Singh, S. K.; Singh, R. J.
The introduction of outcomes-based education in South Africa placed many challenges on the transformation of science classrooms. The 2009 National Education Evaluation and Development Unit (NEEDU) Report concluded that South African rural and township schools are largely dysfunctional. This article examined some of the reasons for the…
Kane, Justine M.
In this paper, I offer a framework for exploring the academic and disciplinary identities young African American children construct in urban science classrooms. Using interviews, fieldnotes, and videotapes of classroom lessons, I juxtapose the ways in which two children tell about their experiences in school and science with their performances of…
This paper reports on the classroom languaging practices of a group of science teachers in rural and township schools in South Africa where the majority of learners learn through the medium of English, despite the fact that it is the home language of only a small minority; and learners' poor English proficiency frequently restricts their access to…
Kane, Justine M.
This is a qualitative study of identities constructed and enacted by four 3rd-grade African American children (two girls and two boys) in an urban classroom that engaged in a year-long, integrated science-literacy project. Juxtaposing narrative and discursive identity lenses, coupled with race and gender perspectives, I examined the ways in which…
Kane, Justine M.
This is a qualitative study of identities constructed and enacted by four 3rd-grade African American children (two girls and two boys) in an urban classroom that engaged in a year-long, integrated science-literacy project. Juxtaposing narrative and discursive identity lenses, coupled with race and gender perspectives, I examined the ways in which the four children saw and performed themselves as students and as science students in their classroom. Interview data were used for the narrative analysis and classroom Discourse and artifacts were used for the discursive analysis. A constructivist grounded theory framework was adopted for both analyses. The findings highlight the diversity and richness of perspectives and forms of engagement these young children shared and enacted, and help us see African American children as knowers, doers, and talkers of science individually and collectively. In their stories about themselves, all the children identified themselves as smart but they associated with smartness different characteristics and practices depending on their strengths and preferences. Drawing on the children's social, cultural, and ethnolinguistic resources, the dialogic and multimodal learning spaces facilitated by their teacher allowed the children to explore, negotiate, question, and learn science ideas. The children in this study brought their understandings and ways of being into the "lived-in" spaces co-created with classmates and teacher and influenced how these spaces were created. At the same time, each child's ways of being and understandings were shaped by the words, actions, behaviors, and feelings of peers and teacher. Moreover, as these four children engaged with science-literacy activities, they came to see themselves as competent, creative, active participants in science learning. Although their stories of "studenting" seemed dominated by following rules and being well-behaved, their stories of "sciencing" were filled with exploration, ingenuity
Òtúlàjà, Fẹ´Mi S.; Cameron, Ann; Msimanga, Audrey
Our response to Hewson and Ogunniyi's paper focuses, on the one hand, on some of the underlying tensions associated with alinging indigenous knowledge systems with westernized science in South African science classrooms, as suggested by the new, post-apartheid, curriculum. On the other hand, the use of argumentation as a vehicle to accomplish the alignment when the jury is still out on the appropriateness of argumentation as a pedagogical and research tool heightens the tension. We argue that the need for education stakeholders from indigenous heritages to value, know and document their own indigenous knowledge becomes paramount. The textualizing of indigenous knowledge, as has been done in western science, will create repositories for teachers to access and may help with the argumentation strategies such as advocated by the authors.
Bondima, Michelle Harris
This ethnographic in nature study explores how two middle school science teachers who have classes populated by urban African Americans teach their students and how their students perceive their teaching. Since urban African American students continue to perform lower than desired on measures of science achievement, there is an urgent need to understand what pedagogical methodologies assist and hinder urban African American students in achieving higher levels of success in science. A pedagogical methodology that theorists posit assists subordinated school populations is culturally responsive pedagogy. Culturally responsive pedagogy is defined as a teaching methodology concerned with preparing students to question inequality, racism, and injustice. Teachers who use culturally responsive pedagogy respect the culture students bring to the class, and require that the teachers willingly do whatever is necessary to educate students (Nieto, 2000). The teacher participants were two female African Americans who were identified by their school supervisors as being highly effective with urban African American students. The researcher presented the teachers in separate case studies conducted over a data collection period of nine months. Data were collected by participant observation, interviews, and artifact collection. Data were analyzed by application of grounded theory techniques. Findings of the teachers' (and the students') beliefs about pedagogy that both assisted and hindered the students' performance in science were reported in a rich and nuanced storytelling manner based on multiple perspectives (teachers', students', and the researcher's). Pedagogical methodologies that the teachers used that assisted their students were the use of cultural metaphors and images in science and applications of motivational techniques that encouraged a nurturing relationship between the teacher and her students. Pedagogical methodologies that hindered students varied by teacher
Holmes, Kimberly Monique
The purpose of this dissertation study was to explore African-American women's perceptions of undergraduate STEM classroom experiences, and the ways in which those experiences have supported or hindered their persistence in physics majors. The major research question guiding this study was: How do African-American women perceive the climate and…
Cleveland-Solomon, Tanya E.
What beliefs and cultural models do youth who are underrepresented in science have about the domain of science and about themselves as science learners? What do they imagine is possible for them in relation to science both now and in the future? In other words, what constitutes their figured world of science? This dissertation study, using a mixed methods design, offers new perspectives on the ways that underrepresented youth's unexamined assumptions or cultural models and resources may shape their identities and motivation to learn science. Through analyses of survey and interview data, I found that urban African American youths' social context, gender, racial identity, and perceptions of the science they had in school influenced their motivation to learn science. Analyses of short-term classroom observations and interviews suggested that students had competing cultural models that they used in their constructions of identities as science learners, which they espoused and adopted in relation to how well they leveraged the science-related cultural resources available to them. Results from this study suggested that these 7th graders would benefit from access to more expansive cultural models through access to individuals with scientific capital as a way to allow them to create fruitful identities as science learners. If we want to ensure that students from groups that are underrepresented in science not only have better outcomes, but aspire to and enter the science career pipeline, we must also begin to support them in their negotiations of competing cultural models that limit their ability to adopt science-learner identities in their classrooms. This study endeavored to understand the particular cultural models and motivational beliefs that drive students to act, and what types of individuals they imagine scientists and science workers to be. This study also examined how cultural models and resources influence identity negotiation, specifically the roles youths
Jita, Loyiso Currell
This study investigated the construction of teaching practices that are aimed at including all students in learning the key ideas of science and helping them to develop a voice for participating in the discourses in and outside of the science classroom. Such practices define what in this study is referred to as transformative practice. The study tells the stories of three Black secondary school teachers in South Africa who have worked to construct a transformative practice in their biology and physical science classrooms. Using a life history perspective, the study explored the relationships between teachers' identities and the changes in their classroom practices. Data were collected mainly through periodic interviews with the teachers and observations of their teaching practices over a period of 18 months. An important finding of the study was that the classroom practices of all three teachers were defined by three similar themes of: (1) "covering the content" and preparing their students to succeed in the national examinations, (2) developing deep conceptual understandings of the subject matter, and (3) including all students in their teaching by constructing what other researchers have called a "culturally-relevant" pedagogy. This finding was consistent despite the observed variations of context and personal histories. A major finding of this study on the question of the relationship between identity and teaching practice was that despite the importance of context, subject matter, material and social resources, another category of resources---the "resources of biography"---proved to be crucial for each of the teachers in crafting a transformative pedagogy. These "resources of biography" included such things as the teachers' own experiences of marginalization, the experiences of growing up or living in a particular culture, and the experiences of participating in certain kinds of social, political, religious or professional activities. The study suggests that it
Norman, Lashaunda Renea
This qualitative case study investigated the teaching strategies that improve science learning of African American students. This research study further sought the extent the identified teaching strategies that are used to improve African American science learning reflect culturally responsive teaching. Best teaching strategies and culturally responsive teaching have been researched, but there has been minimal research on the impact that both have on science learning, with an emphasis on the African American population. Consequently, the Black-White achievement gap in science persists. The findings revealed the following teaching strategies have a positive impact on African American science learning: (a) lecture-discussion, (b) notetaking, (c) reading strategies, (d) graphic organizers, (e) hands-on activities, (f) laboratory experiences, and (g) cooperative learning. Culturally responsive teaching strategies were evident in the seventh-grade science classrooms observed. Seven themes emerged from this research data: (1) The participating teachers based their research-based teaching strategies used in the classroom on all of the students' learning styles, abilities, attitudes towards science, and motivational levels about learning science, with no emphasis on the African American student population; (2) The participating teachers taught the state content standards simultaneously using the same instructional model daily, incorporating other content areas when possible; (3) The participating African American students believed their seventh-grade science teachers used a variety of teaching strategies to ensure science learning took place, that science learning was fun, and that science learning was engaging; (4) The participating African American students genuinely liked their teacher; (5) The participating African American students revealed high self-efficacy; (6) The African American student participants' parents value education and moved to Success Middle School
Hogg, Loretta A.
Described is a science classroom program with centralized materials, and assistance and workshops for teachers. Classroom materials on one of five topics rotate every six weeks among five schools. Teachers plan specific units to match the arrival of the materials in their schools. (Author/DS)
Pittman, Chavella T.
This study was an examination of how African American faculty discussed their coping with racially stressful classrooms. Despite aims for racial equality in higher education, the classroom has been a significant site of racial stressors for African American facility. Analysis of interviews with 16 (8 women, 8 men) African American faculty at a…
Smith, Walter S.
Suggests systematically exposing early adolescents/middle school students to community people who use science in their work to demonstrate the value of science/mathematics study. Discusses activities related to classroom visits of resource personnel, sources of resource people, and Career Oriented Modules to Explore Topics in Science for grades…
Norman, Lashaunda Renea
This qualitative case study investigated the teaching strategies that improve science learning of African American students. This research study further sought the extent the identified teaching strategies that are used to improve African American science learning reflect culturally responsive teaching. Best teaching strategies and culturally…
This paper looks at the distinctions between science classrooms and the robotics competition described in the article "Examining the mediation of power in a collaborative community: engaging in informal science as authentic practice" written by Anton Puvirajah, Geeta Verma and Horace Webb. Using the framework of "productive disciplinary…
Blair, David Hunt
This paper describes an approach to using science activities as a means to teach English in the English-as-a-Second-Language (ESL) classroom. It is based on the author's work in Preparing Refugees for Elementary Programs (PREP) at the Philippine Refugee Processing Center. Refugee children from Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia, ages 6 to 12, attend…
Sweetser, Evan A.
Potential safety hazards in the science classroom are surveyed. Some of the more potentially dangerous materials are described: mercury, formaldehyde, and black light radiation. The biological hazards of diseases carried by animals and of exposure to petri dish cultures are discussed. Five references on safety are included. (DT)
Outlines a science-industrial arts survey course which presents basic concepts of chemistry as applied to practical experiences. Course topics include: paints; solvents; finishes; metallurgy of iron; precious metals; calorimetry; fossil fuels; batteries; adhesives; cement; and others. The short units were designed for students with limited…
McMath, Cynthia Stewart
This study focused on science teaching that promoted the interest of African American teenage girls in the science classroom of an exemplary African American science teacher. It focused on, observed and examined the planning, teaching and learning strategies used by the science teacher. It also described what the science teacher experienced during her high school years, during college, during her teaching career. The case study approach/method was used for this research to capture the description and examination of the practices of the science teacher. This research described how an African American female science teacher serves as a role model and influence a number of African Americans students, especially girls, who experience careers in science. During the interviews and observations the researcher used a system of record keeping for the study to include note taking, audio taping and pictures. It is evident in the findings that the teacher in this study had qualities of an exemplary teacher according to the research. It is further evident that the teacher served as a role model for her students. The results indicated that the exemplary African America science teacher was motivated by her former African American science teacher that served as a role model. The results in this study implied that the lack of the presence of more exemplary African American science teachers has an impact on the level of interest that African American students have in science. Further, it is implied that there is a great need for more practical research that may lead to closing the gap of missing African American science teachers.
Chen, Wenli; Looi, Chee-Kit
A key stimulus of learning efficacy for students in the classroom is active participation and engagement in the learning process. This study examines the nature of teacher-student and student-student discourse when leveraged by an interactive technology--Group Scribbles (GS) in a Primary 5 Science classroom in Singapore which supports rapid…
Gómez, María del Carmen; Jakobsson, Anders
The focus of this study is to examine to what extent and in what ways science teachers practice assessment during classroom interactions in everyday activities in an upper-secondary school in Sweden. We are science teachers working now with a larger research project on assessment in science education that seeks to examine teachers' assessment…
Atkin, J. Myron, Ed.; Coffey, Janet E., Ed.
The assessment that occurs each day in the science classroom is often overlooked amidst calls for accountability in education and renewed debates about external testing. Research points to the positive influence that improved, ongoing classroom assessment can have on learning. Documents that offer visions for science education such as the National…
Varelas, Maria; Kane, Justine M.; Wylie, Caitlin Donahue
We focused on young, low-income, African American children in first- to third-grade classrooms where they experienced varied forms of interactive, participatory, and dialogic pedagogy in the context of yearlong, integrated science-literacy instruction. Using conversations that started around children's own science journals, which were an important…
One possible way of encouraging underrepresented groups to participate in science is to ensure that science is seen to be inclusionary. To this end a distinction is made between science (as knowledge) and scientific culture. A description of how one obtains membership in that culture is provided. Including the contributions of many different groups to scientific culture, when teaching the history, philosophy and sociology of science, is one way to emphasize that everyone can do science; something critical in multicultural science classrooms.
Arya, Diana Jaleh
School science has been criticized for its lack of emphasis on the tentative, dynamic nature of science as a process of learning more about our world. This criticism is the guiding force for this present body of work, which focuses on the question: what are the educational benefits for middle school students of reading texts that highlight the process of science in the form of a discovery narrative? This dissertation traces my journey through a review of theoretical perspectives of narrative, an analysis of first-hand accounts of scientific discovery, the complex process of developing age-appropriate, cohesive and engaging science texts for middle school students, and a comparison study (N=209) that seeks to determine the unique benefits of the scientific discovery narrative for the interest in and retained understanding of conceptual information presented in middle school science texts. A total of 209 middle school participants in nine different classrooms from two different schools participated in the experimental study. Each subject read two science texts that differed in topic (the qualities of and uses for radioactive elements and the use of telescopic technology to see planets in space) and genre (the discovery narrative and the "conceptually known exposition" comparison text). The differences between the SDN and CKE versions for each topic were equivalent in all possible ways (initial introduction, overall conceptual accuracy, elements of human interest, coherence and readability level), save for the unique components of the discovery narrative (i.e., love for their work, acknowledgement of the known, identification of the unknown and the explorative or experimental process to discovery). Participants generally chose the discovery narrative version as the more interesting of the two texts. Additional findings from the experimental study suggest that science texts in the form of SDNs elicit greater long-term retention of key conceptual information, especially
National Science Teachers Association, Arlington, VA.
This guide gives elementary school teachers suggestions for providing a safe environment for their students and covers general safety concerns in the science classroom. Information is printed in a flip chart format for easy reference. Safety areas covered include: (1) In Case of Accident; (2) Eye Protection; (3) Plants in the Classroom; (4) First…
Kerlin, Steven C.
The physical walls of a classroom have typically acted as the boundary of school science learning communities. The participants in these learning communities are the students and the teacher in individual classrooms. These participants contribute to scientific discourse about a specific content area under study. Scientific learning communities, on…
Bulls, Domonique L.
Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields are the fastest growing sectors of the economy, nationally and globally. In order for the United States (U.S.) to maintain its competitiveness, it is important to address STEM experiences at the precollege level. In early years, science education serves as a foundation and pipeline for students to pursue STEM in college and beyond. Alternative approaches to instruction in formal classrooms have been introduced to engage more students in science. One alternative is informal science education. Informal science education is an avenue used to promote science education literacy. Because it is less regulated than science teaching in formal classroom settings, it allows for the incorporation of culture into science instruction. Culturally relevant science teaching is one way to relate science to African American students, a population that continually underperforms in K-12 science education. This study explores the science perspectives and experiences of African American middle school students participating in an informal science program. The research is framed by the tenets of culturally relevant pedagogy and shaped by the following questions: (1) What specific aspects of the Carver Program make it unique to African American students? (2) How is culturally relevant pedagogy incorporated into the informal science program? (3) How does the incorporation of culturally relevant pedagogy into the informal science program influence African American students' perceptions about science? The findings to the previously stated questions add to the limited research on African American students in informal science learning environments and contribute to the growing research on culturally relevant science. This study is unique in that it explores the cultural components of an informal science program.
Biehle, James T.
Examines the planning requirements for designing a middle school's science classroom, including the areas of casework and sinks, surfaces, furniture, gas, storage, power, ventilation, and safety issues. Photographs are included. (GR)
Over the past twenty-five years researchers have been concerned with understanding the science student. The need for such research is still grounded in contemporary issues including providing opportunities for all students to develop scientific literacy and the failure of school science to connect with student's lives, interests and personal identities. The research reported here is unusual in its use of discourse analysis in social psychology to contribute to an understanding of the way students make meaning in secondary school science. Data constructed for the study was drawn from videotapes of nine consecutive lessons in a year-seven science classroom in Melbourne, post-lesson video-stimulated interviews with students and the teacher, classroom observation and the students' written work. The classroom videotapes were recorded using four cameras and seven audio tracks by the International Centre for Classroom Research at the University of Melbourne. Student talk within and about their science lessons was analysed from a discursive perspective. Classroom episodes in which students expressed their sense of personal identity and agency, knowledge, attitude or emotion in relation to science were identified for detailed analysis of the function of the discourse used by students, and in particular the way students were positioned by others or positioned themselves. This article presents the discursive Umwelt or life-space of one middle years science student, Tasha. Her case is used here to highlight the complex social process of meaning making in science classrooms and the need to attend to local moral orders of rights and duties in research on student language use, identity and learning in science.
Levy, Abigail Jurist; Jia, Yueming; Marco-Bujosa, Lisa; Gess-Newsome, Julie; Pasquale, Marian
This study examined science programs, instruction, and student outcomes at 30 elementary schools in a large, urban district in the northeast United States in an effort to understand whether there were meaningful differences in the quality, quantity and cost of science education when provided by a science specialist or a classroom teacher. Student…
Goldberg, Jennifer; Enyedy, Noel; Welsh, Kate Muir; Galiani, Kathryn
In this study, we explore language--specifically the use of Spanish, in a sixth-grade science classroom, where the district recognises English as the official language of instruction. The question guiding our analysis is: How is Spanish positioned in Ms. Cook's science class? Transcribed interaction from twelve weeks of videotaping is coded and…
Dean, Robert A.; And Others
This safety guide for elementary school science teachers who plan science activities or laboratories for their students, presents information in the form of a flip chart that can be posted in the classroom and referred to in an emergency. Space is provided for emergency telephone numbers. A safety checklist is given for the teacher. Topics…
Sanford, Julie P.
Twenty-six junior high and middle school science classes taught by 13 teachers were observed frequently during the first 2 months of school and during 2 months in the middle of the year to identify classroom management and instructional organization variables related to high levels of student task engagement and low levels of off task and disruptive behavior. Sub-samples of more and less effective managers were identified, and narrative data from their classes were analyzed to describe and illustrate effective strategies for managing science classroom activities.
Davido, Frank, Comp.
Included is a compilation of 21 simple experiments for use by elementary teachers and aides. The experiments are grouped into these categories: plants, insects, and senses. The materials required are not specialized and would generally be available in the classroom or from a local store. A number of films are recommended and are available from the…
Mueller, Michael P.
Eduardo Dopico and Eva Garcia-Vázquez's article enriched the ecojustice literature with an interesting metaphor of leaving the classroom, which I argue for here. Glasson and Boggs help to highlight the challenges and fortitude of working ecojustice perspectives in science education and the ways that a dialogical conversation addresses the world at large rather than focusing narrowly and exclusively on science education. Considering the metaphor of `leaving the classroom' I want to explore the tensions that can be experienced by science educators who do research focused on ecosocial justice. While it is not a new idea to suggest that there are gatekeepers in science education who try to maintain what counts in terms of impact in the classroom and what counts or not for the purposes of doing good work in science education, I anticipate highlighting the tensions that ecojustice educators may experience and why they can and should persevere with the incisive work that they are doing to conserve the prospects of future generations. Ecojustice no longer belongs constrained under the confines of environmental sciences or environmental education in science education. It is a separate and distinct field of study that should be generally accepted for the ways it brings clarity and conversation to ideas, curriculum studies, and thick descriptions of how people engage in eco-justice and ethics.
Brake, Mark; Thornton, Rosi
Considers science fiction as an imaginative forum to focus on the relationships between science, culture, and society. Outlines some of the ways in which using the genre can help achieve a dynamic and pluralistic understanding of the nature and evolution of science. (Author/KHR)
Brake, Mark; Thornton, Rosi
Science fiction can be used as an imaginative forum to focus on the relationship between science, culture and society. This article outlines some of the ways in which using the genre can help achieve a dynamic and pluralistic understanding of the nature and evolution of science.
Lambert, Julie; Sundburg, Suzanne Smith
In one form or another, ocean or marine science courses have existed for decades. Although these courses can effectively integrate the sciences in ways that stimulate student curiosity and interest, they have not yet received formal recognition for the role they could play in improving science education for secondary students. In this article, the…
An area that teachers often find difficult to make interesting is the earth science component of the science curriculum. This may be for a variety of reasons, such as lack of knowledge, lack of ideas or lack of resources. This article outlines ideas and activities that have been developed by the Earth Science Teachers' Association (ESTA) primary…
Ajaja, Patrick O.; Eravwoke, Urhievwejire Ochuko
The major purpose of this study was to find out if there is any influence of teachers' characteristics on science teacher's classroom behaviours and determine the kind of relationship between teachers' characteristics and classroom behaviours. To guide this study, five research questions and hypotheses were raised, stated, answered, and tested at…
Duplichan, Staycle C.
As educators we must ask ourselves if we are meeting the needs of today's students. The science world is adapting to our ever-changing society; are the methodology and philosophy of our educational system keeping up? In this article, you'll learn why web logs (also called blogs) are an important Web 2.0 tool in your science classroom and how they…
Gallagher, Shelagh A.
Examines the question of whether variables associated with middle school classroom practices and instructional emphasis would contribute to a prediction of science course placement in later grades. Concludes that what happens in early schooling does have a direct and substantive impact on later education. (ZWH)
The author makes a case for keeping sensitivity and intuitive approaches in the science classroom. The importance of emotional connections with other organisms, considered a critical part of enriched, effective scientific thinking, is emphasized. Female and male learning styles are described. (KR)
Science demonstrations are often criticised for their passive nature, their gratuitous exploitation and their limited ability to develop scientific knowledge and understanding. This article is intended to present a robust defence of the use of demonstrations in the classroom by identifying some of their unique and powerful benefits--practical,…
As a chemistry teacher, Rosemary Davidson has found "infographics" (information graphics) successfully engage her students in science--not only in carrying out the research for classroom projects but also in presenting the results of their research to their peers. This article will help teachers integrate student-created infographics…
Mueller, Michael P.
Eduardo Dopico and Eva Garcia-Vazquez's article enriched the ecojustice literature with an interesting metaphor of leaving the classroom, which I argue for here. Glasson and Boggs help to highlight the challenges and fortitude of working ecojustice perspectives in science education and the ways that a dialogical conversation addresses the world at…
Strachan, Samantha L.
The underachievement of African American students in science has been a persistent problem in science education. The achievement patterns of African American students indicate that researchers must take a closer look at the types of practices that are being used to meet these students' needs in science classrooms. Determining why science teachers decide to employ certain practices in their classrooms begins with a careful examination of teachers' beliefs as well as their instructional approaches. The purpose of this study was to explore four urban high school science teachers' beliefs about their African American students' learning needs and to investigate how these teachers go about addressing students' needs in science classrooms. This research study also explored the extent to which teachers' practices aligned with the nine dimensions of an established cultural instructional theory, namely the Black Cultural Ethos. Qualitative research methods were employed to gather data from the four teachers. Artifact data were collected from the teachers and they were interviewed and observed. Believing that their students had academic-related needs as well as needs tied to their learning preferences, the four science teachers employed a variety of instructional strategies to meet their students where they were in learning. Overall, the instructional strategies that the teachers employed to meet their students' needs aligned with five of the nine tenets of the Black Cultural Ethos theory.
Online Submission, 2006
The goal of this K-12 science safety resource is to bring together information needed by administrators, planners, teachers and support staff to help them make sound decisions regarding science safety. The document identifies areas for decision making and action at a variety of levels. It supports planning and action by providing information on…
Students love pop culture, which is often full of science and scientific concepts that may or may not be correctly presented. When teachers tie a science project to a movie, TV series, or song, they help guide students toward correct interpretations. And, more important, teachers stimulate their creativity by tapping into their culture. This…
McComas, William F., Ed.
Informal learning refers to "science learning that occurs outside the traditional, formal schooling realm." Sites such as museums, zoos, aquariums, parks, science centers, planetariums, the school yard, and others all have the potential to shape young people's minds. Parents might see a day at the beach as a recreational opportunity while biology…
Gutierrez, Patricia A.
One in seven children in the United States speaks a language other than English at home. Their difficulties with English may seem like a barrier to science education. But science education can be the impetus they need to overcome their difficulties with English. With sidebars by Isabel Hawkins and George Musser.
French, L. M.; Lopresti, V. C.; Papali, P.
The practice of science is by its very nature interdisciplinary. Most school curricula, however, present science as a "layer cake" with one year each of biology, chemistry, earth science, and physics. Students are too often left with a fragmented, disjointed view of the sciences as separate and distinct bodies of information. The continuity of scientific thought and the importance of major ideas such as energy, rates of change, and the nature of matter are not seen. We describe two efforts to integrate the sciences in a middle school curriculum and in an introductory science course for prospective elementary teachers. Introductory physical science for eighth graders at the Park School has three major units: "Observing the Sky", "The Nature of Matter", and "The Nature of Light". The course moves from simple naked-eye observations of the Sun and Moon to an understanding of the apparent motions of the Sun and of the Earth's seasons. In "The Nature of Matter", students construct operational definitions of characteristic properties of matter such as density, boiling point, solubility, and flame color. They design and perform many experiments and conclude by separating a mixture of liquids and solids by techniques such as distillation and fractional crystallization. In studying flame tests, students learn that different materials have different color "signatures" and that the differences can be quantified with a spectroscope. They then observe solar absorption lines with their spectroscopes and discover which elements are present in the Sun. Teachers of young children are potentially some of the most powerful allies in increasing our country's scientific literacy, yet most remain at best uneasy about science. At Wheelock College we are designing a course to be called "Introduction to Natural Science" for elementary education majors. We will address special needs of many in this population, including science anxiety and poor preparation in mathematics. A broad conceptual
Aseno, J. O.
Through measurement and interpretation of the spectral, spatial and temporal variations in electromagnetic emissions and reflections from the Earth's surface, important information related to natural resources can be acquired. Furthermore, satellite technology has greatly improved the communication and positioning techniques world-wide. Consequently, space science now provides valuable and timely information about natural resources, which has become a major factor in sustainable development. The realization of the full potential of space science in the context of development in Africa requires adequate education and training in order to facilitate project formulation, planning, management and implementation. This, in turn, would lead to the formulation and adoption of national space science policies based on user needs and addressing both the short and long-term needs of a particular country. Space science education in Africa needs to address issues like (i) provision of programme, (ii) integration of the proposed techniques within the existing infrastructure, and (iii) training in Remote Sensing, Global Positioning System, Geographic Information System and other space science techniques, in order to ensure the successful implementation of space science projects within the continent. In this context, African universities ought to play a major role in space science training, research, consultancy and publication. Through international co-operation, it is possible to develop and support national, regional and international training programmes and international scientific exchange in Africa.
Bruccoli, A.; Madsen, J. M.; Porter, M.
The NSF sponsored IceCube (OPP-0236449) and Teachers Experiencing Antarctica and the Arctic (TEA) projects have developed a model for engaging K-12 teachers in a variety of scientific disciplines using polar science as a unifying theme. An intensive workshop, Science in the Ice, provided teachers with background content knowledge and seed ideas for activities aligned with national teaching standards. These activities were used to support the introduction of authentic science investigations related to current polar research in the classroom. The pilot workshop, sponsored by the NSF supported Math-Science Partnership SCALE (0227016), demonstrated the viability of this approach for involving a continuum of teachers from novice to master in a meaningful professional development model that can lead to sustainable classroom changes. This model for teacher professional development is based on the premise that the most robust educational outreach efforts involve teachers that are prepared, supported, and connected to a network of researchers and educators. This network can also serve to both stimulate interest in polar research and as a vehicle for delivering classroom materials related to the International Polar Year. An overview of Science in the Ice will be provided to show how the natural fascination with extreme environments can be used to introduce on-going research to the classroom from multiple disciplines---glaciology, geology, and astrophysics---with a common thread of polar science. The case for involving teachers now to fully capitalize on the potential of the International Polar Year, by providing professional development opportunities including field experiences with researchers, will be made.
Gómez, María del Carmen; Jakobsson, Anders
The focus of this study is to examine to what extent and in what ways science teachers practice assessment during classroom interactions in everyday activities in an upper-secondary school in Sweden. We are science teachers working now with a larger research project on assessment in science education that seeks to examine teachers' assessment practices in the upper-secondary school. Framing questions include: are teachers performing an integrated assessment of students' skills as the national curriculum mandates? If so, what do the instructional discourses look like in those situations and what are students' experiences regarding their agency on learning and assessment? We emphasize the social, cultural and historic character of assessment and sustain a situated character of learning instead of the notion that learning is "stored inside the head". Teacher led lessons in three science classrooms were video-recorded and analyzed by combining ethnographic and discourse methods of analysis. Both methods are appropriate to the theoretical foundation of our approach on learning and can give some answers to questions about how individuals interact socially, how their experience is passed on to next generations through language and how language use may reveal cultural changes in the studied context. Making the study of action in a classroom the focal point of sociocultural analysis supports the examination of assessment processes and identification of the social roles in which teachers and students are immersed. Such an approach requires observations of how teachers act in authentic teaching situations when they interact with their students in classroom making possible to observe negotiation processes, agencies when both teachers and students are involved in every-day activities. Our study showed that teachers mostly ignored students' questions and that students solved their own problems by helping each other. Teachers did not provide opportunities for students to discuss
Kerlin, Steven C.
The physical walls of a classroom have typically acted as the boundary of school science learning communities. The participants in these learning communities are the students and the teacher in individual classrooms. These participants contribute to scientific discourse about a specific content area under study. Scientific learning communities, on the other hand, long ago moved beyond the confines of a laboratory, meeting room or any one physical location. Scientists engage in ongoing discourse with many members of the scientific community in different locations all over the world. These same technological advances can now be used by science teachers and students to venture out of their classroom and become involved in a global learning community (GLC). The context of this study, From Local to Extreme Environments (FLEXE), is a science curriculum that attempts to expand the boundaries of the science classroom and involve students in a GLC. FLEXE participants are not limited to conversations with students and a teacher in one classroom. Students and teachers in many classrooms in multiple countries, deep-sea scientists, and university education researchers are involved in the FLEXE community. This study was framed by theories of sociocultural learning, discourse and learning communities. These theoretical research perspectives acted as lenses for the examination of communication of student participants in a GLC. Student views of their collaboration and their scientific writing were studied within a principle contrast of U.S. students in domestic or international class partnerships. A mixed methods approach was used to study the GLC established in the FLEXE program. Statistical analyses were used with "quick questions" (QQs) that follow each online session, in order to characterize students' views of the online global learning environment. Argumentation analysis was used to examine and compare how students supported their scientific claims with a number of different
Liu, Dennis W. C.
Biology teachers are accustomed to engaging individuals who do not accept biological evolution. Denial of evolution ranges from ignorance of the evidence to outright denial or distortion of data. The list of science denial topics has grown alarmingly over the years to include: HIV as the cause of AIDS, exaggeration of the health and environmental…
Zhai, Junqing; Tan, Aik-Ling
This study delves into the different roles that elementary science teachers play in the classroom to orchestrate science learning opportunities for students. Examining the classroom practices of three elementary science teachers in Singapore, we found that teachers shuttle between four key roles in enabling student learning in science. Teachers…
Foley, Brian J.; Reveles, John M.
The prevalence of computers in the classroom is compelling teachers to develop new instructional skills. This paper provides a theoretical perspective on an innovative pedagogical approach to science teaching that takes advantage of technology to create a connected classroom. In the connected classroom, students collaborate and share ideas in…
Swanson, Lauren Honeycutt
Science classrooms in the United States have become more diverse with respect to the variety of languages spoken by students. This qualitative study used ethnographic methods to investigate the discourse and practices of two ninth grade science classrooms. Approximately 44% of students included in the study were designated as English learners. The present work focused on addressing the following questions: 1) In what ways is science discourse taken up and used by students and their teacher? 2) Are there differences in how science discourse is used by students depending on their English language proficiency? Data collection consisted of interviewing the science teacher and the students, filming whole class and small group discussions during two lesson sequences, and collecting lesson plans, curricular materials, and student work. These data were analyzed qualitatively. Findings indicated that the teacher characterized science discourse along three dimensions: 1) the use of evidence-based explanations; 2) the practice of sharing one's science understandings publically; and 3) the importance of using precise language, including both specialized (i.e., science specific) and non-specialized academic words. Analysis of student participation during in-class activities highlighted how students progressed in each of these science discourse skills. However, this analysis also revealed that English learners were less likely to participate in whole class discussions: Though these students participated in small group discussions, they rarely volunteered to share individual or collective ideas with the class. Overall, students were more adept at utilizing science discourse during class discussions than in written assignments. Analysis of students' written work highlighted difficulties that were not visible during classroom interactions. One potential explanation is the increased amount of scaffolding the teacher provided during class discussions as compared to written
Harle, E.J.; Van Natta, D.; Powell, M.L.
The Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project (YMP) sponsors a variety of classroom-oriented projects and activities for teachers who request them. Also available, though, are extra-curricular programs. One notably successful program is a workshop designed to award girl and boy scouts with geology and atomic energy merit badges. There was a tremendous response to this workshop--it attracted 450 requests within the first week of its announcement. Since October 1991, the YMP has sponsored five such girl scout workshops and four boy scout workshops, attended by a total of 400 scouts. These workshops demonstrate that highly technical subjects can be taught simply through hands-on activities. The idea behind them is not to teach scouts what to think but, rather, how to think. For adults meanwhile, the YMP offers a monthly lecture series, with each lecture averaging 45 minutes in length with 35 people in attendance. These lectures center on such subjects as volcanoes, earthquakes and hydrology. They are usually delivered by YMP technical staff members, who have learned that complex technical issues are best addressed in a small-group format.
Zell, Stacy K.
Examines a practical application of ecofeminism for classroom educators. Provides a basic understanding of ecofeminist theory as it applies to science education and examples from classroom practice. Contains 33 references. (DDR)
Lebofsky, L. A.; Lebofsky, N. R.
Planetary sciences can be used to introduce students to the natural world which is a part of their lives. Even children in an urban environment are aware of such phenomena as day and night, shadows, and the seasons. It is a science that transcends cultures, has been prominent in the news in recent years, and can generate excitement in young minds as no other science can. It also provides a useful tool for understanding other sciences and mathematics, and for developing problem solving skills which are important in our technological world. However, only 15 percent of elementary school teachers feel very well qualified to teach earth/space science, while better than 80% feel well qualified to teach reading; many teachers avoid teaching science; very little time is actually spent teaching science in the elementary school: 19 minutes per day in K--3 and 38 minutes per day in 4--6. While very little science is taught in elementary and middle school, earth/space science is taught at the elementary level in less than half of the states. Therefore in order to teach earth/space science to our youth, we must empower our teachers, making them familiar and comfortable with existing materials. Tucson has another, but not unique, problem. The largest public school district, the Tucson Unified School District (TUSD), provides a neighborhood school system enhanced with magnet, bilingual and special needs schools for a school population of 57,000 students that is 4.1% Native American, 6.0% Black, and 36.0% Hispanic (1991). This makes TUSD and the other school districts in and around Tucson ideal for a program that reaches students of diverse ethnic backgrounds. However, few space sciences materials exist in Spanish; most materials could not be used effectively in the classroom. To address this issue, we have translated NASA materials into Spanish and are conducting a series of workshops for bilingual classroom teachers. We will discuss in detail our bilingual classroom workshops
Brownstein, Erica M.; Destino, Thomas
To increase the representation of African Americans in science fields, potential candidates must have positive personal science experiences. Even with recent reforms, most students in the United States have a limited exposure to science experiences, especially African American students. One approach to addressing this problem has been to offer…
Scott, Eugenie C.; Matzke, Nicholas J.
Although evolutionary biology is replete with explanations for complex biological structures, scientists concerned about evolution education have been forced to confront “intelligent design” (ID), which rejects a natural origin for biological complexity. The content of ID is a subset of the claims made by the older “creation science” movement. Both creationist views contend that highly complex biological adaptations and even organisms categorically cannot result from natural causes but require a supernatural creative agent. Historically, ID arose from efforts to produce a form of creationism that would be less vulnerable to legal challenges and that would not overtly rely upon biblical literalism. Scientists do not use ID to explain nature, but because it has support from outside the scientific community, ID is nonetheless contributing substantially to a long-standing assault on the integrity of science education. PMID:17494747
Education Development Center, Inc., Newton, MA.
The African Primary Science Program, which was established in 1960 as part of the African Education Program, has operated widely in English-speaking African countries. Science centers have been established with program assistance in seven of these: Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, and Uganda. Its goals have been centered on…
Kersey, Denise A.
Not all students with disabilities receive special education accommodations in science class. Without special education support, students with disabilities are unable to comprehend and apply science concepts. Implementing a co-teaching model could be a remedy for this lack of supports. Framed by constructivist theory, this study sought to determine if there was a difference in science assessment scores between students in a co-taught science class and those in a regular education science class. Following a pretest-posttest control group design, this study examined the relation between two teaching models and achievement in science. Using a convenience sample of 84 students drawn from a population of 144 fourth grade special education students in a public school district located in the Southeastern United States, analysis of variance was used to compare the mean growth of the two groups. The data revealed no statistically significant difference in mean gain scores between the two groups. Additional studies using a larger sample and longer trial are needed. Implications for social change include understanding instructional strategies that allow educators to differentiate for diverse learners in mainstreamed classrooms as well as removing barriers for underrepresented groups, thereby allowing equal access to science related professions.
