Volume 18, Issue 2, 2022
Education for Sustainable Development in Saudi Arabia: A Critical Discourse Analysis of Media and Government Policy Documents
Interdisciplinary Journal of Environmental and Science Education, 2022, 18(2), e2266, https://doi.org/10.21601/ijese/11519
ABSTRACT: This qualitative study examines the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s policy of integrating Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) into the Saudi education system under the country’s Vision 2030 sustainable development strategy. The study specifically asks: how is the policy of integrating ESD in the Saudi education system presented in the discourses of the Saudi government policy documents and the written media? The study examines two types of documents, namely official policy documents published by the governmental entities involved in the planning and/or the execution of the ESD integration policy, and newspaper articles collected from the three top-ranked Saudi newspapers (Arab News, Asharq Al-Awsat, and Al Riyadh). Thematic coding was used to identify themes and sub-themes in the collected documents. In addition, Fairclough’s model of Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA) was employed to offer a deeper understanding of whether Saudi Arabia meaningfully aims at integrating sustainable development into its education planning in Vision 2030. Results suggest that Vision 2030 does not consider ESD as a main tool to achieve sustainability and preserve the environment. The analysis reveals that there are very limited discussion of ESD integration in Vision 2030, both in the media coverage as well as the government official documents. Moreover, the CDA of the collected data shows there is a great generalism in the language used in presenting the road map to implementing ESD, and considerable vagueness on the proposed procedures for integrating ESD into the Saudi education system. Consequently, there is a lack of a comprehensive strategic plan with pre-determined steps. The findings of the study suggest that despite statements to the contrary, the Saudi government is not taking the plan of ESD integration into education seriously.
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.
Parental Instructional Strategies During Family Visit to An Agricultural Exhibition at A Science Museum
Interdisciplinary Journal of Environmental and Science Education, 2022, 18(2), e2268, https://doi.org/10.21601/ijese/11663
ABSTRACT: The aim of this qualitative study was to examine how parents use exhibits’ features during a family visit to a science museum. We observed 44 families during 9 hours and 45 minutes at the “Fields of Tomorrow” exhibition hall. The analysis showed that parents used the physical environment as a resource to engage children with science, taking on the role of “experts” and instructing the novice children. The analysis revealed that parents mainly used four instructional strategies while engaging with the exhibits: 1) connection to everyday life; 2) observation; 3) asking questions; and 4) reading, interpreting, and naming. We also found that parents took advantage of the signs near the exhibits to facilitate their instruction, and their scientific interpretations rarely related to the exhibit’s goals. This study highlights the need for better mediational means at science museums to support visitor engagement.
More Than Twenty Years of Value-Belief-Norm Theory of Environmentalism: What Has Been and Yet To Be Done?
Interdisciplinary Journal of Environmental and Science Education, 2022, 18(2), e2269, https://doi.org/10.21601/ijese/11801
ABSTRACT: It has been more than 20 years since the value-belief-norm theory of environmentalism has been conceptualized. The said theory has been used as a lens and has guided scholars in exploring and understanding pro-environmental behavior, however to date, there has been no study conducted that attempted to explore and report the bibliometric properties of studies related thereto. Aimed at determining research opportunities and future research directions, this paper reports a study that explored the bibliometric properties of studies conducted pertaining to the above-mentioned theory. Data were extracted from Scopus database and analyzed using Microsoft Excel, Publish or Perish, and VOSviewer. Results showed that while there is an increasing trend of studies using value-belief-norm theory, there is still considerably small and limited number of papers published, as well as scholars, institutions, and countries engaged on studies using the theory. Considering the inter/multidisciplinary nature of pro-environmental behavior, it may be necessary to encourage the conduct of more context-specific studies using available and more advanced methods across cultures, sectors, and levels.
Facilitating Problem Solving in a University Undergraduate Physics Classroom: The Case of Students’ Self-Efficacy
Interdisciplinary Journal of Environmental and Science Education, 2022, 18(2), e2270, https://doi.org/10.21601/ijese/11802
ABSTRACT: Real-life and work-related situations of the 21st century present complex problems that require graduates to possess the skills to solve problems in challenging and unfamiliar arenas. Students must therefore have the skills to deal with a wide range of problems. Unfortunately, most students struggle to apply their learning to novel problem-solving situations regardless of their self-efficacy beliefs. It appears particularly significant to investigate this phenomenon in the context of physics education. Using a mixed-methods design within a collaborative learning environment (CLE), this study investigated the factors that influence students’ self-efficacy in solving conceptual mathematical problems in physics. The primary data sources were the science problem solving questionnaire (SPSQ), the self-efficacy rating scale (SERS), and two semi-structured interview items. The results of multi-level regression and descriptive data analysis revealed students’ self-efficacy in solving conceptual mathematical problems in physics (β=.16, p<.01, SE=.065). Among all the self-efficacy variables (e.g., mastery experience, vicarious experience, physical arousal, anxiety, and gender), mastery experiences composed the largest amount of unique variance between male and female students (36% and 21%). The regression coefficient showed a significant difference between male (β=.13, p<.01, SE=.02) and female (β=.34, p<.01, SE=.07). Female students reported slightly higher levels of anxiety (3%) than male students (2%) when completing the SPSQ. In terms of physiological states, females reported 7% and males 1%. The results also showed a strong positive relationship between the instructional approach and student performance (r=.86, p<.001). One major implication of this study is that science educators could include appropriate instruction in delivering content courses to potentially support student teachers at the beginning of their science education studies.
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.
Bhutanese Teachers’ and Students’ Perspectives on Approaches to Teaching ESD Through Environmental Science
Interdisciplinary Journal of Environmental and Science Education, 2022, 18(2), e2272, https://doi.org/10.21601/ijese/11894
ABSTRACT: This study investigated the teaching pedagogies deployed in teaching environmental science (ES) to adequately prepare Bhutanese youth with the knowledge, values, attitudes and skills to engage in sustainable environmental conservation that supports the country’s pursuit of Gross National Happiness. A mixed-method research strategy was employed that collected data in the form of surveys and interviews with 14 teachers, surveys with 563 students, interviews with 194 students through (46) focus groups and six classroom observations. The data indicated that the transmissive approach (teacher talk), discursive activities (presentation and group discussions), and textbook-based activities of reading and solving problems from ES textbooks are the most predominant teaching approaches implemented in teaching ES. Students are engaged in critical thinking, empirical real-world and book-based research and maintaining an environmental profile; however, there is a lack of hands-on activities of projects, experiments, fieldwork, exhibitions and surveying and interviewing people. Teachers identified that lack of time, examination-based assessments, the large syllabus and a lack of resources are the factors that impede learning activities in ES. Therefore, there is a need for more emphasis on teachers’ professional development on transformative teaching pedagogies for effective implementation of ES that will prepare students for the pursuit of environmental sustainability.