Research in Science and Technological Education (Res Sci Technol Educ )

Publisher: Taylor & Francis

Description

Research in Science & Technological Education publishes original research from throughout the world dealing with science education and/or technological education. It publishes articles on psychological, sociological, economic and organisational aspects of science and technological education, as well as evaluation studies of curriculum development in these fields. Its main aim is to allow specialists working in these areas the opportunity of publishing their findings for the benefit of institutions, teachers and students. It is hoped that the journal will encourage high quality research that will lead to more effective practices, behaviours and curricula in science and technology within educational establishments.

  • Impact factor
    0.00
  • 5-year impact
    0.00
  • Cited half-life
    0.00
  • Immediacy index
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  • Eigenfactor
    0.00
  • Article influence
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  • Website
    Research in Science & Technological Education website
  • Other titles
    Research in science & technological education (Online), Research in science and technological education
  • ISSN
    0263-5143
  • OCLC
    45090679
  • Material type
    Document, Periodical, Internet resource
  • Document type
    Internet Resource, Computer File, Journal / Magazine / Newspaper

Publisher details

Taylor & Francis

  • Pre-print
    • Author can archive a pre-print version
  • Post-print
    • Author can archive a post-print version
  • Conditions
    • Some individual journals may have policies prohibiting pre-print archiving
    • On author's personal website or departmental website immediately
    • On institutional repository or subject-based repository after either 12 months embargo for STM, Behavioural Science and Public Health Journals or 18 months embargo for SSH journals
    • Publisher's version/PDF cannot be used
    • On a non-profit server
    • Published source must be acknowledged
    • Must link to publisher version
    • Set statements to accompany deposits (see policy)
    • The publisher will deposit in on behalf of authors to a designated institutional repository including PubMed Central, where a deposit agreement exists with the repository
    • STM: Science, Technology and Medicine
    • SSH: Social Science and Humanities
    • Publisher last contacted on 25/03/2014
    • 'Taylor & Francis (Psychology Press)' is an imprint of 'Taylor & Francis'
  • Classification
    ​ green

