Science Learning (science + learning)

Distribution by Scientific Domains

Selected Abstracts

The LSIE Report and IMLS: Supporting Learning in the Informal Environments of Museums and Libraries

Marsha L. Semmel
Learning Science in Informal Environments: People, Places, and Pursuits (LSIE) is a milestone in a continuing quest to understand and articulate the impact of informal learning experiences. Its recommendations identify significant issues for future research and practice, with implications beyond science learning. This article places the report in the context of previous and future IMLS work, including increased agency focus on,and resources for,research, evaluation, collaborative projects, and professional development. [source]

Effects of multimedia and schema induced analogical reasoning on science learning

R.Z. Zheng
Abstract The present study investigates the effects of multimedia and schema induced analogical reasoning on science learning. It involves 89 fourth grade elementary students in the north-east of the United States. Participants are randomly assigned into four conditions: (a) multimedia with analogy; (b) multimedia without analogy; (c) analogy without multimedia; and (d) non-multimedia and non-analogy. The multivariate analyses of covariance reveal significant main effects for multimedia and analogy learning as well as a significant interaction between multimedia and analogy. The findings show that schema induced analogical reasoning can significantly improve science learning and that multimedia becomes more effective when it is integrated with an instructional method such as analogy and less so when it is used only as a visual tool. The study also shows the field dependence/independence as a significant covariate that influences learners' schema induced analogical reasoning in learning. Discussions pertaining to the significance of the findings and their implications for teaching and learning are made. Suggestions for future research are included with an emphasis on developing multimedia supported analogical reasoning for science learning. [source]

Science learning in a leisure setting

John H. Falk
Abstract Most people visit a science center in order to satisfy specific leisure-related needs; needs which may or may not actually include science learning. Falk proposed that an individual's identity-related motivations provide a useful lens through which to understand adult free-choice science learning in leisure settings. Over a 3-year period the authors collected in-depth data on a random sample of visitors to a large recently opened, hands-on, interactive science center; collecting information on why people visited, what they did within the science center, what they knew about the subject presented upon entering and exiting, and what each individual's long-term self-perceptions of their own learning was. Presented is a qualitative analysis of visitor interviews collected roughly 2 years after the initial visit. Although there was evidence for a range of science learning outcomes, outcomes did appear to be strongly influenced by visitor's entering identity-related motivations. However, the data also suggested that not only were the motivational goals of a science center visit important in determining outcomes, so too were the criteria by which visitors judged satisfaction of those goals; in particular whether goal satisfaction required external or merely internal validation. The implications for future informal science education research and practice are discussed. 2009 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Res Sci Teach 47:194,212, 2010 [source]

Funds of knowledge and discourses and hybrid space

Angela Calabrese Barton
Abstract The findings reported on in this manuscript emerged from a design experiment conducted at a low-income urban middle school intended to support the teacher in incorporating pedagogical practices supportive of students' everyday knowledge and practices during a 6th grade unit on food and nutrition from the LiFE curriculum. In studying the impact of the design experiment we noticed qualitative shifts in classroom Discourse marked by a changing role and understandings of the funds of knowledge students brought to science learning. Using qualitative data and grounded theory we present an analysis of the different types of funds of knowledge and Discourse that students brought into science class. We focus on how the students' strategic use of these funds augmented the learning experience of the students and the learning community as well as the learning outcomes. We discuss the implications these funds of knowledge and Discourses had on the development of three related third space transformations: physical, political, and pedagogical. 2008 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Res Sci Teach 46: 50,73, 2009 [source]

Contextualizing instruction: Leveraging students' prior knowledge and experiences to foster understanding of middle school science

Ann E. Rivet
Abstract Contextualizing science instruction involves utilizing students' prior knowledge and everyday experiences as a catalyst for understanding challenging science concepts. This study of two middle school science classrooms examined how students utilized the contextualizing aspects of project-based instruction and its relationship to their science learning. Observations of focus students' participation during instruction were described in terms of a contextualizing score for their use of the project features to support their learning. Pre/posttests were administered and students' final artifacts were collected and evaluated. The results of these assessments were compared with students' contextualizing scores, demonstrating a strong positive correlation between them. These findings provide evidence to support claims of contextualizing instruction as a means to facilitate student learning, and point toward future consideration of this instructional method in broader research studies and the design of science learning environments. 2007 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Res Sci Teach 45: 79,100, 2008 [source]

Investigating science learning for rural elementary school teachers in a professional-development project through three distance-education strategies

Leonard A. Annetta
Distance education is a significant topic of discussion within institutions at all levels of education. It is not only significant in terms of finances and student enrollment but also in terms of meaningful learning. The purpose of this study was to determine the relative effectiveness of three distance-education strategies for enhancing the science learning of 94 Midwestern elementary-school teachers participating in a 5-year professional-development project. The three distance-education strategies studied were interactive television with all presenters live in real time (live), interactive television with live discussions wrapped around videotaped presentations (video), and asynchronous, Web-based sessions with streamed videotaped presentations supported by interaction through discussion boards (Web). A repeated measures design was used to analyze the science learning and attitudes of the study participants. Analysis of variance of participants' postsession science scores yielded differences (p,<,0.05) on multiple-choice and constructed-response science subscales. Participants in the live mode outperformed participants in the Web and video modes on all three assessment types (multiple choice, constructed response, and vignettes). Participants in the Web mode outperformed participants in the video mode on multiple choice and constructed response. 2006 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Res Sci Teach 43: 1019,1039, 2006 [source]

