INTERDISCIPLINARY JOURNAL OF ENVIRONMENTAL AND SCIENCE EDUCATION

Keyword: science education

12 results found.

Research Article
Investigating Pre-Service Teachers’ Understanding of Nature of Science: Contributions of An Assessment Tool Based on the Reconceptualized Family Resemblance Approach
Interdisciplinary Journal of Environmental and Science Education, 2022, 18(4), e2290, https://doi.org/10.21601/ijese/12111
ABSTRACT: Several literature sources discuss the importance of nature of science (NOS) understanding and how having an understanding is central to being a scientifically literate citizen. As a result, developing NOS understanding is one of the most commonly stated objectives for science education. Acquiring views on NOS has been a prominent feature of research in this area since the 1960s. The following article provides a proof of concept for the transformation of a theoretical framework into a practical assessment tool (worksheet). The reconceptualized family resemblance approach to NOS is a theoretical framing of NOS which describes components of science in terms of categories subsumed under epistemic, cognitive and social systems. The aim is to explore its potential for use in science education and demonstrate its functionality so as to collect data on pre-service teachers’ understanding of NOS and substantiate what can be achieved through its application. The designed assessment tool has many purposes and in this case it was used in a pre-, post-, and delayed-post methodology to investigate pre-service teachers’ understanding of NOS following participation in NOS themed workshops. Implications for science teacher education will be discussed.
Research Article
Virtual Coverboarding: Using Local Biodiverity to Engage Science Majors
Interdisciplinary Journal of Environmental and Science Education, 2022, 18(4), e2279, https://doi.org/10.21601/ijese/12016
ABSTRACT: There is a current need to develop engaging, informative online activities for science majors and potential future citizen scientists, particularly given the increase in the online teaching environment following COVID-19. Given this potential for online teaching to continue to increase, it becomes ever more essential to provide undergraduate students with methods that allow students to remotely access common methods used for sampling species while still engaging students in learning about local species diversity. This study assessed the potential for an interactive, online course-specific website to connect and inform first-year undergraduate biology majors (pre-health majors to environmental science) on local leaf litter species diversity. The website included species encountered as part of an ongoing on-campus biodiversity monitoring project using coverboards. Students navigated to the website, answered questions on the types of organisms, and completed a short survey. The survey questions reviewed whether the website was engaging and informed students on campus biodiversity of both reptiles and arthropods. Students overwhelmingly responded positively that the website was helpful to advise them on local species and their natural histories and engaged and piqued their interest. Therefore, we recommend incorporating course websites as teaching tools to catalog local species to teach undergraduate biology majors.
Research Article
Citizen Science as a Pedagogical Tool in Chemistry Education: Students’ Attitudes and Teachers’ Perceptions
Interdisciplinary Journal of Environmental and Science Education, 2022, 18(2), e2271, https://doi.org/10.21601/ijese/11841
ABSTRACT: The need of promoting the affective dimension of chemistry literacy in students, through expressions of interest in chemistry-related topics and positive attitudes toward this field, has been emphasized in chemistry education. Thus, the purpose of this study was to understand students’ attitudes toward chemistry between the ages of 12 and 14, as well as how their participation in a citizen science project called Perceiving the Value of Chemistry behind water and microplastics (PVC) contributed to possible attitude changes. Although the research focus was chemistry education, chemistry and physics are taught as part of one subject in Portugal, so the attitudes towards physics and chemistry scale was used as a pre- and post-test. The pre-test showed positive attitudes towards physics and chemistry. In the post-test, the control group exhibited significantly negative changes in attitude, in all dimensions; whereas the experimental group revealed no significant changes. Pedagogical dynamics also affect students’ attitudes toward chemistry, so we undertook interviews to investigate the project’s impact on the pedagogical practices of the nine participating teachers. The results suggest that activities developed within the PVC project were formative for the teachers, allowing them to reflect on their practices and promoting an interdisciplinary approach to the topics addressed, in addition to enabling students to use knowledge in different and new perspectives. Moreover, through the development of pedagogical resources and training within this project, teachers recognized that they would continue this experience.
Research Article
Conversations About Evolution During Family Visits to an Exhibition About Darwin in a Mexican Museum: An Analysis of Scientific Reasoning
Interdisciplinary Journal of Environmental and Science Education, 2022, 18(2), e2267, https://doi.org/10.21601/ijese/11520
ABSTRACT: Studies investigating the conversations held in museum settings have proved important for understanding the learning experiences of their visitors. The aim of this mixed-methods study is to analyze the experiences of families on visits to an exhibition on Charles Darwin at Museu Trompo Mágico (Guadalajara, Mexico), particularly their conversations about evolution and what types of scientific reasoning they employed. Ten family groups with a total of 42 visitors participated in the study. The visits were recorded and the audiovisual material loaded into the Dedoose 8.0.23 software, for analysis of the conversations using a protocol which includes three types of reasoning: (i) evolutionary – rudimentary (not in-depth) Darwinian scientific thinking; (ii) intuitive – everyday common-sense explanations; and (iii) mixed – drawing on evolutionary and intuitive reasoning. The results indicate that the exhibition sparked the families’ interest and curiosity: in 24% of the total visit time, they held conversations about evolution-related topics and themes. At that time, the most used reasoning was intuitive reasoning, code applied 124 times, followed by evolutionary reasoning (118 times) and mixed reasoning (120 times). Our results provide evidence that the exhibition brought families closer to scientific knowledge about evolution, prompting conversations about evolutionary terms and topics, in the three types of scientific reasoning investigated. As implications, this study demonstrates that understanding what family members talk about and deciphering how they apply reasoning patterns can help in the definition and structuring of exhibition learning, assist in the reasoning transition process and in the assimilation of concepts that are the basis for understanding evolutionary processes.
