Distribution by Scientific Domains

Selected Abstracts

Fulfilments of Desire in the Work of a Self,Taught Artist: the intimate existence of Malcolm McKesson

ART HISTORY, Issue 5 2002
Colin Rhodes
This paper explores an artist whose substantial oeuvre was produced outside the usual structures of professional practice and the market. Malcolm McKesson (1909,1999) first became known around 1993 for his drawings, but there is also a significant related body of writing, most of which remains unpublished. He belongs to a category of artists now increasingly receiving serious attention, usually referred to as ,Self,Taught', or ,Outsider's. Though he was only a dozen years younger than Surrealism' first generation, he came to artistic maturity late, in his early fifties. He is interesting partly because he seemingly embodies serendipitously certain Surrealist interests and practices, especially as espoused by Breton in texts like ,The Automatic Message'. The relationships between image and text, and between intentionality and automatism are analysed through close readings of McKesson' writings and drawings, with particular attention being paid to the short story, Lost. The discussion is framed in the context of McKesson's transvestism and the complex of appropriations, fantasy and emotional uncertainty which contributed to his extraordinarily focused , and, for more than three decades, secret , creative project. [source]

Media Reviews Available Online

Article first published online: 28 JUN 200
Book reviewed in this article: Pediatric Resuscitation: A Practical Approach. Edited by Mark G. Roback, Stephen J. Teach. Anyone, Anything, Anytime (A History of Emergency Medicine) By Brian J. Zink. Emergency Medicine Decision Making: Critical Choices in Chaotic Environments By Scott Weingart, Peter Wyer. Cardiology Clinics: Chest Pain Units issue Edited by Ezra A. Amsterdam, J. Douglas Kirk MD. Pediatric Emergency Medicine Quick Glance Edited by Ghazala Q. Sharieff, Madeline Matar Joseph, Todd W. Wylie. Emergency Medicine Written Board Review. By Scott H. Plantz, Dwight Collman. Emergency Medicine Oral Board Review. By William Gossman, Scott H. Plantz. Emergency Medicine Q & A. By Joseph Lex, Lance W. Kreplick, Scott H. Plantz, Daniel Girazadas Jr. [source]

John Dewey in China: To Teach and to Learn by Jessica Ching-Sze Wang

No abstract is available for this article. [source]

Cruess Award Winner Essay: Why I Teach

E. Allen Foegeding
No abstract is available for this article. [source]

The impact of a classroom intervention on grade 10 students' argumentation skills, informal reasoning, and conceptual understanding of science

Grady J. Venville
Abstract The literature provides confounding information with regard to questions about whether students in high school can engage in meaningful argumentation about socio-scientific issues and whether this process improves their conceptual understanding of science. The purpose of this research was to explore the impact of classroom-based argumentation on high school students' argumentation skills, informal reasoning, and conceptual understanding of genetics. The research was conducted as a case study in one school with an embedded quasi-experimental design with two Grade 10 classes (n,=,46) forming the argumentation group and two Grade 10 classes (n,=,46) forming the comparison group. The teacher of the argumentation group participated in professional learning and explicitly taught argumentation skills to the students in his classes during one, 50-minute lesson and involved them in whole-class argumentation about socio-scientific issues in a further two lessons. Data were generated through a detailed, written pre- and post-instruction student survey. The findings showed that the argumentation group, but not the comparison group, improved significantly in the complexity and quality of their arguments and gave more explanations showing rational informal reasoning. Both groups improved significantly in their genetics understanding, but the improvement of the argumentation group was significantly better than the comparison group. The importance of the findings are that after only a short intervention of three lessons, improvements in the structure and complexity of students' arguments, the degree of rational informal reasoning, and students' conceptual understanding of science can occur. 2010 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Res Sci Teach 47: 952,977, 2010 [source]

Connecting high school physics experiences, outcome expectations, physics identity, and physics career choice: A gender study