While dozens of African presidents were in Washington, D. C., in early August to meet with U.S. president Barack Obama during the first U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit, African science ministers and science academy officials held their own gathering at the U.S. National Academy of Sciences (NAS) to focus on challenges and opportunities related to environmental protection, climate change, development, health, poverty, technology, and other issues.
Gregory, Anne; Thompson, Aisha R.
Many African American adolescents who enter high school with low achievement are at-risk for being perceived as defiant and uncooperative by their classroom teachers. This generalized view of risk, however, offers little understanding of the differentiated behavior these students have with their teachers. The study followed 35 African American…
Donohue, Dana K.; Bornman, Juan
This research sought to examine South African teachers' attitudes toward the inclusion of learners with different abilities in their hypothetical mainstream classrooms. Participants were 93 South African teachers who responded to the Teachers' Attitudes and Expectations Scale, a measure developed for this study, regarding four vignettes depicting…
Dudu, Washington T.; Vhurumuku, Elaosi
This paper discusses the adoption and validation of a research instrument, on determining learners' levels of perception of classroom inquiry based on data collected from South African Grade 11 learners. The Learners' Perception of Classroom Inquiry (LPCI) instrument consists only of Likert-type items which rank activities according to how often…
Rouland, Karmen; Matthews, Jamaal S.; Byrd, Christy M.; Meyer, Rika M. L.; Rowley, Stephanie J.
This study examined the relation between classroom cultural and achievement-related characteristics and their influence on social outcomes in a sample of 74 fifth grade African American youth (41 girls; 33 boys) ages 10-13 years. Trained observers rated classrooms according to Boykin's (Boykin, Tyler, & Miller, 2005) definition of mainstream…
Students cannot learn in chaotic, badly managed classrooms. In the first years of teaching experiences, teachers revealed that novice teachers came to recognize the importance of discipline skills and classroom management for effective instruction. The purpose of the study was (i) to develop Science teachers' views towards classroom management…
Topping, Kecia C.
, exposure to science, parent influence, peer influence, teacher expectations, strategies for academic success in science, and perception of self in a predominantly Caucasian population. This information should be used to create interactive suburban middle school science classrooms that encourage the participation of African American females. These females should experience increased involvement with activities that expose them to science that is relevant to their lives. As a result, these females will be inspired to excel in science and one day enter into science careers.
Harris, Tevis Tramaine
The purpose of this hermeneutic phenomenological research was to explore the perceptions of teachers as they instruct African American students who are successful on the North Carolina End-of-Grade Science test. The study identified thoughts, feelings, emotions, and challenges that teachers faced when instructing successful African American students from Title I schools in rural community classrooms. The research study analysis utilized NVivo10RTM software and identified common themes in the data. Five themes emerged from interviews with five fifth- and eighth-grade science teachers. Based on the teachers' perceptions, the findings revealed: (a) teachers experience an emotional journey in high poverty schools; (b) investments encompass sacrificing whatever is needed to help students become successful; (c) relationships should be developed between the teacher and student; (d) intentionality is a part of teachers' daily interaction with students; and (e) teachers encounter a challenging opportunity instructing African American students in science. This study provides valuable data in understanding the experiences of teachers as they instruct successful African American students and the challenges, obstacles, and triumphs teachers face when working with this population of students. The implications of the study suggest that educational leaders provide emotional support to help teachers manage the plethora of emotions experienced on a daily basis. Future study of successful teachers of African American students may further inform the dearth of literature surrounding the experience of successful teachers of minority students.
Adenika-Morrow, T. Jean
Two reasons African American females do not pursue science careers are the need for immediate employment and lack of tools to negotiate the racism and sexism that undermine their aspirations for success. This article describes intervention strategies in an Afrocentric school and a medical magnet school that encourage African American girls to…
Fish, Vincent L.; Needles, M. M.; Rogers, A. E. E.; Costa, D.; Cadigan, J.; Clements, C.; May, S. K.
MOSAIC (Mesospheric Ozone System for Atmospheric Investigations in the Classroom) is a project to engage secondary and undergraduate students in authentic inquiry-based science learning using a network of inexpensive spectrometers monitoring the mesospheric ozone concentration. The MOSAIC system observes the 11 GHz emission line of ozone using electronics built around satellite television equipment. The possibilities for student investigation are broad and scientifically significant. MOSAIC observations have confirmed diurnal variations in mesospheric ozone concentration and detected semiannual variations that may be due to inter-hemispheric meridional circulation of water vapor. Possible future projects include monitoring the temperature of the mesosphere and correlations with the solar cycle. Students are also encouraged to design their own investigations with MOSAIC data. Early results have been reported in a major scientific journal, and further scientific progress is likely as future MOSAIC systems are deployed -- increasing the sensitivity and geographic coverage of the network. Complete teaching units, including slides, laboratory activities, background information, student worksheets, and conformance with national and Massachusetts educational standards, have been developed to integrate MOSAIC into a classroom environment. One unit introduces the layers of the atmosphere, Earth's energy balance, the greenhouse effect, processes of ozone creation and destruction, noctilucent clouds, heat transfer, the laws of thermodynamics, radio waves (including radio astronomy), and fluid behavior. A second unit, currently being tested in classrooms, uses the MOSAIC system to motivate and deepen understanding of a large portion of electromagnetism in a conceptual physics class. MOSAIC has also been used in a local high school chemistry class. MOSAIC is still in development and is funded by the National Science Foundation.
Youngkin, C Andrew
The "flipped classroom" instructional model is being introduced into medical and health sciences curricula to provide greater efficiency in curriculum delivery and produce greater opportunity for in-depth class discussion and problem solving among participants. As educators employ the flipped classroom to invert curriculum delivery and enhance learning, health sciences librarians are also starting to explore the flipped classroom model for library instruction. This article discusses how academic and health sciences librarians are using the flipped classroom and suggests opportunities for this model to be further explored for library services.
Nature of Science is one of the most fundamental aspects of understanding science. How different cultures, races and ethnicities see and interpret science differently is critical. However, the NOS views specific to African American teachers and learners have gone largely unresearched. The views of a purposeful sample of African American third grade children reported in this study contribute to efforts to make science equitable for all students. Conducted in two Midwest urban settings, within the students' regular classrooms, three instruments were employed: Views of Nature of Science Elementary (an interview protocol), Elementary Draw a Scientist Test (a drawing activity supplemented by an explicating narrative), and Identify a Scientist (a simple select-a-photo technique supported by Likert-measured sureness). The responses provided by twenty-three students were coded using qualitative content analysis. The findings are represented in three main categories: Science - is governed by experimentation, invention and discovery teach us about the natural world, school is not the only setting for learning science; Scientists - intelligent, happy, studious men and women playing multiple roles, with distinct physical traits working in laboratories; Students - capable users and producers of science and who view science as fun. This study advocates for: use of such instruments for constant monitoring of student views, using the knowledge of these views to construct inquiry based science lessons, and increased research about students of color.
Azevedo, Flávio S.; Martalock, Peggy L.; Keser, Tugba
This paper is an initial contribution to a general theory in which science classroom "activity types" and epistemological "discourse practices" are systematically linked. The idea is that activities and discourse are reflexively related, so that different types of science classroom activities (e.g., scientific argumentation,…
Kane, Justine M.
The goal of this study is to bring the voices of African American boys front and center in science education research in an effort to strengthen our understandings of their experiences of school and science. Using an interpretivist perspective within a narrative inquiry approach, I focus on the student and science-student identities two African…
Ammon, C. J.
Seismograms are the fundamental observations upon which seismology is based; they are central to any course in seismology and important for any discussion of earthquake-related phenomena based on seismic observations. Advances in the collection and distribution of seismic data have made the use of research-quality seismograms in any network capable classroom feasible. The development of large, deep seismogram archives place an unprecedented quantity of high-quality data within reach of the modern classroom environment. I describe and discuss several computer tools and classroom activities that I use in introductory (general education) and advanced undergraduate courses that present near real-time research-quality seismic observations in the classroom. The Earth Motion Monitor Application (EMMA), is a MacOS application that presents a visually clear seismogram display that can be projected in classrooms with internet access. Seismic signals from thousands of station are available from the IRIS data center and the bandwidth can be tailored to the particular type of signal of interest (large event, low frequencies; small event, high frequencies). In introductory classes for non-science students, the near realtime display routinely shows magnitude 4.0-5.0 earthquake-generated signals, demonstrating to students the frequency of earthquake occurrence. Over the next few minutes as the waves travel through and across the planet, their arrival on the seismogram display provides some basic data for a qualitative estimate of the event's general location. When a major or great earthquake occurs, a broad-band display of signals from nearby stations can dramatically and dynamically illuminate the frequent activity associated with the aftershock sequence. Routine use of the display (while continuing the traditional classroom activities) provides students with a significant dose of seismogram study. Students generally find all the signals, including variations in seismic
Gencer, Ayse Savran; Cakiroglu, Jale
The purpose of this study was to explore Turkish preservice science teachers' science teaching efficacy and classroom management beliefs. Data in this study were collected from a total number of 584 preservice science teachers utilizing the Science Teaching Efficacy Belief Instrument and the attitudes and beliefs on classroom control (ABCC)…
McPherson, Alexander; Jenkins, Greg; Kenny, Nate
project competitions were from AL, CA, GA, TN, FL, MI, TX, IN, IL, OH, and WV. We have had over 800 teachers from 35 different states participate in our kit training workshops. Our classroom experiment has been a huge success. Approximately 50,000 kids have done the classroom experiment with participants from AL, AZ, AR, CA, CO, GA, LA, FL, PA, MO, NM, MN, MS, TN, KY, NC, NY, NJ, OH, WV, PR,TX, WI, SC, MI, MA, IL, IN, VA, and MT. ISS will, therefore, serve, not only as a science laboratory for researchers, but as a science classroom for America.
Nthathakane, Malefu Christina
This study investigated how Basotho high school biology students responded to a multicultural science education (MCSE) approach. Students' home language---Sesotho---and cultural experiences were integrated into the teaching of a unit on alcohol, tobacco and other drugs (ATOD) abuse. The focus was on students whose cultural background is African and who are English second language users. The study was conducted in three high school biology classrooms in Lesotho where the ATOD unit was taught using MCSE. A fourth biology classroom was observed for comparison purposes. In this classroom the regular biology teacher taught ATOD using typical instructional strategies. The study was framed by the general question: How does a multicultural science education approach affect Basotho high school biology students? More specifically: How does the use of Sesotho (or code-switching between Sesotho and English) and integration of Basotho students' cultural knowledge and experiences with respect to ATOD affect students' learning? In particular how does the approach affect students' participation and academic performance? A qualitative research method was used in this study. Data were drawn from a number of different sources and analyzed inductively. The data sources included field-notes, transcripts of ATOD lessons, research assistant lesson observation notes and interviews, regular biology teachers' interviews and notes from observing a few of their lessons, students' interviews and pre and posttest scripts, and other school documents that recorded students' performance throughout the year. Using the students' home language---Sesotho---was beneficial in that it enabled them to share ideas, communicate better and understand each other, the teacher and the material that was taught. Integrating students' cultural and everyday experiences was beneficial because it enabled students to anchor the new ATOD ideas in what was familiar and helped them find the relevance of the unit by
The Earth sciences comprises many fascinating topics that is teached to different age level pupils/students in order to bring hard core science closer to their daily life. With developing possibilities in IT, multimedia overall electronic sector the teachers/lecturers have continuous possibilities to accomplish novel approaches and utilize new ideas to make science more interesting for students in all ages. Emerging, from personal experiences, the teaching of our surrounding Environment can be very enjoyable. In our everyday life the SOIL remains invisible. The soil is covered by plant cover which makes the topic somewhat in distant that is not "visible" to an eye and its importance is underestimated. In other hand, the SOIL is valuable primary resource for food production and basis of life for healthy environment. From several studies have found that because its complications, SOIL related topics are not very often chosen topic for course or diploma works by students. The lower-school students are very open to environmental topics accordingly to the grades. Here, the good results can be obtained through complimentary materials creation, like story telling and drawing books and puzzles. The middle/ and upper/school students will experience "real science" being able to learn what the science is about which often can play a important role on making choices for future curriculum completion at university level. Current presentation shares the ideas of selected methods that had showed successful results on different Earth Science topics teaching (biodiversity, growing substrates, green house gas emissions). For some ideas the presentation introduces also the further developmental possibilities to be used in teaching at Tomorrows Classroom.
Zell, Stacy K.
This paper examines a practical application of ecofeminism for classroom educators, particularly, science educators. Ecofeminism is often, but not exclusively, linked to projects aimed at assisting men, women and children in developing areas to organize and define development projects for their community. Mainstream applications of ecofeminism for science educators are frequently omitted from science education literature. This article gives the reader a basic understanding of ecofeminist theory as it applies to science education. Direct examples from classroom practices suggest five key points in the application of ecofeminism for classroom use.
Ezeife, Anthony N.
A strong case is made in this paper for the effective utilisation of the learner's environment for science and mathematics teaching in African, rural, and Aboriginal societies. Dwelling on the rich cultural heritage of indigenous, traditional, and rural settings, the paper attempts to explain why, and show how this heritage can be advantageously tapped and transferred to modern day mathematics and science classrooms and laboratories. The need for the integration of school science and mathematics with the lived experiences of learners in indigenous cultures where factors such as folklore, myths, legends, and taboos play powerful roles is also discussed. Integrating the environment into school teaching/learning, the paper argues, would contribute to an effective mathematics-science-environment-society interaction. Additionally, the approach could boost enrolment and performance in mathematics and science for students from indigenous cultural backgrounds, many of who shy away from these areas of study in present-day schools.
Fraser, Barry J.; Lee, Sunny S. U.
In order to investigate the learning environment of senior high school science laboratory classrooms in Korea, the Science Laboratory Environment Inventory (SLEI) was translated into Korean and administered to 439 students (99 science-independent stream students, 195 science-oriented stream students and 145 humanities stream students). Data…
Seah, Lay Hoon
Although the importance of language in science learning has been widely recognized by researchers, there is limited research on how science teachers perceive the roles that language plays in science classrooms. As part of an intervention design project that aimed to enhance teachers' capacity to address the language demands of science, interview…
Andrée, Maria; Lager-Nyqvist, Lotta
In science education, students sometimes create and engage in spontaneous science-oriented play where ideas about science and scientists are put to use. However, in previous research, little attention has been given to the role of informal spontaneous play in school science classrooms. We argue that, in order to enhance our understanding of…
Zhai, Junqing; Tan, Aik-Ling
This study delves into the different roles that elementary science teachers play in the classroom to orchestrate science learning opportunities for students. Examining the classroom practices of three elementary science teachers in Singapore, we found that teachers shuttle between four key roles in enabling student learning in science. Teachers can play the role of (1) dispenser of knowledge (giver), (2) mentor of learning (advisor), (3) monitor of students' activities (police), and (4) partner in inquiry (colearner). These roles are dynamic, and while teachers show a preference for one of the four roles, factors such as the nature of the task, the types of students, as well as the availability of time and resources affect the role that teachers adopt. The roles that teachers play in the classroom have implications for the practice of science as inquiry in the classroom as well as the identities that teachers and students form in the science learning process.
Ferguson, Renae Luenell
The purpose of this study was to describe the perspectives of Caribbean high school students' experiences in American science classrooms. Research suggests that psychological, cultural, and socioeconomic perspectives influence the science experiences of African Americans or Blacks; the result of which is under-representation (Lewis et al., 2000). Nonetheless, what is uncertain is if these and other perspectives are similar to the science experiences of Caribbeans who also are majority black by race and rank as the 3 rd largest immigrant population in America's schools (Suarez-Orozco, 2000). Questions guiding this study were: (1) What are the perspectives of Caribbean high school students' experiences in American science classrooms? (2) What can we learn from the perspectives of Caribbean high school students' science experiences that may address issues of participation and interest; consequently, influencing the overall performance of ethnic minorities in school science? Sociocultural theory provides the framework for the analysis of the study. Four Caribbean born students in an American high school participated in this naturalistic qualitative research. A constant comparative method was used to categorize and analyze the data and uncover meaningful patterns that emerged from the four interviews and written documents. Although there were similarities between African Americans' science experiences as documented in the literature and that of Caribbeans in this study, the Caribbean participants relied on prior native experiences to dictate their perspectives of their science experiences in America. According to Caribbean students, American science high schools classrooms utilize an objective style of assessments; are characterized by a lack of teacher support; allow behavioral problems in the classroom; and function through different communication styles than the native Caribbean science classroom environment. This study implies science educators should be sensitive
The purpose of this study was to examine the potential of a High School Health Science Career Academy to support African American students' science career trajectories. I used three key theoretical tools---critical science agency (Basu, 2007; Calabrese Barton & Tan, 2008), power (Nespor, 1994), and cultural production (Carlone, 2004; Eisenhart & Finkel, 1998) to highlight the intersections between the career trajectory implied by the Academy (its curriculum, classroom activities, and clinical experiences) and the students' pursued career trajectories. Data was collected over five months and included individual student interviews, group interviews, parent and administrator interviews, field notes from a culminating medical course and clinical internship, and Academy recruitment documents. The results of this study suggest that participants pursued a health science career for altruistic purposes and the Academy was a resource they drew upon to do so. However, the meanings of science and science person implied by the Academy hindered the possibility for many participants' to advance their science career trajectories. While the Academy promised to expose students to a variety of high-status health care roles, they were funneled into feminine, entry-level positions. This study adds to previous underrepresentation literature by contextualizing how identity-related factors influence African American students' career attainment.
Under the direction of Sharon Murphy Augustine, Ph.D./Ph.D Curriculum and Instruction There was a substantial performance gap among African Americans and other ethnic groups. Additionally, African American students in a Title I school were at a significantly high risk of not meeting or exceeding on performance tests in science. Past reports have shown average gains in some subject areas, and declines in others (NCES, 2011; GADOE, 2012). Current instructional strategies and the lack of literacy within the biology classroom created a problem for African American high school students on national and state assessments. The purpose of this study was to examine the perceptions of African American students and teachers in the context of literacy and biology through the incorporation of an interactive notebook and other literacy strategies. The data was collected three ways: field notes for a two week observation period within the biology classroom, student and teacher interviews, and student work samples. During the observations, student work collection, and interviews, I looked for the following codes: active learning, constructive learning, collaborative learning, authentic learning, and intentional learning. In the process of coding for the pre-determined codes, three more codes emerged. The three codes that emerged were organization, studying/student ownership, and student teacher relationships. Students and teachers both solidified the notion that literacy and biology worked well together. The implemented literacy strategies were something that both teachers and students appreciated in their learning of biology. Overall students and teachers perceived that the interactive notebook along Cornell notes, Thinking maps, close reads, writing, lab experiments, and group work created meaningful learning experiences within the biology classroom.
Piasta, Shayne B.; Pelatti, Christina Yeager; Miller, Heather Lynnine
Research Findings: The present study observed and coded instruction in 65 preschool classrooms to examine (a) overall amounts and (b) types of mathematics and science learning opportunities experienced by preschool children as well as (c) the extent to which these opportunities were associated with classroom and program characteristics. Results…
Dejonckheere, Peter J. N.; De Wit, Nele; Van de Keere, Kristof; Vervaet, Stephanie
This study tested and integrated the effects of an inquiry-based didactic method for preschool science in a real practical classroom setting. Four preschool classrooms participated in the experiment (N= 57) and the children were 4-6 years old. In order to assess children's attention for causal events and their understanding at the level of…
Dejonckheere, Peter J. N.; de Wit, Nele; van de Keere, Kristof; Vervaet, Stephanie
This study tested and integrated the effects of an inquiry-based didactic method for preschool science in a real practical classroom setting. Four preschool classrooms participated in the experiment (N = 57) and the children were 4-6 years old. In order to assess children's attention for causal events and their understanding at the level of…
Mason, Cheryl L.; Dralle, Anthony
Discusses the use of personal digital assistants, which are hand-held computers, in history and social science classrooms, explaining that they offer possibilities for greater access to technology at a fraction of the cost of desktop or laptop computers. Describes how removed today's social studies classrooms, students, and teachers are from this…
Koomen, Michele Hollingsworth; Weaver, Sarah; Blair, Robert B.; Oberhauser, Karen S.
This study reports on an innovative version of adaptive primary literature (APL) that we call Science Behind the Scenes used during a summer professional development (PD) program. Classroom teachers read and discussed papers from the primary literature, and created translations of these papers relevant to their own classroom needs. We randomly…
Yunus, Hashimah Mohd.; Ismail, Zurida; Raper, George
The present study discusses the findings from a research that was conducted involving fourteen teachers in a primary school. In the study, the teachers' classroom practices of teaching and learning science were observed and analysed. The data gathering procedures included 23 classroom observations and analysed by means of qualitative data…
Educators are continually being challenged to think about how best to integrate digital technologies meaningfully and effectively in their classrooms. A current trend in educational technology which has the potential to enable this in a pragmatic manner is the flipped classroom concept. This paper aims to explore the idea in Science teaching and…
Hilppö, Jaakko; Rajala, Antti; Zittoun, Tania; Kumpulainen, Kristiina; Lipponen, Lasse
In this paper, we introduce a conceptual framework for researching the dynamics of imagination in science classroom interactions. While educational interest in imagination has recently increased, prior research has not adequately accounted for how imagination is realized in and through classroom interactions, nor has it created a framework for its…
Aguiar, Orlando G., Jr.
As a responsive article to Miranda Rocksén's paper "The many roles of "explanation" in science education: a case study," this paper aims to emphasize the importance of the two central themes of her paper: dialogic approaches in science education and the role of explanations in science classrooms. I start discussing the concepts…
Kim, Minchi C.; Freemyer, Sarah
A great number of technologies and tools have been developed to support science learning and teaching. However, science teachers and researchers point out numerous challenges to implementing such tools in science classrooms. For instance, guidelines, lesson plans, Web links, and tools teachers can easily find through Web-based search engines often…
Cerullo, Mary M.
Science trade books, both fiction and nonfiction, nurture a child's personal journey of discovery through the anecdotes, adventures, and experiences of others and through vivid word and picture images. This book focuses on the use of children's literature in the science classroom. Chapters include: (1) "Why Science and Literature Belong…
Atkinson, Terry S.; Matusevich, Melissa N.; Huber, Lisa
Teachers often use science trade books in the classroom for a number of reasons: to enhance science instruction, to augment an adopted science textbook, or to integrate literacy with subject-area content. Using Patricia Hunsader's mathematics trade book evaluation rubric published in the April 2004 issue of "Reading Teacher" as a model, the…
In much of the educational literature, researchers make little distinction between African-American students and students of the African Diaspora who immigrated to the United States. Failing to describe these salient student differences serves to perpetuate an inaccurate view of African-American school life. In today's large cities, students of the African Diaspora are frequently learning science in settings that are devoid of the resources and tools to fully support their success. While much of the scholarship unites these disparate groups, this article details the distinctive learning culture created when students from several groups of the African Diaspora learn biology together in a Brooklyn Suspension Center. Specifically this work explains how one student, Gabriel, functions in a biology class. A self-described black-Panamanian, Gabriel had tacitly resigned to not learning science, which then, in effect, precluded him from any further associated courses of study in science, and may have excluded him from the possibility of a science related career. This ethnography follows Gabriel's science learning as he engaged in cogenerative dialogue with teachers to create aligned learning and teaching practices. During the 5 months of this research, Gabriel drew upon his unique lifeworld and the depth of his hybridized cultural identity to produce limited, but nonetheless important demonstrations of science. Coexistent with his involvement in cogenerative dialogue, Gabriel helped to construct many classroom practices that supported a dynamic learning environment which produced small yet concrete examples of standards based biology. This study supports further investigation by the science education community to consider ways that students' lifeworld experiences can serve to structure and transform the urban science classroom.
Owens, Katharine D.; And Others
Discusses the use of games in the science classroom as a productive, motivating tool. Presents games that require abstract thinking and that change potentially boring exercises into challenging competitions. (JRH)
Welch, Anita G.; Cakir, Mustafa; Peterson, Claudette M.; Ray, Christopher M.
The purpose of this study was to explore the relationship of gender between actual and preferred classroom environment and use of technology in the science classroom of Turkish students. Employing stratified random sampling procedures, data were collected from 985 students from schools across twelve different districts in Istanbul, Turkey. The…
Clardy, Pauline; Cole-Robinson, Cynthia; Jones, Terrence O'C.; Michie, Gregory
In studying urban schools, researchers have identified several critical curriculum issues related to the miseducation and alienation of African American students. This paper looks at three such issues: the disconnection between the school curriculum and African American students' cultural backgrounds and environments (e.g., black dialect versus…
Herbert, Sandra; Lynch, Julianne
Keeping classroom animals is a common practice in many classrooms. Their value for learning is often seen narrowly as the potential to involve children in learning biological science. They also provide opportunities for increased empathy, as well as socio-emotional development. Realization of their potential for enhancing primary children's learning can be affected by many factors. This paper focuses on teachers' perceptions of classroom animals, drawing on accounts and reflections provided by 19 participants located in an Australian primary school where each classroom kept an animal. This study aims to progress the conversation about classroom animals, the learning opportunities that they afford, and the issues they present. Phenomenographic analysis of data resulted in five categories of teachers' perceptions of the affordances and constraints of keeping classroom animals.
These easy-to-read classroom plays are about 15 African American men and women in a variety of vocations. The plays are designed to enhance the curriculum and to make social studies come alive for the student as they bolster language-arts teaching. Each play includes a Teacher's Guide that contains some quotes from the featured person and a brief…
Baker, Claire E.; Rimm-Kaufman, Sara E.
Data from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study, Kindergarten Cohort were used to examine the extent to which early parenting predicted African American children's kindergarten social-emotional functioning. Teachers rated children's classroom social-emotional functioning in four areas (i.e., approaches to learning, self-control, interpersonal…
Farinde, Abiola A.; Lewis, Chance W.
African American women are underrepresented in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) fields (Catsambis, 1994). The socialization and "under-education" of African American female students engenders ideas of inferiority, while the presence of an inferior race, sex and class, in one body, may produce an ideology of mediocrity.…
Piasta, Shayne B.; Pelatti, Christina Yeager; Miller, Heather Lynnine
Research findings The present study observed and coded instruction in 65 preschool classrooms to examine (a) overall amounts and (b) types of mathematics and science learning opportunities experienced by preschool children as well as (c) the extent to which these opportunities were associated with classroom and program characteristics. Results indicated that children were afforded an average of 24 and 26 minutes of mathematics and science learning opportunities, respectively, corresponding to spending approximately 25% of total instructional time in each domain. Considerable variability existed, however, in the amounts and types of mathematics and science opportunities provided to children in their classrooms; to some extent, this variability was associated with teachers’ years of experience, teachers’ levels of education, and the socioeconomic status of children served in the program. Practice/policy Although results suggest greater integration of mathematics and science in preschool classrooms than previously established, there was considerable diversity in the amounts and types of learning opportunities provided in preschool classrooms. Affording mathematics and science experiences to all preschool children, as outlined in professional and state standards, may require additional professional development aimed at increasing preschool teachers’ understanding and implementation of learning opportunities in these two domains in their classrooms. PMID:25489205
This study investigated the relationship between an after-school tutorial program for African American high school students at a Title I school and scores on the science portion of the High School Graduation Examination (HSGE). Passing the examination was required for graduation. The target high school is 99% African American and the passing rate…
Andrée, Maria; Lager-Nyqvist, Lotta
In science education, students sometimes create and engage in spontaneous science-oriented play where ideas about science and scientists are put to use. However, in previous research, little attention has been given to the role of informal spontaneous play in school science classrooms. We argue that, in order to enhance our understanding of learning processes in school science practices, research that investigates play as an aspect of everyday culture is needed. The aim of this paper is to explore students' informal play as part of activity in lower secondary school science. The empirical study was conducted in two Swedish compulsory schools in grade 6. Data were collected throughout a teaching unit called `The Chemistry of Food' during a 10-week period using video and audiotape recordings of classroom work. Our analyses show that the play students engage in involves the transformations of given tasks. We find that students' spontaneous collective play offers opportunities for them to explore the epistemic values and norms of science and different ways of positioning in relation to science. Our findings contribute to the understanding of how learning in the school science classroom is socially and culturally-historically embedded and how individual students' engagement through play may transform and transcend existing classroom practices.
Sanford, Julie P.
Investigated classroom management practices in 26 classes taught by 13 junior high and middle/junior high school teachers using student-on-task, off-task, and disruptive student behaviors as primary criteria of management effectiveness. Effective management practices for general classroom procedures, laboratory procedures, managing student…
Green, Andre; Glasson, George
One of the most significant problems facing science education is the under-representation of African Americans in science related fields (Young, 2005). African American constitute a little more than 12% of the United States population. However, as recently as 1999 African Americans only comprised only 3.4% of persons working in science and…
Xu, Jianzhong; Coats, Linda T.; Davidson, Mary L.
Background/Context: Despite the best intentions to close the achievement gap, the underachievement of African American students in science is a persistent problem. It is surprising to note, however, that research on science education has often failed to consider students' cultural diversity as it relates to science education. On the few occasions…
Crim, Sharan R.
The National Assessment of Educational Progress (2000) reports an achievement gap between male and female students and majority and minority students in science literacy. Rutherford and Algren (2000) describe a scientifically literate person as one who is aware that science, mathematics, and technology are interdependent human enterprises with strengths and limitations; understands key concepts and principles of science; is familiar with the natural world and recognizes both its diversity and unity; and uses scientific knowledge and scientific ways of thinking for individual and social purposes. The purpose of this qualitative case study research was to investigate African American eighth grade female students' perceptions and experiences as learners of science literacy. A social learning theory (Bandura, 1986) and constructivist theory (Vygotsky, 1977) served as a guide for the researcher. Two questions were explored: (1) What are African American eighth grade female students' perceptions and experiences as learners of science literacy? (2) In what ways do the perceptions and experiences of African American eighth grade female students influence their learning of science literacy? Purposeful sampling (Merriam, 1998) was used with four African American eighth grade female students selected as participants for the study. Data collection and analysis occurred between February and August in a single year. Data sources included an open-ended questionnaire, two in-depth interviews with each participant (Seidman, 1991); classroom observations, participant reflective journals, student artifacts, and a researcher's log. Data were analyzed through the constant comparative method (Glaser & Strauss, 1967), and richly descriptive participant portraits and qualitative case studies (Merriam, 1998) were used to report the findings. Three themes emerged from the study that positively affected the perceptions and experiences of African American eighth grade female students as
Jantarakantee, Ekgapoom; Roadrangka, Vantipa; Clarke, Anthony
This research paper explores pre-service science teachers' understandings of classroom research, problems in conducting classroom research and the supports that pre-service science teachers need from their cooperating teachers to help them conduct a classroom research project during the internship period. The participants in this study are 19…
Preschool children need direct involvement with science content hands-on experiences that involve them in gathering, organizing, analyzing, and evaluating. This paper describes how to create a science area in a preschool classroom. The paper delineates the equipment needed to maintain a mentally stimulating environment for young children. It also…
Siribunnam, Siripun; Nuangchalerm, Prasart; Jansawang, Natchanok
The learning ability of students in science is improved by socio-scientific decision-making, an important activity that improves a student's scientific literacy, conceptual understanding, scientific inquiry, attitudes, and social values. The socio-scientific issues must be discussed during science classroom activities in the current state of 21st…
Tomas, Louisa; Rigano, Donna; Ritchie, Stephen M.
Research aimed at understanding the role of the affective domain in student learning in classrooms has undergone a recent resurgence due to the need to understand students' affective response to science instruction. In a case study of a year 8 science class in North Queensland, students worked in small groups to write, film, edit, and produce…
Podoll, Andrew; Olson, Barry; Montplaisir, Lisa; Schwert, Donald; McVicar, Kim; Comez, Dogan; Martin, William
In 2006, a unique scenario transported eighth-grade Earth science students from the classroom into the cold, dry, pristine surroundings of Antarctica. The mission was to expose the students to hands-on science using satellite telephones, Contact 3.0 software, and some very creative improvisation. In addition, a detailed, well-illustrated blog…
McCann, Wendy Sherman
This digest summarizes research on teaching special needs students relative to the concerns of K-12 science teachers. Guidelines for instituting inclusive policies and practices are presented. Strategies for preparing science classroom materials and adapting teaching methods for students with physical and learning disabilities are also discussed,…
Savasci Açikalin, Funda
The purpose of this study was to investigate how science teachers use instructional technologies in science classrooms. Participants were 63 teachers who have just completed an alternative teaching certificate program in one of the largest universities in Turkey. They were asked to make a lesson plan based on any topic by assuming that they had an…
Kimmel, Howard; Hirsch, Linda S.; Simon, Laurent; Burr-Alexander, Levelle; Dave, Rajesh
The Research Experience for Teachers was designed to help high school science teachers develop skills and knowledge in research, science and engineering with a focus on the area of pharmaceutical particulate and composite systems. The experience included time for the development of instructional modules for classroom teaching. Results of the…
This article examines metacognitive-based teaching strategies and provides preliminary evidence about their effectiveness in the political science classroom. In a 2013 Fall semester Introduction to Political Science course, three metacognitive-based teaching strategies were designed and implemented for improving student learning through greater…
Gregory, Anne; Weinstein, Rhona S
African Americans are over-represented in school suspensions, yet little is known about the underlying contributing dynamics. Study 1 reviewed a high school's annual discipline data and 442 students referred for defiance. African Americans were over-represented in referrals for defiance and most students received referrals from one or several teachers. This suggests that defiance referrals are specific to the classroom situation. Examining the situational specificity of referrals, Study 2 used repeated measures and multilevel modeling with a sub-sample of 30 African American students. Attendance, grades, and teacher reports showed that students behaved more defiantly and less cooperatively with teachers perceived as having untrustworthy authority. Predictors of African American student trust in teacher authority included teacher caring and high expectations, offering implications for lowering the discipline gap.
Petty, Cailisha L.
This study used narrative inquiry as a methodology to explore the lived experiences of five African American women in science across the academic spectrum, from doctoral candidate to full professor. The research questions guiding the inquiry included one overarching question and three sub-questions: What are the lifestories of successful African American women in science?; a) How do successful African American women in science define themselves?; b) What have been the facilitators and barriers encountered by successful African American women in science?; and c) What have been the systems of support for African American women in science? The study was theoretically positioned within the frameworks of Critical Race Theory and Black Feminist Thought. The two theories were used to guide all aspects of the study including methodology, data collection, and analysis. Data included eleven 40-60 minute semi-structured interview transcripts as well as the participants' Curriculum Vitae. The study design and data analysis were built upon Clandinin and Connelly's (2000) and Clandinin's (2006) model of narrative inquiry which explores narratives as a means to understand experience. Analysis and interpretation created three dominant narratives: Scientific Beginnings, An Unexpected Journey, and Lift as You Climb. Each narrative set explores multiple stories that describe storylines which aligned with the participants' goals of who they were and who they were becoming as scientists; and, storylines of tension which ran counter to the women's goals and aspirations. Barriers and support systems are revealed, as well as the meanings the participants made of their experiences and how it affected their lives.
Cheryan, Sapna; Meltzoff, Andrew N.; Kim, Saenam
Three experiments examined whether the design of virtual learning environments influences undergraduates' enrollment intentions and anticipated success in introductory computer science courses. Changing the design of a virtual classroom--from one that conveys current computer science stereotypes to one that does not--significantly increased…
Rudge, David W.; Howe, Eric M.
Many science teachers recognize that teaching aspects of the history of science helps students learn science content and the nature of science (NOS). The use of history can potentially humanize science, help students refine their critical thinking skills, promote a deeper understanding of scientific concepts, and address common student…
Jimenez-Silva, Margarita; Gomez, Conrado Laborin
Science teachers need specific strategies to develop writing skills along with science content. Fortunately, research has demonstrated that science-teaching methodology can accomplish both the teaching of science content and various language skills, including writing. A technique suitable for and utilized by science teachers is the "mode…
Butler Kahle, Jane; Meece, Judith; Scantlebury, Kathryn
The current reform movement in science education promotes standards-based teaching, including the use of inquiry, problem solving, and open-ended questioning, to improve student achievement. This study examines the influence of standards-based teaching practices on the achievement of urban, African-American, middle school science students. Science classes of teachers who had participated in the professional development (n = 8) of Ohio's statewide systemic initiative (SSI) were matched with classes of teachers (n = 10) who had not participated. Data were gathered using group-administered questionnaires and achievement tests that were specifically designed for Ohio's SSI. Analyses indicate that teachers who frequently used standards-based teaching practices positively influenced urban, African-American students' science achievement and attitudes, especially for boys. Additionally, teachers' involvement in the SSI's professional development was positively related to the reported use of standards-based teaching practices in the classroom. The findings support the efficacy of high-quality professional development to change teaching practices and to enhance student learning.
Moore, Felicia Michelle
This interpretivist study focused on the professional development of three African American science teachers from a small rural school district, Carver School District (pseudonym), in the southeastern United States. Stories teachers shared of their experiences in teaching and learning science and in their professional development were analyzed using a feminist poststructural analysis of power, knowledge/meaning, language, and difference. For science teaching, power was viewed as a form of ownership or possession and also as effect and processes that impact teaching, learning, and professional development. Teachers through instructional practices exerted a certain amount of power in their classrooms. Teaching practices heavily influenced student learning in science classrooms. For teacher professional development, power was viewed as effecting relationships between administration, peers, and students as a shifting force within different social contexts. Science teachers were perceived as objects of the system and as active social agents who in particular relations of power acted in their best interests as they developed as science teachers. Teachers negotiated for themselves certain power relations to do as they wished for teaching science and for participating in teacher professional development activities. Power was an inherent and critically important aspect in understanding what science teachers do in their classrooms, in teaching and learning science, and in developing as science teachers. Knowledge was closely tied to relations of power in that teachers acquired knowledge about themselves, their teaching of science, and their students from their past experiences and professional development activities. Through language, interactions between teachers and students enabled or disabled access to the culture of power via instructional practices. Language was implicated in teacher professional development as a powerful force for advancing or hindering teachers
Aguiar, Orlando G.