Research Article
Localizing Discussions of Climate Change Effects May Not Increase Students' Willingness to Engage in Pro-Environmental Behavior
Interdisciplinary Journal of Environmental and Science Education, 2021, 17(4), e2257, https://doi.org/10.21601/ijese/11149
ABSTRACT: While acceptance of the reality of climate change is rising among the U.S. population, there still exists an inconsistent willingness of individuals to engage in pro-environmental behaviors (WPEB) to mitigate anthropogenic drivers of warming. Decreasing the temporal and spatial psychological distance between the adverse effects of climate change and students' home communities is one proposed approach that environmental science teachers can take to motivate students to take up attitudes to engage in pro-environmental action. This study used data from a large public survey of Americans' perceptions of climate change to better understand whether existing conceptions of the distance of the effects of climate change affects self-reported WPEB. Two ordinal logistic regression models were constructed to compare temporal distance of effects and spatial distance of effects respectively to the WPEB construct. Both models showed the inverse of the expected relationship, where participants who perceived the effects of climate change as more psychologically distant displayed a greater WPEB. These finding suggest that localizing discussions of climate change alone may not be sufficient to increase students' WPEB.
Research Article
Becoming WISE about the Environment: A Novel Approach to an Overnight Summer Science Camp for Young Females
Interdisciplinary Journal of Environmental and Science Education, 2021, 17(2), e2233, https://doi.org/10.21601/ijese/9331
ABSTRACT: In order to encourage female students to pursue science as a career, an overnight science camp known as the Women in Science Experience (WISE) was developed and implemented at Mount St. Joseph University. The camp was developed for girls who were 14-17 years of age as a residential experience to simulate life on a university campus. This manuscript describes the implementation of the camp, including development of content and organization of the camp schedule.  The camp was evaluated by student participants using a survey that contained Likert-style and open response questions, with students reporting overall satisfaction with the camp. The manuscript discusses the student responses to the survey and describes the lessons learned from the entire process of developing and running WISE.
Research Article
Environmental Immersion and Mobile Filmmaking for Science Education: a New Zealand Pilot Study
Interdisciplinary Journal of Environmental and Science Education, 2021, 17(1), e2228, https://doi.org/10.29333/ijese/9155
ABSTRACT: To test whether environmental immersion and mobile filmmaking (using smartphones or tablets) can engender positive attitudes to science, seventeen Year 10 (14-15 years old) drama students from Queen’s High School, New Zealand, were taken to Westland National Park to make videos about climate change using iPads (Immersion Group). Another fourteen students (Control Group) remained in Dunedin and also produced videos about climate change. Both groups had equal access to equipment, tutoring, incentives and footage. Yet, students in the Immersion Group were more likely to complete videos and produced videos of a higher quality. While there were no differences between the two groups in their attitudes to science before the experiment, afterwards the Immersion Group students had significantly more positive attitudes to doing science at school and beyond. The combination of environmental immersion and mobile filmmaking substantially increased interest in the environment and climate change, suggesting that it offers a promising tool for science education.
Research Article
Exploring The Complexity of Student-Created Mind Maps, Based On Science-Related Disciplinary and Interdisciplinary Core Ideas
Interdisciplinary Journal of Environmental and Science Education, 2021, 17(1), e2227, https://doi.org/10.29333/ijese/9153
ABSTRACT: The success of science education is in promoting conceptualisation, both disciplinary and interdisciplinary, in meeting desired learning goals. This research seeks to identify the quality of, upper secondary school students’ dimensions of knowledge and conceptualisation, related to a set of science-related disciplinary and interdisciplinary core ideas. Using validated guidelines, data collected from grade 10 (N=254) students, and an abductive thematic analysis approach are used to subsequently analyse student-created mind maps. Results show that most students are able to create mind maps, although these tend to be very general and indicate few interconnections between the different dimensions of knowledge presented. The results further suggest that, in general, it is difficult for students to conceptualise the interrelationships between science-related disciplinary and interdisciplinary core ideas and even show that some students hold misconceptions. The use of mind maps is seen as a meaningful approach to identifying learners’ ability to relate dimensions of knowledge applied to disciplinary and interdisciplinary core ideas in science education. The research identifies a need to investigate learning approaches in secondary school studies so as to promote more emphatically interconnections between disciplinary and interdisciplinary core ideas.