Zahra Hazari
Abstract This study explores how students' physics identities are shaped by their experiences in high school physics classes and by their career outcome expectations. The theoretical framework focuses on physics identity and includes the dimensions of student performance, competence, recognition by others, and interest. Drawing data from the Persistence Research in Science and Engineering (PRiSE) project, which surveyed college English students nationally about their backgrounds, high school science experiences, and science attitudes, the study uses multiple regression to examine the responses of 3,829 students from 34 randomly selected US colleges/universities. Confirming the salience of the identity dimension for young persons' occupational plans, the measure for students' physics identity used in this study was found to strongly predict their intended choice of a physics career. Physics identity, in turn, was found to correlate positively with a desire for an intrinsically fulfilling career and negatively with a desire for personal/family time and opportunities to work with others. Physics identity was also positively predicted by several high school physics characteristics/experiences such as a focus on conceptual understanding, real-world/contextual connections, students answering questions or making comments, students teaching classmates, and having an encouraging teacher. Even though equally beneficial for both genders, females reported experiencing a conceptual focus and real-world/contextual connections less frequently. The explicit discussion of under-representation of women in science was positively related to physics identity for female students but had no impact for male students. Surprisingly, several experiences that were hypothesized to be important for females' physics identity were found to be non-significant including having female scientist guest speakers, discussion of women scientists' work, and the frequency of group work. This study exemplifies a useful theoretical framework based on identity, which can be employed to further examine persistence in science, and illustrates possible avenues for change in high school physics teaching. 2010 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Res Sci Teach 47: 978,1003, 2010 [source]

Building a learning progression for celestial motion: Elementary levels from an earth-based perspective

Julia D. Plummer
Abstract Prior research has demonstrated that neither children nor adults hold a scientific understanding of the big ideas of astronomy, as described in standards documents for science education [National Research Council [1996]. National science education standards. Washington, DC: National Academy Press; American Association for the Advancement of Science 1993. Benchmarks for science literacy. New York: Oxford University Press]. This manuscript focuses on ideas in astronomy that are at the foundation of elementary students' understanding of the discipline: the apparent motion of the sun, moon, and stars as seen from an earth-based perspective. Lack of understanding of these concepts may hinder students' progress towards more advanced understanding in the domain. We have analyzed the logic of the domain and synthesized prior research assessing children's knowledge to develop a set of learning trajectories that describe how students' initial ideas about apparent celestial motion as they enter school can be built upon, through successively more sophisticated levels of understanding, to reach a level that aligns with the scientific view. Analysis of an instructional intervention with elementary students in the planetarium was used to test our initial construction of the learning trajectories. This manuscript presents a first look at the use of a learning progression framework in analyzing the structure of astronomy education. We discuss how this work may eventually lead towards the development and empirical testing of a full learning progression on the big idea: how children learn to describe and explain apparent patterns of celestial motion. 2009 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Res Sci Teach 47:768,787, 2010 [source]

A framework for teaching scientific inquiry in upper secondary school chemistry

Lisette van Rens
Abstract A framework for teaching scientific inquiry in upper secondary chemistry education was constructed in a design research consisting of two research cycles. First, in a pilot study a hypothetical framework was enriched in collaboration with five chemistry teachers. Second, a main study in this community of teachers and researchers was conducted on the process of designing teaching scientific inquiry based on the enriched framework. Also, the enactment by five teachers and 80 students (age 17) of a designed inquiry module on "Diffusion: moving particles" was studied. This resulted in a theoretically and practically founded framework for teaching scientific inquiry, in which an iterative cycle of inquiry for students and a student inquiry community are essential. 2009 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Res Sci Teach 47:788,806, 2010 [source]

Non-mathematical problem solving in organic chemistry

David P. Cartrette
Abstract Differences in problem-solving ability among organic chemistry graduate students and faculty were studied within the domain of problems that involved the determination of the structure of a molecule from the molecular formula of the compound and a combination of IR and 1H NMR spectra. The participants' performance on these tasks was compared across variables that included amount of research experience, year of graduate study, and level of problem-solving confidence. Thirteen of the 15 participants could be classified as either "more successful" or "less successful." The participants in this study who were "more successful" adopted consistent approaches to solving the problems; were more likely to draw molecular fragments obtained during intermediate stages in the problem-solving process; were better at mining the spectral data; and were more likely to check their final answer against the spectra upon which the answer was based. Experience from research, teaching, and course work were found to be important factors influencing the level of participants' success. 2009 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Res Sci Teach 47:643,660, 2010 [source]

In search of well-started beginning science teachers: Insights from two first-year elementary teachers