As a responsive article to Miranda Rocksén's paper "The many roles of `explanation' in science education: a case study", this paper aims to emphasize the importance of the two central themes of her paper: dialogic approaches in science education and the role of explanations in science classrooms. I start discussing the concepts of dialogue and dialogism in science classrooms contexts. Dialogism is discussed as the basic tenet from which Rocksén developed her research design and methods. In turn, dialogues in science classrooms may be considered as a particular type of discourse that allows the students' culture, mostly based on everyday knowledge, and the science school culture, related to scientific knowledge and language to be interwoven. I argue that in school, science teachers are always committed to the resolution of differences according to a scientific position for the knowledge to be constructed. Thus, the institution of schooling constrains the ways in which dialogue can be conducted in the classrooms, as the scientific perspective will be always, beforehand, the reference for the conclusions to be reached. The second theme developed here, in dialogue with Rocksén, is about explanations in science classrooms. Based on Jean Paul Bronckart (Atividade de linguagem, textos e discursos: por um interacionismo sócio-discursivo, Educ, São Paulo, 1999), the differences and relationship between explanation and argumentation as communicative acts are re-discussed as well its practical consequences to science teaching. Finally, some epistemological questions are raised about the status of scientific explanations in relation to non-scientific ones.
Yeneayhu, Demeke Gesesse
Abstract The purpose of this study was to investigate how discourse-based inquiry science lessons provided opportunities for students to develop a network of semantic relations among core ideas and concepts in science. It was a naturalistic inquiry classroom lessons observation study on three science teachers--- a middle school science teacher and two high school physics teachers in an urban school district located in the Western New York region. Discourse and thematic analysis drawn from the theory of Systemic Functional Linguistics were utilized as guiding framework and analysis tools. Analysis of the pre-observation and post-observation interviews of the participant teachers revealed that all of the three teachers participated in at least one inquiry-based science teaching teacher professional development program and they all thought their classroom teaching practice was inquiry-based. Analysis of their classroom lesson videos that each participant teacher taught on a specific science topic revealed that the middle school teacher was found to be a traditional teacher-dominated classroom whereas the two high school physics teachers' classroom teaching approach was found to be discourse-based inquiry. One of the physics teachers who taught on a topic of Magnetic Interaction used relatively structured and guided-inquiry classroom investigations. The other physics teacher who taught on a topic of Color Mixing utilized open-ended classroom investigations where the students planned and executed the series of classroom science investigations with minimal guidance from the teacher. The traditional teacher-based classroom communicative pattern was found to be dominated by Triadic Dialogue and most of the science thematics were jointly developed by the teacher and the students, but the students' role was limited to providing responses to the teacher's series questions. In the guided-inquiry classroom, the common communicative pattern was found to be True Dialogue and most
In this paper, I discuss the existence of varying ideologies and perspectives within urban science classrooms and uncover the importance of focusing on student and teacher practices as a means to bridge these disconnections. Specifically, I describe the existence of corporate and communal ideologies and the dynamics that create the misalignment between groups that hold allegiances to these varying belief systems. Utilizing three allied theoretical frames, this paper provides a multi layered and timely analysis of the teaching of science in an urban high school in New York City. I conjoin Bourdieu's sociocultural theory, an analysis of social life through the use of the structure|agency dialectic, and a theorizing of corporate and communal practice to embark on a journey into how African American and Latino/a students' ways of knowing and being can be utilized to meet the goal of improving their success in science.
Wicker, Rosemary Knight
The South Carolina Mathematics and Science Coaching Initiative established a school-based science coaching model that was effective in improving instruction by increasing the level of inquiry-based instruction in elementary science classrooms. Classroom learning environment data from both teacher groups indicated considerable differences in the quality of inquiry instruction for those classrooms of teachers supported by a science coach. All essential features of inquiry were demonstrated more frequently and at a higher level of open-ended inquiry in classrooms with the support of a science coach than were demonstrated in classrooms without a science coach. However, from teacher observations and interviews, it was determined that elementary schoolteacher practice of having students evaluate conclusions and connect them to current scientific knowledge was often neglected. Teachers with support of a science coach reported changes in inquiry-based instruction that were statistically significant. This mixed ethnographic study also suggested that the Mathematics and Science Coaching Initiative Theory of Action for Instructional Improvement was an effective model when examining the work of science coaches. All components of effective school infrastructure were positively impacted by a variety of science coaching strategies intended to promote inquiry. Professional development for competent teachers, implementation of researched-based curriculum, and instructional materials support were areas highly impacted by the work of science coaches.
Milner, Andrea R.; Templin, Mark A.; Czerniak, Charlene M.
The purpose of this study was to describe the influence of constructivist classroom contextual factors in a life science laboratory and a traditional science classroom on elementary students' motivation and learning strategy use. The Constructivist Teaching Inventory was used to examine classroom contextual factors. The Motivated Strategies for…
Savasci, Funda; Berlin, Donna F.
Science teacher beliefs and classroom practice related to constructivism and factors that may influence classroom practice were examined in this cross-case study. Data from four science teachers in two schools included interviews, demographic questionnaire, Classroom Learning Environment Survey (preferred/perceived), and classroom observations and…
Johnson, Diane Wynn
The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (2010) expects new industries to generate approximately 2.7 million jobs in science and technology by the year 2018, and there is concern as to whether there will be enough trained individuals to fill these positions. A tremendous resource remains untapped, African American students, especially African American males (National Science Foundation, 2009). Historically, African American males have been omitted from the so called science pipeline. Fewer African American males pursue a science discipline due, in part; to limiting factors they experience in school and at home (Ogbu, 2004). This is a case study of African American males who are enrolled in advanced science courses at a predominantly African American (84%) urban high school. Guided by expectancy-value theory (EVT) of achievement related results (Eccles, 2009; Eccles et al., 1983), twelve African American male students in two advanced science courses were observed in their science classrooms weekly, participated in an in-depth interview, developed a presentation to share with students enrolled in a tenth grade science course, responded to an open-ended identity questionnaire, and were surveyed about their perceptions of school. Additionally, the students' teachers were interviewed, and seven of the students' parents. The interview data analyses highlighted the important role of supportive parents (key socializers) who had high expectations for their sons and who pushed them academically. The students clearly attributed their enrollment in advanced science courses to their high regard for their science teachers, which included positive relationships, hands-on learning in class, and an inviting and encouraging learning environment. Additionally, other family members and coaches played important roles in these young men's lives. Students' PowerPoint(c) presentations to younger high school students on why they should take advanced science courses highlighted these
This study examined the interrelationships among three major components of classroom teaching: subject matter content knowledge, classroom management, and instructional practices. The study involved two middle school science classes of different achievement levels taught by the same female teacher. The teacher held an undergraduate degree with a major in social studies and a minor in mathematics and science from an elementary teacher education program. The findings indicated that the teacher's limited knowledge of science content and her strict classroom order resulted in heavy dependence on the textbook and students' individual activities (e.g., seatwork) and avoidance of whole-class activities (e.g., discussion) similarly in both classes. Implications for educational practices and further research are discussed.
Johnson, Kimberly C.
A major concern in the public schools is the low academic achievement of African American males. This mixed methods study examined the classroom experiences of African American male students in an alternative program. The dual purpose was to investigate the teachers' perceptions and their ability to provide best learning environments for…
Darfler, Anne E.
The way science knowledge is presented has implications for student learning and engagement. The aim of this study was to describe how seven secondary science teachers presented the nature of science during classroom laboratory exercises. Constructs derived from a synthesis of science education literature provided an observational framework for studying and understanding dimensions of epistemic presentation in classrooms. A framework derived from these constructs was applied to ninth-grade lab sessions videotaped in introductory and biological science classes. Results for each construct are presented along with an analysis of their relationships to one another based on evidence from the observations. Suggestions for modifications of the observation framework are also discussed.
Sanford, Julie P.
The Junior High School Management Improvement Study (JMIS) was a field experiment conducted to verify and extend findings of previous research in English and mathematics classes. Using student behaviors (on task, off task, and disruptive behavior) as criteria of management effectiveness, this study investigated classroom management practices in 26…
Short, Daniel B.
Thermal cameras are useful tools for use in scientific investigation and for teaching scientific concepts to students in the classroom. Demonstrations of scientific phenomena can be greatly enhanced visually by the use of this cutting-edge technology. (Contains 7 figures.)
There's no denying that middle school students are interested in video games. With such motivation present, we as teachers should harness this media in a productive way in our classrooms. Students today are much more technologically advanced than ever before, and using video games is one more way to use something from their world as a teaching…
Zady, Madelon F.; Portes, Pedro R.; Ochs, V. Dan
The current study examines the cognitive supports that underlie achievement in science by using a cultural historical framework (L. S. Vygotsky (1934/1986), Thought and Language, MIT Press, Cambridge, MA.) and the activity setting (AS) construct (R. G. Tharp & R. Gallimore (1988), Rousing minds to life: Teaching, learning and schooling in social context, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, MA.) with its five features: personnel, motivations, scripts, task demands, and beliefs. Observations were made of the classrooms of seventh-grade science students, 32 of whom had participated in a prior achievement-related parent-child interaction or home study (P. R. Portes, M. F. Zady, & R. M. Dunham (1998), Journal of Genetic Psychology, 159, 163-178). The results of a quantitative analysis of classroom interaction showed two features of the AS: personnel and scripts. The qualitative field analysis generated four emergent phenomena related to the features of the AS that appeared to influence student opportunity for conceptual development. The emergent phenomenon were science activities, the building of learning, meaning in lessons, and the conflict over control. Lastly, the results of the two-part classroom study were compared to those of the home science AS of high and low achievers. Mismatches in the AS features in the science classroom may constrain the opportunity to learn. Educational implications are discussed.
Waxman, Hersholt C.; Huang, Shwu-Yong L.
Investigates whether significant differences exist between effective and ineffective urban schools based on students' classroom behavior and students' motivation and perceptions of their classroom learning environment. Comparisons between eight urban elementary schools serving predominantly African American students are presented that show…
Pannell, Lynette Martin
The purpose of this study was to investigate the differences of Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) scores between fourth-grade African American male students who were enrolled in single-sex classrooms and their counterparts who were enrolled in coeducational classrooms. The research provided descriptive data concerning one Title I school in rural…
Greenfield, Daryl B.; Jirout, Jamie; Dominguez, Ximena; Greenberg, Ariela; Maier, Michelle; Fuccillo, Janna
Research Findings: This article focuses on preschool science, an important but under-researched school readiness domain. There is considerable activity surrounding quality science in early childhood classroom practices, including state standards, curricula with science activities, and an extensive literature on potential best practices. However,…
Genel, Abdulkadir; Topçu, Mustafa Sami
Background: Despite a growing body of research and curriculum reforms including socioscientific issues (SSI) across the world, how preservice science teachers (PST) or in-service science teachers can teach SSI in science classrooms needs further inquiry. Purpose: The purpose of this study is to describe the abilities of PSTs to teach SSI in middle…
Amelio, Ralph J.
The articles in this book provide political, social, sociological, psychological, sexual, mythical, literary, and filmic approaches to the study of science fiction film. "Journey into Science Fiction" by W. Johnson and "The Imagination of Disaster" by S. Sontag treat broadly the essentials of science fiction films. "For the Future: The Science…
Visuals play an important role in the teaching and learning of science and should be embedded within and supportive of authentic science inquiry. Both researchers and teachers believe that visuals have a great deal of potential to help students understand science, but in practice, these visuals do not always live up to their promise. Teachers need…
Smart, Julie B.; Marshall, Jeff C.
Classroom discourse can affect various aspects of student learning in science. The present study examines interactions between classroom discourse, specifically teacher questioning, and related student cognitive engagement in middle school science. Observations were conducted throughout the school year in 10 middle school science classrooms using…
Lubben, Fred; Campbell, Bob; Kasanda, Choshi; Kapenda, Hileni; Gaoseb, Noah; Kandjeo-Marenga, Utji
Presents the results of a study that focused on incidences of prescribed textbook usage in Namibian science classrooms. Indicates teacher dominated textbook use and restricted range of textbook references per lesson. States that the teachers used textbooks for diagrams and data and to verify factual information. (CMK)
Cology, Lorry J.
This compilation provides descriptions of and resource materials for 25 classroom activities or demonstrations for behavioral science courses. For each activity, the following information is provided: subject area, source, time required and materials needed. In addition, discussion questions and comments on the value and use of the activities are…
Watt, Sarah J.; Therrien, William J.; Kaldenberg, Erica; Taylor, Jonte
The purpose of this article is to provide an overview of inquiry-based instruction and to outline components of inquiry-based instruction key to ensuring that students with disabilities in inclusive science classrooms acquire core concepts. The use of collaboration, big ideas, knowledge and retention strategies, and formative assessments are…
Reinsvold, Lori A.; Cochran, Kathryn F.
We describe the dynamic discourse interactions between a teacher and her students in a third-grade science classroom. We focused on how the teacher and students initiate, prompt, respond, and provide feedback; use questioning and power strategies; and how questions are associated with power dynamics. We relate the consequences of teacher use of…
Obenland, Carrie A.; Munson, Ashlyn H.; Hutchinson, John S.
Active learning in large science classrooms furthers opportunities for students to engage in the content and in meaningful learning, yet students can still remain anonymously silent. This study aims to understand the impact of active learning on these silent students in a large General Chemistry course taught via Socratic questioning and…
Czerniak, Charlene M.; Lumpe, Andrew T.; Haney, Jodi J.; Beck, Judy
Examined influences of elementary and secondary school teachers' beliefs about curriculum and instruction on their intent to use educational technology in their classrooms for science education. Describes use of the Theory of Planned Behavior to examine the influences of attitudes, subjective norm (social support), and perceived behavioral control…
Pottle, Jean; Rutley, Mary
This book contains information on a wide range of books for interdisciplinary teaching and makes connections with science, math, language, social studies, music, and art. The items referenced contain book summaries, lists of objectives, ideas for connecting the subjects taught in elementary and middle school, field and classroom activities,…
Hickey, Wesley D.
The ongoing battle to insert intelligent causes into the science classrooms has been met with political approval and scientific rejection. Administrators in the United States need to be aware of the law related to creationism and intelligent design in order to lead in local curricular battles. Although unlikely to appease the ID proponents, there…
Solis, Jorge; Kattan, Shlomy; Baquedano-Lopez, Patricia
In this article we examine the socialization of respect in a racially integrated science classroom in Northern California that employed a character education program called Tribes. We focus on the ways scripts derived from this program are enacted during Community Circle activities and how breaches to these scripts and the norms of respectful…
Colombo, Michaela W.; Colombo, Paul D.
The need for highly qualified science teachers who can differentiate instruction for diverse learners is acute. The authors show how the wise use of classroom blogs, coupled with podcasts and vodcasts, can help teachers extend and differentiate their instruction. (Contains 4 endnotes.)
March, Kathryn A.
Global Positioning System (GPS) technology can be used to connect students to the natural world and improve their skills in observation, identification, and classification. Using GPS devices in the classroom increases student interest in science, encourages team-building skills, and improves biology content knowledge. Additionally, it helps…
Science classroom discourse is inherently multimodal in that scientific meanings are made through an integration of multiple semiotic systems (e.g., language, diagrams, equations). Although some studies have described this multimodal nature, few have examined and explained the relationship between the integration of multiple semiotic systems and…
Described is a pilot program designed to develop communication links between local science classrooms. The effects of the use of Sci-Link will be investigated. The proposed Sci-Link projects are described including stream acidity, raindrop size, rocket payloads, gypsy moth populations, and home energy use. (KR)
Azevedo, Flávio S.; Martalock, Peggy L.; Keser, Tugba
This paper is an initial contribution to a general theory in which science classroom activity types and epistemological discourse practices are systematically linked. The idea is that activities and discourse are reflexively related, so that different types of science classroom activities (e.g., scientific argumentation, modeling, and design) recruit characteristically distinct forms of participants' (students and teacher) discourse. Such a general theory would eventually map out the full spectrum of discourse practices (and their patterns of manifestation) across various kinds of science classroom activities, and reveal new relationships between forms of both discourse and activities. Because this defines a complex and long-term project, here our aim is simply to delineate this larger theoretical program and to illustrate it with a detailed case study—namely, that of mapping out and characterizing the discourse practices of design- based science classroom activities. To do so, we draw on data from an activity that is prototypically design-based—i.e., one in which students iteratively design and refine an artifact (in this case, pictorial representations of moving objects)—and examine the structure and dynamics of the whole-class discourse practices that emerge around these representational forms. We then compare and contrast these discourse practices to those of an activity that is prototypical of scientific argumentation (taken from the literature)—i.e., one in which students argue between competing theories and explanations of a phenomenon—and begin to illustrate the kinds of insights our theoretical program might afford.
Weiss, Courtney Tara
The purposes of this study were: (a) to determine if using e-text technology in a middle school resource science classroom increases student academic performance, (b) to determine if using e-text technology in a middle school science resource classroom increases student engagement/on-task behavior, and (c) to evaluate student comfort and satisfaction in using an electronic textbook or print textbook in a middle school resource science classroom. Ten middle school students, four in grade 7 and six in grade 8 participated in the study using the Discovery Education Science Techbook and the AGS General Science series. A single subject design with ABABA phases was used with the printed textbook from AGS as the baseline and the e-text as the intervention. During the baseline and intervention, students completed vocabulary and guided notes on science content. Their performance was evaluated through homework completion, quiz and test scores. Their on task behaviors were observed and recorded in five-minute time intervals daily. Results showed that even though the students preferred the e-text over the printed textbook, their academic scores and engagement were lower when using the e-text.
Moore, Emilee; Evnitskaya, Natalia; Ramos-de Robles, S. Lizette
In this paper we reflect on the article, Science education in a bilingual class: problematising a translational practice, by Zeynep Ünsal, Britt Jakobson, Bengt-Olav Molander and Per-Olaf Wickman (Cult Stud Sci Educ, 10.1007/s11422-016-9747-3). In their article, the authors present the results of a classroom research project by responding to one main question: How is continuity between everyday language and the language of science construed in a bilingual science classroom where the teacher and the students do not speak the same minority language? Specifically, Ünsal et al. examine how bilingual students construe relations between everyday language and the language of science in a class taught in Swedish, in which all students also spoke Turkish, whereas the teacher also spoke Bosnian, both being minority languages in the context of Swedish schools. In this forum, we briefly discuss why close attention to bilingual dynamics emerging in classrooms such as those highlighted by Ünsal et al. matters for science education. We continue by discussing changing ontologies in relation to linguistic diversity and education more generally. Recent research in bilingual immersion classroom settings in so-called "content" subjects such as Content and Language Integrated Learning, is then introduced, as we believe this research offers some significant insights in terms of how bilingualism contributes to knowledge building in subjects such as science. Finally, we offer some reflections in relation to the classroom interactional competence needed by teachers in linguistically diverse classrooms. In this way, we aim to further the discussion initiated by Ünsal et al. and to offer possible frameworks for future research on bilingualism in science education. In their article, Ünsal et al. conclude the analysis of the classroom data by arguing in favor of a translanguaging pedagogy, an approach to teaching and learning in which students' whole language repertoires are used as
Akena Adyanga, Francis
This study examines African Indigenous Science (AIS) in higher education in Uganda. To achieve this, I use anticolonial theory and Indigenous knowledge discursive frameworks to situate the subjugation of Indigenous science from the education system within a colonial historical context. These theories allow for a critical examination of the intersection of power relations rooted in the politics of knowledge production, validation, and dissemination, and how this process has become a systemic and complex method of subjugating one knowledge system over the other. I also employ qualitative and autoethnographic research methodologies. Using a qualitative research method, I interviewed 10 students and 10 professors from two universities in Uganda. My research was guided by the following key questions: What is African Indigenous Science? What methodology would help us to indigenize science education in Uganda? How can we work with Indigenous knowledge and anticolonial theoretical discursive frameworks to understand and challenge the dominance of Eurocentric knowledge in mainstream education? My research findings revealed that AIS can be defined in multiple ways, in other words, there is no universal definition of AIS. However, there were some common elements that my participants talked about such as: (a) knowledge by Indigenous communities developed over a long period of time through a trial and error approach to respond to the social, economic and political challenges of their society. The science practices are generational and synergistic with other disciplines such as history, spirituality, sociology, anthropology, geography, and trade among others, (b) a cumulative practice of the use, interactions with and of biotic and abiotic organism in everyday life for the continued existence of a community in its' totality. The research findings also indicate that Indigenous science is largely lacking from Uganda's education curriculum because of the influence of colonial and
Zhang, Meilan; Passalacqua, Susan; Lundeberg, Mary; Koehler, Matthew J.; Eberhardt, Jan; Parker, Joyce; Urban-Lurain, Mark; Zhang, Tianyi; Paik, Sunhee
In this study we described an action research project enacted by a veteran Kindergarten teacher (Sarah) in the context of a professional development program. Over the course of a year, Sarah collaborated with other teachers in a small group to investigate how to use "Science Talks" to promote student learning in Kindergarten classrooms. A…
Arya, Diana Jaleh
School science has been criticized for its lack of emphasis on the tentative, dynamic nature of science as a process of learning more about our world. This criticism is the guiding force for this present body of work, which focuses on the question: what are the educational benefits for middle school students of reading texts that highlight the…
This presentation is on an exercise in teaching non-science students to spot junk science and to be better consumers of scientific information. It is based upon critical analysis of the website advocating the theory of the solid surface of the sun. I will present examples of student work and solicit comments on how to improve the exercise.
Bonett, D. M.; Little, K. E.
With the advent of probes to Mars and the construction of the ISS, it is not presumptuous to introduce 5-year-olds to space science. A variety of projects have been implemented to integrate space science into the kindergarten curriculum.
Lebofsky, L. A.; Lebofsky, N. R.
At the University of Arizona, all non-science majors are required to take two Tier 1 and one Tier 2 General Education science classes. These are the only science classes that most of these students will take at the University. This groups includes all future K-8 certified teachers. Improving reading comprehension in science and improving writing skills are two of the main requirements of the General Education classes. For my 150 -- 300 students (1 -- 2 classes per semester) I have chosen to use science fiction stories to meet part of these requirements. This assignment provides for assessment of students' writing in several ways: As an alternative assessment: connecting the course material to what they have read. As an alternative assessment: student knowledge of science and technology in general. This assignment also provides for assessment of their comprehension of the authors' application of science fact as follows: Making students aware of how our science knowledge and technology have changed in the years since these books were written (30 -- 140 years ago). Students are required to turn in a short draft version of the assignment about halfway through the semester. They receive feedback on their format (i.e., following directions), appropriateness of chosen topics, spelling, grammar, etc. Books are chosen at a variety of reading levels to accommodate a range of reading levels including students with limited proficiency in English and those with learning disabilities. The books that we are presently using and examples of student writing will be displayed.
Over the past twenty-five years researchers have been concerned with understanding the science student. The need for such research is still grounded in contemporary issues including providing opportunities for all students to develop scientific literacy and the failure of school science to connect with student's lives, interests and personal…
Davis, Rita C. F.
Throughout this country the student population is becoming increasingly diverse, yet the teacher population does not reflect this diversity. This lack of diversity in the teacher population deprives students of color from having role models of the same race/ethnicity who look like them and who might have experiences which are similar to theirs (Epstein, 2005; Nettles & Perna, 1997). Having role models from their own race in the classroom could have a positive impact on students' attitudes about science (Perine, 2003), and facilitate their learning of the subject matter, and give students an incentive to do well in school (Vegas, Murnane, & Willett, 2001). In 2000, a national survey study of math and science teachers was conducted (Horizon Research, 2001). The majority of biology (90%), chemistry (93%), and physics (94%) teachers who participated in the study were White. Findings of the study revealed that only 55% to 60% of these teachers considered themselves well prepared to effectively teach a culturally diverse student population (Banilower, 2002; Smith, 2002; Wood, 2002). The majority of the teacher pool, which is White, prefer not to teach in urban communities as they have a preference for teaching jobs in the nonurban communities that are similar to those in which they were raised (Boyd, Lankford, Loeb, & Wyckoff, 2005; Epstein, 2005). The purpose of this quantitative study was to examine factors that may contribute to the underrepresentation of African American teachers certified in science. More specifically, it was decided to examine the high school experiences of in-service teachers. Study participants were teachers and other certificated faculty in two school districts located in the southern portion of the United States. Findings of the study revealed a statistically significant relationship between a teacher's decision to become certified in science and the following high school experiences: teachers and guidance counselors encouraging students to
This book is about the fundamental nature of talk in school science. Language as a formal system provides resources for conducting everyday affairs, including the doing of science. While writing science is one aspect, talking science may in fact constitute a much more important means by which people navigate and know the world--the very medium…
Lebofsky, L. A.; Lebofsky, N. R.
At the University of Arizona, all non-science majors are required to take two Tier 1 and one Tier 2 General Education science classes. These are the only science classes that most of these students will take at the University. This includes all future K-8 certified teachers --- our future teachers of science. Improving reading comprehension in science and improving writing skills are two of the main requirements of the General Education classes. For my 150 -- 300 students (1 -- 2 classes per semester) I have chosen to use science fiction stories to meet part of these requirements. This assignment provides for assessment of students' writing in several ways: As an alternative assessment: connecting the course material to what they have read. As an alternative assessment: student knowledge of science and technology in general. This assignment also provides for assessment of their comprehension of the authors' application of science fact: Making students aware of how our science knowledge and technology have changed in the years since these books were written (30 -- 140 years ago). Students are required to turn in a short draft version of the assignment about halfway through the semester. They receive feedback on their format (i.e., following directions), appropriateness of chosen topics, spelling, grammar, etc. Books are chosen at a variety of reading levels to accommodate a range of proficiencies, including choices appropriate for students with limited proficiency in English and those with learning disabilities. The books that we are presently using and examples of student writing will be displayed. This work was supported in part with a grant from the Department of Education (AzTEC).
For over two decades the under-representation of African Americans in school science and the workplace has been a central concern for educators, policy makers, and researchers. Existing literature provides many accounts of the barriers to science career attainment. This study examined the science career trajectories of fourteen African American…
Nature of Science is one of the most fundamental aspects of understanding science. How different cultures, races and ethnicities see and interpret science differently is critical. However, the NOS views specific to African American teachers and learners have gone largely unresearched. The views of a purposeful sample of African American third…
Ramos de Robles, S. Lizette
From a sociocultural perspective, I discuss data from a Swedish science classroom presented in María Gómez's article "Student Explanations of their Science Teachers' Assessments, Grading Practices, and How they learn Science". In this discussion, I focus on the need to change existing conceptions of assessment in the teaching and learning of science. Next, I talk about the importance of taking into consideration the dialectic between agency and passivity as filters in order to understand what student silence may signify in science classes as well as in relation to their perceptions of assessment. I conclude with the importance of the teacher's role in developing formative assessment, along with the challenges in developing assessments which transform science education into a relevant field of knowledge for both students and society at large.
Faller, Susan Elisabeth
In the face of low adolescent literacy rates (NCES, 2012), concerns about the nation's prospects of remaining competitive in science and technology (Hill, Corbett, & St. Rose, 2010), a persistent gender gap in science (NCES, 2012; Reilly, 2012), and the continued rollout of college- and career-ready standards, there is a need to focus on adolescent girls' science literacy. Such science literacy involves not only general knowledge about science, but also the ability to engage in the advanced reading and writing practices fundamental to doing science (Norris & Phillips, 2003). In this thesis, I present three articles with findings that respond to this need. They are the results of a multiple-case embedded (Yin, 2009) study that I conducted over the course of 7 months in four science classrooms (grades 5 through 8; 50 students) taught by a single teacher in a small all-female middle school. I collected in-depth data focused on science literacy from multiple sources, including (a) fieldnotes (Emerson, Fretz & Shaw, 2011), (b) videorecorded classroom observations (102 classes, 113 hours, recorded on 29 days), (c) a survey of all students, (d) semi-structured interviews with the subsample of 12 focal students (ranging from 18 to 37 minutes) and (e) photographs of classroom artifacts and student work. In the first article, I provide a window into standard literacy practices in science classrooms by examining the reading and writing genres to which students are exposed. In the second article, I examine how a teacher's language and instructional practices within her classrooms, and popular images of science from the world beyond their classrooms might shape adolescent girls' science identities. Finally, in the third article, I explore different aspects of science identity using the words of three case study students. Taken together, these studies fill gaps in the literature by investigating science literacy in an understudied context, all-female classrooms. In addition
Hirschhorn, J. S.; And Others
Examples are given of demonstrations used at the University of Wisconsin in a materials science course for nontechnical students. Topics include crystal models, thermal properties, light, and corrosion. (MLH)
James, Sylvia M.
Science education researchers are recognizing the need to consider identity and other sociocultural factors when examining causes of the science achievement gap for African American students. Non-school settings may hold greater promise than formal schooling to promote identities that are conductive to science learning in African Americans. This mixed-methods study explored the relationship between participation in out-of-school-time (OST) science enrichment programs and African American middle and high school students' racial and ethnic identity (RED, social identity as science learners, and achievement. Pre-post questionnaires used a previously validated model of REI combined with an original subscale that was developed to measure social identity as science learners. Case studies of two programs allowed for an analysis of the informal learning setting. The treatment group (N = 36) consisted of African American middle and high school students in five OST science programs, while the control group (N = 54) students were enrolled in science classes in public schools in the mid-Atlantic region. Results of a t-test of independent means indicated that there was no significant difference between the treatment and control group on measures of REI or science identity. However, the treatment group earned significantly higher science grades compared to the control group, and an ANOVA revealed a significant relationship between science identity and the intention to pursue post-secondary science studies. Although not significant, MANOVA results indicated that students who participated in OST programs exhibited gradual increases in RD and science identity over time according to grade level and gender. Follow-up analysis revealed significant relationships between awareness of racism, gender, and length of time in OST programs. The case studies illustrated that a unique community of practice exists within the OST programs. Access to authentic science learning experiences, youth
Oh, Phil Seok
Collaborative action research was undertaken over two years between a Korean science teacher and science education researchers at the University of Iowa. For the purpose of realizing science learning as envisioned by constructivist principles, Group-Investigations were implemented three or five times per project year. In addition, the second year project enacted Peer Assessments among students. Student perceptions of their science classrooms, as measured by the Constructivist Learning Environment Survey (CLES), provided evidence that the collaborative action research was successful in creating constructivist learning environments. Student attitudes toward science lessons, as examined by the Enjoyment of Science Lessons Scale (ESLS), indicated that the action research also contributed to developing more positive attitudes of students about science learning. Discourse analysis was conducted on video-recordings of in-class presentations and discussions. The results indicated that students in science classrooms which were moving toward constructivist learning environments engaged in such discursive practices as: (1) Communicating their inquiries to others, (2) Seeking and providing information through dialogues, and (3) Negotiating conflicts in their knowledge and beliefs. Based on these practices, science learning was viewed as the process of constructing knowledge and understanding of science as well as the process of engaging in scientific inquiry and discourse. The teacher's discursive practices included: (1) Wrapping up student presentations, (2) Addressing misconceptions, (3) Answering student queries, (4) Coaching, (5) Assessing and advising, (6) Guiding students discursively into new knowledge, and (7) Scaffolding. Science teaching was defined as situated acts of the teacher to facilitate the learning process. In particular, when the classrooms became more constructivist, the teacher intervened more frequently and carefully in student activities to fulfill a
Jegede, Olugbemiro J.; Akinsola Okebukola, Peter
An amount-of-learning outcome variable has been attributed to the environment in which teaching and learning are conducted. Studies carried out so far have, however, not focused on the sociocultural aspect of the classroom environment, which has been theorized to have potential influence on students' learning. The intent of this study was to examine the influence of five aspects of the sociocultural environment in science classes with particular reference to how these are perceived by boys and girls. The 30-item Socio-Cultural Environment Scale (SCES) developed by Jegede and Okebukola (1988) was used to collect data from 707 Nigerian secondary school students in Classes Four and Five (Grades 10 and 11, respectively). Authoritarianism, goal structure, African worldview, societal expectation, and sacredness of science were the five subscales studied. Sex differences were recorded in the societal expectation subscale. Most of the female subjects are of the opinion that society has a negative or low regard for their ability to do science and this has an effect on their motivation to undertake science-based careers. The reverse is true for boys. This perception is in agreement with the literature on sex differences in science education and highlights the social pressure that brings about subject preferences. The implications of these findings for science teaching and further research are highlighted.
Science, like most subjects, can only come alive when students are actively engaged in real-life pursuits that interest and challenge them (VanTassel-Baska and Bass 1998). Here the author describes how she was able to bring science to life for her middle school students through a series of Science Safaris--inquiry-based excursions to a variety of…
Mutch-Jones, Karen; Puttick, Gillian; Minner, Daphne
The Lesson Study for Accessible Science (LSAS) project created middle school teams comprised of both science and special education teachers who engaged in collaborative work to improve instruction in inclusive classrooms. The intervention is based on Lesson Study, a professional development approach that originated in Japan, which supports the…
Bergman, Daniel; Morphew, Jason
This study compared classroom interactive behaviors of science pre-service teachers and pre-service teachers of other subjects. Participants included pre-service teachers enrolled in a general methods course for secondary educators and its school-based fieldwork counterpart. Statistical tests found that science pre-service teachers had fewer…
Raven, Sara; Jurkiewicz, Melissa A.
Given the prevalence of bullying in schools, it is imperative that preservice secondary science teachers (PSSTs) know how to deal with this issue in the classroom. This is especially important in science, as the content covered in classes can sometimes lead to discussions of race, religion, and sexual orientation, which can be sensitive topics. In…
Lochner, James C.; Mattson, B.
Cosmic Times is a series of curriculum support materials and classroom activities for upper middle school and high school students which teach the nature of science by exploring the history of our understanding of the universe during the past 100 years. Starting with the confirmation of Einstein's theory of gravity in 1919 to the current conundrum posed by the discovery of dark energy, Cosmic Times examines the discoveries, the theories, and the people involved in this changing [understanding] of the universe. Cosmic Times takes the form of 6 posters, each resembling the front page of a newspaper from a particular time in this history with articles describing the discoveries. Each poster is accompanied by 4-5 classroom lessons which enable students to examine the science concepts behind the discoveries, develop techniques to improve science literacy, and investigate the nature of science using historical examples. Cosmic Times directly connects with the IYA theme of Astronomy in the Classroom, as well as the general theme of the impact of astronomy history. Cosmic Times has been developed with a freelance writer to write the articles for the posters, a group of teachers to develop the lessons, and evaluator to provide testing of the materials with a group of rural teachers in underserved communities. This poster presentation previews the Cosmic Times materials, which are posted on http://cosmictimes.gsfc.nasa.gov/ as they become available. Cosmic Times is funded in part via a NASA IDEAS grant.
Russell, Melody L.
Historically, lack of access to educational opportunities has been a constant and unfortunate reality for many African Americans. As a result of tracking and ability grouping many African American students lack the necessary accoutrement for persistence in the sciences. Some critical factors for the persistence and success of African American…
Parsons, Eileen R. Carlton
This essay addresses a call for research involving African Americans to interpret data from the historical, contemporary, and cultural experiences of African Americans. The essay argues for a science education research approach that explicitly considers the positionality of African Americans in the United States. This positionality involves the…
Ramnarain, Umesh; Schuster, David
In recent years, inquiry-based science instruction has become widely advocated in science education standards in many countries and, hence, in teacher preparation programmes. Nevertheless, in practice, one finds a wide variety of science instructional approaches. In South Africa, as in many countries, there is also a great disparity in school demographic situations, which can also affect teaching practices. This study investigated the pedagogical orientations of in-service physical sciences teachers at a diversity of schools in South Africa. Assessment items in a Pedagogy of Science Teaching Test (POSTT) were used to identify teachers' science teaching orientations, and reasons for pedagogical choices were probed in interviews. The findings reveal remarkable differences between the orientations of teachers at disadvantaged township schools and teachers at more privileged suburban schools. We found that teachers at township schools have a strong `active direct' teaching orientation overall, involving direct exposition of the science followed by confirmatory practical work, while teachers at suburban schools exhibit a guided inquiry orientation, with concepts being developed via a guided exploration phase. The study identified contextual factors such as class size, availability of resources, teacher competence and confidence, time constraints, student ability, school culture and parents' expectations as influencing the methods adopted by teachers. In view of the recent imperative for inquiry-based learning in the new South African curriculum, this study affirms the context specificity of curriculum implementation (Bybee 1993) and suggests situational factors beyond the curriculum mandate that need to be addressed to achieve successful inquiry-based classroom instruction in science.
Inquiry-based classroom is widely distributed in the school science based on its useful and effective instruction. Science teachers are key elements allowing students to have scientific inquiry. If teachers understand and imply inquiry-based learning into science classroom, students will learn science as scientific inquiry and understand nature of…
Walsh, Lori; Straits, William
In this article the authors share advice from the viewpoints of both a formal and informal educator that will help teachers identify the right Informal Science Institutions (ISIs)--institutions that specialize in learning that occurs outside of the school setting--to maximize their students' learning and use informal education to their…
Funaro, George J.
Based on the assumption that most science teachers are fairly comfortable and well informed in the cognitive area, the author concentrates on the presentation of man as an emotional and a feeling creature. An attempt is made to describe how perceptions, values, and feelings affect him and how he attempts to protect or reveal himself. In relation…
Trenk, Barbara Scherr
Designed for high school science teachers, the document warns of potential health threats of performing certain experiments and using certain chemicals or chemical combinations in their courses. Following a rationale for more carefully considering health dangers, the document gives suggestions on what can be done by teachers. Reports such as a…
Despite the pressures on education and educators today -- seemingly from all sides -- science teachers provide critically important opportunities for students to develop the scientific knowledge and skills they will need as adults. This preparation empowers them to make well-informed decisions as citizens, as well as to use this knowledge as a…
Lawrence, Christopher N.; Dion, Michelle L.
