069
Background: This research, which is the first one of this kind in Kosovo, deals with the use of associative tests in learning biology and in creating concepts, more concretely assessing students’ knowledge on five main human body organs. This study aims to assess the use of free associations for five human body organs and to formulate conceptual sentences in order to assess teacher students’ knowledge on biology and human body.
Material and methods: The research has been conducted with teacher students of third year of studies in the Preschool Education Programme. This research included 25 students, all females. The research took place before the period when students attend the part of the course that covers human biology. The research questionnaire consists of two parts: the first part includes written associations for each human body organ, whereas the second part is formulation of written conceptual sentences for those organs.
Results: The research resulted in 191 associations by respondents, with total frequency of 532 or an average of 4.2 associations per respondent. About half of the associations consisted of the 5 most frequent associations for each of the five organs. In the second part a total of 98 conceptual sentences were formulated with an average frequency of 3.9 sentences per respondent. The formulated sentences were grouped in 3 categories: regular biological sentences, sentences with misunderstandings about certain human body organs, and sentences from everyday life related to human body organs. Number of sentences that included misunderstandings related to the biology of respective human body organs was 18.
Conclusions: The relatively large number of associations for the five body organs was closely linked with the number of correct conceptual sentences written by students and it helps in learning biology more easily. Based on this, use of word associations in creating biological concepts may serve as a good methodological tool of assessment of learning outcomes in the subject of biology and should be promoted to new teachers. The research opens need for similar researches with teacher students of primary education level, but also teacher students` of biology subject in pre-university education system of the Republic of Kosovo.
Keywords: association, biology, frequency, concepts, organs
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