Lucy Avraamidou
Abstract The purpose of this qualitative case study was to explore what aspects of two first-year elementary teachers' practices were most consistent with an inquiry-based approach, what PCK served as a mechanism for facilitating these practices, and what experiences have mediated the nature and development of these teachers' PCK. For each of the participants data included audio-recorded interviews, video-recorded classroom observations, lesson plans, and samples of student work. Data analysis illustrated that both participants engaged their students in question-driven investigations, the use of observational data, making connections between evidence and claims, and communicating those claims to others. Moreover, there was clear evidence in the findings of the study that a considerable degree of coherence existed between the two participants' knowledge on one hand and their instructional practices on the other hand. The participants perceived specific learning experiences during their programs as being critical to their development. The contribution of this study lies in the fact that it provides examples of well-started beginning elementary teachers implementing inquiry-based science in 2nd and 5th grade classrooms. Implications of the study include the need for the design of university-based courses and interventions by which teacher preparation and professional development programs support teachers in developing PCK for scientific inquiry and enacting instructional practices that are congruent with reform initiatives. 2010 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Res Sci Teach 47:661,686, 2010 [source]

A secondary reanalysis of student perceptions of non-traditional writing tasks over a ten year period

Mark A. McDermott
This study aims to add to the growing research related to the implementation of non-traditional writing tasks in classrooms to encourage science literacy. A secondary reanalysis methodology was employed to review student interviews collected as a part of several individual studies during a ten year research program. This method established an interpretive framework different than the particular frameworks guiding the individual studies. In doing so, a greater ability to generalize findings was sought. Main assertions emerging from the student responses analyzed include recognition of benefits of non-traditional writing, recognition of the need for particular task characteristics to encourage these benefits, and recognition of greater cognitive activity than is present in typical science classroom writing. 2009 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Res Sci Teach 47: 518,539, 2010 [source]

System thinking skills at the elementary school level

Orit Ben-Zvi Assaraf
Abstract This study deals with the development of system thinking skills at the elementary school level. It addresses the question of whether elementary school students can deal with complex systems. The sample included 40 4th grade students from one school in a small town in Israel. The students studied an inquiry-based earth systems curriculum that focuses on the hydro-cycle. The program involved lab simulations and experiments, direct interaction with components and processes of the water cycle in the outdoor learning environment and knowledge integration activities. Despite the students' minimal initial system thinking abilities, most of them made significant progress with their ability to analyze the hydrological earth system to its components and processes. As a result, they recognized interconnections between components of a system. Some of the students reached higher system thinking abilities, such as identifying interrelationships among several earth systems and identifying hidden parts of the hydrological system. The direct contact with real phenomena and processes in small scale scenarios enabled these students to create a concrete local water cycle, which could later be expanded into large scale abstract global cycles. The incorporation of outdoor inquiry-based learning with lab inquiry-based activities and knowledge integration assignments contributed to the 4th grade students' capacity to develop basic system thinking abilities at their young age. This suggests that although system thinking is regarded as a high order thinking skill, it can be developed to a certain extent in elementary school. With a proper long-term curriculum, these abilities can serve as the basis for the development of higher stages of system thinking at the junior,high/middle school level. 2009 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Res Sci Teach 47: 540,563, 2010 [source]

Teaching about ethics through socioscientific issues in physics and chemistry: Teacher candidates' beliefs

Sarah Elizabeth Barrett
Abstract The purpose of this qualitative study was to identify and explain the origins of physics and chemistry teacher candidates' beliefs about teaching about ethics through socioscientific issues (SSI). This study utilized a series of in-depth interviews, while the participants (n,=,12) were enrolled in a 9-month teacher education program at an urban university in Canada. Our data analysis revealed that beliefs about teaching physics and chemistry using SSI derive from a complex web of fundamental beliefs exemplified by four archetypes representing the subject-specific identities of our teacher candidates,Model Scientist/Engineer, Model Individual, Model Teacher, and Model Citizen. Furthermore, we found that the justification for belief change required by a particular teacher candidate depends on these subject-discipline identities. Thus, the presence of each archetype in preservice classrooms has ramifications for the way a teacher educator should encourage his or her students to include SSI in their teaching. 2009 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Res Sci Teach 47: 380,401, 2010 [source]