Weblogs (or blogs), as a form of communication on the Internet, have recently risen in prominence but may be poorly understood by both faculty and students. This article explains how blogs differ from other online communication tools and how political science faculty can make use of blogs in their classes. The focus is on using blogs as part of…
Coetzee, Tanya; Hoffmann, Willem A; de Roubaix, Malcolm
The amended research ethics policy at a South African University required the ethics review of undergraduate research projects, prompting the need to explore the content and teaching approach of research ethics education in health science undergraduate programs. Two qualitative data collection strategies were used: document analysis (syllabi and study guides) and semi-structured interviews with research methodology coordinators. Five main themes emerged: (a) timing of research ethics courses, (b) research ethics course content, (c) sub-optimal use of creative classroom activities to facilitate research ethics lectures, (d) understanding the need for undergraduate project research ethics review, and (e) research ethics capacity training for research methodology lecturers and undergraduate project supervisors.
Access to computer and communication technology has long been regarded `part-and-parcel' of a good education. No educator can afford to ignore the profound impact of learning technologies on the way we teach science, nor fail to acknowledge that information literacy and computing skills will be fundamental to the practice of science in the next millennium. Nevertheless, there is still confusion concerning what technologies educators should employ in teaching science. Furthermore, a lack of knowledge combined with the pressures to be `seen' utilizing technology has lead some schools to waste scarce resources in a `grab-bag' attitude towards computers and technology. Such popularized `wish lists' can only drive schools to accumulate expensive equipment for no real learning purpose. In the future educators will have to reconsider their curriculum and pedagogy with a focus on the learning environment before determining what appropriate computing resources to acquire. This will be fundamental to the capabilities of science classrooms to engage with cutting-edge issues in science. This session will demonstrate the power of a broad range of learning technologies to enhance science education. The aim is to explore classroom possibilities as well as to provide a basic introduction to technical aspects of various software and hardware applications, including robotics and dataloggers and simulation software.
Perine, Donald Ray
African Americans, Hispanics, Native Americans and women are underrepresented among the population of scientists and science teachers in the United States. Specifically, the shortage of African Americans teaching math and science at all levels of the educational process and going into the many science-related fields is manifested throughout the entire educational and career structure of our society. This shortage exists when compared to the total population of African Americans in this country, the population of African American students, and to society's demand for more math and science teachers and professionals of all races. One suggestion to address this problem is to update curricular and instructional programs to accommodate the learning styles of African Americans from elementary to graduate school. There is little in the published literature to help us understand the learning styles of African American middle school students and how they compare to African American adults who pursue science careers. There is also little published data to help inform us about the relationship between learning styles of African American middle school students and their attitudes toward science. The author used a learning styles inventory instrument to identify the learning style preferences of the African American students and adults. The preferences identified describe how African American students and African American adult science professionals prefer to function, learn, concentrate, and perform in their educational and work activities in the areas of: (a) immediate environment, (b) emotionality, (c) sociological needs, and (d) physical needs. The learning style preferences for the students and adults were not significantly different in key areas of preference. A Test of Science-Related Attitudes (TOSRA) was used to measure seven distinct science-related attitudes of the middle school students. A comparison of the profile of the mean scores for the students in this study
Strauss, Jeff; Shope, Richard E., III; Terebey, Susan
Science literacy is a major goal of science educational reform (NRC, 1996; AAAS, 1998; NCLB Act, 2001). Some believe that teaching science only requires pedagogical content knowledge (PCK). Others believe doing science requires knowledge of the methodologies of scientific inquiry (NRC, 1996). With these two mindsets, the challenge for science educators is to create models that bring the two together. The common ground between those who teach science and those who do science is science communication, an interactive process that galvanizes dialogue among scientists, teachers, and learners in a rich ambience of mutual respect and a common, inclusive language of discourse . The dialogue between science and non-science is reflected in the polarization that separates those who do science and those who teach science, especially as it plays out everyday in the science classroom. You may be thinking, why is this important? It is vital because, although not all science learners become scientists, all K-12 students are expected to acquire science literacy, especially with the implementation of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB). Students are expected to acquire the ability to follow the discourse of science as well as connect the world of science to the context of their everyday life if they plan on moving to the next grade level, and in some states, to graduate from high school. This paper posits that science communication is highly effective in providing the missing link for K-12 students cognition in science and their attainment of science literacy. This paper will focus on the "Science For Our Schools" (SFOS) model implemented at California State Univetsity, Los Angeles (CSULA) as a project of the National Science Foundation s GK-12 program, (NSF 2001) which has been a huge success in bridging the gap between those who "know" science and those who "teach" science. The SFOS model makes clear the distinctions that identify science, science communication, science
Zuckerman, June Trop
Discusses how 36 student science teachers described and responded to one of their own classroom management problems. Based on student teachers' written accounts of a well-remembered event about classroom management. (SAH)
Kafai, Yasmin B.; Gilliland-Swetland, Anne J.
Science educators have stressed in recent years the importance of providing students with an historical understanding of the development of scientific knowledge. Although many approaches have been suggested for building historical understanding of science, historical source materials have often been deemed too difficult to use with elementary school students. This article reports on a case study that used archival and contemporary source materials in project activities, such as photographs and field notes, to engage students in the processes of data generation, selection, annotation, and evaluation. The curricular science activities of one elementary classroom with 29 fourth and fifth grade students are decribed and analyzed as they build and use archives of historical and contemporary naturalist materials. The article concludes with a discussion of the feasibility and benefits of using historical source materials within elementary science education, as well as the implications for selecting and preparing historical source materials in digital format for use in elementary education.
Shah, Harsh R.; Martinez, Luis R.
Citizen science involves a partnership between inexperienced volunteers and trained scientists engaging in research. In addition to its obvious benefit of accelerating data collection, citizen science has an unexplored role in the classroom, from K–12 schools to higher education. With recent studies showing a weakening in scientific competency of American students, incorporating citizen science initiatives in the curriculum provides a means to address deficiencies in a fragmented educational system. The integration of traditional and innovative pedagogical methods to reform our educational system is therefore imperative in order to provide practical experiences in scientific inquiry, critical thinking, and problem solving for school-age individuals. Citizen science can be used to emphasize the recognition and use of systematic approaches to solve problems affecting the community. PMID:27047583
Shah, Harsh R; Martinez, Luis R
Citizen science involves a partnership between inexperienced volunteers and trained scientists engaging in research. In addition to its obvious benefit of accelerating data collection, citizen science has an unexplored role in the classroom, from K-12 schools to higher education. With recent studies showing a weakening in scientific competency of American students, incorporating citizen science initiatives in the curriculum provides a means to address deficiencies in a fragmented educational system. The integration of traditional and innovative pedagogical methods to reform our educational system is therefore imperative in order to provide practical experiences in scientific inquiry, critical thinking, and problem solving for school-age individuals. Citizen science can be used to emphasize the recognition and use of systematic approaches to solve problems affecting the community.
Semali, Ladislaus M.; Hristova, Adelina; Owiny, Sylvia A.
This study examines the relationship between informal science and indigenous innovations in local communities in which students matured. The discussion considers methods for bridging the gap that exists between parents' understanding of informal science ( Ubunifu) and what students learn in secondary schools in Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda. In an effort to reconcile the difference between students' lived experiences and Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) taught in classrooms, this study presents an experiential iSPACES instructional model as an example of curriculum integration in science classrooms. The culmination is presentation of lessons learned from history, including Africa's unique contributions to science, theory, and indigenous innovations, in the hope that these lessons can spur the development of new instructional practices, standards, curriculum materials, professional and community development, and dialogue among nations.
Tank, Kristina Maruyama; Coffino, Kara
Elementary students in grade two make sense of science ideas and knowledge through their contextual experiences. Mattis Lundin and Britt Jakobson find in their research that early grade students have sophisticated understandings of human anatomy and physiology. In order to understand what students' know about human body and various systems, both drawings and spoken responses provide rich evidence of their understanding of the connections between science drawings and verbal explanations. In this forum contribution, we present several theoretical connections between everyday language and science communication and argue that building communication skills in science are essential. We also discuss how young participants should be valued and supported in research. Finally we discuss the need for multimodal research methods when the research participants are young.
Diaz, Juan Francisco, Jr.
This study was conducted to better understand how teachers use an argument-based inquiry technique known as the Science Writing Heuristic (SWH) approach to address issues on teaching, learning, negotiation, argumentation, and elaboration in an elementary science classroom. Within the SWH framework, this study traced the progress of promoting argumentation and negotiation (which led to student-generated questions) during a discussion in an elementary science classroom. Speech patterns during various classroom scenarios were analyzed to understand how teacher--student interactions influence learning. This study uses a mixture of qualitative and quantitative methods. The qualitative aspect of the study is an analysis of teacher--student interactions in the classroom using video recordings. The quantitative aspect uses descriptive statistics, tables, and plots to analyze the data. The subjects in this study were fifth grade students and teachers from an elementary school in the Midwest, during the academic years 2007/2008 and 2008/2009. The three teachers selected for this study teach at the same Midwestern elementary school. These teachers were purposely selected because they were using the SWH approach during the two years of the study. The results of this study suggest that all three teachers moved from using teacher-generated questions to student-generated questions as they became more familiar with the SWH approach. In addition, all three promoted the use of the components of arguments in their dialogs and discussions and encouraged students to elaborate, challenge, and rebut each other's ideas in a non-threatening environment. This research suggests that even young students, when actively participating in class discussions, are capable of connecting their claims and evidence and generating questions of a higher-order cognitive level. These findings demand the implementation of more professional development programs and the improvement in teacher education to help
Henderson, Jack L.
Nationally, 30% of high school students do not graduate. Among this percentage, 50% are African-American. This study focused on at-promise African-American male classroom engagement where the researcher employed a mixed-methods methodology. Findings reveal that in order to engage and keep at-promise African-American males in high school, educators…
Peffer, Melanie E.; Beckler, Matthew L.; Schunn, Christian; Renken, Maggie; Revak, Amanda
Science education is progressively more focused on employing inquiry-based learning methods in the classroom and increasing scientific literacy among students. However, due to time and resource constraints, many classroom science activities and laboratory experiments focus on simple inquiry, with a step-by-step approach to reach predetermined outcomes. The science classroom inquiry (SCI) simulations were designed to give students real life, authentic science experiences within the confines of a typical classroom. The SCI simulations allow students to engage with a science problem in a meaningful, inquiry-based manner. Three discrete SCI simulations were created as website applications for use with middle school and high school students. For each simulation, students were tasked with solving a scientific problem through investigation and hypothesis testing. After completion of the simulation, 67% of students reported a change in how they perceived authentic science practices, specifically related to the complex and dynamic nature of scientific research and how scientists approach problems. Moreover, 80% of the students who did not report a change in how they viewed the practice of science indicated that the simulation confirmed or strengthened their prior understanding. Additionally, we found a statistically significant positive correlation between students’ self-reported changes in understanding of authentic science practices and the degree to which each simulation benefitted learning. Since SCI simulations were effective in promoting both student learning and student understanding of authentic science practices with both middle and high school students, we propose that SCI simulations are a valuable and versatile technology that can be used to educate and inspire a wide range of science students on the real-world complexities inherent in scientific study. PMID:25786245
Peffer, Melanie E; Beckler, Matthew L; Schunn, Christian; Renken, Maggie; Revak, Amanda
Science education is progressively more focused on employing inquiry-based learning methods in the classroom and increasing scientific literacy among students. However, due to time and resource constraints, many classroom science activities and laboratory experiments focus on simple inquiry, with a step-by-step approach to reach predetermined outcomes. The science classroom inquiry (SCI) simulations were designed to give students real life, authentic science experiences within the confines of a typical classroom. The SCI simulations allow students to engage with a science problem in a meaningful, inquiry-based manner. Three discrete SCI simulations were created as website applications for use with middle school and high school students. For each simulation, students were tasked with solving a scientific problem through investigation and hypothesis testing. After completion of the simulation, 67% of students reported a change in how they perceived authentic science practices, specifically related to the complex and dynamic nature of scientific research and how scientists approach problems. Moreover, 80% of the students who did not report a change in how they viewed the practice of science indicated that the simulation confirmed or strengthened their prior understanding. Additionally, we found a statistically significant positive correlation between students' self-reported changes in understanding of authentic science practices and the degree to which each simulation benefitted learning. Since SCI simulations were effective in promoting both student learning and student understanding of authentic science practices with both middle and high school students, we propose that SCI simulations are a valuable and versatile technology that can be used to educate and inspire a wide range of science students on the real-world complexities inherent in scientific study.
Rehmat, Abeera P.; Bailey, Janelle M.
The challenge of preparing students for the information age has prompted administrators to increase technology in the public schools. Yet despite the increased availability of technology in schools, few teachers are integrating technology for instructional purposes. Preservice teachers must be equipped with adequate content knowledge of technology to create an advantageous learning experience in science classrooms. To understand preservice teachers' conceptions of technology integration, this research study explored 15 elementary science methods students' definitions of technology and their attitudes toward incorporating technology into their teaching. The phenomenological study took place in a science methods course that was based on a constructivist approach to teaching and learning science through science activities and class discussions, with an emphasis on a teacher beliefs framework. Data were collected throughout the semester, including an open-ended pre/post-technology integration survey, lesson plans, and reflections on activities conducted throughout the course. Through a qualitative analysis, we identified improvements in students' technology definitions, increased technology incorporation into science lesson plans, and favorable attitudes toward technology integration in science teaching after instruction. This research project demonstrates that positive changes in beliefs and behaviors relating to technology integration in science instruction among preservice teachers are possible through explicit instruction.
Ghattas, Nadira I.
This study was designed to determine the relationship between attitudes toward nanotechnology and the intention of implementing it in science classrooms; to detect the relationship between attitudes and other influential factors (knowledge and self-confidence, professional development, professional context, personal research experience, and personal practice of bringing nanotechnology in science classrooms); to highlight the salient attitudes of science teachers toward nanotechnology and implementing its related content, materials, and activities in science classrooms; and to identify the salient factors that would facilitate the process of integrating nanotechnology in science classrooms. Science Teachers' Attitudes toward Nanotechnology (STAT-N) survey and semi-structured interview were both used to collect data. Correlation was conducted to explore the relationship between attitudes and intention, and between attitudes and the above mentioned factors. The grounded theory approach was applied to identify science teachers' salient attitudes toward nanotechnology and implementing it in science classrooms, and to determine the facilitators that would help with the process of implementing nanotechnology in science classrooms. Regression analysis was also used to identify the facilitators that would help science teachers with integrating nanotechnology in science classrooms. Statistical analyses revealed a statistically significant relationship between attitudes and intention, p < .05; statistically significant relationships between attitudes and the other influential factors (knowledge and self-confidence, professional development, professional context, personal research experience, and personal practice of bringing nanotechnology in science classrooms), p < .05; and that all of these factors but attitudes and research were statistically significant factors in predicting and teachers' intention of implementing nanotechnology in science classrooms. Professional
Jones, Sheila Kay
Low test scores in science and fewer career choices in science among African American high school students than their White counterparts has resulted in lower interest during high school and an underrepresentation of African Americans in science and engineering fields. Reasons for this underachievement are not known. This qualitative study used a grounded theory methodology to examine what influence parental involvement, ethnic identity, and early mentoring had on the academic achievement in science and career choice in science of African American urban high school 10th grade students. Using semi-structured open-ended questions in individual interviews and focus groups, twenty participants responded to questions about African American urban high school student achievement in science and their career choice in science. The median age of participants was 15 years; 85% had passed either high school biology or physical science. The findings of the study revealed influences and interactions of selected factors on African American urban high school achievement in science. Sensing potential emerged as the overarching theme with six subthemes; A Taste of Knowledge, Sounds I Hear, Aromatic Barriers, What Others See, The Touch of Others, and The Sixth Sense. These themes correlate to the natural senses of the human body. A disconnect between what science is, their own individual learning and success, and what their participation in science could mean for them and the future of the larger society. Insight into appropriate intervention strategies to improve African American urban high school achievement in science was gained.
Lochner, J. C.; Mattson, B. J.
Cosmic Times is a series of curriculum support materials for grades 7--12 which teach the nature of science by exploring the history of our understanding of the universe during the past 100 years. Starting with the confirmation of Einstein's theory of gravity in 1919 to the current conundrum posed by the discovery of dark energy, Cosmic Times examines the discoveries, the theories, and the people involved in this changing understanding of the universe. Cosmic Times takes the form of six posters, each resembling the front page of a newspaper from a particular time in this history, with articles describing the discoveries. Each poster is accompanied by 4--5 classroom lessons which enable students to examine the science concepts behind the discoveries, develop techniques to improve science literacy, and investigate the nature of science using historical examples. Cosmic Times connects directly with the International Year of Astronomy theme of Astronomy in the Classroom, as well as the general theme of the impact of astronomy history.
Allen, Gary R.
Digital interactive textbooks represent a major step forward in the quest to integrate technology into instructional methodology. Because this technology is new, virtually no research has been done as to the response of teachers to this innovation. The purpose of this study was to understand the process of change in relation to implementing these digital interactive textbooks in science classrooms at the high school level. The conceptual framework was based on Senge's theory of organizational change, Rogers' theory of the diffusion of innovations, and Davis' research regarding factors involved in technology acceptance. Participants included 7 science teachers and 2 administrators who were members of a professional learning community at a Title I high school in the southeastern region of the United States. A case study design was used to collect data from teacher and administrator interviews and observations of instructional activities in the classroom and professional learning community meetings. Data were coded, categorized, and analyzed for common themes. Results indicated that the digital interactive textbook was met with teacher apprehension and anxiety regarding the transition from teacher-led to student-led instruction, and this apprehension manifested in resistance. During the course of the study, educators found that the digital interactive textbook engaged students and was demonstrated to be a successful tool of instruction. The study is important because educators will develop a better understanding of how to implement technology innovations in the classroom that minimize teacher resistance to instructional change.
Glasser, Howard M.
The U.S. Department of Education's amended regulations to Title IX have attempted to expand the circumstances in which single-sex classes are permissible in public schools. This ethnographic study uses grounded theory to investigate aspects of one single-sex offering at a public, coeducational middle school. Applying elements of postmodern, queer, and sociocultural lenses, it examines the perspectives for this offering, shedding insight into the cultures of two single-sex classrooms and what it meant to be a boy or girl in this setting. Additionally, it focuses attention on the all-boy and all-girl science classes that were taught by the same teacher and examines what it meant to learn science as boys and girls in this program. Although participants supplied financial, socio-emotional, and academic reasons for these classes, the initial motivation for these classes stemmed from the teachers' desire to curb the amount of sex talk and related behaviors that were exhibited in their classrooms. Through these conversations and classroom events, the girls were constructed as idealized students, academically and behaviorally, who needed to be protected from boys' behaviors---both boys' dominating classroom behaviors and aggressive (hetero)sexual behaviors. Conversely, boys were constructed as needing help both academically and behaviorally, but in the specific discipline of science boys were identified as the sex that was more interested in the content and gained greater exposure to skills that could assist them in future science courses and careers. Overall, boys and girls, and the culture of their two classrooms, were regularly defined relative to each other and efforts were made to maintain these constructed differences. As a result, the classes and students were hierarchically ranked in ways that often pitted one sex of students, or the entire class, as better or worse than the other. The theory emerging from this study is that single-sex policies arise and survive
Proponents of block scheduling perceive this approach to be a 'structural lever' to invite and impel teachers to change their teaching (Marshak, 1997). This desired shift is supposed to be manifest in movement from the traditional classroom structure, focusing on the teacher as lecturer or transmitter of subject matter, to that of teacher as coach with students as active learners, engaged in a variety of activities involving them individually and collaboratively in their education (Canady & Rettig, 1995). Block scheduling changes the formal structure of the school day, but does it really change pedagogical practices in high school science classrooms? Fraser's Individualized Classroom Environment Questionnaire (ICEQ) the instrument used in this study of science classes in five block-scheduled high schools in Connecticut, incorporates the tenets for an enriched classroom environment in its five scales or constructs: Participation---Extent to which students are encouraged to participate rather than be passive learners; Personalization---Emphasis on opportunities for individual students to interact with the teacher and on concern for the personal welfare and social growth of the individual; Investigation---Emphasis on the skills and processes of inquiry and their use in problem solving and investigation. Independence---Extent to which students are allowed to make decisions and have control over their own learning environment and behavior; Differentiation---Emphasis on the selective treatment of students on the basis of ability, learning style, interests, and rate of working (Fraser, 1990). The results and conclusions from this research study suggested that the block-scheduled high school science classes that participated in this research do promote, to varying degrees, those tenets that define an enriched classroom environment. Both the teachers and their classes of students perceived opportunities for Participation, Personalization, and Investigation constructs as
Lehman, James D.; Campbell, John P.
Microcomputer-based laboratories (MBLs) are believed to have significant potential for improving laboratory experiences in science classrooms. A study funded through a grant project called STEPS to Better Science sought to broaden the knowledge base by examining MBL use by teachers and students in a variety of science classrooms in six high…
Flavio Azevedo, Peggy Martalock and Tugba Keser have initiated an important conversation in science education as they use sociocultural theory to introduce design based scenarios into the science classroom. This response seeks to expand Azevedo, Martalock and Keser's article "The discourse of design-based science classroom activities" by…
Weintrop, David; Beheshti, Elham; Horn, Michael; Orton, Kai; Jona, Kemi; Trouille, Laura; Wilensky, Uri
Science and mathematics are becoming computational endeavors. This fact is reflected in the recently released Next Generation Science Standards and the decision to include "computational thinking" as a core scientific practice. With this addition, and the increased presence of computation in mathematics and scientific contexts, a new urgency has come to the challenge of defining computational thinking and providing a theoretical grounding for what form it should take in school science and mathematics classrooms. This paper presents a response to this challenge by proposing a definition of computational thinking for mathematics and science in the form of a taxonomy consisting of four main categories: data practices, modeling and simulation practices, computational problem solving practices, and systems thinking practices. In formulating this taxonomy, we draw on the existing computational thinking literature, interviews with mathematicians and scientists, and exemplary computational thinking instructional materials. This work was undertaken as part of a larger effort to infuse computational thinking into high school science and mathematics curricular materials. In this paper, we argue for the approach of embedding computational thinking in mathematics and science contexts, present the taxonomy, and discuss how we envision the taxonomy being used to bring current educational efforts in line with the increasingly computational nature of modern science and mathematics.
Oh, Phil Seok; Kim, Kyoung Suk
While a solid understanding of science content knowledge is important in developing expertise in science teaching, it is not necessarily a sufficient condition to teach science effectively in elementary schools. Teachers need to have the ability to transform their knowledge into forms learnable by students. Based on this perspective, the current study explored how science content knowledge was pedagogically transformed in Korean elementary classrooms. Data sources included video-recorded science lessons of five elementary teachers in a metropolitan city of Korea. The analysis of the data revealed that the Korean teachers often engaged in transforming science content knowledge by means of different semiotic modes, including language, pictures, materials, actions, and their complex combinations. Further, their representations of scientific knowledge were in diverse forms, such as personifications, analogies, quiz questions, pictorial models, diagrams, animations, real-life examples, hand demonstrations, videos, flash tools, and songs-and-dances. Future research involving a wider range of participants, such as students, content specialists, and teachers with weak and strong content understanding, was suggested to confirm the findings of this study and find more various ways of pedagogical transformation of science subject matter knowledge.
The effective use of cooperative skills is becoming increasingly necessary to cope successfully in today's team-oriented workplaces. This booklet presents jargon-free cooperative learning skills and strategies suitable for the middle school science student. Strategies suggested capitalize on the interests and strengths of middle school students.…
Adey, Philip; And Others
This teacher's guide is part of a program of activities that help secondary-level students develop the complex thinking skills needed to succeed in science. This program can be used with current curriculum materials. It is designed to help students integrate ideas and develop concepts that demonstrate higher level thinking. A rich environment of…
Tank, Kristina Maruyama; Coffino, Kara
Elementary students in grade two make sense of science ideas and knowledge through their contextual experiences. Mattis Lundin and Britt Jakobson find in their research that early grade students have sophisticated understandings of human anatomy and physiology. In order to understand what students' know about human body and various systems,…
Rinke, Carol R.; Gimbel, Steven J.; Haskell, Sophie
Although classroom inquiry is the primary pedagogy of science education, it has often been difficult to implement within conventional classroom cultures. This study turned to the alternatively structured Montessori learning environment to better understand the ways in which it fosters the essential elements of classroom inquiry, as defined by prominent policy documents. Specifically, we examined the opportunities present in Montessori classrooms for students to develop an interest in the natural world, generate explanations in science, and communicate about science. Using ethnographic research methods in four Montessori classrooms at the primary and elementary levels, this research captured a range of scientific learning opportunities. The study found that the Montessori learning environment provided opportunities for students to develop enduring interests in scientific topics and communicate about science in various ways. The data also indicated that explanation was largely teacher-driven in the Montessori classroom culture. This study offers lessons for both conventional and Montessori classrooms and suggests further research that bridges educational contexts.
Wessen, A. S.; Cobabe-Ammann, E. A.
The connections between science and literacy in the classroom have received increasing attention over the last two decades, as more and more evidence demonstrates that science provides an exciting vehicle in which to engage students on the path to literacy improvement. Combining literacy with science allows students to creatively explore the world or universe, and it. Combining science and literacy improves both reading and science scores, and increases students’ interest in science. At a time when over 40% of students beyond the 5th grade are reading two or more levels below grade level and are struggling with their current materials, finding ways to excite and engage them in the reading process is key. Literacy programs incorporating unique space science content can help prepare children for standardized language arts tests. It also engages our nation’s youngest learners and their teachers with the science, math, and technology of exploration in a language arts format. This session focuses on programs and products that bring the excitement of earth and space science into the literacy classroom, with a focus on research-based approached to combining science and language arts. Reading, Writing and Rings! Grades 1-2
Kirch, Susan A.; Bargerhuff, Mary Ellen; Cowan, Heidi; Wheatly, Michele
General education science teachers are meeting increasingly diverse classrooms of students that include students with disabilities. A one-week, summer, residential workshop was offered to interested science and special educators who worked through lab experiments one-on-one with students with physical or sensory disabilities (grades 7-12). To determine how effective this professional development workshop was at raising disability awareness and providing teacher training in inclusive science teaching practices, a combination of survey and reflective journal entries was used to monitor participants’ experience. Here we discuss the findings from this benchmark study and discuss how others might adapt this professional development model for use by schools interested in moving toward inclusive practices.
Hunter, Jeffrey C.
The purpose of this study was to examine the student lived experience when using computers in a rural science classroom. The overarching question the project sought to examine was: How do rural students relate to computers as a learning tool in comparison to a traditional science classroom? Participant data were collected using a pre-study survey, Experience Sampling during class and post-study interviews. Students want to use computers in their classrooms. Students shared that they overwhelmingly (75%) preferred a computer rich classroom to a traditional classroom (25%). Students reported a higher level of engagement in classes that use technology/computers (83%) versus those that do not use computers (17%). A computer rich classroom increased student control and motivation as reflected by a participant who shared; "by using computers I was more motivated to get the work done" (Maggie, April 25, 2014, survey). The researcher explored a rural school environment. Rural populations represent a large number of students and appear to be underrepresented in current research. The participants, tenth grade Biology students, were sampled in a traditional teacher led class without computers for one week followed by a week using computers daily. Data supported that there is a new gap that separates students, a device divide. This divide separates those who have access to devices that are robust enough to do high level class work from those who do not. Although cellular phones have reduced the number of students who cannot access the Internet, they may have created a false feeling that access to a computer is no longer necessary at home. As this study shows, although most students have Internet access, fewer have access to a device that enables them to complete rigorous class work at home. Participants received little or no training at school in proper, safe use of a computer and the Internet. It is clear that the majorities of students are self-taught or receive guidance
Caswell, T. E.; Goudge, T. A.; Jawin, E. R.; Robinson, F.
Since 2005, graduate students in the Brown University Department of Earth, Environmental, and Planetary Studies have volunteered to teach science to second-grade students at Vartan Gregorian Elementary School in Providence, RI. Initially developed to bring science into classrooms where it was not explicitly included in the curriculum, the graduate student-run program today incorporates the Providence Public Schools Grade 2 science curriculum into weekly, interactive sessions that engage the students in hypothesis-driven science. We will describe the program structure, its integration into the Providence Public Schools curriculum, and 3 example lessons relevant to geology. Lessons are structured to develop the students' ability to share and incorporate others' ideas through written and oral communication. The volunteers explain the basics of the topic and engage the students with introductory questions. The students use this knowledge to develop a hypothesis about the upcoming experiment, recording it in their "Science Notebooks." The students record their observations during the demonstration and discuss the results as a group. The process culminates in the students using their own words to summarize what they learned. Activities of particular interest to educators in geoscience are called "Volcanoes!", "The "Liquid Race," and "Phases of the Moon." The "Volcanoes!" lesson explores explosive vs. effusive volcanism using two simulated volcanoes: one explosive, using Mentos and Diet Coke, and one effusive, using vinegar and baking soda (in model volcanoes that the students construct in teams). In "Liquid Race," which explores viscosity and can be integrated into the "Volcanoes!" lesson, the students connect viscosity to flow speed by racing liquids down a ramp. "Phases of the Moon" teaches the students why the Moon has phases, using ball and stick models, and the terminology of the lunar phases using cream-filled cookies (e.g., Oreos). These lessons, among many others
Kinyua, A. M.
Presented is a conceptual framework for African Renaissance that has to involve scientific, social and technological partnerships between universities in Africa together with those in developed countries and industry emphasizing the need for Ngumzo (i.e. dialogue). This framework is based on the model of a microprocessor. Inputs for this partnership when processed do lead to different outputs. It is being proposed that national policy and delivery of inputs to our national institutions are insufficient to change these relationships or partnerships for an effective African Renaissance. The alternative is that it will be the central role of each individual institution in Africa, in all its complexity, to pay more attention in the planning, management and development of its mission and vision strategies, enhancement of staff performance and evaluation of its technical education among other inherent activities. The role that science can play in nurturing a culture of learning and capacity building in Africa will be discussed and presented by highlighting the future challenges and justification of an Africa Renaissance Group (ARG).
Genel, Abdulkadir; Sami Topçu, Mustafa
Background: Despite a growing body of research and curriculum reforms including socioscientific issues (SSI) across the world, how preservice science teachers (PST) or in-service science teachers can teach SSI in science classrooms needs further inquiry. Purpose: The purpose of this study is to describe the abilities of PSTs to teach SSI in middle school science classrooms, and the research question that guided the present study is: How can we characterize Turkish PSTs' SSI-based teaching practices in middle school science classrooms (ages 11-14)? Sample: In order to address the research question of this study, we explored 10 Turkish PSTs' SSI-based teaching practices in middle school science classrooms. A purposeful sampling strategy was used, thus, PSTs were specifically chosen because they were ideal candidates to teach SSI and to integrate SSI into the science curricula since they were seniors in the science education program who had to take the field experience courses. Design and method: The participants' SSI teaching practices were characterized in light of qualitative research approach. SSI-based teaching practices were analyzed, and the transcripts of all videotape recordings were coded by two researchers. Results: The current data analysis describes Turkish PSTs' SSI-based teaching practices under five main categories: media, argumentation, SSI selection and presentation, risk analysis, and moral perspective. Most of PSTs did not use media resources in their lesson and none of them considered moral perspective in their teaching. While the risk analyses were very simple and superficial, the arguments developed in the classrooms generally remained at a simple level. PSTs did not think SSI as a central topic and discussed these issues in a very limited time and at the end of the class period. Conclusions: The findings of this study manifest the need of the reforms in science education programs. The present study provides evidence that moral, media
Jones, Keith Wayne
The purpose of this study was to determine if there is adequate documentation of an historical role of African and African American involvement in science, engineering, and technology. Through the use of history of science and technology research methodology, along with an examination of the sociological and economic impacts of adequately accredited innovations and inventions contributed by Africans and African Americans, the researcher investigated their contributions to the following areas of science and technology: life science, physical sciences and chemistry, engineering, and science education. In regard to the timeframe for this study, the researcher specifically investigated African and African American involvement in science and technology that includes periods prior to black enslavement, scientific racism and colonialism, as well as during and after those periods. This research study reveals that there are adequate historical data regarding African and African American contributions to science, engineering, and technology. The data reveals that for many millennia African peoples have been continually involved in science and world science histories. The data further show that the numbers of African Americans acquiring BS, MS, Ph.D., Doctor of Science and Doctor of Engineering degrees in science and engineering disciplines are increasing. That these increases are not happening at a rate representative of the present or future African American percentages of the population. Consequently, because of future changes in our nation's demographics, increasing the numbers of people from under-represented groups who pursue scientific and engineering professions has become a matter of national security at the highest levels of government. Moreover, African Americans, Hispanics, and Native Americans are not pursuing careers or taking courses in science and engineering at a rate high enough to fulfill the prospective needs for the United States' industries, government
Cottrell, Vicki M.
African violet (genus "Saintpaulia") was identified as a particularly suitable genus for the study of specialised plant cells in the classroom using microscopes. The techniques described here involve simple preparation without staining. The cells and structures that can be investigated include: trichomes (hairs); stomata; guard cells and…
Higgins, Karen M.; Moule, Jean
Using methods of naturalistic inquiry, this study examines preservice teachers' conflict with classroom management strategies used in a predominantly African-American urban elementary school. It highlights the theory/practice dilemma, focusing on the tensions between the democratic strategies taught in university classes and the more authoritarian…
Thomas, Duane E.; Coard, Stephanie I.; Stevenson, Howard C.; Bentley, Keisha; Zamel, Pamela
The present study investigated the predictive influence of students' reactive emotional coping and racial socialization experiences on teachers' perceptions of classroom behavior adjustment problems. Participants were 148 African American male youth attending a secondary school in a large northeastern city. Behavioral outcomes included teacher…
Larson, Kristine E.
The purpose of this paper was to review the literature in terms of professional development activities that researchers have enlisted to reduce student problem behaviors and improve classroom management competencies among teachers who work in urban environments serving predominately African American students. First, the author conducted a…
Noble, Pat, Ed.; And Others
Papers in this publication are collected from a conference on social science concepts and classroom methods which focused on the theories of Jerome Bruner. The first article, entitled "Jerome Bruner," outlines four of Bruner's themes--structure, readiness, intuition, and interest--which relate to cognitive learning. Three…
Elliott, Leslie Atkins; Jaxon, Kim; Salter, Irene
Offering expertise in the teaching of writing (Kim Jaxon) and the teaching of science (Leslie Atkins Elliott and Irene Salter), this book will help instructors create classrooms in which students use writing to learn and think scientifically. The authors provide concrete approaches for engaging students in practices that mirror the work that…
Reviews the different approaches to multicultural science teaching that have emerged in the past decade, focusing on the Spanish-English two-way immersion classroom, which meets the needs of Spanish speakers learning English and introduces students to the idea of collaboration across languages and cultures. Two urban two-way immersion classrooms…
Piecka, Debra; Studnicki, Elaine; Zuckerman-Parker, Michelle
The use of podcasting has grown exponentially. Research projects are racing to keep up with this growth to understand implications for learning and instruction. This project specifically attempts to understand if the use and development of podcasts by students for students influence learning in a 7th grade science classroom. Using a technology…
Peach, C. L.; Gerwick, W.; Gerwick, L.; Senise, M.; Jones, C. S.; Malloy, K.; Jones, A.; Trentacoste, E.; Nunnery, J.; Mendibles, T.; Tayco, D.; Justice, L.; Deutscher, R.
Teaching Ocean Science in the 21st Century Classroom (TOST) is a Center for Ocean Sciences Education Excellence (COSEE CA) initiative aimed at developing and disseminating technology-based instructional strategies, tools and ocean science resources for both formal and informal science education. San Diego Unified School District (SDUSD), Scripps Institution of Oceanography (SIO) and the Lawrence Hall of Science (LHS) have established a proving ground for TOST activities and for development of effective, sustainable solutions for researchers seeking to fulfill NSF and other funding agency broader impact requirements. Lab to Classroom Videoconferencing: Advances in Information and Communications Technology (ICT) are making it easier to connect students and researchers using simple online tools that allow them to interact in novel ways. COSEE CA is experimenting with these tools and approaches to identify effective practices for providing students with insight into the research process and close connections to researchers and their laboratory activities. At the same time researchers, including graduate students, are learning effective communication skills and how to align their presentations to specific classroom needs - all from the comfort of their own lab. The lab to classroom videoconferencing described here is an ongoing partnership between the Gerwick marine biomedical research lab and a group of three life science teachers (7th grade) at Pershing Middle School (SDUSD) that started in 2007. Over the last 5 years, the Pershing science teachers have created an intensive, semester-long unit focused on drug discovery. Capitalizing on the teacher team’s well-developed unit of study and the overlap with leading-edge research at SIO, COSEE CA created the videoconferencing program as a broader impact solution for the lab. The team has refined the program over 3 iterations, experimenting with structuring the activities to most effectively reach the students. In the
Bhattacharyya, Sumita; Mead, Timothy P.; Nathaniel, Rajkumar
This study explored if a weeklong science camp changed Louisiana African-American high school students' perception of science. A semi-structured survey was used before and after the camp to determine the changes in science attitudes and career choices. Among the perceived benefits were parental involvement, increased science academic ability, and…
Johnson-Whitt, Eugenia Stacell
In order to inquire into the persistent underrepresentation of urban minority students in the sciences, this study explored three urban African American students' conceptualizations of school science and media science, with emphases on the representation of science in "Crime Scene Investigation" ("CSI"). Based on the data…
McNeill, Katherine L.; Katsh-Singer, Rebecca; González-Howard, María; Loper, Suzanna
Science education research, reform documents and standards include scientific argumentation as a key learning goal for students. The role of the teacher is essential for implementing argumentation in part because their beliefs about argumentation can impact whether and how this science practice is integrated into their classroom. In this study, we surveyed 42 middle school science teachers and conducted follow-up interviews with 25 to investigate the factors that teachers believe impact their argumentation instruction. Teachers responded that their own learning goals had the greatest impact on their argumentation instruction while influences related to context, policy and assessment had the least impact. The minor influence of policy and assessment was in part because teachers saw a lack of alignment between these areas and the goals of argumentation. In addition, although teachers indicated that argumentation was an important learning goal, regardless of students' backgrounds and abilities, the teachers discussed argumentation in different ways. Consequently, it may be more important to help teachers understand what counts as argumentation, rather than provide a rationale for including argumentation in instruction. Finally, the act of trying out argumentation in their own classrooms, supported through resources such as curriculum, can increase teachers' confidence in teaching argumentation.
