Volume 18, Issue 1, 2022

Message from the Editor: Looking Back at 2021
Interdisciplinary Journal of Environmental and Science Education, 2022, 18(1), e2265,
Research Article
Impact of an Experiment-Based Intervention on Pre-Service Primary School Teachers’ Experiment-Related and Science Teaching-Related Self-Concepts
Interdisciplinary Journal of Environmental and Science Education, 2022, 18(1), e2258,
ABSTRACT: Teachers’ academic self-concept is considered an important factor influencing their professional competence. Regarding primary science education, positive science (teaching) related self-concepts might encourage teachers to plan and teach ‘minds on’ experiment-based science lessons leading to deep learning processes. However, research on pre- and in-service primary teachers’ self-concepts and influencing factors, such as previous experimental experience, is scarce. Thus, this study investigates the impact of an experiment-based intervention on pre-service primary school teachers’ experiment-related self-concept and self-concepts on planning and teaching experiment-based lessons. The evaluation followed a quasi-experimental, longitudinal (pre-post) design with an experimental group of N = 158 pre-service primary teachers and a baseline group (N = 44), not attending the course. According to the results, pre-service teachers gained little to moderate experimental experience in school and studying at university. Besides, the pre-service teachers with a science major gained significantly more experimental experience than those with other majors during their time at the university. Significant, positive correlations were found between previous experimental experiences and the self-concepts examined in this study. While self-concepts did not change in the baseline group, they increased significantly in the experimental group. One reason for this could be the perception of competence, as the findings reveal positive correlations between changes in self-concepts and perceived experimental competence during the intervention. Regarding the impact of the variable ‘course format’ on reinforcing the self-concepts, participants of the intensive block format seem to have a slight advantage compared to pre-service teachers attending the traditional, weekly course format. Furthermore, the results indicate that the course is equally beneficial for pre-service teachers with and without a science major.
Research Article
Environmental Attitudes Among Undergraduate Students at a South African University
Interdisciplinary Journal of Environmental and Science Education, 2022, 18(1), e2260,
ABSTRACT: Understanding environmental attitudes (EAs) has been viewed as prerequisite to changing environmental behaviour and is a particularly salient topic in the context of higher educational institutions which play an important role in shaping students’ worldviews. As such, the study aimed to explore EAs of undergraduate students at three different campuses of a South African University (n = 1283) and to examine how these EAs differ in terms of students’ demographic characteristics. A structured questionnaire was used to collect biographical data, and EAs were assessed via the Revised New Ecological Paradigm Scale (NEP) and the Environmental Attitudes Inventory (Short form) (EAI-24). Results indicated that students’ EAs lean more towards utilization, which is an anti-environmental factor, than to the pro-environmental factor of preservation. Furthermore, demographic factors such as gender and ethnicity were significantly, but often a-stereotypically associated with students’ EAs. These results have practical implications for tailoring environmental-based interventions aimed at enhancing pro-environmental attitudes among students. However, the results also raise concerns about the cross-cultural validity and efficacy of some EA-related measuring instruments and environmental organizations, and suggest that a need exists to develop culturally sensitive EA measures, as well as environmental organizations that incorporate a greater focus on social justice and indigenous knowledge systems.
Research Article
Performance Analysis of Biology Education under the Implementation of Lower Secondary School Biology-Competence-Based Curriculum: Policy Implications
Interdisciplinary Journal of Environmental and Science Education, 2022, 18(1), e2259,
ABSTRACT: Education in general and science particularly are believed to promote the country's development. To this end, the government of Rwanda and its stakeholders in education have put efforts in place expected to improve the teaching and learning process of science and performance as well. Some of these efforts include among others the adoption of a Competence-Based Curriculum. This study analyzed the performance of students in biology among public lower secondary schools based on gender, type, and school location in Nyamagabe district, Rwanda during the implementation of BCBC. An ex-post facto research design was adopted to analyze biology grade scores of 3,129 students, who sat for the 2018 Ordinary Level Biology National Examination. Descriptive statistics and an Independent Sample t-test were used to analyze data. Results evidenced that students' performance in Biology was low (49% failed). The study found significant differences in students’ performance based on gender (t=-11.59, p<0.05), type of school (t=-19, 46, p<0.05) and school location (t=-6.36, p<0.5). The study concluded that despite the introduction of the Biology Competence-Based Curriculum (BCBC), the students’ performance in biology is still not encouraging. The gender, type of school, and school location affect students' academic performance in Biology. The findings provide the government and its stakeholders with insights on the need to encourage female students to study Biology, fund and equip day and rural secondary schools with both human and instructional resources to improve teaching and learning Biology as well as students’ performance in the subject.