Making formative assessment discernable to pre-service teachers of science

Gayle A. Buck
Abstract The purpose of this pragmatic action research study was to explore our re-conceptualization efforts in preparing pre-service teachers to guide the inquiry process with formative assessment and subsequently use the understandings to improve our teacher preparation program. The process was guided by two questions: to what extent did course re-conceptualization efforts lead to a more informed understanding of formative assessment by pre-service teachers and did strategies enacted in the re-conceptualized methods course foster or hinder pre-service teachers' understanding of formative assessment? Data from this study support the following findings: (1) a substantial pre- to post-methods course difference was realized in the pre-service teachers' understanding of formative assessment; (2) explicit and contextualized approaches to formative assessment in the methods course led to increased understandings by pre-service teachers; (3) an implicit approach led to improvements in course structure but did not foster pre-service teachers' understanding of the reflexive nature of formative assessment; and (4) a field-based case study on elementary science teaching both hindered and fostered our efforts with formative assessment. This study yields implications for pre-service teacher education on formative assessment. To foster pre-service teachers' knowledge and skills, we suggest explicit instruction on formative assessment combined with case studies, field experiences, and ongoing reflection. 2009 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Res Sci Teach 47: 402,421, 2010 [source]

The relative effects and equity of inquiry-based and commonplace science teaching on students' knowledge, reasoning, and argumentation

Christopher D. Wilson
Abstract We conducted a laboratory-based randomized control study to examine the effectiveness of inquiry-based instruction. We also disaggregated the data by student demographic variables to examine if inquiry can provide equitable opportunities to learn. Fifty-eight students aged 14,16 years old were randomly assigned to one of two groups. Both groups of students were taught toward the same learning goals by the same teacher, with one group being taught from inquiry-based materials organized around the BSCS 5E Instructional Model, and the other from materials organized around commonplace teaching strategies as defined by national teacher survey data. Students in the inquiry-based group reached significantly higher levels of achievement than students experiencing commonplace instruction. This effect was consistent across a range of learning goals (knowledge, reasoning, and argumentation) and time frames (immediately following the instruction and 4 weeks later). The commonplace science instruction resulted in a detectable achievement gap by race, whereas the inquiry-based materials instruction did not. We discuss the implications of these findings for the body of evidence on the effectiveness of teaching science as inquiry; the role of instructional models and curriculum materials in science teaching; addressing achievement gaps; and the competing demands of reform and accountability. 2009 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Res Sci Teach 47:276,301, 2010 [source]

Drama activities as ideational resources for primary-grade children in urban science classrooms

Maria Varelas
Abstract In this study we explored how dramatic enactments of scientific phenomena and concepts mediate children's learning of scientific meanings along material, social, and representational dimensions. These drama activities were part of two integrated science-literacy units, Matter and Forest, which we developed and implemented in six urban primary-school (grades 1st,3rd) classrooms. We examine and discuss the possibilities and challenges that arise as children and teachers engaged in scientific knowing through such experiences. We use Halliday's (1978. Language as social semiotic: The social interpretation of language and meaning. Baltimore, MD: University Park Press) three metafunctions of communicative activity,ideational, interpersonal, and textual,to map out the place of the multimodal drama genre in elementary urban school science classrooms of young children. As the children talked, moved, gestured, and positioned themselves in space, they constructed and shared meanings with their peers and their teachers as they enacted their roles. Through their bodies they negotiated ambiguity and re-articulated understandings, thus marking this embodied meaning making as a powerful way to engage with science. Furthermore, children's whole bodies became central, explicit tools used to accomplish the goal of representing this imaginary scientific world, as their teachers helped them differentiate it from the real world of the model they were enacting. Their bodies operated on multiple mediated levels: as material objects that moved through space, as social objects that negotiated classroom relationships and rules, and as metaphorical entities that stood for water molecules in different states of matter or for plants, animals, or non-living entities in a forest food web. Children simultaneously negotiated meanings across all of these levels, and in doing so, acted out improvisational drama as they thought and talked science. 2009 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Res Sci Teach 47: 302,325, 2010 [source]