Harris, Christopher J.; Rooks, Deborah L.
Effectively enacting inquiry-based science instruction entails considerable changes in classroom management practices. In this article, we describe five interconnected management areas that need to be addressed when managing an inquiry-oriented K-8 science classroom. We introduce a pyramid model as a framework for thinking about these management…
Katz, Phyllis; McGinnis, J. Randy; Riedinger, Kelly; Marbach-Ad, Gili; Dai, Amy
In case studies of two first-year elementary classroom teachers, we explored the influence of informal science education (ISE) they experienced in their teacher education program. Our theoretical lens was identity development, delimited to classroom science teaching. We used complementary data collection methods and analysis, including interviews,…
Dorman, Jeffrey P.; Fraser, Barry J.; McRobbie, Campbell J.
This article describes a study of links between school environment and science classroom environment. Instruments to assess seven dimensions of school environment (viz., Empowerment, Student Support, Affiliation, Professional Interest, Mission Consensus, Resource Adequacy and Work Pressure) and seven dimensions of classroom environment (viz., Student Affiliation, Interactions, Cooperation, Task Orientation, Order & Organisation, Individualisati n and Teacher Control) in secondary school science classrooms were developed and validated. The study involved a sample of 1,318 students in 64 year 9 and year 12 science classes and 128 teachers of science in Australian secondary schools. Using the class mean as the unit of analysis for student data, associations between school and classroom environment were investigated using simple, multiple and canonical correlational analyses. In general, results indicated weak relationships between school and classroom environments and they reinforced the view that characteristics of the school environment are not transmitted automatically into science classrooms.
Steffensky, Mirjam; Gold, Bernadette; Holdynski, Manfred; Möller, Kornelia
The present study investigates the internal structure of professional vision of in-service teachers and student teachers with respect to classroom management and learning support in primary science lessons. Classroom management (including monitoring, managing momentum, and rules and routines) and learning support (including cognitive activation…
Anderhag, P.; Wickman, P.-O.; Hamza, K. M.
In this paper we present a methodological approach for analyzing the transformation of interest in science through classroom talk and action. To this end, we use the construct of taste for science as a social and communicative operationalization, or proxy, to the more psychologically oriented construct of interest. To gain a taste for science as part of school science activities means developing habits of performing and valuing certain distinctions about ways to talk, act and be that are jointly construed as belonging in the school science classroom. In this view, to learn science is not only about learning the curriculum content, but also about learning a normative and aesthetic content in terms of habits of distinguishing and valuing. The approach thus complements previous studies on students' interest in science, by making it possible to analyze how taste for science is constituted, moment-by-moment, through talk and action in the science classroom. In developing the method, we supplement theoretical constructs coming from pragmatism and Pierre Bourdieu with empirical data from a lower secondary science classroom. The application of the method to this classroom demonstrates the potential that the approach has for analyzing how conceptual, normative, and aesthetic distinctions within the science classroom interact in the constitution of taste for, and thereby potentially also in the development of interest in science among students.
A phenomenological case study concerning science teacher educators' beliefs and teaching practices about culturally relevant pedagogy and preparing K-12 science teachers to engage African American students in K-12 science
Underwood, Janice Bell
Due to the rising diversity in today's schools, science teacher educators (STEs) suggest that K-12 teachers must be uniquely prepared to engage these students in science classrooms. Yet, in light of the increasing white-black science achievement gap, it is unclear how STEs prepare preservice teachers to engage diverse students, and African Americans in particular. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to find out how STEs prepare preservice teachers to engage African American students in K-12 science. Thus, using the culturally relevant pedagogy (CRP) framework, this phenomenological case study explored beliefs about culturally relevant science teaching and the influence of reported beliefs and experiences related to race on STEs' teaching practices. In the first phase, STE's in a mid-Atlantic state were invited to participate in an electronic survey. In the second phase, four participants, who were identified as exemplars, were selected from the survey to participate in three semi-structured interviews. The data revealed that STEs were more familiar with culturally responsive pedagogy (CResP) in the context of their post-secondary classrooms as opposed to CRP. Further, most of the participants in part one and two described modeling conventional ways they prepare their preservice teachers to engage K-12 students, who represent all types of diversity, without singling out any specific race. Lastly, many of the STEs' in this study reported formative experiences related to race and beliefs in various manifestations of racism have impacted their teaching beliefs and practices. The findings of this study suggest STEs do not have a genuine understanding of the differences between CRP and CResP and by in large embrace CResP principles. Secondly, in regards to preparing preservice teachers to engage African American students in science, the participants in this study seemed to articulate the need for ideological change, but were unable to demonstrate pedagogical changes
Rinke, Carol R.; Gimbel, Steven J.; Haskell, Sophie
Although classroom inquiry is the primary pedagogy of science education, it has often been difficult to implement within conventional classroom cultures. This study turned to the alternatively structured Montessori learning environment to better understand the ways in which it fosters the essential elements of classroom inquiry, as defined by…
This study investigated the relationship between an after-school tutorial program for African American high school students at a Title I school and scores on the science portion of the High School Graduation Examination (HSGE). Passing the examination was required for graduation. The target high school is 99% African American and the passing rate of the target high school was 42%---lower than the state average of 76%. The purpose of the study was to identify (a) the relationship between a science tutorial program and scores on the science portion of the HSGE, (b) the predictors of tutoring need by analyzing the relationship between biology grades and scores on the science portion of the HSGE, and (c) the findings between biology grades and scores on the science portion of the HSGE by analyzing the relationship between tutorial attendance and HSGE scores. The study was based on Piaget's cognitive constructivism, which implied the potential benefits of tutorials on high-stakes testing. This study used a 1-group pretest-posttest, quantitative methodology. Results showed a significant relationship between tutoring and scores on the biology portion of the HSGE. Results found no significant relationship between the tutorial attendance and the scores on the biology portion of the HSGE or between the biology grades and scores on the biology portion of the HSGE before tutoring. It has implications for positive social change by providing educational stakeholders with empirically-based guidance in determining the potential benefit of tutorial intervention strategies on high school graduation examination scores.
Cunha, Thais B. P. da
Science education reform in the United States has been slow to reduce the troubling science achievement gap between students from mainstream and non-mainstream backgrounds. Recent data suggest the gap persists in spite of improved attention to the multicultural education of teachers, and in spite of recent, more culturally inclusive and responsive curricular materials and instructional recommendations. In this study, I examine the cases of two European American male novice science teachers in middle schools with highly diverse populations, exploring their perceptions of the necessity of adapting their instructional approaches and the science curricula in order to meet the needs of their predominantly Native American, Mexican American, and African American students. Two theoretical frameworks inform this study, Rodriguez's (2005) sociotransformative constructivism, and Freire's critical pedagogy. I apply a qualitative case study method, to better understand and analyze the classroom setting and power relations of the context. Data consist of semi-structured interviews with each teacher, classroom observation and other field notes, the science curricular and instructional materials, and teachers' lesson plans. Each teacher acknowledged the ethnicities of students positively and noticed distinctive ethnocultural features (e.g., quinceaneras, Mexican Americans). Yet, their teaching approaches were primarily teacher-centric and monocultural. Each followed the book, usually lecturing, and striving dutifully to "cover" the topics. They did not solicit students' knowledge or engage them in dialog to explore their thinking. Even when the curriculum guide detailed relevant science knowledge students of some cultural groups might have, both teachers declined to use it. These well-meaning teachers did not fully perceive that students whose culture was different from their own might have different and relevant knowledge, experiences, or histories which were resources for
Schoen Giddings, Linda
This survey study sought to determine the extent to which teachers' personal belief systems, the leadership practices of the principal, and the nature of the organization as a professional learning community influence their teaching methodologies. The data were contributed by 172 South Carolina science teachers from 65 4 x 4 block-scheduled high schools. The teachers were pre-identified by teaching style as predominantly constructivist or traditional. The online survey consisted of two parts. Part I was the CTBA (Torff & Warburton 2005), which examined teacher beliefs regarding critical-thinking classroom strategies. Part II was the short form of the LOLSO Project Questionnaires (Shins et al., 2002), which examined teacher perceptions of their principal as a transformational leader and of their school as a learning organization. Logistic regression analysis identified two significant factors differentiating constructivist and traditional teachers. Traditional teachers were more likely to believe that low critical-thinking strategies were appropriate strategies for use in the classroom and constructivist teachers were more likely to perceive their schools as learning organizations. These two factors, when entered into the logistic regression predictive equation, could predict group membership with a 61% accuracy level. While not a differentiating factor, there was also a strong correlation between leadership and organizational learning (r = .86). These findings are consistent with other research that has found that schools which are learning organizations support more constructivist pedagogy and student-centered classrooms and are dependent upon strong support from school leadership.
Zhang, Meilan; Passalacqua, Susan; Lundeberg, Mary; Koehler, Matthew J.; Eberhardt, Jan; Parker, Joyce; Urban-Lurain, Mark; Zhang, Tianyi; Paik, Sunhee
In this study we described an action research project enacted by a veteran Kindergarten teacher (Sarah) in the context of a professional development program. Over the course of a year, Sarah collaborated with other teachers in a small group to investigate how to use “Science Talks” to promote student learning in Kindergarten classrooms. A Problem-Based Learning approach was adopted to guide the collaborative action research. Based on a rich set of data sources, we concluded that Sarah’s action research improved student learning and led to her own professional growth. We also identified important conditions in support of action research.
The purpose of this study was to examine the potential of a High School Health Science Career Academy to support African American students' science career trajectories. I used three key theoretical tools---critical science agency (Basu, 2007; Calabrese Barton & Tan, 2008), power (Nespor, 1994), and cultural production (Carlone, 2004; Eisenhart &…
Bell, Philip Laverne
This research investigates how to design and introduce an educational innovation into a classroom setting to support learning. The research yields cognitive design principles for instruction involving scientific argumentation and debate. Specifically, eighth-grade students used a computer learning environment to construct scientific arguments and to participate in a classroom debate. The instruction was designed to help students integrate their science understanding by debating: How far does light go, does light die out over distance or go forever until absorbed? This research explores the tension between focusing students' conceptual change on specific scientific phenomena and their development of integrated understanding. I focus on the importance of connecting students' everyday experiences and intuitions to their science learning. The work reported here characterizes how students see the world through a filter of their own understanding. It explores how individual and social mechanisms in instruction support students as they expand the range of ideas under consideration and distinguish between these ideas using scientific criteria. Instruction supported students as they engaged in argumentation and debate on a set of multimedia evidence items from the World-Wide-Web. An argument editor called SenseMaker was designed and studied with the intent of making individual and group thinking visible during instruction. Over multiple classroom trials, different student cohorts were increasingly supported in scientific argumentation involving systematic coordination of evidence with theoretical ideas about light. Students' knowledge representations were used as mediating "learning artifacts" during classroom debate. Two argumentation conditions were investigated. The Full Scope group prepared to defend either theoretical position in the debate. These students created arguments that included more theoretical conjectures and made more conceptual progress in understanding
The interface between school and indigenous knowledge of local plants is rarely a focus of attention in classrooms. The transfer of indigenous knowledge from everyday life to schoolwork is not always valued or encouraged, and indigenous ways of knowing may not be recognized by teachers. This article defines and documents the interplay between indigenous folk knowledge and modern (western) curriculum practice in African schools within the framework of critical theory. It raises important questions of cultural identity at a time of economic and educational globalization. First, the author explores the definition of indigenous knowledge, second, he examines the dilemmas that undermine and undervalue efforts to integrate indigenous education in the formal school curriculum and third, he outlines the rationale for valuing indigenous literacy and makes some suggestions as to how this may be achieved.
It is important that Earth and Space science educators understand how their students develop the ability to visualize three-dimensional (3D) concepts. The purpose of this study is to provide Earth and Space Science instructors with information on what spatial skills that are needed in the classroom can be integrated from outside sources. Two specific questions guided the research: (1) Do spatial skills developed in one academic subject transfer to another academic subject? (2) Do spatial skills developed outside of the classroom via 3D multimedia have a significant impact on performance on academic tasks? Fifty-three students at the University of Texas at Dallas were tested on three types of spatial tasks: spatial rotation ability, geo-spatial penetrative ability, and geometry of the Earth-Moon-Sun system. Demographic data collected included academic major, previous coursework in geology and astronomy, and computer usage habits. The computer usage data was divided into three- dimensional multimedia use, and other types of computer use such as word processing and Internet browsing. (Abstract shortened by UMI.)
The Everyday Classroom Tools project developed a K-6 inquiry-based curriculum to bring the tools of scientific inquiry, together with the Internet, into the elementary school classroom. Our curriculum encourages students and teachers to experience the adventure of science through investigation of the world around us. In this project, experts in computer science and astronomy at SAO worked closely with teachers and students in Massachusetts elementary schools to design and model activities which are developmentally appropriate, fulfill the needs of the curriculum standards of the school district, and provide students with a chance to experience for themselves the joy and excitement of scientific inquiry. The results of our efforts are embodied in the Threads of Inquiry, a series of free-flowing dialogues about inquiry-inspiring investigations that maintain a solid connection with our experience and with one another. These investigations are concerned with topics such as the motion of the Earth, shadows, light, and time. Our work emphasizes a direct hands-on approach through concrete experience, rather than memorization of facts.
Background While venture funding has been applied to biotechnology and health in high-income countries, it is still nascent in these fields in developing countries, and particularly in Africa. Yet the need for implementing innovative solutions to health challenges is greatest in Africa, with its enormous burden of communicable disease. Issues such as risk, investment opportunities, return on investment requirements, and quantifying health impact are critical in assessing venture capital’s potential for supporting health innovation. This paper uses lessons learned from five venture capital firms from Kenya, South Africa, China, India, and the US to suggest design principles for African health venture funds. Discussion The case study method was used to explore relevant funds, and lessons for the African context. The health venture funds in this study included publicly-owned organizations, corporations, social enterprises, and subsidiaries of foreign venture firms. The size and type of investments varied widely. The primary investor in four funds was the International Finance Corporation. Three of the funds aimed primarily for financial returns, one aimed primarily for social and health returns, and one had mixed aims. Lessons learned include the importance of measuring and supporting both social and financial returns; the need to engage both upstream capital such as government risk-funding and downstream capital from the private sector; and the existence of many challenges including difficulty of raising capital, low human resource capacity, regulatory barriers, and risky business environments. Based on these lessons, design principles for appropriate venture funding are suggested. Summary Based on the cases studied and relevant experiences elsewhere, there is a case for venture funding as one support mechanism for science-based African health innovation, with opportunities for risk-tolerant investors to make financial as well as social returns. Such funds should
Kay, Robin H.; Knaack, Liesel
The current study offers a formative analysis of the impact of learning objects in middle school mathematics and science classrooms. Five reliable and valid measures of effectiveness were used to examine the impact of learning objects from the perspective of 262 students and 8 teachers (14 classrooms) in science or mathematics. The results…
R., Smitha; Sajan, K. S.
This study estimates the extent of relationship between "Achievement in Physical Science" and "Classroom Climate" for the total sample and Sub sample based on gender. The tools used for collecting the data are scale of classroom climate and achievement test in physical science. The study reveals that boys show indifferent or…
Yoon, Susan A.
Educational efforts to incorporate ethical decision-making in science classrooms about current science and technology issues have met with great challenges. Some research suggests that the inherent complexity in both the subject matter content and the structure and dynamics of classrooms contribute to this challenge. This study seeks to…
Langman, Juliet; Fies, Carmen
We report on a case study examining the effects of a technology adaptation on patterns of discourse in a sheltered English high school science unit on electricity. The focus here is on how the tool, a classroom response system (CRS), affected access to and participation in classroom discourse with regard to developing science literacy among…
Kaya, Sibel; Rice, Diana C.
This study examined the effects of individual student factors and classroom factors on elementary science achievement within and across five countries. The student-level factors included gender, self-confidence in science and home resources. The classroom-level factors included teacher characteristics, instructional variables and classroom…
The aim of this study is to determine Pre-service secondary science and mathematics teachers' classroom management styles in Turkey. In addition, differences in pre-service secondary science and mathematics teachers' classroom management styles by gender, and field of study were examined. In the study, the survey model was employed. The research…
Abu Isneineh, Ribhi A.
This paper attempts to discover and describe the salient common factors constituting four high school science teachers' role conceptions. In a year-long ethnographic study, two researchers worked as participant observers in various science classroom settings at an urban high school. Teachers in charge of these classrooms were interviewed on issues…
Harris, Christopher J.; Rooks, Deborah L.
Effectively enacting inquiry-based science instruction entails considerable changes in classroom management practices. In this article, we describe five interconnected management areas that need to be addressed when managing an inquiry-oriented K-8 science classroom. We introduce a pyramid model as a framework for thinking about these management areas and present a brief review of what the research literature says about each area. We propose that enacting inquiry-based instruction requires a different kind of approach to classroom management that takes into account the close-knit relationship between management and instruction. This perspective recognizes the pervasive nature of managing the classroom for inquiry learning.
Jenkins, Felysha L.
Despite the odds, African American women are achieving some success in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). However, a dearth of empirical evidence exists on the mechanisms that contribute to their persistence. This study contributes to understanding how African American women are successful in obtaining baccalaureate degrees…
Parker, Ashley Dawn
This research seeks to understand the experiences of African American female undergraduates in STEM. It investigates how familial factors and science identity formation characteristics influence persistence in STEM while considering the duality of African American women's status in society. This phenomenological study was designed using critical…
Adams, Megan; March, Sue
Flavio Azevedo, Peggy Martalock and Tugba Keser challenge the "argumentation focus of science lessons" and propose that through a 'design-based approach' emergent conversations with the teacher offer possibilities for different types of discussions to enhance pedagogical discourse in science classrooms. This important paper offers a…
Freilich, M.; Aluthge, D.; Bryant, R. M.; Knox, B.; McAdams, J.; Plummer, A.; Schlottman, N.; Stanley, Z.; Suglia, E.; Watson-Daniels, J.
Recognizing that racial, ethnic, and gender underrepresentation in science classrooms persists despite intervention programs and institutional commitments to diversity, a group of undergraduates from a variety of backgrounds and academic disciplines came together for a group independent study to (a) study the theoretical foundations of the current practice of science and of programs meant to increase diversity, (b) utilize the experiences of course participants and our peers to better understand the drivers of underrepresentation, and (c) design and implement interventions at Brown University. We will present on individual and small group projects designed by course members in collaboration with faculty. The projects emerged from an exploration of literature in history, philosophy, and sociology of science, as well as an examination of anthropological and psychological studies. We also evaluated the effectiveness of top-down and bottom-up approaches that have already been attempted in developing our projects. They focus on the specific problems faced by underrepresented minorities, women, LGBTQ+ people, and well-represented minorities. We will share experiences of faculty-student collaboration and engaged scholarship focused on representation in science and discuss student-designed interventions.
Milner, Andrea R.; Templin, Mark A.; Czerniak, Charlene M.
The purpose of this study was to describe the influence of constructivist classroom contextual factors in a life science laboratory and a traditional science classroom on elementary students' motivation and learning strategy use. The Constructivist Teaching Inventory was used to examine classroom contextual factors. The Motivated Strategies for Learning Questionnaire was used to examine student motivation and learning strategies. A Wilcoxon nonparametric test determined that constructivist teaching practices were found to occur more often in the life laboratory than in the regular classroom. Although constructivist teaching practices increased at each observation time in both the regular classroom and in the life laboratory, a Friedman test determined that they were not statistically significant increases. Paired sample t tests determined that student motivation and learning strategies were higher in the life laboratory than in the regular classroom overall as well as at each survey time except for learning strategies at Post 1. A 2 × 4 between 3 within repeated measure ANOVA determined that student MSLQ motivation and learning strategy scores in the regular classroom varied statistically significantly by teacher. Student MSLQ motivation and learning strategy scores in the life laboratory varied statistically significantly by teacher. To triangulate data, individual interviews of students were conducted at the end of the semester and revealed students regard the life laboratory as an asset to their science study; however, students do appreciate and value working in the learning environment that the regular classroom provides.
This study examined developmental and gender differences in Grade 5 and 9 students' views of uncertainty in science and the effect of classroom instruction on attitudes towards science, and motivation. Study 1 examined views of uncertainty in science when students were taught science using constructivist pedagogy. A total of 33 Grade 5 (n = 17, 12 boys, 5 girls) and Grade 9 (n = 16, 8 boys, 8 girls) students were interviewed about the ideas they had about uncertainty in their own experiments (i.e., practical science) and in professional science activities (i.e., formal science). Analysis found an interaction between grade and gender in the number of categories of uncertainty identified for both practical and formal science. Additionally, in formal science, there was a developmental shift from dualism (i.e., science is a collection of basic facts that are the result of straightforward procedures) to multiplism (i.e., there is more than one answer or perspective on scientific knowledge) from Grade 5 to Grade 9. Finally, there was a positive correlation between the understanding uncertainty in practical and formal science. Study 2 compared the attitudes and motivation towards science and motivation of students in constructivist and traditional classrooms. Scores on the measures were also compared to students' views of uncertainty for constructivist-taught students. A total of 28 students in Grade 5 (n = 13, 11 boys, 2 girls) and Grade 9 (n = 15, 6 boys, 9 girls), from traditional science classrooms and the 33 constructivist students from Study 1 participated. Regardless of classroom instruction, fifth graders reported more positive attitudes towards science than ninth graders. Students from the constructivist classrooms reported more intrinsic motivation than students from the traditional classrooms. Constructivist students' views of uncertainty in formal and practical science did not correlate with their attitudes towards science and motivation.
Ryder, Jim; Leach, John
We begin by drawing upon the available literature to identify four characteristics of teacher talk likely to support student learning about the epistemology of science: making appropriate statements about the epistemology of science in the classroom, linking the epistemology of science with specific science concepts, stating and justifying…
National Science Teachers Association (NJ1), 2005
National Science Teachers Association (NSTA), led by a panel of K-12 science teachers, has developed a new position statement, "Responsible Use of Live Animals and Dissection in the Science Classroom." This statement examines the issues surrounding the integration of animals into the K-12 science curriculum and highlights key…
Deakin, Kathleen J.
This study examines factors that shape four student's perceptions of writing tasks in their science classroom. This qualitative retrospective interview study focuses on four students concurrently enrolled in honors English and honors biology. This research employs a phenomenological perspective on writing, examining whether the writing strategies students acquire in the Language Arts classroom manifest in the content areas. I also adopt Bandura's theoretical perspective on self-efficacy as well as Hillock's notion of writing as inquiry and meaning making. This study concludes that students need ample opportunity to generate content and language that will help reveal a purpose and genre for writing tasks in the content areas. Although all four students approached the writing tasks differently in this study, the tasks set before them were opportunities for replication rather than inquiry Through the case studies of four students as well as current research on content writing, this project works to inform all content area teachers about student perceptions of writing in the content areas.
Kochheiser, Karen Lynn
All students can learn science, but how they learn science may differ. This study is about learning science and its relationship to gender. Women need to develop and establish connections with the objects that they are learning and be able to establish a voice in a science classroom. Unfortunately, traditional science classrooms still view science as a male domain and tend to discourage women from pursuing higher levels of science or science related careers. The ways that women learn science are a very complex set of interactions. In order to describe these interactions, this study explored how women's ways of knowing are represented in a high school science classroom. Nine women from an enriched integrated biology and earth science class contributed to this study. The women contributed to this study by participating in individual and group interviews, questionnaires, journals, observations and participant review of the interviews. The ways that these women learn science were described in terms of Belenky, Clinchy, Goldberger, and Tarule's Women's Ways of Knowing: The Development of Self, Voice, and Mind (1997). The women's ways of learning in this classroom tended to be situational with the women fitting different categories of knowing depending on the situation. Most of the women demonstrated periods of time where they wanted to be heard or tried to establish a voice in the classroom. The study helps to provide a theory for how women make choices in their learning of science and the struggle to be successful in a male dominated discipline. The women participating in this study gained an awareness of how they learn science and how that can be used to make them even more successful in the classroom. The awareness of how women learn science will also be of great benefit to other teachers and educators as the work for science reform continues to make science a 'science for all'.
Ijames, Erika Denise
Research indicates that internal and external factors such as role models, stereotypes, and pressures placed on African American males by their family and friends influence their perceptions of science careers (Assibey-Mensah, 1997; Hess & Leal, 1997; Jacobowitz, 1983; Maple & Stage, 1991; Thomas, 1989; Ware & Lee, 1988). The purpose of this research was to investigate the perceptions of African American high school males about selected science careers based on apparent internal and external factors. Two questions guided this research: (1) What are high school African American males' perceptions of science careers? (2) What influences high school African American males' perceptions of science careers? This research was based on a pilot study in which African American college males perceived a selection of science careers along racial and gender lines. The follow-up investigation was conducted at Rockriver High School in Acorn County, and the participants were three college-bound African American males. The decision to choose males was based on the concept of occupational niching along gender lines. In biology, niching is defined as the role of a particular species regarding space and reproduction, and its interactions with other factors. During the seven-week period of the students' senior year, they met with the researcher to discuss their perceptions of science careers. An ethnographic approach was used to allow a richer and thicker narrative to occur. Critical theory was used to describe and interpret the voices of the participants from a social perspective. The data collected were analyzed using a constant comparative analysis technique. The participants revealed role models, negative stereotypes, peer pressure, social pressures, and misconceptions as some of the factors that influenced their perceptions of science careers. Results of this research suggest that by dispelling the misconceptions, educators can positively influence the attitudes and perceptions of
Muldrew, Lola Melissa
An important consequence of a deeply rooted, mono-cultural rubric for acceptable school participation in the United States has been that African-American students in traditional K-12 math classrooms tend to be labeled as academically "at risk." This qualitative investigation responds to said categorization by examining African-American…
Schnell, James A.
The South African educational system and race relations were studied in the context of effects on cross-cultural relations in the classroom. An examination of South African faculty perspectives was compared and contrasted witht U.S. faculty perspectives and was interpreted in relation to the cross-cultural relations that exist in the two…
This study highlights the factors that contribute to excellence in urban science teaching as pinpointed by five urban African-American science teachers who have taught successfully in the urban system for over 10 years. These teachers shared their experiences and reflections on the qualities that contributed to their success and persistence as…
Ramnarain, Umesh Dewnarain; Chanetsa, Tarisai
This article reports on an analysis and comparison of three South African Grade 9 (13-14 years) Natural Sciences textbooks for the representation of nature of science (NOS). The analysis was framed by an analytical tool developed and validated by Abd-El-Khalick and a team of researchers in a large-scale study on the high school textbooks in the…
Cushman-Patz, B. J.
Middle school students are curious, energetic, and impatient. A middle school science teacher is always challenged to find ways to relate the content she’d like to convey to the students’ everyday lives, working to both satiate and foster their natural curiosity. She must communicate science in language appropriate for her audience, teaching new vocabulary words the first time she uses them, and reviewing them often. A thriving middle school science classroom is noisy, messy, and fun. Understanding what makes this classroom dynamic work can lead to better communication about science to any audience. 1) Know your bottom-line message, and keep it simple. Research science is complicated and nuanced. Your audience may be interested in some of these details, but start with the big picture first, and fill in the details as appropriate. 2) Avoid jargon. Use language that you would use to explain science to your 13-year-old neighbor or your 85-year old grandmother. They know what a volcano is, but they may not know the difference between a crater and a caldera. They definitely don’t know what a phreatomagmatic eruption is. As you introduce necessary jargon into your discussion, define it clearly in terms of something you are sure they do know and understand. 3) Engage the audience. Use pictures; use your hands; use common-reference points. Whenever possible, get the audience members to use their hands to mimic your motion. Encourage them to try to reframe what you say in terms that they’re comfortable with. Make it a two-way conversation 4) Pause. New concepts take time to absorb. Take a breath; give your audience a moment to absorb what you just explained and to formulate questions they may have. 5) Pay attention to cues. Middle school students make it obvious when they’re bored; adults tend to be more subtle. When eyes wander or eyelids droop, ask a question that engages your audience, even if it’s just, “do you follow?” or, “where did I lose you
Milner, Andrea R.; Sondergeld, Toni A.; Demir, Abdulkadir; Johnson, Carla C.; Czerniak, Charlene M.
The impact of No Child Left Behind (NCLB) mandated state science assessment on elementary teachers' beliefs about teaching science and their classroom practice is relatively unknown. For many years, the teaching of science has been minimized in elementary schools in favor of more emphasis on reading and mathematics. This study examines the…
Tomanek, Debra; Cummings, Katharine E.
Presents case studies of three science majors who decided to enter teacher education after participating in a classroom teaching assistant project. Finds that some academically talented science majors can be positively influenced to teach by direct work with students, opportunities to earn teacher certification with the science major, and frequent…
Ford, Amy Carpenter
This in-depth case study of classroom interaction illuminated how a white female teacher and African American students used talk to build positive authority relationships across their racial difference. Racial difference in classrooms can engender cultural misunderstandings between teachers and students around behavior, communication, and learning…
de Beer, Josef; Whitlock, Elrina
The whole world was united in its condemnation of the pre-1994 apartheid regime in South Africa. Apartheid meant that many South Africans were robbed of their democratic voices and cultural identities. In this article, the authors pose the question: Are you guilty of "knowledge apartheid" in your biology classroom? Does every student have a voice…
Cottledge, Michael Christopher
Objective of the Study: The objective of this research study was to investigate whether an association exists between teacher demographic factors (years of teaching experience and gender), 2 educational factors (certification type and certification pathway) and the percent passing rate of tenth grade African American male students on the 2010 science TAKS. Answers to the following questions were sought: 1. Is there an association between teacher demographic factors and the percent passing rate of their tenth grade African American male students on the 2010 science TAKS? 2. Is there an association between teacher educational factors and the percent passing rate of their tenth grade African American male students on the 2010 science TAKS? 3. Is there an association between teacher demographic factors, educational factors and the percent passing rate of their tenth grade African American male students on the 2010 science TAKS? Status of the Question: According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), science and engineering jobs in the U.S. have increased steadily over recent years and by the year 2016 the number of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) jobs will have grown by more than 21 percent. This increase in science and engineering jobs will double the growth rate of all other workforce sectors combined. The BLS also reports that qualified minority applicants needed to fill these positions will be few and far between. African Americans, Latinos, and other minorities constitute 24 percent of the U.S. population but only 13 percent of college graduates and just 10 percent of people with college degrees who work in science and engineering (Education Trust, 2009). Drawing on the above information, I proposed the following hypotheses to the research questions: H01: There will be no significant statistical association between the demographic factors teacher gender and years of teaching experience and the percent passing rate of their tenth grade African
Duncanson, Edward Francis
While qualitative studies of teacher perceptions of classroom organization have been performed, quantitative studies linked to standards-based assessments are noticeably absent. Two questions guided the research: What is the impact of classroom layout in grade 4 on student achievement in science? How does space use change in a classroom when the furniture is reorganized? The study was conducted in five classrooms in two rural, elementary schools. In two classrooms, teachers placed a large science materials table in the center of the room to make science activities a focal point for students. Two classrooms, that were used as controls, continued to operate using their established organization. The organization of the fifth classroom had included a large table in the center of the room for a number of years. This room was also used as a control. Data were collected in three ways. Quantitative data were collected from the New York State Grade-4 Science Program Evaluation Test. Qualitative data were collected using the Classroom Spatial Utilization and Migration Form and by creating a classroom map. The data were presented in quantitative, narrative, and graphic forms. Data from the New York State Grade-4 Science Program Evaluation Test were analyzed using a matrix published by the New York State Education Department and by using SPSS software. Classroom spatial utilization and migration patterns were visually evaluated. The guiding hypothesis that placing a large table in the center of the room would result in improved student performance was not totally supported by the data. Student density was correlated to student achievement. Specifically, classroom space per student was positively correlated to the inquiry science skills of classifying, manipulating materials, measuring, recording data, using non-standard measurement, and making predictions. Classroom arrangement was not as important as open space per student. This research is important because classrooms that
United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization, Paris (France).
Eighteen recommendations made by a 1962 United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) seminar on teaching the basic sciences in African universities introduce the conference report. A general summary of the conference proceedings, reported separately for pedagogic problems and difficulties of organization and…
The purpose of this study was to determine the extent to which sustained teacher professional development in science education affects the classroom instruction of elementary school teachers in third through sixth grade over a 3-year period. The teachers in the study were all elementary endorsed and prepared to be generalists in the content areas. Science reform has led to more content-specific science standards that are difficult for most elementary teachers to address without professional development. Recent studies on improving elementary science instruction suggest the need for professional development to be long term, embedded in teaching practice in the classroom, and rooted in research on how children learn science. The researcher examined changes in classroom instruction over a 3-year period of teachers who participated in a professional development program designed to meet the elementary science education reform based on recommendations from the National Research Council's report, Taking Science to School: Learning and Teaching Science in Grades K-8. The data that were analyzed to determine the effects of the professional development came from classroom observations of two sets of teachers, one of which was the control set (n = 20). The other was the experimental set (n =22). Classroom observations were administered one time each year over 3 years of treatment to determine whether sustained professional development in science impacted teacher practices in the classroom. This study suggested that classroom science instruction did significantly change through sustained professional development intervention. It also suggested that teaching practices improved in the areas of talk and argument, investigation and inquiry, modeling and representations, alignment with science core concepts, and addressing science misconceptions. Furthermore, findings indicated that teachers who received sustained professional development were more likely to have higher overall
Research on young children's reasoning show the complex relationships of knowledge, theories, and evidence in their decision-making and problem solving. Most of the research on children's reasoning skills has been done in individualized and formal research settings, not collective classroom environments where children often engage in learning and reasoning together to solve classroom problems. This study posits children's reasoning as a collective social activity that can occur in science classrooms. The study examined how children process their reasoning within the context of Grade 2/3 science classrooms and how the process of collectivity emerges from classroom interactions and dialogue between children as they attempt to solve their classroom problems. The study findings suggest that children's reasoning involves active evaluation of theories and evidence through collective problem solving, with consensus being developed through dialogical reasoning.
Savasci, Funda; Berlin, Donna F.
Science teacher beliefs and classroom practice related to constructivism and factors that may influence classroom practice were examined in this cross-case study. Data from four science teachers in two schools included interviews, demographic questionnaire, Classroom Learning Environment Survey (preferred/perceived), and classroom observations and documents. Using an inductive analytic approach, results suggested that the teachers embraced constructivism, but classroom observations did not confirm implementation of these beliefs for three of the four teachers. The most preferred constructivist components were personal relevance and student negotiation; the most perceived component was critical voice. Shared control was the least preferred, least perceived, and least observed constructivist component. School type, grade, student behavior/ability, curriculum/standardized testing, and parental involvement may influence classroom practice.
This dissertation examines the instructional and relational moves implemented by an equity-conscious teacher in service of supporting discursive participation among her English Learners specifically in a problem-based science classroom. The research included also examines the evolution of discursive participation among English Learners as well as the nature of collaboration among English Learners and their English Fluent peers. Initial findings suggest that there were productive, unproductive, and problematic responses to the teacher's caring approach. Students saw the teacher as approachable and accessible which resulted in students seeking the teacher out, which in turn meant that the teacher was able to scaffold instruction for her students. Students recognized and appreciated teacher strategies, but did not generally take up or adopt her instructional supports when working with their peers. English Fluent students shielded English Learners from more rigorous participation in an effort to prevent them from feeling uncomfortable. Furthermore, English Learners and their English Fluent peers defined "help" in the context of group work differently. The implications for this work include further addressing the ways in which teachers support and scaffold science instruction, thinking more critically about the ways in which teachers are explicit in modeling instructional strategies, and working with students to better understand the implications of differences in the ways that they define help and collaborate.
Jones, M. Gail; Wheatley, Jack
Thirty physical science and 30 chemistry classes, which contained a total of 1332 students, were observed using the Brophy-Good Teacher-Child Dyadic Interaction System. Classroom interactions were examined for gender differences that may contribute to the underrepresentation of women in physics and engineering courses and subsequent careers. The Brophy-Good coding process allows for examination of patterns of interactions for individuals and groups of pupils. An analysis of variance of the data yielded a significant main effect for teacher praise, call outs, procedural questions, and behavioral warnings based on the sex of the student and a significant teacher-sex main effect for direct questions. Significant two-way interactions were found for the behavioral warning variable for teacher sex and subject by student sex. Female teachers warned male students significantly more than female students. Male teachers warned both genders with similar frequency. Male students also received significantly more behavioral warnings in physical science classes than female students. In chemistry classes, both male and female students received approximately the same number of behavioral warnings.
Slater, T. F.; Richwine, P. L.; Parker, S. J. Shipp, S. Lowes, L.
Science education reform documents universally call for students to have authentic and meaningful experiences using real data in their science education. The underlying philosophical position is that students analyzing data can have experiences that mimic actual research. In short, research experiences that reflect the scientific spirit of inquiry potentially can: 1) prepare students to address real world complex problems; 2) develop students' ability to use scientific methods; 3) prepare students to critically evaluate the validity of data or evidence and of the consequent interpretations or conclusions; 4) teach quantitative skills, technical methods, and scientific concepts; 5) increase verbal, written, and graphical communication skills; and 6) train students in the values and ethics of working with scientific data. This large-scale, national teacher survey reveals that far too few teachers are comfortable using authentic data in the classroom. Barriers include, but not limited to: 1) difficulty in finding appropriate data and analysis tools; 2) the perceived length of time it takes students to complete an authentic scientific inquiry; and, most importantly, 3) a perceived lack of expert infrastructure and mentors who can help individual students. These results point to the need for a solution that simplifies the number of pathways for students to access data, reduces the number of analysis tools that teachers and students need to master, provides samples of student work that other students can emulate, and provides a nationwide system of online mentors who are willing and able to help students succeed. at scientific inquiry.
