2 results found.
Students’ Reactions to Natural and Physical Phenomena: Documenting Wonder and Engagement with Science Content Knowledge
Interdisciplinary Journal of Environmental and Science Education, 2022, 18(1), e2261, https://doi.org/10.21601/ijese/11340
ABSTRACT: The purpose of this study was twofold: First, to document how students react to various natural and physical phenomena, and second, whether observation of these phenomena can foster students’ sense of wonder and their engagement with science content knowledge through self-directed inquiry. The sample consisted of forty-six 11th and 12th grade students from a variety of schools located in the wider metropolitan area of a European capital. They were all volunteers, who kept a journal, in which they wrote their ‘genuine’ feelings and thoughts about nine specific phenomena, when they first looked at them (first reaction), and during their investigation, if they did choose to pursue an investigation, in order to understand and/or learn more about them. Those phenomena were given to the students in the form of a photograph and a short videoclip. The students were given the option not to make an entry (i.e., write anything in their journals) if they thought the phenomenon was not worthy of their attention. A content analysis of students’ journal entries provided evidence for three major categories/reactions to natural phenomena, namely, (a) “admiration/perception of beauty”, (b) “intellectual curiosity” and (c) “admiration mingled with intellectual curiosity”. For some students, although a small percentage of the sample, the above categories could be considered student ‘profiles’, given that those students consistently expressed “admiration” or “intellectual curiosity” or “admiration mixed with curiosity” across all situations/phenomena. However, most students’ reactions and thoughts varied according to the situation/phenomenon they observed. All students, with the exception of those whose reactions fell within the first category, were engaged in self-directed inquiry for the purpose of understanding, and in some cases even learn more about, natural and physical phenomena. The implications of these results for science education are also discussed.
Interdisciplinary Journal of Environmental and Science Education, 2021, 17(4), e2255, https://doi.org/10.21601/ijese/11136
ABSTRACT: Despite recent reforms concerning how students engage in science, there have been significant challenges for educators seeking to consistently implement science practices within the classroom. This study considered science practices within a wonder-framed nature study as one possible way for educators to support students as they take on the role of scientists. We interviewed twenty students in Grades 3 through 5 who had participated in wonder journaling sessions outdoors that led to an investigative project and presentation. The evidence suggests that students strongly engaged in investigative science practices, and that they also experienced opportunities for sensemaking and critiquing practices. Through a qualitative data analysis, four main themes emerged that provide insight into the experiences of the students within the study: joy, community, autonomy, and challenges. The data indicate that wonder is an authentic and viable route towards the implementation of the science practices within an elementary school setting. The implications of this study are considerable and offer strategies for educators seeking to incorporate science practices in an authentic way that integrates both wonder and outdoor learning.