Learner error, affectual stimulation, and conceptual change

Michael Allen
Abstract Pupils' expectation-related errors oppose the development of an appropriate scientific attitude towards empirical evidence and the learning of accepted science content, representing a hitherto neglected area of research in science education. In spite of these apparent drawbacks, a pedagogy is described that encourages pupils to allow their biases to improperly influence data collection and interpretation during practical work, in order to provoke emotional responses and subsequent engagement with the science. The usefulness of this approach is borne out quantitatively by findings from a series of three randomized experiments (n,=,158) which show superior gains using this pedagogy that are still significant 2 and 3 years after the initial treatment. In addition, pupils who experienced more intense emotions during treatment demonstrated the most gains after 6 weeks. This research is one element of a large-scale study of expectation-related observation in school science whose findings impact generally on the proper consideration of empirical evidence and the learning of science content. 2009 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Res Sci Teach 47:151,173, 2010 [source]

Learning from and responding to students' questions: The authoritative and dialogic tension

Orlando G. Aguiar
Abstract In this study we present an analysis of classroom interactions initiated by students' wonderment questions. Our interest in such events arises from their potential to stimulate active intellectual engagement in classrooms, which can impact upon the subsequent development of the classroom discourse. In investigating this issue we shall address the following research question: How do student questions impact upon the teaching explanatory structure and modify the form of the ongoing classroom discourse, in selected science lessons? From data collected in a Brazilian secondary school we have selected three classroom episodes, with large differences in both the context in which the student's question emerges and in the communicative approach developed in response to it. The analysis, based on the framework proposed by Mortimer and Scott [Mortimer and Scott (2003). Meaning making in secondary science classrooms. Maidenhead: Open University Press], shows that questions made by students are important in providing feedback from students to the teacher, enabling adjustments to the teaching explanatory structure. These adjustments sometimes occur smoothly, at other times with major changes to the features of the classroom discourse, and elsewhere with misunderstanding and disagreement. The data also suggest the need to consider students' intentions and their active participation in the negotiation of both the content and structure of classroom discourse. 2009 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Res Sci Teach 47:174,193, 2010 [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]

Test-based accountability: Potential benefits and pitfalls of science assessment with student diversity

Randall D. Penfield
Abstract Recent test-based accountability policy in the U.S. has involved annually assessing all students in core subjects and holding schools accountable for adequate progress of all students by implementing sanctions when adequate progress is not met. Despite its potential benefits, basing educational policy on assessments developed for a student population of White, middle- and upper-class, and native speakers of English opens the door for numerous pitfalls when the assessments are applied to minority populations including students of color, low SES, and learning English as a new language. There exists a paradox; while minority students are a primary intended beneficiary of the test-based accountability policy, the assessments used in the policy have been shown to have many shortcomings when applied to these students. This article weighs the benefits and pitfalls that test-based accountability brings for minority students. Resolutions to the pitfalls are discussed, and areas for future research are recommended. 2009 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Res Sci Teach 47: 6,24, 2010 [source]

The effects of Common Knowledge Construction Model sequence of lessons on science achievement and relational conceptual change

Jazlin Ebenezer
Abstract The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of the Common Knowledge Construction Model (CKCM) lesson sequence, an intervention based both in conceptual change theory and in Phenomenography, a subset of conceptual change theory. A mixed approach was used to investigate whether this model had a significant effect on 7th grade students' science achievement and conceptual change. The Excretion Unit Achievement Test (EUAT) indicated that students (N,=,33) in the experimental group achieved significantly higher scores (p,<,0.001) than students in the control group (N,=,35) taught by traditional teaching methods. Qualitative analysis of students' pre- and post-teaching conceptions of excretion revealed (1) the addition and deletion of ideas from pre- to post-teaching; (2) the change in the number of students within categories of ideas; (3) the replacement of everyday language with scientific labels; and (4) the difference in the complexity of students' responses from pre- to post-teaching. These findings contribute to the literature on teaching that incorporates students' conceptions and conceptual change. 2009 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Res Sci Teach 47: 25,46, 2010 [source]

Fostering a community of practice through a professional development program to improve elementary teachers' views of nature of science and teaching practice