This study uses sociological perspectives to analyse one of the core practices in science education: schoolchildren's and students' laboratory work. Applying an ethnographic approach to the laboratory work done by pupils at a Swedish compulsory school, data were generated through observations, field notes, interviews, and a questionnaire. The pupils, ages 14 and 15, were observed as they took a 5-week physics unit (specifically, mechanics). The analysis shows that the episodes of laboratory work could be filled with curiosity and exciting challenges; however, another picture emerged when sociological concepts and notions were applied to what is a very common way of working in the classroom. Laboratory work is characterised as a social activity that is expected to be organised as a group activity. This entails groups becoming, to some extent, `safe havens' for the pupils. On the other hand, this way of working in groups required pupils to subject to the groups and the peer effect, sometimes undermining their chances to learn and perform better. In addition, the practice of working in groups when doing laboratory work left some pupils and the teacher blaming themselves, even though the outcome of the learning situation was a result of a complex interplay of social processes. This article suggests a stronger emphasis on the contradictions and consequences of the science subjects, which are strongly influenced by their socio-historical legacy.
Physics, which is widely touted as the most fundamental of the sciences, underpins the progress in all other branches of science and has a wide range of applications in economic development, including in health, energy research, food security, communication technology and climate change. The African Union (AU) Commission articulates the continental vision of its Member States and its programs are designed to directly contribute to its social and economic development and integration efforts. In the area of science and technology the Department has developed Africa's Science and Technology Consolidated Plan of Action as a strategic policy document through the AU system of conference of ministers responsible for science to guide the continent on common priority programs. The programs in this plan of action that have been transformed into bankable projects under the Book of ``lighthouse projects Phase 1'', adequately respond to Africa's challenges and development needs using science. They can be summarized into three main themes: a pan-African university (PAU) initiative (to combine higher education and scientific research as a network of differentiated PAU in each of the five African regions), African research grants (to strengthen the research capacity of the African institutions and upgrading infrastructures, consolidating their accumulated asset of scientific knowledge), popularization of science and technology and promotion of public participation (to build public understanding and raising awareness on science and technology as a driving agent for social and economic progress for Africa and its integration process) and a science and technology institutional capacity building program). This talk will review these programs as well as the vision of the African Development Bank role in it. )
Hanrahan, Mary U.
There is evidence that alienation from science is linked to the dominant discourse practices of science classrooms (cf. Lemke, J. L. (1990). Talking Science: Language, Learning, and Values. Norwood, NJ: Ablex). Yet, in secondary science education it is particularly hard to find evidence of curriculum reform that includes explicit changes in pedagogic discourses to accommodate the needs of students from a wide range of backgrounds. However, such evidence does exist and needs to be highlighted wherever it is found to help address social justice concerns in science education. In this article, I show how critical discourse analysis can be used to explore a way of challenging the dominant discourse in teacher - student interactions in science classrooms. My findings suggest a new way of moving toward more socially just science curricula in middle years and secondary classrooms by using hybrid discourses that can serve emancipatory purposes.
Graff, P. V.; Rampe, E.; Stefanov, W. L.; Vanderbloemen, L.; Higgins, M.
Connecting students and teachers in classrooms with science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) experts provides an invaluable opportunity. Subject matter experts can share exciting science and science-related events as well as help to "translate" science being conducted by professionals. The Expedition Earth and Beyond (EEAB) Program, facilitated by the Astromaterials Research and Exploration Science (ARES) Division at the NASA Johnson Space Center, has been providing virtual access to subject matter experts through classroom connection webinars for the last five years. Each year, the reach of these events has grown considerably, especially over the last nine months. These virtual connections not only help engage students with role models, but are also designed to help teachers address concepts and content standards they are required to teach. These events also enable scientists and subject matter experts to help "translate" current science in an engaging and understandable manner while actively involving classrooms in the journey of science and exploration.
Ford, Angela Y.
Over half of the school facilities in America are in poor condition. Unsatisfactory school facilities have a negative impact on teaching and learning. The purpose of this correlational study was to identify the relationship between high school science teachers' perceptions of the school science environment (instructional equipment, demonstration equipment, and physical facilities) and ninth grade students' attitudes about science through their expressed enjoyment of science, importance of time spent on science, and boredom with science. A sample of 11,523 cases was extracted, after a process of data mining, from a databank of over 24,000 nationally representative ninth graders located throughout the United States. The instrument used to survey these students was part of the High School Longitudinal Study of 2009 (HSLS:2009). The research design was multiple linear regression. The results showed a significant relationship between the science classroom conditions and students' attitudes. Demonstration equipment and physical facilities were the best predictors of effects on students' attitudes. Conclusions based on this study and recommendations for future research are made.
Mockel, Lindsey Joan
This research study investigated the effect of using the think aloud protocol while reading informational text on students' ability to learn from text in a secondary science classroom. The participants in this study were high school students (n=47) in three classes of a mixed-grade Integrated Biology, Chemistry, and Physics course. The study tracked student achievement during a four-week curriculum unit on the theory of evolution and evidence for biological evolution. All students received instruction on using the think aloud protocol, and all students practiced the think aloud protocol when reading short articles related to scientific evidence for evolution. The researcher measured student's ability to read and understand science text by comparing scores from a reading skills pre-assessment and post-assessment from each student. Student surveys were conducted to gather feedback on the effectiveness of the strategy in teaching students to use a literacy strategy while reading science text. Data were analyzed using descriptive statistics.
Trice, Rodney Nathaniel
This study examines the educational experiences of high achieving African American males. More specifically, it analyzes the influences on their successful navigation through high school science. Through a series of interviews, observations, questionnaires, science portfolios, and review of existing data the researcher attempted to obtain a deeper understanding of high achieving African American males and their limitations to academic attainment and high school science experiences. The investigation is limited to ten high achieving African American male science students at Woodcrest High School. Woodcrest is situated at the cross section of a suburban and rural community located in the southeastern section of the United States. Although this investigation involves African American males, all of whom are successful in school, its findings should not be generalized to this nor any other group of students. The research question that guided this study is: What are the limitations to academic attainment and the high school science experiences of high achieving African American males? The student participants expose how suspension and expulsion, special education placement, academic tracking, science instruction, and teacher expectation influence academic achievement. The role parents play, student self-concept, peer relationships, and student learning styles are also analyzed. The anthology of data rendered three overarching themes: (1) unequal access to education, (2) maintenance of unfair educational structures, and (3) authentic characterizations of African American males. Often the policies and practices set in place by school officials aid in creating hurdles to academic achievement. These policies and practices are often formed without meaningful consideration of the unintended consequences that may affect different student populations, particularly the most vulnerable. The findings from this study expose that high achieving African American males face major
Weinburgh, Molly H.
Investigates the effectiveness of a local systemic change grant on 5th grade urban African American students' attitudes toward science. Measures students' attitudes by using the modified Attitude Toward Science Inventory (mATSI). Indicates a significant main effect for the program and for school but not for gender. Examines school characteristics…
West-Olatunji, Cirecie; Shure, Lauren; Pringle, Rose; Adams, Thomasenia; Lewis, Dadria; Cholewa, Blaire
The underrepresentation of low-income African American girls in science-related careers is of concern. Applying the concept of positionality, the authors explored how three school counselors at low-resourced schools view this population of learners to either support or discourage mathematics and science careers. The results of this study suggest…
Buck, Gayle A.; Cook, Kristin L.; Quigley, Cassie F.; Prince, Pearl; Lucas, Yvonne
In this participatory action research study, we answered the question, How can we improve attitudes toward science education of the African American girls at an elementary school? Girls in grades 3-6 completed the Modified Attitudes toward Science Inventory. A purposeful sample of 30 girls participated in several focus-group interviews throughout…
This research investigates how eight undergraduate African American women in science, math, and engineering (SME) majors accessed cultural capital and informal science learning opportunities from preschool to college. It uses the multiple case study methodological approach and cultural capital as frameworks to better understand the participants'…
Xu, Jianzhong; Coats, Linda T.; Davidson, Mary L.
The authors of this article argue both the urgency and the promise of establishing a constructive conversation among different bodies of research, including science interest, sociocultural studies in science education, and culturally relevant teaching. With the instructional practices of eight exemplary African American elementary teachers serving…
Cohen, E.; Peart, L. W.
Many science teachers start the year off with classroom safety topics. Annual repetition helps with mastery of this important and basic knowledge, while helping schools to meet their legal obligations for safe lab science. Although these lessons are necessary, they are often topical, rarely authentic and relatively dull. Interesting connections can, however, be drawn between the importance of safety in science classrooms and the importance of safety in academic laboratories, fieldwork, shipboard research, and commercial research. Teachers can leverage these connections through live video interactions with scientists in the field, thereby creating an authentic learning environment. During the School of Rock 2009, a professional teacher research experience aboard the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program's research vessel JOIDES Resolution, safety and nature-of-science curricula were created to help address this need. By experimenting with various topics and locations on the ship that were accessible and applicable to middle school learning, 43 highly visual "safety signs" and activities were identified and presented "live" by graduate students, teachers, scientists; the ship's mates, doctor and technical staff. Students were exposed to realistic science process skills along with safety content from the world's only riserless, deep-sea drilling research vessel. The once-in-a-lifetime experience caused the students' eyes to brighten behind their safety glasses, especially as they recognized the same eye wash station and safety gear they have to wear and attended a ship's fire and safety drill along side scientists in hard hats and personal floatation devices. This collaborative and replicable live vide approach will connect basic safety content and nature-of-science process skills for a memorable and authentic learning experience for students.
The purpose of this study is to examines the relationship between the communicative approach of classroom talk and the modes of representations used by science teachers. Based on video data from two physics classrooms in Singapore, a recurring pattern in the relationship was observed as the teaching sequence of a lesson unfolded. It was found that…
Smith, John P.
A classroom observation instrument was developed for investigating teacher and student behaviors associated with the maintenance of an inquiry atmosphere where Earth Science Curriculum Project materials are used as a course of study. This instrument was later used in ESCP classrooms to determine its reliability and usefulness in describing teacher…
Guth, Gloria J. A.; Austin, Susan; DeLong, Bo; Pasta, David J.; Block, Clifford
The GALAXY Classroom is a package of integrated curricular and instructional approaches, supported by the first U.S. interactive satellite communications network designed to facilitate the introduction of innovative curricula to improve student learning in elementary schools. GALAXY Classroom Science for grades 3-5 features the organization of…
Cervoni, Cleti; Ivinson, Gabrielle
The paper explores the ways girls appropriate gender through actions, gesture and talk to achieve things in primary school science classrooms. It draws on socio-cultural approaches to show that when everyday classroom practices are viewed from multiple planes of analysis, historical, institutional and in the micro dynamics of classroom…
The purpose of this study was to explore alignment between reform-based Turkish primary science curriculum and alternative assessment practices of a classroom teacher. Observational case study approach was utilized. A classroom teacher with 32 years of experience and his 31 students participated in the study. The data were collected during one…
Blanton, Maria L.; Westbrook, Susan; Carter, Glenda
This study explores the use of Valsiner's zone theory as a way to interpret the zones of proximal development of three secondary teachers in mathematics and science. Specifically, we used classroom discourse to identify what the participating teachers promoted (zone of promoted action) or allowed (zone of free movement) in the classroom as a way…
Dubois, Shannon L.; Luft, Julie A.
"Floating" teachers, or teachers without their own classroom, experience unique affordances and constraints as they develop professionally. To increase the knowledge in this area, this study looks at how traveling to different classrooms affects beginning secondary science teachers' development and instruction. The participants in…
Martin, Susan Ferguson; Daughenbaugh, Lynda; Shaw, Edward L., Jr.; Burch, Katrina
Although literacy plays a large role in elementary science classrooms, one thing that offers a challenge for educators is meeting the linguistic needs of English language learners (ELLs) while also meeting their content needs. An additional challenge is ensuring that academic literacy extends beyond the classroom. This article presents ways of…
Gillmor, Mary S.; And Others
This guide is designed to encourage people to keep animals of all kinds in the classroom and to use them in teaching language arts, mathematics, and social studies, as well as science and nature study. The booklet is divided into four sections. The first section contains an account of a year with desert animals in an ungraded classroom of six- to…
Trotman, Alicia M.
The purpose of this qualitative study was to analyze and interpret the stories told by one teacher, Ms. M, in a fifth grade science classroom. In this study, stories are defined as teacher utterances that are used in first person or third person narrative view, and are related to an experience that occurred outside the classroom. This research…
This paper distils 24 years of classroom research into promoting quality learning in science classrooms to develop an overall framework for better understanding and describing both the learning and the teaching approaches that stimulate and support it. For me, quality learning is characterised by adjectives such as informed, purposeful,…
De Carvalho, Roussel
Steven Vertovec (2006, 2007) has recently offered a re-interpretation of population diversity in large urban centres due to a considerable increase in immigration patterns in the UK. This complex scenario called superdiversity has been conceptualised to help illuminate significant interactions of variables such as religion, language, gender, age, nationality, labour market and population distribution on a larger scale. The interrelationships of these themes have fundamental implications in a variety of community environments, but especially within our schools. Today, London schools have over 300 languages being spoken by students, all of whom have diverse backgrounds, bringing with them a wealth of experience and, most critically, their own set of religious beliefs. At the same time, Science is a compulsory subject in England's national curriculum, where it requires teachers to deal with important scientific frameworks about the world; teaching about the origins of the universe, life on Earth, human evolution and other topics, which are often in conflict with students' religious views. In order to cope with this dynamic and thought-provoking environment, science initial teacher education (SITE)—especially those catering large urban centres—must evolve to equip science teachers with a meaningful understanding of how to handle a superdiverse science classroom, taking the discourse of inclusion beyond its formal boundaries. Thus, this original position paper addresses how the role of SITE may be re-conceptualised and re-framed in light of the immense challenges of superdiversity as well as how science teachers, as enactors of the science curriculum, must adapt to cater to these changes. This is also the first in a series of papers emerging from an empirical research project trying to capture science teacher educators' own views on religio-scientific issues and their positions on the place of these issues within science teacher education and the science classroom.
Katz, Phyllis; Randy McGinnis, J.; Riedinger, Kelly; Marbach-Ad, Gili; Dai, Amy
In case studies of two first-year elementary classroom teachers, we explored the influence of informal science education (ISE) they experienced in their teacher education program. Our theoretical lens was identity development, delimited to classroom science teaching. We used complementary data collection methods and analysis, including interviews, electronic communications, and drawing prompts. We found that our two participants referenced as important the ISE experiences in their development of classroom science identities that included resilience, excitement and engagement in science teaching and learning-qualities that are emphasized in ISE contexts. The data support our conclusion that the ISE experiences proved especially memorable to teacher education interns during the implementation of the No Child Left Behind policy which concentrated on school-tested subjects other than science.
Best, Bonnie M.
Research into African American female underrepresentation in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields has become an area of interest due to the fact that a majority of African American middle school females do not possess the high levels of mathematics and science knowledge because of social and cultural barriers both inside and outside school that challenge their academic success. The purpose of this qualitative interpretative phenomenological study was to explore teachers' shared, lived experiences of teaching mathematics and science to African American middle school girls. Delgado and Stefancic's critical race theory, Pratt-Clarke's critical race feminism, and Baker-Miller's relational-cultural theory were used to guide this study. Research questions focused on the perceptions and experiences of teachers' lived experiences teaching mathematics and science to African American middle school females. Criterion, purposive, and maximum variation sampling techniques were used to recruit 10 teachers who have 3 or more years' experience teaching African American middle school girls. Semistructured face-to-face interviews were the primary data collection source. First cycle and second cycle coding methods were used to support the analysis of this study. Findings suggest that there is a connection between a positive student-teacher relationship and academic success. The results of this study contribute to positive social change by providing empirical evidence policymakers and teachers can use to improve the mathematics and science instruction and practices that are needed to meet the needs of African American middle school females and reduce the underrepresentation and underachievement of African American females in mathematics and science.
Woodward-Kron, Robyn; Remedios, Louisa
Classroom discourse analysis has contributed to understandings of the nature of student-teacher interactions, and how learning takes place in the classroom; however, much of this work has been undertaken in teacher-directed learning contexts. Student-centred classrooms such as problem-based learning (PBL) approaches are increasingly common in…
This article reports the results of an ethnographic research about the multimodal science discourse in a sixth-grade sheltered classroom involving English Language Learners (ELLs) only. Drawing from the perspective of multimodality, this study examines how science learning is constructed in science lectures through multiple semiotic resources,…
Discover discovery bottles! These wide-mouth plastic containers of any size filled with objects of different kinds can be terrific tools for science explorations and a great way to cultivate science minds in a K-2 science classroom. In addition, the author has found them to be a useful, inexpensive, and engaging way to help students develop skills…
Brings science and art into the language arts classroom as a means of exploring cross-curricular connections without losing sight of the priority of writing. Notes that keeping a pseudo science journal in language arts as well as painting and drawing helped students learn more and see more about themselves as learners, both in science and in…
El-Hindi, Amelia E.
Outlines activities that encourage students' talking, reading, and writing about science in a way that supports both inquiry-based science instruction and a student-centered approach to literacy. Notes that talk is very important to science learning in the elementary classroom. Describes how writing "ecomysteries," dialogue journals, and grant…
Ulkins, David S.
Studies indicate a gap in science achievement and positive attitudes towards science between gifted male and female students with females performing less than the males. This study investigated the impact of a single-gender classroom environment as opposed to a mixed-gender classroom, on motivation, locus of control, self-concept, and science achievement of middle school gifted girls. The Motivated Strategies for Learning Questionnaire (MSLQ), Review of Personal Effectiveness with Locus of Control (ROPELOC), Test of Science Related Attitudes (TOSRA), and Stanford Achievement Test 10th Edition, were used to measure the dependent variables respectively. The independent-measure t test was used to compare the differences between girls in a single-gender classroom with the ones in a mixed-gender classroom. A significant difference in the external locus of control resulted for girls in the single gender classroom. However, there were no significant differences found in science achievement, motivation, and the attitudes toward science between the two groups. The implication is that a single-gender learning environment and the use of differentiated teaching strategies can help lessen the negative effects of societal stereotypes in today's classrooms. These, along with being cognizant of the differences in learning styles of girls and their male counterparts, will result in a greater level of success for gifted females in the area of science education.
Stone, Daryl Bryant
The literature on African-American males (AAM) begins with a statement to the effect that "Today young Black men are more likely to be killed or sent to prison than to graduate from college." Why are the numbers of African-American male college graduates decreasing? Why are those enrolled in college not majoring in the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) disciplines? This research explored why African-American males are not filling the well-recognized industry need for Computer Scientist/Technologists by choosing college tracks to these careers. The literature on STEM disciplines focuses largely on women in STEM, as opposed to minorities, and within minorities, there is a noticeable research gap in addressing the needs and opportunities available to African-American males. The primary goal of this study was therefore to examine the computer science "pipeline" from the African-American male perspective. The method included a "Computer Science Degree Self-Efficacy Scale" be distributed to five groups of African-American male students, to include: (1) fourth graders, (2) eighth graders, (3) eleventh graders, (4) underclass undergraduate computer science majors, and (5) upperclass undergraduate computer science majors. In addition to a 30-question self-efficacy test, subjects from each group were asked to participate in a group discussion about "African-American males in computer science." The audio record of each group meeting provides qualitative data for the study. The hypotheses include the following: (1) There is no significant difference in "Computer Science Degree" self-efficacy between fourth and eighth graders. (2) There is no significant difference in "Computer Science Degree" self-efficacy between eighth and eleventh graders. (3) There is no significant difference in "Computer Science Degree" self-efficacy between eleventh graders and lower-level computer science majors. (4) There is no significant difference in "Computer Science Degree
Liou, Wei-Kai; Bhagat, Kaushal Kumar; Chang, Chun-Yen
The present study compares the highly interactive cloud-classroom (HIC) system with traditional methods of teaching materials science that utilize crystal structure picture or real crystal structure model, in order to examine its learning effectiveness across three dimensions: knowledge, comprehension and application. The aim of this study was to…
National Inst. of Mental Health (DHHS), Rockville, MD.
This guide stems from concern that many classroom teachers have limited exposure to the scientific community in general and to the nature and method of science in particular. It offers guidelines and suggestions to plan, conduct, and evaluate summer mentorship programs and gives practical advice on establishing programs, garnering institutional…
Waight, Noemi; Chiu, Ming Ming; Whitford, Melinda
This study contributed to our understanding of those factors that serve as predictors of science teachers' selection and use of technologies and more specifically, how selection and usage was realized among teachers of different science disciplines. Notable descriptive statistics were examined, and we tested an explanatory model of how demographics, school context, pedagogical approaches and professional development (PD) influenced the likelihood of a teacher using a tool via a multilevel cross-classification-ordered logit analysis (Goldstein 1995). The findings revealed that science teachers were more likely to use hardware than software; more specifically, this included instructional tools (i.e., SMARTboards, clickers) and laboratory tools (probeware). Differences in teachers' use of tools were largely due to differences in tools as opposed to differences in teacher characteristics. Use of a tool was more likely by teachers who taught physics, who taught via inquiry, or who had more PD with a tool. These findings have implications for how we conceptualize selection and usage of technologies that enter the science education pipeline; which tools become sustainable in the science classroom and how technological take-up differs across science disciplines.
Teaching science at times means teaching the way we were taught as undergraduates; giving lectures, giving notes and giving worksheets. That was my teaching style in the middle school science classroom for years. I then had the opportunity to take one of the first ESSEA online Earth System Science course for Middle School Science teachers. I discovered from that course different ways to challenge students to question, to research, and to become active learners instead of passive learners. It also made me reflect and analyze the way I had been teaching. Since that time, my program has developed directly as the result of that ESSEA Earth System Science course. It is a combination of several different learning paradigms, direct instruction, constructivism and inquiry. This has taken several years of searching, researching and revising to get to where I am today. The four spheres of Earth System Science, the Biosphere, the Geosphere, the Atmosphere and the Hydrosphere are used and aligned with the Pennsylvania Ecology and Environment standards. Students focus on each sphere's essential question and objectives as they work on several Problem Based Learning(PBL) scenarios and inquiry based hands on activities relating to each sphere. Consequently, the students are personally involved with the construction of meaningful and relevant content and are actively engaged throughout their learning process.
Templin, Mark Arnold
This dissertation focuses on the development of students' scientific literacy discourse in a middle grade science classroom as the teacher attempted to establish a learning community. Instructional design features included a change in teacher and students' roles such that authority over many classroom decisions was shared and students were encouraged to design their own investigations within the context of extended learning projects. The study followed the progress of two groups of four students, representing diversity in academic performance, gender, and ethnicity, over the course of four months. Target group discourse was recorded once every other school day and then transcribed. Accompanying field notes were written. Classroom artifacts, including a complete set of daily lesson plans, instructional materials, and student products, were collected. The interpretive framework, which highlighted different discourse practices and the instructional moves that supported them, evolved during data analysis as it was repeatedly tried out against the empirical materials through stages of data reduction, display, conclusion drawing, and verification. Analysis of the teacher's practice indicated that he initiated and maintained a classroom learning community by encouraging students to (a) think about their thinking by responding to questions that promoted such reflection; (b) share their reflections and other written products with each other and revise them through peer review; (c) decide for themselves which science content was relevant to their investigations; (d) share problem solving strategies; and (e) debate the meaning of terms so that a common understanding of science concepts could be developed. The teacher modeled and asked questions to promote these reflective and collaborative practices, successively withdrawing his active involvement in group dialogue as the term progressed. Analysis of students' discourse indicated that students increasingly developed
Miles, Rhea Lynne
The purpose of this study was to determine to what extent given factors have influenced the enrollment in, achievement in, and the completion of science courses by African-American students, as well as the interest to pursue a career in a science-related field. The extent to which African-American student participation in science enrichment programs influenced these decisions in science was also evaluated. Finally, specific factors that influenced the decisions of African-American students who had participated in a science enrichment program were compared to those who had not. More than half of the students surveyed agreed that career opportunities in science, counselor/teacher recommendations, or a personal interest in science were major factors that influenced their enrollment in a science course that they had taken in the past or that they were presently enrolled in at school. Self-motivation, parents, and teachers were also agreed to be influential factors on academic achievement in science. Additionally, these same factors were agreed to influence at least half of the student respondent's completion of a science course and the desire to pursue a science-related occupation. Over half of the African-American respondents who participated in a science enrichment program agreed that their participation influenced their decision to enroll in, achieve in, and complete a science class, or want to pursue a career in a science-related field. The students, who had participated in a science enrichment program, agreed more than those who had not that, career opportunities in science and parent recommendations influenced their decision to enroll in past or present science classes. Student participants of a science enrichment program also agreed more than those students who had not participated in one that self-motivation influenced academic achievement in their present science class. Finally, participants of an extra-curricular science activity agreed more than those who
San Antonio College is the oldest, largest and centrally-located campus of Alamo Colleges, a network of five community colleges based around San Antonio, Texas with a headcount enrollment of approximately 20,000 students. The student population is diverse in ethnicity, age and income; and the Colleges understand that they play a salient role in educating its students on the foreseen impacts of climate change. This presentation will discuss the key investment Alamo Colleges has adopted to incorporate sustainability and climate science into non-traditional classrooms. The established courses that cover climate-related course material have historically had low enrollments. One of the most significant challenges is informing the student population of the value of this class both in their academic career and in their personal lives. By hosting these lessons in hands-on simulations and demonstrations that are accessible and understandable to students of any age, and pursuing any major, we have found an exciting way to teach all students about climate change and identify solutions. San Antonio College (SAC) hosts the Bill R. Sinkin Eco Centro Community Center, completed in early 2014, that serves as an environmental hub for Alamo Colleges' staff and students as well as the San Antonio community. The center actively engages staff and faculty during training days in sustainability by presenting information on Eco Centro, personal sustainability habits, and inviting faculty to bring their classes for a tour and sustainability primer for students. The Centro has hosted professors from diverse disciplines that include Architecture, Psychology, Engineering, Science, English, Fine Arts, and International Studies to bring their classes to center to learn about energy, water conservation, landscaping, and green building. Additionally, Eco Centro encourages and assists students with research projects, including a solar-hydroponic project currently under development with the support
Anderhag, P.; Wickman, P.-O.; Hamza, K. M.
In this paper we present a methodological approach for analyzing the transformation of interest in science through classroom talk and action. To this end, we use the construct of "taste for science" as a social and communicative operationalization, or proxy, to the more psychologically oriented construct of interest. To gain a taste for…
Fraser, Barry J.; Aldridge, Jill M.; Adolphe, F. S. Gerard
This article reports a cross-national study of classroom environments in Australia and Indonesia. A modified version of the What Is Happening In this Class? (WIHIC) questionnaire was used simultaneously in these two countries to: 1) crossvalidate the modified WIHIC; 2) investigate differences between countries and sexes in perceptions of classroom environment; and 3) investigate associations between students’ attitudes to science and their perceptions of classroom environment. The sample consisted of 1,161 students (594 students from 18 classes in Indonesia and 567 students from 18 classes in Australia). Principal components factor analysis with varimax rotation supported the validity of a revised structure for the WIHIC. Two-way MANOVA revealed some differences between countries and between sexes in students’ perceptions of their classroom environments. Simple correlation and multiple regression analyses revealed generally positive associations between the classroom environment and student attitudes to science in both countries.
Parker, Ashley Dawn
This research seeks to understand the experiences of African American female undergraduates in STEM. It investigates how familial factors and science identity formation characteristics influence persistence in STEM while considering the duality of African American women's status in society. This phenomenological study was designed using critical race feminism as the theoretical framework to answer the following questions: 1) What role does family play in the experiences of African American women undergraduate STEM majors who attended two universities in the UNC system? 2) What factors impact the formation of science identity for African American women undergraduate STEM majors who attended two universities in the UNC system? Purposive sampling was used to select the participants for this study. The researcher conducted in-depth interviews with 10 African American female undergraduate STEM major from a predominantly White and a historically Black institution with the state of North Carolina public university system. Findings suggest that African American families and science identity formation influence the STEM experiences of the African American females interviewed in this study. The following five themes emerged from the findings: (1) independence, (2) support, (3) pressure to succeed, (4) adaptations, and (5) race and gender. This study contributes to the literature on African American female students in STEM higher education. The findings of this study produced knowledge regarding policies and practices that can lead to greater academic success and persistence of African American females in higher education in general, and STEM majors in particular. Colleges and universities may benefit from the findings of this study in a way that allows them to develop and sustain programs and policies that attend to the particular concerns and needs of African American women on their campuses. Finally, this research informs both current and future African American female
Oyoo, Samuel Ouma
The world over, secondary school science is viewed mainly as a practical subject. This may be one reason why effectiveness of teaching approaches in science education has often been judged on the kinds of practical activity with which teachers and students engage. In addition to practical work, language—often written (as in science texts) or oral (as in the form of teacher and student talk)—is unavoidable in effective teaching and learning of science. Generally however, the role of (instructional) language in quality of learning of school science has remained out of focus in science education research. This has been in spite of findings in empirical research on difficulties science students encounter with words of the instructional language used in science. The findings have suggested that use of (instructional) language in science texts and classrooms can be a major influence on the level of students' understandings and retention of science concepts. This article reports and discusses findings in an investigation of physics teachers' approaches to use of and their beliefs about classroom instructional language. Direct classroom observations of, interviews with, as well as content analyses of the participant teachers' verbatim classroom talk, were used as the methods of data collection. Evidence is presented of participant physics teachers' lack of explicit awareness of the difficulty, nature, and functional value of different categories of words in the instructional language. In conclusion, the implications of this lack of explicit awareness on the general education (initial and in-service) of school physics teachers are considered.
Simon, Tiffany Monique
The purpose of this qualitative study was to identify factors that influence African Americans to pursue and complete doctoral degrees in engineering and applied science disciplines. Critical race theory (CRT), two models of doctoral student persistence, and graduate student persistence literature guided the conceptual framework of this study. In-depth and focus group interviews were conducted to learn the key factors that positively impacted the persistence of 19 African Americans who earned doctoral degrees in engineering and applied science. The following two factors were found to significantly contribute to the decision to pursue the doctorate: encouragement from others and participation in a research or internship program. Key factors impacting doctoral degree completion included: peer support, faculty adviser support, support from university administrators, and family support. In addition to identifying factors that influenced 19 African Americans to pursue and complete doctoral degrees in engineering and applied science, this study was about the importance of diversity and inclusion of multiple perspectives in education research and scholarship. To this end, the study served to promote and include the expert knowledge of African American doctoral degree recipients in engineering and applied science in the scholarly discourse on the issue of low participation rates of African Americans in engineering and applied science disciplines. Such knowledge will challenge traditional views on this issue and hopefully inspire new ways of addressing and remedying this issue. With African Americans and other minority populations growing at an exponential rate, people of color are quickly becoming the majority in key states across the nation. Therefore, it is imperative that all Americans have an opportunity to develop skills necessary to compete for professional positions in the science and engineering workforce. This mandate is required for the United States to maintain
Keselman, Alla; Levin, Daniel M.; Hundal, Savreen; Kramer, Judy F.; Matzkin, Karen; Dutcher, Gale
In the era of growing concerns about human-induced climate change and sustainable development, it is important for the schools to prepare students for meaningful engagement with environmental policies that will determine the future of our society. To do this, educators need to face a number of challenges. These include deciding on the science knowledge and skills needed for informed citizenship, identifying teaching practices for fostering such knowledge and skills, and finding ways to implement new practices into the tightly packed existing curriculum. This paper describes two collaborative efforts between the U.S. National Library of Medicine (NLM) and University of Maryland College of Education that attempt to meet these challenges. The focus of both projects is on helping students develop information seeking and evaluation and argumentation skills, and applying them to complex socio-scientific issues that have bearing on students’ daily lives. The first effort involves co-designing an afterschool environmental health club curriculum with an interdisciplinary team of middle school teachers. The second effort is the development and implementation of a week-long school drinking water quality debate activity in a high school environmental science classroom. Both projects center on Tox Town, an NLM web resource that introduces students to environmental health issues in everyday environments. The paper describes successes and challenges of environmental health curriculum development, including teachers’ and researchers’ perception of contextual constraints in the club and classroom setting, tensions inherent in co-design, and students’ experience with socio-scientific argumentation. PMID:24382985
Keselman, Alla; Levin, Daniel M; Hundal, Savreen; Kramer, Judy F; Matzkin, Karen; Dutcher, Gale
In the era of growing concerns about human-induced climate change and sustainable development, it is important for the schools to prepare students for meaningful engagement with environmental policies that will determine the future of our society. To do this, educators need to face a number of challenges. These include deciding on the science knowledge and skills needed for informed citizenship, identifying teaching practices for fostering such knowledge and skills, and finding ways to implement new practices into the tightly packed existing curriculum. This paper describes two collaborative efforts between the U.S. National Library of Medicine (NLM) and University of Maryland College of Education that attempt to meet these challenges. The focus of both projects is on helping students develop information seeking and evaluation and argumentation skills, and applying them to complex socio-scientific issues that have bearing on students' daily lives. The first effort involves co-designing an afterschool environmental health club curriculum with an interdisciplinary team of middle school teachers. The second effort is the development and implementation of a week-long school drinking water quality debate activity in a high school environmental science classroom. Both projects center on Tox Town, an NLM web resource that introduces students to environmental health issues in everyday environments. The paper describes successes and challenges of environmental health curriculum development, including teachers' and researchers' perception of contextual constraints in the club and classroom setting, tensions inherent in co-design, and students' experience with socio-scientific argumentation.
Orlander Arvola, Auli; Lundegård, Iann
This paper approaches learning as a response instead of the acquisition of something previously expected. More specifically, it describes a process of argumentation on socioscientific issues in a classroom situation in school science amongst 15-year-old students in Sweden. The analysis of an argumentation on abortion in a science classroom highlights how science content becomes relevant to students' experiences, but also how the students' unique voices shift focus and cause displacement of the science content. The analysis demonstrates some of the tensions and possible conflicts that may lead to the exclusion of different voices. This paper argues that focusing the research or education on questions that argumentation brings to light creates interesting educational opportunities to identify and incorporate the students' experiences in the classroom. The results indicate, however, that students' spontaneous acts lead to some difficulties in finding a point of contact with the rational discourse of science education.
Teo, Tang Wee
The third wave feminist studies in science education take the stance that science teaching is political and that social change is possible through interrogating power inequalities and decentering science to balance out power. For science educators, this means developing an awareness of positionality, which I define here as a stance undertaken by an individual as she or he recognizes and makes sense of the workings of the factors and forces that constitute the politics of her/his context. In this paper, I analyze the positionalities of a female Hispanic American and a female Chinese Singaporean science teacher that influenced the ways in which they interacted with students in the consensual process of science meaning making and relationship building in and outside the classroom. The findings drawn from the analysis of the teachers' transcribed interviews and written reflections show that their personal histories, experiences with social stereotyping and control by authority shaped their positionality. They constructed alternative curriculum spaces empowering themselves and their students to transcend perceived limitations and have voice. However, their positionality did not lead them to question the boundary they saw between the social bias and content of science education. Several implications for teacher education are discussed.
Teo, Tang Wee
The third wave feminist studies in science education take the stance that science teaching is political and that social change is possible through interrogating power inequalities and decentering science to balance out power. For science educators, this means developing an awareness of positionality, which I define here as a stance undertaken by an individual as she or he recognizes and makes sense of the workings of the factors and forces that constitute the politics of her/his context. In this paper, I analyze the positionalities of a female Hispanic American and a female Chinese Singaporean science teacher that influenced the ways in which they interacted with students in the consensual process of science meaning making and relationship building in and outside the classroom. The findings drawn from the analysis of the teachers' transcribed interviews and written reflections show that their personal histories, experiences with social stereotyping and control by authority shaped their positionality. They constructed alternative curriculum spaces empowering themselves and their students to transcend perceived limitations and have voice. However, their positionality did not lead them to question the boundary they saw between the social bias and content of science education. Several implications for teacher education are discussed.
Mpofu, Vongai; Otulaja, Femi S.; Mushayikwa, Emmanuel
A theoretical framework is an important component of a research study. It grounds the study and guides the methodological design. It also forms a reference point for the interpretation of the research findings. This paper conceptually examines the process of constructing a multi-focal theoretical lens for guiding studies that aim to accommodate local culture in science classrooms. A multi-focal approach is adopted because the integration of indigenous knowledge and modern classroom science is complex. The central argument in this paper is that a multi-focal lens accommodates the multifaceted nature of integrating indigenous knowledge and western oriented classroom science. The objective of the paper, therefore, is to construct a theoretical framework that can be used to guide and inform the integration of indigenous knowledge and western science at classroom science level. The traditional plant healing form of indigenous knowledge is used as a case study. The paper is important for raising the complexities, tensions and dilemmas inherent in the design and implementation of indigenous knowledge-science integrated curricula. An understanding of the issues raised will pave the way towards achieving culturally relevant classroom science.
Chang, Jina; Song, Jinwoong
The teaching and learning of science in school are influenced by various factors, including both individual factors, such as member beliefs, and social factors, such as the power structure of the class. To understand this complex context affected by various factors in schools, we investigated the formation and sharing process of science classroom norms in connection with these factors. By examining the developmental process of science classroom norms, we identified how the norms were realized, shared, and internalized among the members. We collected data through classroom observations and interviews focusing on two elementary science classrooms in Korea. From these data, factors influencing norm formation were extracted and developed as stories about norm establishment. The results indicate that every science classroom norm was established, shared, and internalized differently according to the values ingrained in the norms, the agent of norm formation, and the members' understanding about the norm itself. The desirable norms originating from values in science education, such as having an inquiring mind, were not established spontaneously by students, but were instead established through well-organized norm networks to encourage concrete practice. Educational implications were discussed in terms of the practice of school science inquiry, cultural studies, and value-oriented education.
