Measuring the Level of Complexity of Scientific Inquiries: The LCSI Index
pp. 1-20 | DOI: 10.12973/ijese.2015.227a | Article Number: ijese.2015.038
Published Online: January 10, 2015
Article Views: 289 | Article Download: 202
The study developed and applied an index for measuring the level of complexity of full authentic scientific inquiry. Complexity is a fundamental attribute of real life scientific research. The level of complexity is an overall reflection of complex cognitive and metacognitive processes which are required for navigating the authentic inquiry through high levels of uncertainty, from the unknown to the known. To develop the index, an educational framework was set up, in which five teams of high school students were conducting a full authentic scientific inquiry, using online facilitation. Protocols obtained from the teams’ on-line communications were used for developing the Level of Complexity of Scientific Inquiry (LCSI) index. The index measures complexity by measuring the number of deviations from a linear straightforward inquiry process and the magnitude of these deviations. In structured teacher guided inquiries, the index measurement would be zero. The more students activate self-regulatory processes and grapple with the unknown, the higher is the obtained measurement.
Keywords: Scientific inquiry; authentic inquiry; inquiry assessment; science education assessment
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“Uncentering” Teacher Beliefs: The Expressed Epistemologies of Secondary Science Teachers and How They Relate to Teacher Practice
Glenn R. Dolphin, John W. Tillotson
pp. 21-38 | DOI: 10.12973/ijese.2015.228a | Article Number: ijese.2015.039
Published Online: January 10, 2015
Article Views: 285 | Article Download: 191
This multi-university, three-year longitudinal study examined the relationship among seven secondary science teachers’ personal, student and scientific epistemologies. Paying close attention to each participant’s use of metaphor when speaking about his/her learning, students’ learning and the products/processes of science, we were able to discern each participant’s epistemological stance as indicating the acquisition metaphor of learning or the participation metaphor of learning or some combination of the two (pluralistic). We compared video recordings of each participant’s classroom teaching practice to develop an understanding for how their epistemological stance might relate to that practice. Based on our results, we contradict the current paradigm that beliefs guide practice, by positing that practice might actually determine beliefs. Where teachers having more field experiences were more likely to talk about learning through doing (participation) and those whose practice emphasized knowledge transfer, adhered to the acquisition metaphor for student learning. If teacher practice influenced their beliefs, this has profound implications for the structure of teacher education programs.
Keywords: Science teaching, epistemology, teacher beliefs, teacher practice, metaphors of learning.
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The Effectiveness of Teaching Aids for Elementary Students’ Renewable Energy Learning and an Analysis of Their Energy Attitude Formation
Ying-Chyi Chou, Hsin-Yi Yen, Hong-Wei Yen, Yu-Long Chao, Ying-Hsiu Huang
pp. 39-49 | DOI: 10.12973/ijese.2015.229a | Article Number: ijese.2015.040
Published Online: January 10, 2015
Article Views: 275 | Article Download: 190
As an examination of the influences of a renewable energy teaching activity employing teaching aids on elementary students’ knowledge of, attitude toward, and behavior of energy saving and carbon reduction, this study designed a teaching experiment in which experimental group was subjected to the teaching with four teaching aids for students to practice whereas the control group was not. Results revealed that the teaching activity significantly improved the attitude and increased some knowledge items but did not affect the behavior. The behavior was more connected to attitude and knowledge for experimental group than for control group. The formation of the positive attitude could be related to the sensory stimulation generated by the teaching aids and associated affective responses when it was analyzed from a product-trial perspective. The analysis should inspire the understanding of the possible mechanisms of how learning experiences affect attitude.
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A Garden-Based Approach to Teaching Life Science Produces Shifts in Students’ Attitudes toward the Environment
Carley Fisher-Maltese, Timothy D. Zimmerman
pp. 51-66 | DOI: 10.12973/ijese.2015.230a | Article Number: ijese.2015.041
Published Online: January 10, 2015
Article Views: 284 | Article Download: 196
Recently, schools nationwide have expressed a renewed interest in school gardens, viewing them as innovative educational tools. Most of the scant studies on these settings investigate the health/nutritional impacts, science learning potential, or emotional dispositions of students. However, few studies examine the shifts in attitudes that occur for students as a result of experiences in school gardens. The purpose of this mixed method study was to examine a school garden program at a K-3 elementary school. Our study sought to demonstrate the value of garden-based learning through a focus on measures of learning typically associated with the informal learning environment. These measures tend to take into account shifts in attitude which can be important factors in learning. In contrast, existing studies on school gardens that do examine learning emphasize individual learning of traditional school content (math, science, etc.). Though we did not set out to alter students’ attitudes toward the environment, based upon some preliminary work, we decided to administer an existing environmental attitude survey from Ratcliffe (2007). Interestingly, results from pre/post environmental attitude surveys indicate little to no change, but results from pre/post tests, interviews, and recorded student conversations reveal important, positive shifts in students’ attitudes toward the environment. We argue that these mixed results point to the important role school gardens play in impacting attitudes toward the environment but that better tools are necessary to accurately measure these shifts.
Keywords: Environmental attitudes, informal learning, outdoor learning, garden-based learning, early childhood science methods.