Valarie L. Akerson
Abstract This study explored the development of a community of learners through a professional development program to improve teachers' views of nature of science (NOS) and teaching practice. The Views of Nature of Science questionnaire and interviews were used to assess teachers' conceptions of NOS three times over the course of the study. Notes and videotapes taken during workshops and classroom observations were used to track influence of the community of learners on classroom practice. The community of practice (CoP) was fostered through an intensive summer workshop, monthly school site workshops, and classroom support to aid teachers in incorporating new techniques and reflecting upon their learning and practice. We found that teachers became aware of their changes in views about NOS once they struggled with the concepts in their own teaching and discussed their struggles within the professional development community. The CoP on its own was not sufficient to change teacher's practice or knowledge, but it created a well-supported environment that facilitated teacher change when paired with NOS modeling and explicit reflection. Cases of three teachers are used to illustrate changes in views and teaching practice common to the teachers in this study. 2009 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Res Sci Teach 46: 1090,1113, 2009 [source]

Identifying meta-clusters of students' interest in science and their change with age

Ayelet Baram-Tsabari
Abstract Nearly 6,000 science questions collected from five different web-based, TV-based and school-based sources were rigorously analyzed in order to identify profiles of K-12 students' interest in science, and how these profiles change with age. The questions were analyzed according to their topic, thinking level, motivation for and level of autonomy in raising the question, the object of interest and its magnitude, and psychological distance of the object in question from the asker. Characteristics of the asker, such as gender, grade level, and country of origin were also considered, alongside characteristics of the data source, such as language, setting (Internet, school, TV), and the potential science-attentiveness of the users. Six meta-clusters of children's and adolescents' interest in science were identified using cluster analysis of their self-generated science questions. A developmental shift in interest from non-classical to classical school science subjects was noted. Other age-related developments, such as an increase in thinking level as reflected by the questions, a decrease in organization level and the psychological distance of the object in question with age were also explored. Advantages and shortcomings of web-based data collection for educational research are discussed, as are the implications of the results obtained using this methodology for formal science education. 2009 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Res Sci Teach 46: 999,1022, 2009 [source]

Promoting complex systems learning through the use of conceptual representations in hypermedia

Lei Liu
Abstract Studying complex systems is increasingly important in many science domains. Many features of complex systems make it difficult for students to develop deep understanding. Our previous research indicated that a function-centered conceptual representation is part of the disciplinary toolbox of biologists, suggesting that it is an appropriate representation to help students develop deep understanding. This article reports on the results of two experiments that investigate how hypermedia using a conceptual representation influences pre-service teachers' and middle school students' learning of a complex biological system, the human respiratory system. We designed two versions of instructional hypermedia based on the structure,behavior-function conceptual representation. One hypermedia was function-centered which emphasized the function and behavior of the system, whereas the other was focused on the structure of the system. We contrasted the instructional effectiveness of these two alternative conceptual representations. The results of both studies indicated that participants using the function-centered hypermedia developed deeper understanding than those using the structure-centered version. This proof-of-concept study suggests that the function-centered conceptual representation is a powerful way to promote complex systems understanding. 2009 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Res Sci Teach 46: 1023,1040, 2009 [source]

Confronting assumptions, biases, and stereotypes in preservice teachers' conceptualizations of science teaching through the use of book club

Felicia Moore Mensah
Abstract This study focuses on the structure and theoretical foundations of the book club for promoting multicultural understandings in science teacher education. The book club was defined as an informal, peer-directed group discussion that met regularly to discuss an ethnographic, multicultural text regarding issues pertinent to science teaching and learning in urban classrooms. Twenty-three preservice teachers (PSTs) enrolled in a 16-week elementary science methods course at a large urban university participated in the study. From the qualitative analyses of PSTs' written reflections and researcher journal notes, five themes which emphasize Individual, Collaborative, and Collective learning are presented. These findings highlight how the book club structure and theoretical foundation fostered critical, reflective inquiry and served as a method for effecting ideological change which is needed in order to embrace issues of diversity in urban science education. Implications for science teacher education concerning the relevancy of pedagogical strategies, the use of multiple theoretical perspectives, and the book club as a strategy in teacher education and urban education are discussed. 2009 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Res Sci Teach 46: 1041,1066, 2009 [source]

