INTERDISCIPLINARY JOURNAL OF ENVIRONMENTAL AND SCIENCE EDUCATION

Volume 16, Issue 4, 2020

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
Studying the impact of online homework on the perceptions, attitudes, study habits, and learning experiences of chemistry students
Interdisciplinary Journal of Environmental and Science Education, 2020, 16(4), e2221, https://doi.org/10.29333/ijese/8543
ABSTRACT: The importance of providing students with opportunities to solve problems and providing them with feedback on their learning cannot be underscored. Providing individualized feedback to students in large enrollment classes, such as general chemistry, is an impossible task for instructors. Online homework provides a solution to this problem. College faculty have overall been supportive of online homework and learning resources because it reduces the time they spend grading, entering grades, and returning paper-based homework especially that the class sizes have been steadily increasing over the past several years. The purpose of this paper is to study students’ perceptions about the usefulness of online homework, the role it plays in improving their problem solving skills and study habits, and the effect it has on their attitudes and learning. Data was collected using a Likert-type and open-ended questionnaire from students enrolled in general chemistry courses. Our data suggests that online homework had a positive impact on students’ perceptions, attitudes, learning experiences, understanding, and learning outcomes.  It also increased the amount of time on tasks for students which has the benefit of meaningful learning, engagement in the content, and achievement. Finally, our data suggests that online homework contributed to students’ improved active engagement in the course, study habits, and understanding.
Research Article
A Study of Argumentation-Based Science Concept Mapping Teaching Approach in Identifying Students’ Learning Performances towards Scientific Process Skills
Interdisciplinary Journal of Environmental and Science Education, 2020, 16(4), e2222, https://doi.org/10.29333/ijese/8544
ABSTRACT: The application for burning incenses case study both indoors and outdoors is a controversial issues of value-laden and moral dilemma in Taiwan. This research aimed at using the argumentation-based case study as burning incenses with concept mapping approach in identifying students’ learning performances towards scientific process skills. It was followed by an argumentation-based approach of pre-tests, post-tests and interviews designed for 139 qualified participants. All data collected from two experimental group students’ argumentation-based learning performances and feedback was further analyzed by means of open-ended achievement tests, descriptive statistical analysis of learning attitude and the narration of students’ interviews. Analytical results indicated that the argumentation-based texts were successfully designed for students’ learning guidance by instructor. An evaluation tools with content validity and good reliability (Cronbach’s α > .9) were developed to assess students’ argumentation-based learning performances. The achievement posttest finding revealed that two experimental group students enhanced their science argumentation skills of higher level than pretests. The further t-test of achievement posttest didn’t indicate any significant differences (p> .05) for two experimental group students. Students’ positive learning feedbacks also provided the predominant advantage for activating responsive reasons, promoting their critical thinking, enhancing self-confidence of science process skills and supporting teachers in argumentation teaching.
Research Article
Impact of an inquiry-based science activity about climate change on development of primary students’ investigation skills and conceptual knowledge
Interdisciplinary Journal of Environmental and Science Education, 2020, 16(4), e2225, https://doi.org/10.29333/ijese/8554
ABSTRACT: Climate change is one of the major challenges facing society today and more effective education is needed on this topic. This study analysed the effects of an inquiry-based science activity about climate change effects in ocean ecosystems, done in a research laboratory and in the classroom, on primary students’ knowledge, investigation skills and satisfaction. Data were collected through the application of pretests and posttests, direct observation, questionnaires, interviews and document analysis. Results revealed an increase in students’ scientific knowledge and application to new situations. Regarding investigation skills, all students were able to make predictions, and to easily observe and register data. However, experimental planning and conclusions were more difficult for them. Students and teachers emphasised their satisfaction with the outdoor activity, teamwork and the subject. The present study revealed a positive effect of the participation in the inquiry-based activity, embedded on a socio-scientific issue, in students’ conceptual knowledge and in the development of investigation skills.
Research Article
Examining scientific attitude scales in India: Development and validation of a new scale
Interdisciplinary Journal of Environmental and Science Education, 2020, 16(4), e2223, https://doi.org/10.29333/ijese/8557
ABSTRACT: In India a multitude of scientific attitude scales are available through various channels. The scales are standardized under local settings and most of the Indian researchers utilize these national level scales for the assessment of scientific attitudes. In this work 23 such Indian scales are reviewed over their psychometric properties. The study showed that most of the scales lack theoretical foundations and psychometric evidences. A scale by Bajwa & Mahajan (2012) is selected over its appropriate theoretical background. But many of the items are inappropriate, they failed in the validity check-up through 11-experts and 218-student tryout. Thus, a new scale is developed by retaining some of the items of the scale. The developed scale is standardized and validated through 200, 312 and 641 student tryouts. All statements in the developed scale show high item to scale correlation values. Exploratory factor analysis (EFA) confirms the five sub-scales namely rationality, curiosity, open-mindedness, aversion to superstition and confidence in scientific method. The Cronbach’s alpha coefficient value of the scale is high i.e. 0.79. The scale establishes its content, construct, concurrent and discriminant validities. This study results in to a valid scientific attitude scale that can be utilized in further researches.