Recent reform documents and science education literature emphasize the importance of scientific argumentation as a discourse and practice of science that should be supported in school science learning. Much of this literature focuses on the structure of argument, whether for assessing the quality of argument or designing instructional scaffolds. This study challenges the narrowness of this research paradigm and argues for the necessity of examining students' argumentative practices as rooted in the complex, evolving system of the classroom. Employing a sociocultural-historical lens of activity theory (Engestrom, 1987, 1999), discourse analysis is employed to explore how a high school biology class continuously builds affordances and constraints for argumentation practices through interactions. The ways in which argumentation occurs, including the nature of teacher and student participation, are influenced by learning goals, classroom norms, teacher-student relationships and epistemological stances constructed through a class' interactive history. Based on such findings, science education should consider promoting classroom scientific argumentation as a long-term process, requiring supportive resources that develop through continuous classroom interactions. Moreover, in order to understand affordances that support disciplinary learning in classroom, we need to look beyond just disciplinary interactions. This work has implications for classroom research on argumentation and teacher education, specifically, the preparation of teachers for secondary science teaching.
Moje, Elizabeth B.
This paper builds on research in science education, secondary education, and sociolinguistics by arguing that high school classrooms can be considered speech communities in which language may be selectively used and imposed on students as a means of fostering academic speech community identification. To demonstrate the ways in which a high school teacher's language use may encourage subject area identification, the results of an interactionist analysis of data from a 2-year ethnographic study of one high school chemistry classroom are presented. Findings indicate that this teacher's uses of language fell into three related categories. These uses of language served to foster identification with the academic speech community of science. As a result of the teacher's talk about science according to these three patterns, students developed or reinforced particular views of science. In addition, talking about science in ways that fostered identity with the discipline promoted the teacher as expert and built classroom solidarity or community. These results are discussed in light of sociolinguistic research on classroom competence and of the assertions of science educators regarding social and ideologic implications of language use in science instruction.Received: 23 September 1993; Revised: 15 September 1994;
Charleston, LaVar J.; Gilbert, Juan E.; Escobar, Barbara; Jackson, Jerlando F. L.
African Americans represent 1.3% of all computing sciences faculty in PhD-granting departments, underscoring the severe underrepresentation of Black/African American tenure-track faculty in computing (CRA, 2012). The Future Faculty/Research Scientist Mentoring (FFRM) program, funded by the National Science Foundation, was found to be an effective…
Excerpts writings of past African American intellectuals on the issue of presumptions of innate black mental inferiority, and applies their analyses to the scientific racism found in "The Bell Curve" (Herrnstein and Murray, 1994). Ideas for incorporating this critical tradition into current efforts, to prevent the resurgence of white…
Educators are encouraged to integrate technology into their classrooms because today's student is exposed to all sorts of digital devices in their daily life. Classroom blogging is an excellent way to use the internet for more than just research. Blogging capitalizes on student interest in the internet. When done properly, a blog can serve as an…
Schiller, Ellen; Joseph, Jann
In traditional classroom discourse, the teacher controls the discussion, asking most of the questions and calling on students to respond. This model does not work well for the inquiry-based classroom, which depends on engagement, peer interaction, and student ownership of learning. In this article, the authors present an alternative framework for…
Frazier, Wendy M.; Sterling, Donna R.
This article discusses the rules science teachers need and how to implement these rules in the class. What should my science classroom rules be? Ideally, this question is asked prior to the teacher's entry to the classroom during their teacher training and revisited throughout their coursework preparation and student teaching. A science teacher…
Demographic changes within the US are bringing significant changes in the cultural make-up of the classrooms in our schools. Results from national and state assessments indicate a growing achievement gap between the science scores of white students and students from minority communities. This gap indicates a disconnect somewhere in the science classrooms. This study examines the teacher's perspective of the changing learning environment. The study focuses on senior teachers with traditional Midwestern backgrounds and little multicultural experience assuming these teachers had little or no education in multicultural education. Senior teachers are also more likely to have completed their science education within a traditional Universalist perspective of science and likewise have little or no education in multicultural science. The research method was comparative case studies of a purposeful sample of nine science teachers within a community experiencing significant demographic change, seven core senior teachers and two frame of reference teachers. The interviews examined the teachers' awareness of their own cultural beliefs and the impact of those beliefs on classroom practices, the teachers' understanding of cultural influences on the students' academic performance, and the relationships between the teachers' understanding of the cultural aspects of the nature of science and their classroom practices. Analysis of the interview data revealed that the teachers maintain a strong, traditional Midwestern worldview for classroom expectations and they are generally unaware of the impact of those standards on the classroom environment. The teachers were supportive of minority students within their classroom, changing several practices to accommodate student needs, but they were unaware of the broader cultural influences on student learning. The teachers had a poor understanding of the nature of science and none of them recognized a cultural element of NOS. They maintained a
Recent classroom environment research has investigated the association between students' cognitive and affective learning outcomes and their perceptions of psychosocial characteristics of their classrooms. The findings of these studies suggest that student outcomes can be improved by creating environments that are conducive to learning. This study…
Hanson, Deborah L.
Science is a subject that many elementary teachers struggle to teach. One of the reasons documented in the literature is the low science teaching self-efficacy of many elementary teachers. This study investigated possible connections between how a teacher defines science (her personal definition of science) and her science teaching self-efficacy. Thirteen teachers participating in Science EDUCATES, a professional development program that emphasized NOS, scientific inquiry and physical science content knowledge, were investigated to see how their science teaching self-efficacy was impacted as changes to their personal definition of science occurred. Two of these teachers were selected for further study; in addition, two teachers, outside the professional development, were also studied. Personal definitions of science were gathered using the VNOS-D2 and VOSI-E survey instruments while science teaching self-efficacy was measured by the STEBI survey. Interviews and classroom observations were conducted to see the patterns that emerged between the teachers' personal definition of science, their science self-efficacy and their classroom practices. The teachers in the professional development did increase their science teaching self-efficacy and contributed this increase to their enhanced knowledge about NOS and how scientific knowledge is generated. This increased science content knowledge led to a statistically significant difference in the PSTE scores of the teachers. Teachers with low to mid science teaching self-efficacy levels seem to have various elements embedded within their personal definition of science that prevents them from engaging fully in science. Their science practices seem to pattern those subjects, like social studies or language arts, they are more comfortable teaching. Understanding NOS helped the teachers to change their personal definitions of science and place their classroom practices more in line with the recommendations in the national reform
Terebey, S.; Mayo, D.; Strauss, J.
The SFOS program at Cal State Los Angeles places science graduate students in minority serving high schools and middle schools in the Los Angeles region. Graduate fellows pursue Master's degrees in biology, chemistry, geology, or physics while working with partner teachers to provide science demonstrations and activities that are based on California science content standards. Fellows in the classroom are not apprentice teachers, but rather, their role is science communication. Now in its third year, we discuss the impacts of the SFOS program on graduate fellows, teachers, and high school curricula. We thank the National Science Foundation for funding through the GK-12 program.
Writing is a predictor of academic achievement and is essential for student success in content area learning. Despite its importance, many students, including English language learners (ELLs), struggle with writing. There is thus a need to study students' writing experience in content area classrooms. Informed by systemic functional linguistics, this study examined 11 ELL students' writing experience in two sixth grade science classrooms in a southeastern state of the United States, including what they wrote, how they wrote, and why they wrote in the way they did. The written products produced by these students over one semester were collected. Also collected were teacher interviews, field notes from classroom observations, and classroom artifacts. Student writing samples were first categorized into extended and nonextended writing categories, and each extended essay was then analyzed with respect to its schematic structure and grammatical features. Teacher interviews and classroom observation notes were analyzed thematically to identify teacher expectations, beliefs, and practices regarding writing instruction for ELLs. It was found that the sixth-grade ELLs engaged in mostly non-extended writing in the science classroom, with extended writing (defined as writing a paragraph or longer) constituting roughly 11% of all writing assignments. Linguistic analysis of extended writing shows that the students (a) conveyed information through nouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbial groups and prepositional phrases; (b) constructed interpersonal context through choices of mood, modality, and verb tense; and (c) structured text through thematic choices and conjunctions. The appropriateness of these lexicogrammatical choices for particular writing tasks was related to the students' English language proficiency levels. The linguistic analysis also uncovered several grammatical problems in the students' writing, including a limited range of word choices, inappropriate use of mood
Babendure, Jeremy; Thompson, Loren; Peterman, Karen; Teiper, Leanne; Gastil, Heather; Liwanag, Heather; Glenn-Lee, Shelley
The BioBridge Professional Development model was created to bring current and relevant science into the high school classroom. The purpose of this intervention was to connect teachers with relevant science and to create innovative, hands-on activities that engage students, with the goal of increasing student interest in STEM careers. To this end,…
Paek, Seungoh; Fulton, Lori A.
This exploratory study investigates the potential of a tablet-based note-taking application (TbNA) to serve as a digital notebook in support of students' classroom science practices. An elementary teacher (Grades 4-5) from a public charter school integrated a TbNA into her science class for one semester while participating in professional…
Pellien, Tamara; Rothenburger, Lisa
The Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) will define science education for the foreseeable future, yet many educators struggle to see the bridge between current practice and future practices. The inquiry-based methods used by Extension professionals (Kress, 2006) can serve as a guide for classroom educators. Described herein is a method of…
Karpel, Jennifer A.; Abell, Sandra K.
This study examines the types, uses, and roles of science assessment in a bilingual/biliterate (Spanish/English) elementary classroom in the Honduras during one unit of science instruction. Focus is placed on how one teacher used assessment to a) inform practice; b) evaluate student learning; and c) modify curricula and teaching strategies to meet…
The purpose of this study was to explore the following questions: (a) what practice, if any, develops in the elementary science classroom to nurture development of technology as an imaginative extension of the learning environment; (b) how does an elementary teacher's practice change as technology is integrated into the science curriculum, how do…
Petty, Lori L.; Narayan, Ratna
The purpose of this qualitative study was to explore secondary science teachers' beliefs about multiculturalism and its implementation in their classrooms. Participants included nine secondary science teachers, with experience ranging from 1 to 15 years of teaching. Data were collected through interviews, using a semi-structured interview protocol…
Moon, Thomas C.
This paper reports a study of selected examples of verbal behavior patterns in primary grade classrooms during science activities. The subjects were 32 elementary teachers within five mid-Michigan public school districts. A control group of 16 teachers taught science in the conventional manner. The experimental group received an in-depth study of…
Sengupta, Pratim; Clark, Doug
The authors extend the theory of "disciplinary integration" of games for science education beyond the virtual world of games, and identify two key themes of a practice-based theoretical commitment to science learning: (1) materiality in the classroom, and (2) iterative design of multiple, complementary, symbolic inscriptions (e.g.,…
Harrison, Melinda; Dunbar, David; Ratmansky, Lisa; Boyd, Kimberly; Lopatto, David
Our study, focused on classroom-based research at the introductory level and using the Phage Genomics course as the model, shows evidence that first-year students doing research learn the process of science as well as how scientists practice science. A preliminary but notable outcome of our work, which is based on a small sample, is the change in…
Shemwell, Jonathan T.; Furtak, Erin Marie
One way to frame science classroom discussion is to engage students in scientific argumentation, an important discourse format within science aimed at coordinating empirical evidence and scientific theory. Framing discussion as scientific argumentation gives clear priority to contributions that are sustained by evidence. We question whether this…
Hardy, Ilonca; Kloetzer, Birgit; Moeller, Kornelia; Sodian, Beate
Students' ability to participate in scientific discourse and to appropriately use empirical evidence to support beliefs or conclusions has been consistently stated as a core goal of science education. In the present study, we analyzed the quality of scientific reasoning in elementary school science classrooms, using the Evidence-Based Reasoning…
Martin, Anita M.; Hand, Brian
This longitudinal case study describes the factors that affect an experienced teacher's attempt to shift her pedagogical practices in order to implement embedded elements of argument into her science classroom. Research data was accumulated over 2 years through video recordings of science classes. The Reformed Teacher Observation Protocol (RTOP)…
Mudau, Awelani V.
The purpose of this paper is to present a conceptual framework for diagnosing teaching difficulties of a science topic in the science classroom. The development of the framework is presented as well as descriptions of the features of the framework. How the framework can be used is also elaborated? Furthermore, there is a detailed indication of an…
Campbell, Todd; Wang, Shaing Kwei; Hsu, Hui-Yin; Duffy, Aaron M.; Wolf, Paul G.
This position paper proposes the enhancement of teacher and student learning in science classrooms by tapping the enormous potential of information communication and technologies (ICTs) as cognitive tools for engaging students in scientific inquiry. This paper serves to challenge teacher-held assumptions about students learning science "from…
Kinard, Melissa Grass
Scientific communities have established social mechanisms for proposing explanations, questioning evidence, and validating claims. Opportunities like these are often not a given in science classrooms (Vellom, Anderson, & Palincsar, 1993) even though the National Science Education Standards (NSES, 1996) state that a scientifically literate person…
Whittaker, Jessica Vick; Kinzie, Mable B.; Williford, Amanda; DeCoster, Jamie
Research Findings: This study examined the impact of MyTeachingPartner-Math/Science, a system of math and science curricula and professional development, on the quality of teachers' interactions with children in their classrooms. Schools were randomly assigned to 1 of 2 intervention conditions (Basic: curricula providing within-activity, embedded…
Orlander Arvola, Auli; Lundegard, Iann
This paper approaches learning as a response instead of the acquisition of something previously expected. More specifically, it describes a process of argumentation on socioscientific issues in a classroom situation in school science amongst 15-year-old students in Sweden. The analysis of an argumentation on abortion in a science classroom…
Gillen, J.; Littleton, K.; Twiner, A.; Staarman, J. K.; Mercer, N.
All communication is inherently multimodal, and understandings of science need to be multidimensional. The interactive whiteboard offers a range of potential benefits to the primary science classroom in terms of relative ease of integration of a number of presentational and ICT functions, which, taken together, offers new opportunities for…
Inquiry experiences in secondary science classrooms are heavily weighted toward experimentation. We know, however, that many fields of science (e.g., evolutionary biology, cosmology, and paleontology), while they may utilize experiments, are not justified by experimental methodologies. With the focus on experimentation in schools, these fields of…
Rivard, Leonard P.; Levesque, Annabel
Research suggests that language-based activities should be an integral part of science teaching and learning and that these are even more important in minority-language contexts. The present cross-case study investigates how literacy is enacted in francophone science classrooms. Three francophone teachers were observed while they taught Grade 9…
In-service science teachers in Thailand are mandated to conduct classroom research, which can be quantitative and qualitative research, to improve teaching and learning. Comparing to quantitative research, qualitative research is a research approach that most of the Thai science teachers are not familiar with. This situation impedes science…
This article examines the merits of WebQuests in facilitating students' in-depth understanding of science concepts using the four principles of learning gathered from the National Research Council reports "How People Learn: Brain, Mind, Experience, and School" (1999) and the "How Students Learn: Science in the Classroom" (2005) as an analytic…
Cervetti, Gina N.; Barber, Jacqueline; Dorph, Rena; Pearson, P. David; Goldschmidt, Pete G.
This study investigates the efficacy of an integrated science and literacy approach at the upper-elementary level. Teachers in 94 fourth grade classrooms in one Southern state participated. Half of the teachers taught the treatment unit, an integrated science-literacy unit on light and energy designed using a curriculum model that engages students…
Benedek-Wood, Elizabeth; Mason, Linda H.; Wood, Philip H.; Hoffman, Katie E.; McGuire, Ashley
A staggered A-B design study was used to evaluate the effects of Self- Regulated Strategy Development (SRSD) instruction for quick writing in middle school science across four classrooms. A sixth-grade science teacher delivered all students' writing assessment and SRSD instruction for informative quick writing. Results indicated that performance…
Shea, Charlene K.
The middle school years are a crucial time when girls' science interest and participation decrease (Barton, Tan, O'Neill, Bautista-Guerra, & Brecklin, 2013). The purpose of this study was to examine the experiences of middle school girls and their teacher in an eighth grade place-based education (PBE) science classroom. PBE strives to increase…
Kumpulainen, Kristiina; Vasama, Satu; Kangassalo, Marjatta
This study examines the sociocultural trajectories of children's conceptual thinking in a technology-enriched early years science classroom (N=22). Of specific analytic interest is the intertextuality of children's science-related explanations constructed during adult-child dialogic interviews and peer-centred inquiry around a multimedia…
Oloruntegbe, K. O.; Omoniyi, A. O.; Omoniyi, M. B. I.; Ojelade, I. A.
The study investigated the nature of conflicts that are generated in the science classroom. Twenty video-recorded lessons taught by 10 randomly selected pre-service science teachers in teaching practice in a few Nigerian secondary schools were analyzed. Beside the expected goal attainment of the lessons a number of negative conflicts were…
Roussel De Carvalho uses the notion of superdiversity to draw attention to some of the pedagogical implications of teaching science in multicultural schools in cosmopolitan cities such as London. De Carvalho makes the case that if superdiverse classrooms exist then Science Initial Teacher Education has a role to play in helping future science…
National Science Teachers Association (NJ1), 2008
National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) has revised a position statement published in June 2005. This revised statement examines the issues surrounding the integration of animals into the K-12 science curriculum and highlights key considerations that should be addressed when deciding to introduce live animals in the classroom and involve…
Tank, Kristina Maruyama
In recent years there has been an increasing emphasis on the integration of multiple disciplines in order to help prepare more students to better address the complex challenges they will face in the 21st century. Exposing students to an integrated and multidisciplinary approach will help them to better understand the connections between subjects instead of as individual and separate subjects. Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Integration has been suggested as an approach that would model a multidisciplinary approach while also offering authentic and meaningful learning experiences to students. However, there is limited research on STEM integration in the elementary classroom and additional research is needed to better define and explore the effects of this integration for both students and science educators. With the recent recommendations for teaching both science and engineering in elementary classrooms (NRC, 2012), two common models include teaching science through inquiry and teaching science through engineering-design pedagogies. This study will explore both of these models as it seeks to better understand one piece of the larger issue of STEM and STEM integration by examining how the integration of science, engineering, and nonfiction literature affects students learning in elementary classrooms. This study employed an embedded mixed methods design to measure the effects of this integration on student learning in four fifth grade classrooms from the same elementary school. The findings revealed that the students who participated in the nonfiction reading instruction that was integrated with their science instruction showed a greater increase in all measures of student learning in both science and reading when compared to the control students. The findings from the integrated science, engineering and nonfiction literature revealed similar findings with the treatment students showing a greater increase in the measures of student learning
Inquiry has been one of the most prominent terms of the contemporary science education reform movement (Buck, Latta, & Leslie-Pelecky, 2007; Colburn, 2006; Settlage, 2007). Practicing classroom inquiry has maintained its central position in science education for several decades because science education reform documents promote classroom inquiry as the potential savior of science education from its current problems. Likewise, having the capabilities of teaching science through inquiry has been considered by National Board for Professional Teaching Standards [NBPTS] as one of the essential elements of being an accomplished science teacher. Successful completion of National Board Certification [NBC] assessment process involves presenting a clear evidence of enacting inquiry with students. Despite the high-profile of the word inquiry in the reform documents, the same is not true in schools (Crawford, 2007). Most of the science teachers do not embrace this type of approach in their everyday teaching practices of science (Johnson, 2006; Luera, Moyer, & Everett, 2005; Smolleck, Zembal-Saul, & Yoder, 2006; Trumbull, Scarano, & Bonney, 2006). And the specific meanings attributed to inquiry by science teachers do not necessarily match with the original intentions of science education reform documents (Matson & Parsons, 2006; Wheeler, 2000; Windschitl, 2003). Unveiling the various meanings held by science teachers is important in developing better strategies for the future success of science education reform efforts (Jones & Eick, 2007; Keys & Bryan, 2001). Due to the potential influences of National Board Certified Science Teachers [NBCSTs] on inexperienced science teachers as their mentors, examining inquiry conceptions of NBCSTs is called for. How do these accomplished practitioners understand and enact inquiry? The purpose of this dissertation research study was twofold. First, it investigated the role of NBC performance assessment process on the professional development
Carpenter, Stacey Lynn
Science education reform efforts in the U.S. have emphasized shifting away from teacher-centered instruction and teaching science as isolated facts, to more student-centered instruction where students engage in disciplinary discourse and science and engineering practices to learn more connected concepts. As such, teachers need to be prepared to teach science in these reform-based ways; however, many teachers have neither experienced reform-based science instruction in their own science learning, nor witnessed reform-based science instruction in their preservice classroom field experiences. At the same time, there has been an emphasis in teacher education on organizing the preparation of new teachers around high-leverage teaching practices--equitable teaching practices that are known to result in student learning and form a strong base for future teacher learning. In this qualitative study, I investigated eight prospective secondary science teachers as they participated in the unique field experience contexts of classrooms in STEM-focused high school academies. Using a lens of situated learning theory, I examined how prospective teachers from two classroom-based field experiences engaged in high-leverage teaching practices and how their experiences in these classrooms shaped their own visions of science teaching. I analyzed video data of classroom instruction, along with prospective and mentor teacher interviews and surveys, to determine the instructional contexts of each academy and the science teaching strategies (including high-leverage practices) that prospective teachers had opportunities to observe and participate in. I also analyzed prospective teacher interviews and surveys to determine their visions of effective science teaching, what high-leverage science teaching practices prospective teachers included in their visions, and how their visions changed throughout the experience. I found that both academy contexts featured more student work, particularly
Recognizing the persistent science achievement gap between inner-city African American students and students from mainstream, White society, this article suggests that the imposition of external standards on inner-city schools will do little to ameliorate this gap because such an approach fails to address the significance of the social and cultural lives of the students. Instead, it is suggested that the use of critical ethnographic research would enable educators to learn from the students how science education can change to meet their aims and interests. The article includes a report on how a science lunch group in an inner-city high school forged a community based on respect and caring and how this community afforded African American male teens the opportunity to participate in science in new ways.
Mahfood, Denise Marcia
The following dissertation reports on a qualitative exploration that serves two main goals: (1) to qualitatively define and highlight science motivation development of Black/African American and Latina/o students as they learn science in middle school, high school, and in college and (2) to reveal through personal narratives how successful entry and persistence in science by this particular group is linked to the development of their science identities. The targeted population for this study is undergraduate students of color in science fields at a college or university. The theoretical frameworks for this study are constructivist theory, motivation theory, critical theory, and identity theories. The methodological approach is narrative which includes students' science learning experiences throughout the course of their academic lives. I use The Science Motivation Questionnaire II to obtain baseline data to quantitatively assess for motivation to learn science. Data from semi-structured interviews from selected participants were collected, coded, and configured into a story, and emergent themes reveal the important role of science learning in both informal and formal settings, but especially in informal settings that contribute to better understandings of science and the development of science identities for these undergraduate students of color. The findings have implications for science teaching in schools and teacher professional development in science learning.
Dandara, Collet; Huzair, Farah; Borda-Rodriguez, Alexander; Chirikure, Shadreck; Okpechi, Ikechi; Warnich, Louise; Masimirembwa, Collen
Interest in genomics research in African populations is experiencing exponential growth. This enthusiasm stems in part from the recognition that the genomic diversity of African populations is a window of opportunity for innovations in postgenomics medicine, ecology, and evolutionary biology. The recently launched H3Africa initiative, for example, captures the energy and momentum of this interest. This interdisciplinary socio-technical analysis highlights the challenges that have beset previous genomics research activities in Africa, and looking ahead, suggests constructive ways H3Africa and similar large scale science efforts could usefully chart a new era of genomics and life sciences research in Africa that is locally productive and globally competitive. As independent African scholars and social scientists, we propose that any serious global omics science effort, including H3Africa, aiming to build genomics research capacity and capability in Africa, needs to fund the establishment of biobanks and the genomic analyses platforms within Africa. Equally they need to prioritize community engagement and bioinformatics capability and the training of African scientists on these platforms. Historically, the financial, technological, and skills imbalance between Africa and developed countries has created exploitative frameworks of collaboration where African researchers have become merely facilitators of Western funded and conceived research agendas involving offshore expatriation of samples. Not surprisingly, very little funding was allocated to infrastructure and human capital development in the past. Moving forward, capacity building should materialize throughout the entire knowledge co-production trajectory: idea generation (e.g., brainstorming workshops for innovative hypotheses development by African scientists), data generation (e.g., genome sequencing), and high-throughput data analysis and contextualization. Additionally, building skills for political science
Huzair, Farah; Borda-Rodriguez, Alexander; Chirikure, Shadreck; Okpechi, Ikechi; Warnich, Louise; Masimirembwa, Collen
Abstract Interest in genomics research in African populations is experiencing exponential growth. This enthusiasm stems in part from the recognition that the genomic diversity of African populations is a window of opportunity for innovations in postgenomics medicine, ecology, and evolutionary biology. The recently launched H3Africa initiative, for example, captures the energy and momentum of this interest. This interdisciplinary socio-technical analysis highlights the challenges that have beset previous genomics research activities in Africa, and looking ahead, suggests constructive ways H3Africa and similar large scale science efforts could usefully chart a new era of genomics and life sciences research in Africa that is locally productive and globally competitive. As independent African scholars and social scientists, we propose that any serious global omics science effort, including H3Africa, aiming to build genomics research capacity and capability in Africa, needs to fund the establishment of biobanks and the genomic analyses platforms within Africa. Equally they need to prioritize community engagement and bioinformatics capability and the training of African scientists on these platforms. Historically, the financial, technological, and skills imbalance between Africa and developed countries has created exploitative frameworks of collaboration where African researchers have become merely facilitators of Western funded and conceived research agendas involving offshore expatriation of samples. Not surprisingly, very little funding was allocated to infrastructure and human capital development in the past. Moving forward, capacity building should materialize throughout the entire knowledge co-production trajectory: idea generation (e.g., brainstorming workshops for innovative hypotheses development by African scientists), data generation (e.g., genome sequencing), and high-throughput data analysis and contextualization. Additionally, building skills for political
Lewis, Bradford F.; Connell, Shelley
Extant literature on the underrepresentation of African Americans in science-related careers has identified numerous factors that correlate with students' career considerations. While these correlations provide substantial insight, the tendency to infer cause is problematic. This position paper draws on data from an exploratory study to illustrate…
Jegede, Olugbemiro J.; Okebukola, Peter Akinsola
This study investigated the influence of students' belief in traditional African cosmology, beliefs, and superstitions on observation skills. Data was collected from 319 science students with a mean age of 16.9 years from one Nigerian University. Instruments used were the Traditional Cosmology Test and the Test of Observational Skills. The results…
Pringle, Rose M.; Brkich, Katie Milton; Adams, Thomasenia Lott; West-Olatunii, Cirecie; Archer-Banks, Diane A.
Despite recent progress toward gender equity in science and mathematics education, the underachievement of low-income African American girls remains a challenge when compared with their white counterparts. Furthermore, the causes of this persistent underachievement have not been explored thoroughly. We have initiated a three-year longitudinal…
Harvey, Stephen; Peacock, Alan
Traces the lifecycle of the Primary Science Programme (PSP), 1983-99, a representative South African nongovernmental organization. Shows how the social and economic environment shaped PSP development and demise. Highlights tensions between quality versus quantity, subject versus holistic focus, and participatory versus authoritarian management…
McMillan, Robert D.
Shows how, with little or no electrical background, students can apply Boolean algebra concepts to design and build integrated electrical circuits in the classroom that will reinforce important ideas in mathematics. (PK)
Jawahar, Kavish; Dempster, Edith R.
In this study, the sociocultural view of science as a language and some quantitative language features of the complementary theoretical framework of systemic functional linguistics are employed to analyse the utterances of three South African Physical Sciences teachers. Using a multi-case study methodology, this study provides a sophisticated description of the utterances of Pietermaritzburg Physical Sciences teachers in language contexts characterised by varying proportions of English Second Language (ESL) students in each class. The results reveal that, as expected, lexical cohesion as measured by the cohesive harmony index and proportion of repeated content words relative to total words, increased with an increasing proportion of ESL students. However, the use of nominalisation by the teachers and the lexical density of their utterances did not decrease with an increasing proportion of ESL students. Furthermore, the results reveal that each individual Physical Sciences teacher had a 'signature' talk, unrelated to the language context in which they taught. This study signals the urgent and critical need for South African science teacher training programmes to place a greater emphasis on the functional use of language for different language contexts in order to empower South African Physical Sciences teachers to adequately apprentice their students into the use of the register of scientific English.
Jones, Kenneth W.
This case study depicts how two elementary teachers develop classrooms devoted to performance-based instruction in mathematics and science. The purpose is to develop empirical evidence of classroom practices that leads to a conceptual framework about the nature of performance-based instruction. Performance-based assessment and instruction are defined from the literature to entail involving students in tasks that are complex and engaging, requiring them to apply knowledge and skills in authentic contexts. In elementary mathematics and science, such an approach emphasizes problem solving, exploration, inquiry, and reasoning. The body of the work examines teacher beliefs, curricular orientations, instructional strategies, assessment approaches, management and organizational skills, and interpersonal relationships. The focus throughout is on those aspects that foster student performance in elementary mathematics and science. The resulting framework describes five characteristics that contribute to performance-based classrooms: a caring classroom community, a connectionist learning theory, a thinking and doing curriculum, diverse opportunities for learning, and ongoing assessment, feedback, and adjustment. The conclusion analyzes factors external to the classroom that support or constrain the development of performance-based classrooms and discusses the implications for educational policy and further research.
Szpyrka, Donna A.
In order to determine equitable practices of middle school science teachers questionnaire responses, classroom observations, teacher interviews, and assessment artifacts were examined to discover relationships between classroom instruction, assessment practices, and equity. Teachers in middle school science classrooms in six different schools completed a National Center for Education Statistics questionnaire, offered assessment artifacts, and participated in interviews. Observers using a classroom observation protocol and an equity profile rated 22 lessons. The study found that a distinction could be made between teachers who were more equitable and those who were less equitable. Careful planning and organization; the incorporation of tasks, roles, and interactions consistent with investigative science; a collaborative approach to learning; and instruction that takes into account what transpired in previous lessons---appear to be characteristics of lesson design of the more equitable teachers. In addition, instructional strategies and activities that addressed access, equity, and diversity as well as, a classroom climate that was respectful of students' contributions were found to a greater extent in the more equitable teachers' classrooms. While all teachers used multiple methods of assessment, the more equitable teachers used assessment differently. They also provided written feedback to students, relied on more than one aspect of student performance for determining grades, and explicated clear and specific assessment practices.
Kolo, Yovonda Ingram
African American women are underrepresented in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields throughout the United States. As the need for STEM professionals in the United States increases, it is important to ensure that African American women are among those professionals making valuable contributions to society. The purpose of this phenomenological study was to describe the experiences of African American young women in relation to STEM education. The research question for this study examined how experiences with STEM in K-10 education influenced African American young women's academic choices in their final years in high school. The theory of multicontextuality was used to provide the conceptual framework. The primary data source was interviews. The sample was composed of 11 African American young women in their junior or senior year in high school. Data were analyzed through the process of open coding, categorizing, and identifying emerging themes. Ten themes emerged from the answers to research questions. The themes were (a) high teacher expectations, (b) participation in extra-curricular activities, (c) engagement in group-work, (d) learning from lectures, (e) strong parental involvement, (f) helping others, (g) self-efficacy, (h) gender empowerment, (i) race empowerment, and (j) strategic recruitment practices. This study may lead to positive social change by adding to the understanding of the experiences of African American young women in STEM. By doing so, these findings might motivate other African American young women to pursue advanced STEM classes. These findings may also provide guidance to parents and educators to help increase the number of African American women in STEM.
Burrell, Leon F.; Walsh, Robert L.
Many white students are barely exposed to African-American history throughout their schooling. When students do examine the other side of American history, the one not generally found in their textbooks, they often wonder why they have not learned this before. An understanding of African-American history is central to any effort to eliminate…
Godley, Amanda; Escher, Allison
This article describes the perspectives of bidialectal African American adolescents--adolescents who speak both African American Vernacular English (AAVE) and Standard English--on spoken language expectations in their English classes. Previous research has demonstrated that many teachers hold negative views of AAVE, but existing scholarship has…
Swartz, Sharlene; Arogundade, Emma; Davis, Danya
Multiculturalism currently aims for the political accommodation of difference instead of the subversion of the resulting privileges of difference. In the South African context such a distinction is especially important since the economic and symbolic subjugation of the majority of Black South Africans continues despite political transformation,…
Swap, R. J.; Annegarn, H. J.; Suttles, J. T.; Haywood, J.; Hely, C.; Hobbs, P. V.; Holben, B. N.; Ji, J.; King, M. D.; Bhartia, P. K. (Technical Monitor)
The Southern African Regional Science Initiative (SAFARI 2000) is an international science project investigating the southern African earth-atmosphere-human system. The experiment was conducted over a two-year period March 1999 - March 2001. The dry season field campaign (August-Steptember 2000) was the most intensive activity and involving over 200 scientists from 18 different nations. The main objectives of this campaign were to characterize and quantify the biogenic, pyrogenic and anthropogenic aerosol and trace gas emissions and their transport and transformations in the atmosphere and to validate the NASA Earth Observing System (EOS) satellite Terra within a scientific context. Five aircraft, namely two South African Weather Service aircraft, University of Washington CV-580, the UK Meteorological Office C-130 and the NASA ER-2, with different altitude capabilities, participated in the campaign. Additional airborne sampling of southern African air masses that had moved downwind of the subcontinent was conducted by the CSIRO over Australia. Multiple observations were taken in various sectors for a variety of synoptic conditions. Flight missions were designed to maximize synchronous over-flights of the NASA TERRA satellite platform, above regional ground validation and science targets. Numerous smaller-scale ground validation activities took place throughout the region during the campaign period.
Flavio Azevedo, Peggy Martalock and Tugba Keser have initiated an important conversation in science education as they use sociocultural theory to introduce design based scenarios into the science classroom. This response seeks to expand Azevedo, Martalock and Keser's article The discourse of design- based science classroom activities by using a specific perspective within a sociocultural framework. Through using a cultural historical (Vygotsky in The history and development of higher mental functions, Plenum Press, New York, 1987) reading of design based activity and discourse in the science classroom, it is proposed that learning should be an integral part of these processes. Therefore, everyday and scientific concepts are explained and expanded in relation to Inventing Graphing and discourse presented in Azevedo, Martalock and Keser's article. This response reports on the importance of teacher's being explicit in relation to connecting everyday and scientific concepts alongside design based activity and related science concepts when teaching students. It is argued that explicit teaching of concepts should be instigated prior to analysis of discourse in the science classroom as it is only with experience and understanding these processes that students have the resources to call upon to argue like practicing scientists.
The prospective virtues of using history and philosophy of science in science teaching have been pronounced for decades. Recently, a role for nature of science in supporting scientific literacy has become widely institutionalized in curriculum standards internationally. This short review addresses these current needs, highlighting the concrete views of teachers in the classroom, eschewing ideological ideals and abstract theory. A practical perspective highlights further the roles of history and philosophy—and of sociology, too—and even broadens their importance. It also indicates the relevance of a wide range of topics and work in Science Studies now generally absent from science educational discourse. An extensive reference list is provided.
Paglierani, R. L.; Schultz, G. R.; McConnell, S. L.
The integration of elementary science with language arts provides a means of keeping science education robust in the elementary classroom. By linking the two subject areas, teachers can take advantage of the highly-motivational content that science provides while using writing as a powerful tool to synthesize science learning. We report on two successful K-4 NASA curricula, Eye on the Sky and Reading, Writing & Rings! which suggest a model for the successful integration of science instruction with language arts through inquiry-based learning.
Kohnen, Angela M.
This qualitative study examined the importance of the genre and authenticity as teachers sought to bring science journalism to the high school science classroom. Undertaken as part of the National Science Foundation-funded grant "Science Literacy through Science Journalism (SciJourn)," this work was conducted as a series of smaller…
The internet and easy accessibility to a wide range of digital content has created the necessity for teachers to embrace and integrate digitial media in their curriculums. Although there is a call for digital media integration in curriculum by current learning standards, rural schools continue to have access to fewer resources due to limited budgets, potentially preventing teachers from having access to the most current technology and science instructional materials. This dissertation identifies the perceptions rural secondary science teachers have on the usefulness of mobile learning devices in the science classroom. The successes and challenges in using mobile learning devices in the secondary classroom were also explored. Throughout this research, teachers generally supported the integration of mobile devices in the classroom, while harboring some concerns relating to student distractability and the time required for integrating mobile devices in exisiting curriculum. Quantitative and qualitative data collected through surveys, interviews, and classroom observations revealed that teachers perceive that mobile devices bring benefits such as ease of communication and easy access to digitial information. However, there are perceived challenges with the ability to effectively communicate complex scientific information via mobile devices, distractibility of students, and the time required to develop effective curriculum to integrate digital media into the secondary science classroom.
Chudler, Eric H.; Bergsman, Kristen Clapper
Neural engineering is an emerging field of high relevance to students, teachers, and the general public. This feature presents online resources that educators and scientists can use to introduce students to neural engineering and to integrate core ideas from the life sciences, physical sciences, social sciences, computer science, and engineering…
Tsatsarelis, Charalampos; Ogborn, Jon; Jewitt, Carey; Kress, Gunther
The construction of entities (such as cells) is a gradual process, not the result of direct and immediate reading of the ‘facts.’ This paper argues that this is the case for both scientists and pupils in science education. The paper is based on an analysis of the historical formation of the notion of cells by scientists, and our analysis of a lesson on the microscopic observation of onion cells. A description of the ways that early scientists worked, shows the fluidity of the rhetoric and the various rhetorical experimentations that they used to interpret what they saw through the microscope. An analogouscase appears to happen in the science classroom where teachers use analogies, metaphors and examples to rhetorically shape pupils' views. However, there are important differences in the way they used forms of argumentation. What was new for Hooke, is given for pupils from the beginning of the lesson; Hooke's use of the cell metaphor could be imagined as the end of a packaging process while pupils exploration of cells through analogies could be described as an unpackaging process of an already known entiry.