PISA 2006: An assessment of scientific literacy

Rodger Bybee
Abstract This article introduces the essential features of the science component of 2006 Program for International Student Assessment (PISA). Administered every 3 years, PISA alternates emphasis on Reading, Mathematics, and Science Literacy. In 2006, PISA emphasized science. This article discusses PISA's definition of scientific literacy, the three competencies that constitute scientific literacy, the contexts used for assessment units and items, the role of scientific knowledge, and the importance placed on attitude toward science. PISA 2006 included a student test, a student questionnaire, and a questionnaire for school administrators. The student test employed a balanced incomplete block design involving thirteen 30-minute clusters of items, including nine science clusters. The 13 clusters were arranged into thirteen 2-hour booklets and each sampled student was assigned one booklet at random. Mean literacy scores are presented for all participating countries, and the percentages of OECD students at the six levels of proficiency are given for the combined scale and for the competency scales. 2009 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Res Sci Teach 46: 865,883, 2009 [source]

Real world contexts in PISA science: Implications for context-based science education

Peter J. Fensham
Abstract The PISA assessment instruments for students' scientific literacy in 2000, 2003, and 2006 have each consisted of units made up of a real world context involving Science and Technology, about which students are asked a number of cognitive and affective questions. This article discusses a number of issues from this use of S&T contexts in PISA and the implications they have for the current renewed interest in context-based science education. Suitably chosen contexts can engage both boys and girls. Secondary analyses of the students' responses using the contextual sets of items as the unit of analysis provides new information about the levels of performance in PISA 2006 Science. Embedding affective items in the achievement test did not lead to gender/context interactions of significance, and context interactions were less than competency ones. A number of implications for context-based science teaching and learning are outlined and the PISA 2006 Science test is suggested as a model for its assessment. 2009 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Res Sci Teach 46: 884,896, 2009 [source]

Performance and levels of contextualization in a selection of OECD countries in PISA 2006

Peter Nentwig
Abstract Correct responses to the unitized items of PISA 2006 rely to differing extents on the contextual stimulus supplied. This difference is referred to in this study as the degree of contextualization. A selection of science items from PISA 2006 has been assigned to two categories, not by competencies as in the framework for the PISA survey, but by the degree to which the item requires the ability to extract and apply information from the contextual stimulus provided. The article explores how students in Germany and in other selected OECD countries perform in solving these two types of items. The results show that German students' performance is satisfactory when solving items which require knowledge to be recalled and applied but that they are also quite capable of extracting and using information from the item stimuli. Somewhat different distributions are observed in other selected OECD countries. 2009 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Res Sci Teach 46: 897,908, 2009 [source]

Connecting photosynthesis and cellular respiration: Preservice teachers' conceptions

Mary H. Brown
Abstract The biological processes of photosynthesis and plant cellular respiration include multiple biochemical steps, occur simultaneously within plant cells, and share common molecular components. Yet, learners often compartmentalize functions and specialization of cell organelles relevant to these two processes, without considering the interconnections as well as the significance of the plant as an independent biological system functioning as a nested component within local and global ecosystems. Understanding connections among biological systems at macro and micro levels is important to biological literacy. This study examined preservice elementary teachers' conceptions of photosynthesis and plant cellular respiration, with attention to interconnections and systems. Participants were limited in their understanding of the processes impacting multiple ecological levels, and they held inadequate representations of interconnections between the processes. Participants' views were laden with sociological and egocentric components. They often compared plant functions with analogous human functions. Most participants viewed plants as dependent on humans while having societal use. Justifications for views included nominal knowledge of the processes; experiential authoritarian reasoning; and anthropomorphism. We discuss instructional implications in light of the findings. 2009 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Res Sci Teach 46: 791,812, 2009 [source]

Implementing and sustaining science curriculum reform: A study of leadership practices among teachers within a high school science department

Douglas B. Larkin
Abstract This study presents a description and analysis of a ninth-grade integrated science curriculum developed and implemented by teachers within a high school science department and subsequently sustained for over 25 years. The Integrated Science Program (ISP) at Lakeside Southwest High School depicted here offers a unique example of longitudinal science education reform. In this study, we examined ISP as an artifact of teacher leadership. Findings affirmed the importance of shared philosophical purpose among teachers, attention to public perceptions, staff stability, the distribution of responsibilities, and instructional coherence. This study also demonstrated how curricular reforms might change over time in response to contextual pressures as was the case with the equity challenges faced by the current teachers of ISP. 2009 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Res Sci Teach 46: 813,835, 2009 [source]