Research Article
Are Pre-Service Teachers Ready to Write Stories in the Sciences?
Interdisciplinary Journal of Environmental and Science Education, 2020, 16(4), e2220, https://doi.org/10.29333/ijese/8421
ABSTRACT: According to literature, science-based stories can not only trigger students’ curiosity about scientific concepts but also increase their understanding of them as well as to facilitate the retention of information in students’ memory. It is a common practice for elementary school teachers to create stories in order to teach several topics. To investigate the ability of pre-service teachers in Science story writing, we selected the topic of karst caves which it can be studied through many disciplines (i.e. Geography, Geology, Biology, Chemistry, Environmental education, Ecology) according to the Greek curriculum. Moreover, although karst caves are part of Greece’s geological history, they are neither taught nor extensively mentioned in the Greek Primary and Secondary Education curricula. In this research, we examined whether Greek pre-service primary school teachers are able to create complete science-based stories about karst caves, by following the necessary didactic transposition of scientific concepts and the key elements in structure and plot of a such a story. For this purpose, we assessed by content analysis 100 pre-service teachers’ written stories. The results revealed that most of the participants achieved to create sufficient stories in structure and plot, whereas they did not achieve to transpose the necessary scientific concepts that they had included in their writing.
Research Article
Application of Constructivist Teaching Approach in Introducing New Environmental Concepts to Young Elementary Students in the Philippines: A Small Class Sized Experience from Slime Moulds Modeling
Interdisciplinary Journal of Environmental and Science Education, 2020, 16(2), e2214, https://doi.org/10.29333/ijese/7818
ABSTRACT: The traditional elementary science education setting in the Philippines mainly focuses on using macro-organisms as a biological model. To introduce the fundamental environmental concepts of microbial predation and other related environmental concepts such as decomposition, nutrient cycling and species interaction to the young elementary Filipino students, an initial pilot study was conducted in a small class-sized setting of one international school in the Philippines. Our goal was to (i) design an activity-based teaching program utilizing the constructivist 5E (engage, explore, explain, elaborate and evaluate) method using solely slime moulds as an example organism and (ii) obtain the impression of the students regarding the activity-based teaching program. A purposive sampling size with a total of 45 number of students aging from 10-12 years old were divided into control (16) and experimental (29) groups. Likert scale survey was also given to the student experimental group to assess their overall impression about the newly developed teaching program. Significant differences on test scores between the control and experimental group and the high priority mean scores given by the experimental group points out the effective facilitation of the program. Hence, innovations in teaching pedagogies for difficult science concepts such as the development of the Slimy Business teaching program improves not only the learning quality of the young learners but as well as their environmental appreciation. Applying such novel teaching approach in the conservative Philippine elementary schools is recommended.
Research Article
“Maybe I Should Try Out Becoming a Teacher”: Why Science Majors Enter Science Teaching
Interdisciplinary Journal of Environmental and Science Education, 2020, 16(2), e2213, https://doi.org/10.29333/ijese/7817
ABSTRACT: This multiple-case study was conducted to evaluate claims that the literature on the recruitment of science majors into science teaching is sparse and unable to adequately explain why undergraduates decide to pursue science teaching.  I interviewed six undergraduate science majors who have committed to an initial science teacher preparation program to ascertain their motivations for choosing a career in teaching. This analysis reveals that the literature has not adequately identified all the reasons why a group of science majors decided to pursue science teaching. Four novel motives were identified which should inform future research into science teacher recruitment.
Research Article
Factors Related to Students’ Perception of Learning During Outdoor Science Lessons in Schools’ Immediate Surroundings
Interdisciplinary Journal of Environmental and Science Education, 2020, 16(2), e2212, https://doi.org/10.29333/ijese/7815
ABSTRACT: The research presented in this paper answers the question: What factors are most related to students’ perception of learning during outdoor science lessons occurring in schools’ immediate surroundings? Twenty-six science teachers, as well as 71 classes of seventh (51 classes) and eighth (20 classes) graders participated in our study (n = 2007). All 26 teachers agreed to plan and carry out five outdoor lessons in their schools’ immediate surroundings for each class they decided to include in the study. The 11 influencing factors we examined in this quantitative study were: the duration of the outdoor lesson, the students’ level of preparation, the students’ opportunity to make choices, the outdoor environment, the position in the lesson sequence, the presence of a laboratory technician, the scientific discipline, the grouping of the students, the teacher’s outdoor teaching experience, the type of activity, and the weather conditions. To identify the factors most related to students’ perception of learning, we ran a bivariate correlation analysis and then used a three-level hierarchical linear model (HLM) with the significant factors from the bivariate correlation. Our results showed that students’ perception of learning was significantly and positively correlated with the factors listening to scientific explanations, being grouped with the entire class, students’ level of preparation, and students’ opportunity to make choices, and negatively correlated with observing. We conclude this paper by arguing that students’ perception of learning is really a perception that is based on their anticipated success on school assessments.