Friend, Jennifer Ingrid
This study examined two hypotheses related to same-gender grouping of eighth-grade science classes in a public middle-school setting in suburban Kansas City. The first hypothesis, male and female students enrolled in same-gender eighth-grade science classes demonstrate more positive science academic achievement than their male and female peers enrolled in mixed-gender science classes. The second hypothesis, same-gender grouping of students in eighth-grade science has a positive effect on classroom climate. The participants in this study were randomly assigned to class sections of eighth-grade science. The first experimental group was an eighth-grade science class of all-male students (n = 20) taught by a male science teacher. The control group used for comparison to the male same-gender class consisted of the male students (n = 42) in the coeducational eighth-grade science classes taught by the same male teacher. The second experimental group was an eighth-grade science class of all-female students (n = 23) taught by a female science teacher. The control group for the female same-gender class consisted of female students (n = 61) in the coeducational eighth-grade science classes taught by the same female teacher. The male teacher and the female teacher did not vary instruction for the same-gender and mixed-gender classes. Science academic achievement was measured for both groups through a quantitative analysis using grades on science classroom assessment and overall science course grades. Classroom climate was measured through qualitative observations and through qualitative and quantitative analysis of a twenty-question student survey administered at the end of each trimester grading period. The results of this study did not indicate support for either hypothesis. Data led to the conclusions that same-gender grouping did not produce significant differences in student science academic achievement, and that same-gender classes did not create a more positive
Rainsticks are African and South American musical instruments that recreate the soothing sounds of rain. They were originally made of bamboo or dried cacti tubes. Inside the tubes are small river pebbles and cactus thorns. The longer the tube, the longer-lasting the "music." This article gives instructions for making both a large and…
Ajayi, Ajibola Oluneye
This qualitative case study explores the effects of emerging digital technology as a teaching and learning tool in secondary school science classrooms. The study examines three teachers' perspectives on how the use of technology affects the teacher-student pedagogic relationship. The "pedagogic contract" is used as a construct to analyze the changes that took place in these teachers' classrooms amid the use of this new technology. The overarching question for this research is: How was the pedagogic contract renegotiated in three secondary science teachers' classrooms through the use of digitally enhanced science instruction. To answer this question, data was collected via semi-structured teacher interviews, classroom observations, and analysis of classroom documents such as student assignments, tests and Study Guides. This study reveals that the everyday use of digital technologies in these classrooms resulted in a re-negotiated pedagogic contract across three major dimensions: content of learning, method and management of learning activities, and assessment of learning. The extent to which the pedagogic contract was renegotiated varied with each of the teachers studied. Yet in each case, the content of learning was extended to include new topics, and greater depth of learning within the mandated curriculum. The management of learning was reshaped around metacognitive strategies, personal goal-setting, individual pacing, and small-group learning activities. With the assessment of learning, there was increased emphasis on self-directed interactive testing as a formative assessment tool. This study highlights the aspects of science classrooms that are most directly affected by the introduction of digital technologies and demonstrates how those changes are best understood as a renegotiation of the teacher-student pedagogic contract.
Monteiro, Anna Karina
Research acknowledges that if students are to be successful science, they must learn to navigate and cross cultural borders that exist between their own cultures and the subculture of science. This dissertation utilized a mixed methods approach to explore how inservice science teachers working in urban schools construct their ideas of and apply the concepts about the culture of science and cultural border crossing as relevant to the teaching and learning of science. The study used the lenses of cultural capital, social constructivism, and cultural congruency in the design and analysis of each of the three phases of data collection. Phase I identified the perspectives of six inservice science teachers on science culture, cultural border crossing, and which border crossing methods, if any, they used during science teaching. Phase II took a dialectical approach as the teachers read about science culture and cultural border crossing during three informal professional learning community meetings. This phase explored how teachers constructed their understanding of cultural border crossing and how the concept applied to the teaching and learning of science. Phase III evaluated how teachers' perspectives changed from Phase I. In addition, classroom observations were used to determine whether teachers' practices in their science classrooms changed from Phase I to Phase III. All three phases collected data through qualitative (i.e., interviews, classroom observations, and surveys) and quantitative (Likert items) means. The findings indicated that teachers found great value in learning about the culture of science and cultural border crossing as it pertained to their teaching methods. This was not only evidenced by their interviews and surveys, but also in the methods they used in their classrooms. Final conclusions included how the use of student capital resources (prior experiences, understandings and knowledge, ideas an interests, and personal beliefs), if supported by
Hoffman, Adria Rachel; Carter, Bruce Allen
Although cultural diversity is important to the social context of classrooms, few researchers have explored school music experiences from the perspective of students of colour. Possibly of greater concern is the absence of research examining African-American students' educational experiences in early secondary education, during which time the…
Kinard, Melissa Grass
Scientific communities have established social mechanisms for proposing explanations, questioning evidence, and validating claims. Opportunities like these are often not a given in science classrooms (Vellom, Anderson, & Palincsar, 1993) even though the National Science Education Standards (NSES, 1996) state that a scientifically literate person should be able to "engage intelligently in public discourse and debate about important issues in science and technology" (National Research Council [NRC], 1996). Research further documents that students' science conceptions undergo little modification with the traditional teaching experienced in many high school science classrooms (Duit, 2003, Dykstra, 2005). This case study is an examination of the discourse that occurred as four high school physics students collaborated on solutions to three physics lab problems during which the students made predictions and experimentally generated data to support their predictions. The discourse patterns were initially examined for instances of concept negotiations. Selected instances were further examined using Toulmin's (2003) pattern for characterizing argumentation in order to understand the students' scientific reasoning strategies and to document the role of collaboration in facilitating conceptual modifications and changes. Audio recordings of the students' conversations during the labs, written problems turned in to the teacher, interviews of the students, and observations and field notes taken during student collaboration were used to document and describe the students' challenges and successes encountered during their collaborative work. The findings of the study indicate that collaboration engaged the students and generated two types of productive science discourse: concept negotiations and procedure negotiations. Further analysis of the conceptual and procedure negotiations revealed that the students viewed science as sensible and plausible but not as a tool they could
Tsai, Liang-Ting; Yang, Chih-Chien
This study was conducted to understand the effect of student-, classroom-, and school-level factors on the science performance of 8th-grade Taiwanese students in the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) 2011 by using multilevel analysis. A total of 5,042 students from 153 classrooms of 150 schools participated in the TIMSS…
Assessments have been a central topic of concern in the American educational system for the past several years. With the enactment of the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act into law (P.L.107-110), student assessment has become a high stakes event in all school districts. This study was timely with the onset of testing and state reporting of performance in science this year. The purpose of this dissertation was to study and compare students' and teachers' perceptions of assessment practices in science classrooms. Using survey instruments designed for each group, high school students enrolled in science classes and teachers providing instruction in these classes provided demographic information and their perceptions of the science assessment practices in these classrooms. Students were administered the Students Perception Assessment Questionnaire and teachers were administered a researcher modified version of this instrument. A total of 447 students enrolled in five South Dakota school district high schools completed the student survey with 15 matched teacher surveys. Survey results indicated there was inconsistency between how the classroom teacher and students perceived assessments in the science classrooms. Only Congruence for Planning Learning and Transparency in Assessment responses were positively related between the teachers and students. Some 60% of the categorical assessment variables were not significantly related indicating teachers and students are not perceiving the science classroom assessment practices similarly. Individual science disciplines were also analyzed separately. Students in biology classes perceived assessment practices differently based on the grades they were earning in the class. High achieving students saw these practices as more similar to their teachers' perceptions than the low achieving students. Chemistry students who liked science also perceived the science assessments more similar to teacher perceptions than did students who were
Cook, Melissa Sunshine
This study examines the teacher's role in shaping the identity construction resources available in a classroom and the ways in which individual students take up, modify, and appropriate those resources to construct themselves as scientists through interaction with their teacher and peers. Drawing on frameworks of identity construction and social positioning, I propose that the locally-negotiated classroom-level cultural model of what it means to be a "good" science student forms the arena in which students construct a sense of their own competence at, affiliation with, and interest in science. The setting for this study was a 6th grade science class at a progressive urban elementary school whose population roughly represents the ethnic and socioeconomic diversity of the state of California. The teacher was an experienced science and math teacher interested in social justice and inquiry teaching. Drawing from naturalistic observations, video and artifact analysis, survey data, and repeated interviews with students and the teacher, I demonstrated what it meant to be a "good" science student in this particular cultural community by analyzing what was required, reinforced, and rewarded in this classroom. Next, I traced the influence of this particular classroom's conception of what it meant to be good at science on the trajectories of identification with science of four 6th grade girls selected to represent a variety of stances towards science, levels of classroom participation, and personal backgrounds. Scientific scholarship in this class had two parts: values related to science as a discipline, and a more generic set of school-related values one might see in any classroom. Different meanings of and values for science were indexed in the everyday activities of the classroom: science as a language for describing the natural world, science as a set of rhetorical values, science as an adult social community, and science as a place for mess and explosions. Among school
Horn, Toby Mogollon; Frame, Kathy, Ed.
This document describes ways to work with DNA and host organisms in precollege classrooms. The guidelines are intended to assist the teacher who already has training in working with microbes, DNA, and associated chemicals. The contents of the guidelines include: (1) Permitted DNA molecules, vectors, and recommended host organisms for constructing…
Tseng, ChingMei; Chen, Shu-Bi Shu-Bi; Chang, Wen-Hua
Guiding students to generate testable scientific questions is essential in the inquiry classroom, but it is not easy. The purpose of the BDC ("Big Idea, Divergent Thinking, and Convergent Thinking") instructional model is to to scaffold students' inquiry learning. We illustrate the use of this model with an example lesson, designed…
This book contains classroom experiments designed to promote group skills. Each lesson has 4 parts: a 3-minute set-up; 5-minute warm-up, 25-minute experiment, and 5-minute clean-up. During each part, each member of the group is responsible for performing a specific task. Included are 34 labs that cover a range of topics: observations, physical…
Barlow, Tim; Fleming, Barry
"Blended" and "flipped" pedagogies are becoming more common features of classrooms as the technological revolution continues. While the appropriate use of technology in the learning environment can serve to motivate some students, significant problems surrounding student motivation and engagement remain. As such, the…
Karns, Robert J.
It may not seem like school is the best place to crank up the bass for glass-cracking extreme energy, but subwoofers just might make better teaching and learning tools than they do music makers. Faced with the fact that electricity is invisible, electrical technology students encounter significant challenges in the classroom when abstract concepts…
Martin, Susan F.; Shaw, Edward L., Jr.; Daughenbaugh, Lynda
This study summarizes the results of a survey administered to 48 elementary schools in the largest school district in a southeastern U.S. state, conducted by university faculty to evaluate the use of SMART Boards and hands-on experiences, the objectives of which were to identify preparedness of elementary classroom teachers in teaching elementary…
Shemwell, Jonathan T.; Gwarjanski, Kalee R.; Capps, Daniel K.; Avargil, Shirly; Meyer, Joanna L.
In scientific arguments, claims must have meaning that extends beyond the immediate circumstances of an investigation. That is, claims must be generalised in some way. Therefore, teachers facilitating classroom argumentation must be prepared to support students' efforts to construct or criticise generalised claims. However, widely used…
The changing figures of the waxing and waning moon are among the most conspicuous of celestial phenomena and were some of the first to be understood. This paper describes a classroom activity designed to teach children about the phases of the moon.
Gupta, Adit; Fisher, Darrell
The adoption of technology has created a major impact in the field of education at all levels. Technology-supported classroom learning environments, involving modern information and communication technologies, are also entering the Indian educational system in general and the schools in Jammu region (Jammu & Kashmir State, India) in…
National Academies Press, 2005
How do you get a fourth-grader excited about history? How do you even begin to persuade high school students that mathematical functions are relevant to their everyday lives? In this volume, practical questions that confront every classroom teacher are addressed using the latest exciting research on cognition, teaching, and learning. How Students…
Hughes, Leah M.
A file folder, the drawings contained within this book, and materials such as crayons, glue, and straws are what is needed to make this resource a classroom tool for studying space-related topics with preschoolers. The activities in this book are designed to inspire preschoolers to use their creativity, inventiveness, imagination, and intuition.…
Leo, Jonathan; Puzio, Kelly
This paper reports on a quasi-experimental study examining the effectiveness of flipped instruction in a 9th grade biology classroom. This study included four sections of freshmen-level biology taught by the first author at a private secondary school in the Pacific Northwest. Using a block randomized design, two sections were flipped and two…
Forbes, Leslie; Billet, Stacy
Co-teaching has become a popular concept in the field of education, especially as related to special education. Students with exceptionalities in co-taught classes have been found to improve in academics, behavior, social skills, and self-esteem as compared to those taught solely in a special education classroom. There are five main forms of…
Loughran, T.; Dirksen, R.
Classroom citizen science projects invite students to generate, curate, post, query, and analyze data, publishing and discussing results in potentially large collaborative contexts. The new web offers a rich palette of such projects for any STEM educator to select from or create. This easy access to citizen science in the classroom is full of both promise and peril for science education. By offering examples of classroom citizen science projects in particle physics, earth and environmental sciences, each supported by a common mashup of technologies available to ordinary users, we will illustrate something of the promise of these projects for science education, and point to some of the challenges and failure modes--the peril--raised by easy access and particularly easy publication of data. How one sensibly responds to this promise and peril depends on how one views the goals of science (or more broadly, STEM) education: either as the equipping of individual students with STEM knowledge and skills so as to empower them for future options, or as the issuing of effective invitations into STEM communities. Building on the claim that these are complementary perspectives, both of value, we will provide an example of a classroom citizen science project analyzed from both perspectives. The BOSCO classroom-to-classroom water source mapping project provides students both in Northern Uganda and in South Dakota a collaborative platform for analyzing and responding to local water quality concerns. Students gather water quality data, use Google Forms embedded in a project wiki to enter data in a spreadsheet, which then automatically (through Mapalist, a free web service) gets posted to a Google Map, itself embedded in the project wiki. Using these technologies, data is thus collected and posted for analysis in a collaborative environment: the stage is set for classroom citizen science. In the context of this project we will address the question of how teachers can take advantage
Schademan, Alfred R.
The study examines the resources related to science that African American young men learn and develop by playing a card game called Spades, a common cultural practice in African American communities that dates back to the Civil War Era. The qualitative study examines what the Spades players at a local high school consider when making decisions…
Sohn, Lucinda N.
Historically, science education research has promoted that learning science occurs through direct physical experiences. In recent years, the need for best practices and student motivation have been highlighted in STEM research findings. In response to the instructional challenges in STEM education, the National Research Council has provided guidelines for improving STEM literacy through best practices in science and mathematics instruction. A baseline qualitative ethnographic case study of the effect of instructional practices on a science classroom was an opportunity to understand how a teacher and students work together to learn in an International Baccalaureate life science course. This study was approached through an interpretivist lens with the assumption that learning science is socially constructed. The following were the research questions: 1.) How does the teacher implement science instruction strategies in the classroom? 2.) In what ways are students engaged in the classroom? 3.) How are science concepts communicated in the classroom? The total 35 participants included a high school science teacher and two classes of 11th grade students in the International Baccalaureate program. Using exploratory qualitative methods of research, data was collected from field notes and transcripts from a series of classroom observations, a single one-on-one interview with the teacher and two focus groups with students from each of the two classes. Three themes emerged from text coded using initial and process coding with the computer assisted qualitative data analysis software, MAXQDA. The themes were: 1.) Physical Forms of Communication Play Key Role in Instructional Strategy, 2.) Science Learning Occurs in Casual Environment Full of Distractions, and 3.) Teacher Persona Plays Vital Role in Classroom Culture. The findings provided insight into the teacher's role on students' motivation to learn science. The recommendation for STEM programs and new curriculum is a
Hunley, Rebecca C.
For years educators have struggled to ensure students meet the rigors of state mandated tests. Challenges that often impede student success are student absences, school closings due to weather, and remediation for students who need additional help while advanced students can move ahead. Many educators, especially secondary math and science teachers, have responded to these issues by implementing a teaching strategy called the flipped classroom where students view lectures, power points, or podcasts outside of school and class time shifts to allow opportunities for collaborative learning. The purpose of this research was to evaluate teacher and student perceptions of high school flipped science classrooms. A qualitative phenomenological study was conducted to observe 3 high school science teachers from Georgia, North Carolina, and Tennessee selected through purposeful sampling who have used the flipped classroom method for a minimum of 2 years. Analysis of data from an online survey, direct observation, teacher interviews, and student focus groups helped to identify challenges and benefits of this teaching and learning strategy. Findings indicated that teachers find the flipped classroom beneficial to build student relationships but requires a significant amount of time to develop. Mixed student reactions revealed benefits of a flipped classroom as a successful learning tool for current and future endeavors for college or career preparation.
Crowley, S.; Warburton, J.
PolarTREC (Teachers and Researchers Exploring and Collaborating) is a National Science Foundation (NSF) funded program in which K-12 teachers participate in hands-on field research experiences in the polar regions. PolarTREC highlights the importance of involving teachers in scientific research in regards to their careers as educators and their ability to engage students in the direct experience of science. To date, PolarTREC has placed over 90 teachers with research teams in the Arctic and Antarctic. Published results of our program evaluation quantify the effect of the field experience on the teachers' use of the real scientific process in the classroom, the improvement in science content taught in classrooms, and the use of non-fiction texts (real data and science papers) as primary learning tools for students. Teachers and students both report an increase of STEM literacy in the classroom content, confidence in science education, as well as a markedly broadened outlook of science as essential to their future. Research conducted with science teams affirms that they are achieving broader impacts when PolarTREC teachers are involved in their expeditions. Additionally, they reported that these teachers making vital contributions to the success of the scientific project.
Tomasek, Terry Morton
The purpose of this study was to examine and describe the ways various stakeholders (CBW project developer/coordinator, elementary and middle school teachers, and 5th through 8th grade students) envisioned, implemented and engaged in the citizen science project, eBird/Classroom BirdWatch. A multiple case study mixed-methods research design was used to examine student engagement in the cognitive processes associated with scientific inquiry as part of citizen science participation. Student engagement was described based on a sense of autonomy, competence, relatedness and intrinsic motivation. A goal of this study was to expand the taxonomy of differences between authentic scientific inquiry and simple inquiry to include those inquiry tasks associated with participation in citizen science by describing how students engaged in this type of science. This research study built upon the existing framework of cognitive processes associated with scientific inquiry described by Chinn and Malhotra (2002). This research provides a systematic analysis of the scientific processes and related reasoning tasks associated with the citizen science project eBird and the corresponding curriculum Classroom BirdWatch . Data consisted of responses to surveys, focus group interviews, document analysis and individual interviews. I suggest that citizen science could be an additional form of classroom-based science inquiry that can promote more authentic features of scientific inquiry and engage students in meaningful ways.
Bucher, Kathrine T.; Manning, M. Lee
Notes the popularity of the science fiction/fantasy genre, and offers a definition of these genres. Discusses teachers' reluctance to read or teach science fiction, but emphasizes its appeal and its usefulness. Discusses how teachers can select and use good science fiction books. Offers a checklist for evaluating such books, and suggests 18…
Gray, Steven A.; Nicosia, Kristina; Jordan, Rebecca C.
Mueller, Tippins, and Bryan's contrast of the current limitations of science education with the potential virtues of citizen science provides an important theoretical perspective about the future of democratized science and K-12 education. However, the authors fail to adequately address the existing barriers and constraints to moving…
Kim, Mijung; Roth, Wolff-Michael
With increasing technological changes and needs in society, technology and engineering education has received much attention in school science. Yet, technology traditionally has been subordinated to science or simply taken as the application of science. This position has resulted in a limited understanding of teaching technological and engineering…
Cook, Nicole D.; Walker, William S.; Weaver, Gabriela C.; Sorge, Brandon H.
The Indiana Science Initiative (ISI) is a systemic effort to reform K-8 science education. The program provides teachers with professional development, reform-oriented science modules, and materials support. To examine the impact of the initiative's professional development, a participant observation study was conducted in the program's pilot…
Hounshell, Paul B.; Trollinger, Ira R.
The purpose of this publication is to provide science teachers with the means to enhance the learning of environment through the use of instructional games. Included are science and science-related games currently available commercially, from individuals or groups of teachers, and from private and public organizations and agencies. Over 100…
Hanson, Sandra L.; Johnson, Elizabeth Palmer
Data from the National Educational Longitudinal Study (NELS) for the years 1988 to 1992 are used to explore the science experiences of young African-American women during the high school years. The comparison groups we use in trying to understand these experiences involve White women (for a race contrast) and African-American men (for a gender contrast). Within the context of a critical feminist perspective, it is argued that gender is constructed in a different way in White and African-American communities. Instead of expecting a disadvantage for young African-American women because of their gender and minority statuses, it is suggested that unique gender ideologies and work-family arrangements in the African-American community give these young women the resources and agency that allow them to compete with their White female counterparts and their African-American male counterparts in the science domain. Results from our analyses of the NELS data confirm these expectations. We find that on a majority of science measures, African-American women do as well as - and sometimes better than - White women and African-American men. For example, there are no differences between African-American women and men on attitudes toward science. And when compared with White women, African-American women tend to have more positive attitudes. When disadvantages appear for these young African-American women, they are more likely to be race effects then gender effects. The minimal gender effects in the science experiences of young African-Americans is in contrast to the more frequent male advantage in the White sample. A careful examination of family and individual resources shows that African-American families compensate for disadvantages on some resources (e.g., family socioeconomic status) by providing young women with an excess of other resources (e.g., unique gender ideologies, work expectations, and maternal expectations and involvement). And, unlike White parents, they sometimes
Egger, A. E.
Several studies indicate a strong correlation between the number of college science courses and science literacy. It is not surprising, then, that the majority of participants in citizen science projects are college graduates who enrolled in at least two science courses. If one goal of citizen science projects is to increase civic science literacy, research suggests that most are preaching to the choir. Attracting a wider audience to citizen science is, therefore, a key challenge. One way to address this challenge is to attract students to enroll and succeed in science courses in college, even if they do not pursue a major in the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) disciplines. In fact, only 20% of students receive a degree in STEM, yet virtually all undergraduates are required to take at least one science course. Introductory science courses are therefore critical to cultivating citizen scientists, as they include a large proportion of non- STEM majors. Indeed, a major thrust of recent undergraduate STEM educational reform has been the promotion of 'science for all'. The science for all concept goes beyond recruiting students into the STEM disciplines to promoting a level of scientific literacy necessary to make informed decisions. A clear implication of this inclusive attitude is the need to redesign introductory science courses to make them accessible and explicitly related to scientific literacy. This does not mean dumbing down courses; on the contrary, it means engaging students in real scientific investigations and incorporating explicit teaching about the process of science, thus fostering a lifelong appreciation for (and, hopefully, participation in) science. Unfortunately, many students enter college with minimal understanding of the process of science. And when they arrive in their introductory classes, science is presented to them as a system of facts to be memorized - comparable to memorizing a poem in a foreign language without
In reform-based science curricula, students' discursive participation is highly encouraged as a means of science learning as well as a goal of science education. However, Asian immigrant students are perceived to be quiet and passive in classroom discursive situations, and this reticence implies that they may face challenges in discourse-rich science classroom learning environments. Given this potentially conflicting situation, the present study aims to understand how and why Asian immigrant students participate in science classroom discourse. Findings from interviews with seven Korean immigrant adolescents illustrate that they are indeed hesitant to speak up in classrooms. Drawing upon cultural historical perspectives on identity and agency, this study shows how immigrant experiences shaped the participants' othered identity and influenced their science classroom participation, as well as how they negotiated their identities and situations to participate in science classroom and peer communities. I will discuss implications of this study for science education research and science teacher education to support classroom participation of immigrant students.
Galpin, Vashti C.; Sanders, Ian D.
First year students at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa, were surveyed about their perceptions of Computer Science before and towards the end of their first year courses. The aim of this research was to investigate how the students' attitudes changed during these courses and to assess the impact of the innovative…
Adams, Megan; March, Sue
Flavio Azevedo, Peggy Martalock and Tugba Keser challenge the `argumentation focus of science lessons' and propose that through a `design-based approach' emergent conversations with the teacher offer possibilities for different types of discussions to enhance pedagogical discourse in science classrooms. This important paper offers a "preliminary contribution to a general theory" regarding the link between activity types and discourse practices. Azevedo, Martalock and Keser offer a general perspective with a sociocultural framing for analysis of classroom discourse. Interestingly the specific concepts drawn upon are from conversation analysis; there are few sociocultural concepts explored in detail. Therefore, in this article we focus on a cultural historical (Vygotsky in The collected works of L. S. Vygotsky. The history and development of higher mental functions, vol 4. Plenum Press, New York, 1987; The Vygotsky reader. Black, Cambridge, 1994) methodology to explore, analyse and explain how we would use a different theoretical lens. We argue that a cultural historical reading of argumentation in science lessons and design based activity will expand Azevedo, Martalock and Keser's proposed general theory of activity types and discourse practices. Specifically, we use Lev Vygotksy's idea of perezhivanie as the unit of analysis to reconceptualise this important paper. We focus on the holistic category of students' emotional experience through discourse while developing scientific awareness.
Liou, Wei-Kai; Bhagat, Kaushal Kumar; Chang, Chun-Yen
The present study compares the highly interactive cloud-classroom (HIC) system with traditional methods of teaching materials science that utilize crystal structure picture or real crystal structure model, in order to examine its learning effectiveness across three dimensions: knowledge, comprehension and application. The aim of this study was to evaluate the (HIC) system, which incorporates augmented reality, virtual reality and cloud-classroom to teach basic materials science courses. The study followed a pretest-posttest quasi-experimental research design. A total of 92 students (aged 19-20 years), in a second-year undergraduate program, participated in this 18-week-long experiment. The students were divided into an experimental group and a control group. The experimental group (36 males and 10 females) was instructed utilizing the HIC system, while the control group (34 males and 12 females) was led through traditional teaching methods. Pretest, posttest, and delayed posttest scores were evaluated by multivariate analysis of covariance. The results indicated that participants in the experimental group who used the HIC system outperformed the control group, in the both posttest and delayed posttest, across three learning dimensions. Based on these results, the HIC system is recommended to be incorporated in formal materials science learning settings.
Blockus, Linda Helen
The purpose of this study is to describe and explore some of the social and academic experiences of successful African American undergraduate science majors at predominately White universities with the expectation of conceptualizing emerging patterns for future study. The study surveyed 80 upperclass African Americans at 11 public research universities about their perceptions of the influences that affect their educational experiences and career interests in science. The mailed survey included the Persistence/ voluntary Dropout Decision Scale, the Cultural Congruity Scale and the University Environment Scale. A variety of potential influences were considered including family background, career goals, psychosocial development, academic and social connections with the university, faculty relationships, environmental fit, retention factors, validation, participation in mentored research projects and other experiences. The students' sources of influences, opportunities for connection, and cultural values were considered in the context of a research university environment and investigated for emerging themes and direction for future research. Results indicate that performance in coursework appears to be the most salient factor in African American students' experience as science majors. The mean college gpa was 3.01 for students in this study. Challenging content, time demands, study habits and concern with poor grades all serve to discourage students; however, for most of the students in this study, it has not dissuaded them from their educational and career plans. Positive course performance provided encouragement. Science faculty provide less influence than family members, and more students find faculty members discouraging than supportive. Measures of faculty relations were not associated with academic success. No evidence was provided to confirm the disadvantages of being female in a scientific discipline. Students were concerned with lack of minority role models
Pickens, Melanie Turnure
The purpose of this study was to investigate teacher and student perspectives on the motivation of high school science students and to explore specific motivational strategies used by teachers as they attempt to enhance student motivation. Four science teachers took part in an initial audio-taped interview, classroom observations with debriefing conversations, and a final audio-taped interview to discuss findings and allow member checking for data triangulation and interpretation. Participating teachers also took part in a final focus group interview. Student participants from each teacher's class were given a Likert style anonymous survey on their views about motivation and learning, motivation in science class, and specific motivational strategies that emerged in their current science class. This study focused on effective teaching strategies for motivation commonly used by the four teachers and on specific teaching strategies used by two of these four teachers in different tracks of science classes. The intent was to determine not only what strategies worked well for all types of science classes, but also what specific motivational approaches were being used in high and low tracked science classes and the similarities and differences between them. This approach provided insight into the differences in motivating tracked students, with the hope that other educators in specific tracks might use such pedagogies to improve motivation in their own science classrooms. Results from this study showed that science teachers effectively motivate their students in the following ways: Questioning students to engage them in the lesson, exhibiting enthusiasm in lesson presentations, promoting a non-threatening environment, incorporating hands-on activities to help learn the lesson concepts, using a variety of activities, believing that students can achieve, and building caring relationships in the classroom. Specific to the higher tracked classroom, effective motivational
Oliveira, Alandeom W.
This study examined the effectiveness of introducing elementary teachers to the scholarly literature on personal pronouns and hedges in classroom discourse, a professional development strategy adopted during a summer institute to enhance teachers’ social understanding (i.e., their understanding of the social functions of language in science discussions). Teachers became aware of how hedges can be employed to remain neutral toward students’ oral contributions to classroom discussions, invite students to share their opinions and articulate their own ideas, and motivate students to inquire. Teachers recognized that the combined use of I and you can render their feedback authoritative, you can shift the focus from the investigation to students’ competence, and we can lead to authority loss. It is argued that explicitness, reflectivity, and contextualization are essential features of professional development programs aimed at improving teachers’ understandings of the social dimension of inquiry-based science classrooms and preparing teachers to engage in inquiry-based teacher-student interactions.
Research and Curriculum Development in Science Education. 4. Curriculum Evaluation, Classroom Methodology, and Theoretical Models. The University of Texas Centennial Science Education Center Monograph.
Bethel, Lowell J., Ed.
This monograph consists of 17 research studies in science education. Among the areas investigated in these studies are: modeling and monitoring of college level science education; classroom processes and their relationships with short-term outcomes in elementary school science; expectations of the scientific enterprise; a science laboratory safety…
Brown, Valerie J
Environmental health is a subject that has only relatively recently become prominent in the social consciousness. Even as its significance becomes known, finding ways to integrate the subject into education for primary and secondary students is difficult because of federal testing requirements under the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 and other demands placed on teachers. A number of efforts are under way, however, to provide teachers with resources to help them bring environment health into their classrooms.
Bartos, Stephen A.
Research on nature of science (NOS) and scientific inquiry (SI) has indicated that a teacher's knowledge of each, however well developed, is not sufficient to ensure that these views necessarily manifest themselves in classroom practice (Lederman & Druger, 1985; Lederman, 2007). In light of the considerable research that has examined teachers'…
Bartos, Stephen A.; Lederman, Norman G.
Research on nature of science (NOS) and scientific inquiry (SI) has indicated that a teacher's knowledge of each, however well developed, is not sufficient to ensure that these conceptions necessarily manifest themselves in classroom practice (Lederman & Druger, 1985; Lederman, 2007). In light of considerable research that has examined…
Data from three projects (a CD-ROM of the periodic table, video animation on CD ROM, and data loggers) show how conditioned dispositions affect information/communications technology use. The projects demonstrate how students have been conditioned to work mindlessly in science classrooms, following the path of least cognitive demand and avoiding…
Williams, William B.; Giersch, Chris; Bensen, William E.; Holland, Susan M.
NASA CONNECT's(TradeMark) program titled Functions and Statistics: Dressed for Space initially aired on Public Broadcasting Stations (PBS) nationwide on May 9, 2002. The program traces the evolution of past space suit technologies in the design of space suits for future flight. It serves as the stage to provide educators, parents, and students "space suit science" in the classroom.
Carter, Jill F.
Examines relationships among the levels of pre-service and inservice teacher preparation in various topic areas within environmental education (EE) and the levels of implementation of those topic areas in public high school science and social studies classrooms in Illinois. Measures teacher attitudes toward EE. Findings indicate that teachers who…
Tas, Yasemin; Balgalmis, Esra
The goal of this study was to describe Turkish mathematics and science teachers' use of computer in their classroom instruction by utilizing TIMSS 2011 data. Analyses results revealed that teachers most frequently used computers for preparation purpose and least frequently used computers for administration. There was no difference in teachers'…
Dunkleberger, Gary E.; Snyder, Sue
A workshop was designed to (1) train teachers to become experts on chemical safety and storage; (2) examine and evaluate chemical storage in 12 Carroll County (Maryland) schools; and (3) develop a safety guide for all county science classrooms. Development, implementation, evaluation, and implications of the workshop are addressed. (JN)
Olorundare, Solomon A.
This paper was based on an investigation of how an officially prescribed science curriculum was interpreted and translated by teachers into actual classroom practice in Nigerian primary schools. Mismatches between official and hidden curricula were rampant and often beyond teachers' control. The teacher's role was "policy broker," not…
Brusca-Vega, Rita; Brown, Kathleen; Yasutake, David
This case investigation followed the progress of middle students with disabilities, their peers, and teachers in co-taught science classrooms where a hands-on, inquiry-based curriculum was used. Students with disabilities (n=21), including learning disabilities, mild intellectual impairment, and mild autism were placed in co-taught classes with…
Lightburn, Millard E.; Fraser, Barry J.
The main purpose of this research was to evaluate the use of anthropometric activities among a sample of 761 high-school biology students in terms of student outcomes (achievement and attitudes) and classroom environment (assessed with the Science Laboratory Environment Inventory, SLEI). Data analyses supported the SLEI's factorial validity,…
Houston, Linda Scott; Fraser, Barry J.; Ledbetter, Cynthia E.
Student perceptions of classroom environment can provide useful criteria for evaluating educational alternatives. The My Class Inventory (MCI) was used with 588 3rd- to 5th-grade students in Texas in evaluating the effectiveness of instruction using a textbook, science kits, or a combination of both. Various analyses attested to the factorial…
Takes a qualitative and quantitative look at the curriculum and teaching of a two-way immersion eighth-grade solar energy science classroom and examines its implications for education policy and reform. Results for a class of 25 students indicate that the approach increases the retention rate of Hispanic students. (SLD)
Barnard-Brak, Lucy; Wei, Tianlan; Schmidt, Marcelo; Sheffield, Rebecca
Purpose: Few studies have examined the role of inclusivity in international assessments of student achievement, such as the TIMSS (Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study). The current study examined how the inclusivity of students with disabilities at the classroom level across countries may be associated with achievement scores,…
DeLaet, Debra L.
This article provides an overview of a classroom project, titled the Priorities Project, which is designed to promote responsible and informed civic engagement on the part of students in upper level political science courses at Drake University. It provides an overview of the Priorities Project, a brief summary highlighting the process and results…
Layman, John W.; And Others
This book provides a focused, extended response to the question How does standards-based science instruction look and feel in the classroom? This question is addressed by considering two related issues: (1) "How can teachers cultivate the quality of scientific thinking and understanding defined by standards?" and (2) "How can…
Many varieties of data acquisition systems are now available for science classrooms. Most systems consist of a range of sensors--typically called probeware--connected to an interface unit usually described as a datalogger due to its capacity to record data from these sensors. Although some systems operate independently, most units connect to a…
Paige, Kathryn; Lawes, Heather; Matejcic, Peter; Taylor, Cathy; Stewart, Vicki; Lloyd, David; Zeegers, Yvonne; Roetman, Philip; Daniels, Christopher
This paper describes what happened in four teachers' classrooms as a result of participating in Operation Magpie, a Citizen Science project. The range of strategies used to engage their students in observing magpies in the schoolyard and in nearby parks is the focus of the teachers' stories. "Magic spots", data collection, class blogs,…
Elmas, Ridvan; Demirdogen, Betul; Geban, Omer
The purpose of this study is to explore pre-service chemistry teachers' images of science teaching in their future classrooms. Also, association between instructional style, gender, and desire to be a teacher was explored. Sixty six pre-service chemistry teachers from three public universities participated in the data collection for this study. A…
Kay, Robin; Knaack, Liesel
An audience response systems (ARS) allows students to respond to multiple choice questions using remote control devices. Once the feedback is collected and displayed, the teacher and students discuss misconceptions and difficulties experienced. ARSs have been extremely popular and effective in higher education science classrooms, although almost…
Demographic changes within the US are bringing significant changes in the cultural make-up of the classrooms in our schools. Results from national and state assessments indicate a growing achievement gap between the science scores of white students and students from minority communities. This gap indicates a disconnect somewhere in the science…
Monk, Martin; Swain, Julian; Ghrist, Mary; Riddle, Wendy
Surveyed Egyptian secondary science and mathematics teachers following a 12-week inservice in the United Kingdom regarding their views on barriers to changing their classroom practice and what changes they have introduced or can introduce to their practice. Overall, demands of final examinations were the most important inhibitor, and the…
Bailey, Alison, L.; Butler, Frances A.; LaFramenta, Charmien; Ong, Christine
This report details an exploratory study that employs qualitative methods to characterize the academic language used by teachers and students in 4th and 5th grade mainstream science classrooms. Teacher oral language, and to some degree student talk, was observed during content instruction. This type of data allows for a broad descriptive…
Kloser, Matthew; Borko, Hilda; Martinez, Jose Felipe; Stecher, Brian; Luskin, Rebecca
Assessments are powerful tools for informing teachers and students about where student thinking stands with relation to a learning goal. Yet, few studies provide qualitative analyses of assessment practice across a unit. This study uses a framework of nine dimensions of effective assessment practice in science classrooms to compare more and less…
Nemirovsky, Ricardo, Ed.; Rosebery, Ann S., Ed.; Solomon, Jesse, Ed.; Warren, Beth, Ed.
This book re-examines the dichotomy between the everyday and the disciplinary in mathematics and science education, and explores alternatives to this opposition from points of view grounded in the close examination of complex classroom events. It makes the case that students' everyday experience and knowledge in their entire manifold forms matter…