Research Article
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,
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.
Research Article
The Role of Reflective Practice in Mediating Development of Pre-Service Science Teachers’ Professional and Classroom Knowledge
Interdisciplinary Journal of Environmental and Science Education, 2022, 18(1), e2262,
ABSTRACT: The present study explores the potential of reflective practice in supporting pre-service teachers’ development of professional and classroom knowledge elements. The exploration process involved pre-service science teachers documenting and discussing their lived teaching experiences during school practice. The overall aim was to establish the effectiveness of reflective writing in promoting a reflection process with which teacher knowledge development could be mediated. From the analysis, strategically enacted reflective writing is a tool that enables a reflection process where trainees’ transitions in thinking about the practice of teaching are visible. Moreover, reflective writing is a potential medium tool for pre-service teachers to articulate and advance their developed assertions about teaching. The importance of negotiating and legitimizing trainees’ emerging perspectives and constructed assertions is discussed.
Research Article
Bhutanese Teachers' and Students' Perceptions about Environmental Issues in Bhutan
Interdisciplinary Journal of Environmental and Science Education, 2022, 18(1), e2263,
ABSTRACT: Bhutan aspires to achieve Gross National Happiness (GNH) through sustainable environmental conservation and socioeconomic development. However, the country is facing increasing environmental challenges. Education is considered to be a key component in a range of efforts to remediate current environmental threats in Bhutan. As part of this agenda, the optional school subject of Environmental Science was introduced in 2015 for Classes IX–XII with the aim of equipping young people with the knowledge and values to protect the environment and promote sustainable and equitable use of natural resources in the pursuit of GNH. This paper focuses on the qualitative aspect of a broader mixed-method research project that explored the effective implementation of Environmental Science in secondary schools in the Samtse region of Bhutan. This study answers the research question: “What are teachers’ and students’ views about environmental problems in Bhutan?” Drawing on interviews of 14 teachers and 194 students engaged in Environmental Science, the results showed that participants were aware of various environmental problems; however, they lacked knowledge and awareness about climate change issues in Bhutan. The results suggest the need for more emphasis on climate change education in Bhutan. The student participants believed in collectivism to address the environmental challenges, indicating a strong cultural influence that schools could leverage to address sustainability issues through community participation.
Research Article
Integrated Green Conceptions into Applied Science Course Assessing Taiwan Students’ Learning Attitude and Correlation Analysis
Interdisciplinary Journal of Environmental and Science Education, 2022, 18(1), e2264,
ABSTRACT: This research focused on constructing students’ new visions of integrated green concepts into science course. There were 54 students to conduct a questionnaire survey approach and examine their cognitive learning attitude and correlation analysis by integrating innovative animations of carbon footprint. The statistical analysis of students’ learning performance would indicate in the collected data. The results pointed out the following four trends: (1) Development of learning attitude questionnaire had superior reliability of Cronbach α, .97 and correlation of γ > .70 for each dependent variable; (2) The finding of quantitative research indicated that students exhibited positive learning attitude (M=3.711, SD=.767) after the integrated serial learning; (3) One-way ANOVA revealed that students represented a large effect size (410≦ f ≦.776) for their disposition of the experimental curriculum; (4) According to the results of students’ interview for integrating teaching showed positive learning feedback which students could thoroughly understand the positive consumption concept of carbon emissions. For the limitation of the sample in this research, further research will be necessary for promoting students’ deep and longitude learning research in the future.