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Integrating Sustainable Consumption into Environmental Education: A Case Study on Environmental Representations, Decision Making and Intention to Act
Andreas Ch. Hadjichambis, Demetra Paraskeva-Hadjichambi, Hara Ioannou, Yiannis Georgiou, Constantinos C. Manoli
pp. 67-86 | DOI: 10.12973/ijese.2015.231a | Article Number: ijese.2015.042
Published Online: January 10, 2015
Article Views: 319 | Article Download: 185
During the last decades, current consumption patterns have been recurrently blamed for rendering both the environment and our lifestyles unsustainable. Young children are considered a critical group in the effort to make a shift towards sustainable consumption (environmentally friendly consumption). However, young people should be able to consider sustainable consumption as a potential venue, among their options. The present study investigates the effectiveness of an environmental education program aiming to familiarize children aged 8-12 with the notion of sustainable consumption by focusing on children’s environmental representations and their intentions to act (decision-making). Findings revealed that the program employed influenced children’s environmental representations into becoming more sustainable ones. In addition, the environmental program provided children with more environmental criteria, allowing children to report their intentions to act as sustainable consumers. Relating children’s environmental representations to their decision-making criteria, findings indicated an emerging relationship between children’s environmental representations, and their intentions to act, as reflected through the decision-making process.
Keywords: Andreas Ch. Hadjichambis, Demetra Paraskeva-Hadjichambi, Hara Ioannou, Yiannis Georgiou, Constantinos C. Manoli
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Associations of Middle School Student Science Achievement and Attitudes about Science with Student-Reported Frequency of Teacher Lecture Demonstrations and Student-Centered Learning
Arthur Louis Odom, Clare Valerie Bell
pp. 87-97 | DOI: 10.12973/ijese.2015.232a | Article Number: ijese.2015.043
Published Online: January 10, 2015
Article Views: 240 | Article Download: 182
The purpose of this study was to examine the association of middle school student science achievement and attitudes about science with student-reported frequency of teacher lecture demonstrations and student-centered learning. The student sample was composed of 602 seventh- and eighth-grade students enrolled in middle school science. Multiple regression was used to investigate the association of attitudes toward science, student-centered learning, and teacher demonstrations with science achievement. Both attitudes toward science and student-centered learning were positively associated with science achievement, and student-centered learning was positively associated with attitude toward science. Teacher demonstrations were found to have a negative association with student achievement, and no significant association with attitudes toward science. Findings of this study suggest that demonstrations provide insufficient opportunity for students to develop an understanding of the processes of science. Furthermore, observing teacher demonstrations may be valuable, but they are not a substitute for laboratory investigations by students.
Keywords: Science achievement, attitudes, teacher lecture demonstrations
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Bilingual (German–English) Molecular Biology Courses in an Out-of-School Lab on a University Campus: Cognitive and Affective Evaluation
Annika Rodenhauser, Angelika Preisfeld
pp. 99-112 | DOI: 10.12973/ijese.2015.233a | Article Number: ijese.2015.044
Published Online: January 10, 2015
Article Views: 358 | Article Download: 170
Taking into account (German) students’ deficiencies in scientific literacy as well as reading competence and the ‘mother tongue + 2’ objective of the European commission, a bilingual course on molecular biology was developed. It combines CLIL fundamentals and practical experimentation in an out-of-school lab. Cognitive and affective evaluation of 490 students from upper secondary schools followed a quasi-experimental design, including two experimental (bilingual course and monolingual course) and one control group that did not take part in any of the courses. Cognitive achievement concerning molecular biology and self-concept were measured in a pre, post, follow-up test design. The study has shown that cognitive achievement concerning biological content knowledge of students having participated in a bilingual course (English and German) does not differ significantly from cognitive achievement of those that have participated in a monolingual course (German). Regarding biological self-concept, no significant differences between students having assessed themselves as being rather interested and talented in foreign languages and students having assessed themselves as being rather interested and talented in science could be observed. This indicates that bilingual courses in an out-of-school lab are equally beneficial for both of these groups.
Keywords: CLIL, experiments, out-of-school lab, biological self-concept, cognitive load, levels of processing, cognitive achievement.
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Effect of Scientific Argumentation on the Development of Scientific Process Skills in the Context of Teaching Chemistry
Nejla Gultepe, Ziya Kilic
pp. 111-132 | DOI: 10.12973/ijese.2015.234a | Article Number: ijese.2015.045
Published Online: January 10, 2015
Article Views: 524 | Article Download: 275
This study was conducted in order to determine the differences in integrated scientific process skills (designing experiments, forming data tables, drawing graphs, graph interpretation, determining the variables and hypothesizing, changing and controlling variables) of students (n = 17) who were taught with an approach based on scientific argumentation and of students (n = 17) who were taught with a traditional teaching approach in Grade 11 chemistry. The study was conducted at a high school in Çankırı, Turkey. A multiformat Scientific Process Skills Scale was administered to both groups as a pre- and posttest; it contained 29 items in 5 modules and consisted of limited and unlimited open-ended, multiple-choice, and paper-pencil performance assessment questions. Repeated t-test and analysis of variance (MANCOVA) were applied to analyze the data. It was found that the integrated scientific process skills of students in both groups improved significantly except skills of “forming a data table” and “graphic interpretation skills” for group. MANCOVA results revealed that there was a statistically significant difference between the groups on the combination of 5 dependent variables. The teaching approach had a significant effect on integrated scientific process skills except for the designing experiments skills. In sum, the scientific argumentation-based teaching approach was more effective in acquiring science process skills than the traditional teaching approach.
Keywords: Scientific argumentation, scientific process skills, chemistry education, secondary education.
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Performing Science Teaching Chemistry, Physics and Biology through Drama
pp. 133-134 | DOI: 10.12973/ijese.2015.235a | Article Number: ijese.2015.046
Published Online: January 10, 2015
Article Views: 273 | Article Download: 188
A review of the book "Performing Science Teaching Chemistry, Physics and Biology through Drama" by Ian Abrahams and Martin Braund, ISBN 9781441184528.
Keywords: Book Review
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