An investigation of experienced secondary science teachers' beliefs about inquiry: An examination of competing belief sets

Carolyn S. Wallace
The purpose of this study was to investigate the beliefs of six experienced high school science teachers about (1) what is successful science learning; (2) what are the purposes of laboratory in science teaching; and (3) how inquiry is implemented in the classroom. An interpretive multiple case study with an ethnographic orientation was used. The teachers' beliefs about successful science learning were substantively linked to their beliefs about laboratory and inquiry implementation. For example, two teachers who believed that successful science learning was deep conceptual understanding, used verification labs primarily to illustrate these concepts and used inquiry as a type of isolated problem-solving experience. Another teacher who believed that successful science learning was enculturation into scientific practices used inquiry-based labs extensively to teach the practices of science. Tension in competing beliefs sets and implications for reform are discussed. ? 2004 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Res Sci Teach 41: 936-960, 2004. [source]

Development of an instrument for measuring cognitive conflict in secondary-level science classes

Gyoungho Lee
Based on conceptual change theory, cognitive conflict is known as an important factor in conceptual change even though there are still questions about its positive and negative effects on science learning. However, there is no reliable method by which to assess the cognitive conflict students experience in their learning. The purpose of this research was to develop an instrument for measuring secondary students' cognitive conflict levels as they learned science. The results of this study indicate that our instrument is a valid and reliable tool for measuring cognitive conflict levels. Factor analysis supported the model that cognitive conflict consists of four constructs: recognition of an anomalous situation, interest, anxiety, and cognitive reappraisal of the conflict situation. Implications for instruction and possibilities for future research are discussed. 2003 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Res Sci Teach 40: 585,603, 2003 [source]

Creating relevant science through urban planning and gardening

Dana Fusco
The purpose of this article is to describe a community-based science project that was coproduced with urban teenagers and to elaborate on my understanding of what it means to create a practicing culture of science learning. This understanding will be positioned in relation to various educationally relevant discourses and research on urban science education, concluding with an exploration of these questions: In what ways did an urban planning and community gardening project help to create a learning environment in which science was relevant? To whom was science relevant and toward what ends? It is argued that in a practicing culture of science learning, science was relevant because (a) it was created from participants' concerns, interests, and experiences inside and outside science, (b) it was an ongoing process of researching and then enacting ideas, and (c) it was situated within the broader community. 2001 John Wiley & Sons, Inc. J Res Sci Teach 38: 860,877, 2001 [source]

Connecting school and community with science learning: Real world problems and school,community partnerships as contextual scaffolds,

Lisa M. Bouillion
A challenge facing many schools, especially those in urban settings that serve culturally and linguistically diverse populations, is a disconnection between schools and students' home communities, which can have both cognitive and affective implications for students. In this article we explore a form of "connected science," in which real-world problems and school-community partnerships are used as contextual scaffolds for bridging students' community-based knowledge and school-based knowledge, as a way to provide all students opportunities for meaningful and intellectually challenging science learning. The potential of these scaffolds for connected science is examined through a case study in which a team of fifth-grade teachers used the student-identified problem of pollution along a nearby river as an interdisciplinary anchor for teaching science, math, language arts, and civics. Our analysis makes visible how diverse forms of knowledge were able to support project activities, examines the consequences for student learning, and identifies the features of real-world problems and school,community partnerships that created these bridging opportunities. 2001 John Wiley & Sons, Inc. J Res Sci Teach 38: 878,898, 2001 [source]

Rethinking diversity in learning science: The logic of everyday sense-making

Beth Warren
There are many ways to understand the gap in science learning and achievement separating low-income, ethnic minority and linguistic minority children from more economically privileged students. In this article we offer our perspective. First, we discuss in broad strokes how the relationship between everyday and scientific knowledge and ways of knowing has been conceptualized in the field of science education research. We consider two dominant perspectives on this question, one which views the relationship as fundamentally discontinuous and the other which views it as fundamentally continuous. We locate our own work within the latter tradition and propose a framework for understanding the everyday sense-making practices of students from diverse communities as an intellectual resource in science learning and teaching. Two case studies follow in which we elaborate this point of view through analysis of Haitian American and Latino students' talk and activity as they work to understand metamorphosis and experimentation, respectively. We conclude with a discussion of the implications of this new conceptualization for research on science learning and teaching. 2001 John Wiley & Sons, Inc. J Res Sci Teach 38: 529,552, 2001 [source]

"Maestro, what is ,quality'?": Language, literacy, and discourse in project-based science

Elizabeth B. Moje
Recent curriculum design projects have attempted to engage students in authentic science learning experiences in which students engage in inquiry-based research projects about questions of interest to them. Such a pedagogical and curricular approach seems an ideal space in which to construct what Lee and Fradd referred to as instructional congruence. It is, however, also a space in which the everyday language and literacy practices of young people intersect with the learning of scientific and classroom practices, thus suggesting that project-based pedagogy has the potential for conflict or confusion. In this article, we explore the discursive demands of project-based pedagogy for seventh-grade students from non-mainstream backgrounds as they enact established project curricula. We document competing Discourses in one project-based classroom and illustrate how those Discourses conflict with one another through the various texts and forms of representation used in the classroom and curriculum. Possibilities are offered for reconstructing this classroom practice to build congruent third spaces in which the different Discourses and knowledges of the discipline, classroom, and students' lives are brought together to enhance science learning and scientific literacy. 2001 John Wiley & Sons, Inc. J Res Sci Teach 38: 469,498, 2001 [source]