INTERDISCIPLINARY JOURNAL OF ENVIRONMENTAL AND SCIENCE EDUCATION

Volume 16, Issue 2, 2020

Research Article
The Environmental Influence on the Social Activity of Birds in Buea University Campus, Southwest Region, Cameroon
Interdisciplinary Journal of Environmental and Science Education, 2020, 16(2), e2210, https://doi.org/10.29333/ijese/6446
ABSTRACT: In the next decade, urban sprawl might reach such a magnitude that several natural areas surrounding cities will give way to buildings and residential areas. Although some long-term efforts to understanding wildlife dynamics in cities are under way, very little has been done in understanding the influence of urban expansion on wildlife and developing a management strategies aimed at diminishing these impacts. There is a need to study urban biodiversity and include ecological knowledge in urban planning. However, this study was focused on assessing the environmental influence on the social activity of birds in Buea university campus. The data was collected on check-sheets for a period of 2 months, 6 days a week, from 7:00am – 6:00pm. The spot-count data collection method used witnessed 616 bird observations during the study. Simultaneously, data was collected on environmental condition, day-period, bird species, bird location, and bird number. The results of this study showed a significant link between bird activity and bird species, χ2 = 171.953 df=48 P=0.000. Similarly, activity of birds showed association on bird number, χ2 = 120.254 df=40 P=0.000. The environmental conditions associated significantly with bird number, χ2 = 35.669 df=30, P<0.05. Also, bird species associated significantly with the day-period, χ2 = 171.953 df=48, P=0.000. Additionally, environmental conditions associated with bird location, χ2 = 7.921 df=6 P<0.05. Moreover, the environmental condition associated significantly with bird activity, χ2 = 28.925 df=12 P=0.004.
All the bird species observed during the survey displayed a significant activity state, however, species such as village weaver (Ploceus cucullatus), little weaver (Ploceus luteolus), and black-headed weaver (Ploceus melanocephalus), recorded 17.86%, 11.36%, and 7.31% respectively, and were observed with a higher activity frequency as compared to other bird species. The environmental role on wildlife species such as birds significantly determines their geographical distribution and endemism on the earth planet.
Research Article
Active Learning Methodologies in a Solar Power, Middle-Grade Curriculum for Palestinian Schools
Interdisciplinary Journal of Environmental and Science Education, 2020, 16(2), e2211, https://doi.org/10.29333/ijese/7814
ABSTRACT: Palestine has great potential for solar energy use because of its status as an occupied territory with accompanying energy challenges and the area’s ample amounts of sunshine. Solar energy education and the incorporation of active-learning methods can promote learning about key scientific concepts, environmental benefits, and uses of solar energy, while developing problem-solving and inquiry abilities. A grades six to nine curriculum on solar energy for Palestinian schools is described, which uses structured inquiry, problem-based learning, and multimedia animated videos. The format for the activities is exploration occurs first followed by concept formation using the videos and discussions. A three-day teacher workshop led participants through the experiences. A subsequent implementation in schools was observed. Participants had overall positive attitudes toward the curriculum, the active-student learning methods, their abilities to implement, and the positive effects the program would have on student learning.
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.
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
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
Contextualisation of factual knowledge in genetics: A pre- and post- survey of undergraduates’ understanding of the Nature of Science
Interdisciplinary Journal of Environmental and Science Education, 2020, 16(2), e2215, https://doi.org/10.29333/ijese/7816
ABSTRACT: Having an adequate understanding of the Nature of Science (NOS) is an integral part of scientific literacy. However, NOS is usually not yet explicitly embedded in the science curricula at German universities. To fill this gap, we have introduced NOS elements in the undergraduate course on genetics at the biology department of an Institute of Technology in North-western Germany in summer semester 2018. The strategy used an exclusive-reflective approach by emphasising socio-scientific issues. As Kostas Kampourakis (2016) suggests, our design considers not only general aspects of the NOS concept, but also the family resemblance approach presented by Erduran and Dagher (2014). To evaluate changes in students’ NOS understanding, we did a pre- and post-survey about their NOS understanding following the SUSSI questionnaire designed by Liang et al. (2008). The NOS understanding of the 93 participants shows statistically significant improvement in 14 out of 24 items (58,3%) after the teaching unit, compared to the pre-survey. While the pre-survey shows a larger gap of understanding regarding the relations of environment, theory, and law, the post-test results show significant effects on learning, in particular regarding subjective, social, and cultural influences on science. However, the students’ understanding regarding the relations of environment, theory, and law still remains weak. The findings indicate that some preconceptions were not as amenable to change as others. In particular, the assumed facticity of scientific knowledge seems to be a powerful preconception that is much more firmly fixed than the contextualization of scientific discovery.