Publications in this journal

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Background:Applying structural models is important to chemistry education at the upper secondary level, but it is considered one of the most difficult topics to learn.Purpose:This study analyses to what extent in designed lessons students learned to apply structural models in explaining the properties and behaviours of various materials.Sample:An experimental group is 27 Finnish upper secondary school students and control group included 18 students from the same school.Design and methods:In quasi-experimental setting, students were guided through predict, observe, explain activities in four practical work situations. It was intended that the structural models would encourage students to learn how to identify and apply appropriate models when predicting and explaining situations. The lessons, organised over a one-week period, began with a teacher’s demonstration and continued with student experiments in which they described the properties and behaviours of six household products representing three different materials.Results:Most students in the experimental group learned to apply the models correctly, as demonstrated by post-test scores that were significantly higher than pre-test scores. The control group showed no significant difference between pre- and post-test scores.Conclusions:The findings indicate that the intervention where students engage in predict, observe, explain activities while several materials and models are confronted at the same time, had a positive effect on learning outcomes.
    Research in Science and Technological Education 09/2014; 32(3).
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    ABSTRACT: Background: Science educators have sought to structure collaborative inquiry learning through the assignment of static group roles. This structural approach to student grouping oversimplifies the complexities of peer collaboration and overlooks the highly dynamic nature of group activity. Purpose: This study addresses this issue of oversimplification of group dynamics by examining the social leadership structures that emerge in small student groups during science inquiry. Sample: Two small student groups investigating the burning of a candle under a jar participated in this study. Design and method: We used a mixed-method research approach that combined computational discourse analysis (computational quantification of social aspects of small group discussions) with microethnography (qualitative, in-depth examination of group discussions). Results: While in one group social leadership was decentralized (i.e., students shared control over topics and tasks), the second group was dominated by a male student (centralized social leadership). Further, decentralized social leadership was found to be paralleled by higher levels of student cognitive engagement. Conclusions: It is argued that computational discourse analysis can provide science educators with a powerful means of developing pedagogical models of collaborative science learning that take into account the emergent nature of group structures and highly fluid nature of student collaboration.
    Research in Science and Technological Education 09/2014; 32(3).
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    ABSTRACT: Background: Sustainable development (SD) is a complex idea, based on environmental, economic and social dimensions. In line with SD, education for sustainable development (ESD) is an approach to teaching that combines cognitive and affective domains and aims to build empowerment abilities. Purpose: The purpose of this article is to investigate effects of the implementation of ESD in Sweden, in terms of developing students’ sustainability consciousness (SC). Two groups of students were included: one was from schools with a profile of ESD and the other one was from comparable schools without explicit ESD-profile. Sample: A total of 638 students from upper secondary schools (grade 12) in science-related or social science-related programs participated in the study. Design and methods: A procedure was created for the selection of schools considered to be the most active in using an ESD approach as well as comparable schools with no explicit ESD approach. During spring 2013, the students responded to a questionnaire based on sustainability knowingness, attitudes and behaviors within the environmental, economic and social dimensions of SD that together constitute the concept of SC. Data were analyzed using SPSS software. Results: The results indicate that there are significant differences in SC between students from schools that teach with an ESD approach compared to students from regular schools. Furthermore, a significant difference between the two groups of students was found in the underlying economic dimension of SC. No significant differences were found in the environmental and social dimensions of SC. Conclusions: Although the results show that ESD-profiled schools have effect on students’ SC, the effects are relatively small. Therefore, the effects and nature of the implementation of ESD are discussed.
    Research in Science and Technological Education 09/2014; 32(3).
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    ABSTRACT: Background: Understanding the nature of science (NOS) has been a key objective in teaching sciences for many years. Despite the importance of this goal it is, until this day, a complex challenge that we are far from achieving. Purpose: The study was conducted in order to further the understanding of the NOS amongst preservice teachers. It explores the effects of another approach to teaching that combines teaching the NOS in a course of scientific content. Sample and Programmed description: 109 preservice teachers studied the course on ‘Cell Biology’ or the course, ‘Introduction to Life Sciences’, whose teaching model differs. In addition to the usual subject matter the courses included activities to understand some aspects of the NOS, reflective discussions, as well as historical descriptions of the scientific discoveries and developments pertaining to the course matter. Design and methods: The study has characteristics of action research The perceptions of the NOS amongst preservice teachers were examined prior to, and following, the course. The perceptions were examined through 35 closed questions and one open question. Results: The findings show that following the course, some of the concepts of NOS changed. Naïve and conservative acuity developed into more current perceptions towards the NOS. Similarly, there was greater internalization of the meaning of the NOS and the significance of its teaching. Conclusions: The findings of this research discuss evidence of the importance of combining the teaching of the NOS in scientific courses in order to advance scientific literacy.
    Research in Science and Technological Education 09/2014; 32(3).
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    ABSTRACT: Background: The development of two-tier multiple-choice questions has permitted the diagnosis of students’ understanding on various topics in the sciences as well as helped to ascertain the alternative conceptions they have. A limitation of two-tier diagnostic instruments that has been noted in the literature, but which has not been systematically explored, is that some questions can have a diagonal response. This can allow students to select a second-tier response based on cues from a particular response in the first tier, and it can limit the analytical utility of the diagnostic instrument to some extent. Purpose: The study explores an enhancement of the traditional two-tier diagnostic instrument to address diagonal response. In the format proposed, there are dual sections for both the answer and reason tiers. The answer tier is in dichotomous form and for each of the dichotomous responses, there are separate polytomous responses in the reason tier. Sample: There were 99 students of grade 10 level who participated in this study. Design and Method: The research design follows the usual approach adopted for the development of diagnostic instruments but with some modifications. The topic of electrochemical cells was chosen to evaluate the effectiveness of the enhanced format of the two-tier instrument. Results: It was found that with the enhanced format, the issue of diagonal response has been satisfactorily addressed. Also, a situation where students get the answer wrong but the reason correct, which is sometimes encountered in two-tier questions, does not arise with this format. The instrument has also been able to shed some light on the students’ understanding of electrochemical cells and their alternative conceptions. Conclusions: The enhanced format of the two-tier instrument proposed in this study can also be used for the study of alternative conceptions in science education.
    Research in Science and Technological Education 09/2014; 32(3).
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    ABSTRACT: Background : The motivation for this work is built upon the premise that there is a need for research-based materials for design-based science instruction. In this paper, a small portion of our work investigating the impact of a LEGOTM engineering unit on fourth grade students’ preconceptions and understanding of animals is presented. Purpose : The driving questions for our work are: (1) What is the impact of an engineering-design-based curricular module on students’ understanding of habitat and animal classification? (2) What are students’ misconceptions regarding animal classification and habitat? Sample : The study was conducted in an inner-city K-8 school in the northeastern region of the United States. There were two fourth grade classrooms in the school. The first classroom included seven girls and nine boys, whereas the other classroom included eight girls and eight boys. All fourth grade students participated in the study. Design and methods : In answering the research questions mixed-method approaches are used. Data collection methods included pre- and post-tests, pre- and post-interviews, student journals, and classroom observations. Identical pre- and post-tests were administered to measure students’ understanding of animals. They included four multiple-choice and six open-ended questions. Identical pre- and post-interviews were administered to explore students’ in-depth understanding of animals. Results : Our results show that students significantly increased their performance after instruction on both the multiple-choice questions (t = -3.586, p = .001) and the open-ended questions (t = −5.04, p = .000). They performed better on the post interviews as well. Also, it is found that design-based instruction helped students comprehend core concepts of a life science subject, animals. Conclusions : Based on these results, the main argument of the study is that engineering design is a useful framework for teaching not only physical science-related subjects, but also life science subjects in elementary science classrooms.
    Research in Science and Technological Education 04/2014; 32(2).
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    ABSTRACT: Background: It is widely agreed that more needs to be done to improve participation in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). Despite considerable investment in interventions, it has been difficult to discern their effectiveness and/or impact on participation. Purpose: This paper discusses findings from a six-week pilot STEM careers intervention that was designed and overseen by a teacher from one London girls’ school. We reflect on the challenges for those attempting such interventions and the problems associated with evaluating them. Sample: Data were collected from Year 9 students (girls aged 13–14 years) at the school. Design and methods: Pre- and post-intervention surveys of 68 students, classroom observations of intervention activities, three post-intervention discussion groups (five or six girls per group) and a post-intervention interview with the lead teacher were conducted. Results: Although the intervention did not significantly change students’ aspirations or views of science, it did appear to have a positive effect on broadening students’ understanding of the range of jobs that science can lead to or be useful for. Conclusions: Student aspirations may be extremely resistant to change and intervention, but students’ understanding of ‘where science can lead’ may be more amenable to intervention. Implications are discussed, including the need to promote the message that science is useful for careers in and beyond science, at degree and technical levels.
    Research in Science and Technological Education 01/2014; 32(1).
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    ABSTRACT: Background: Critical thinking is one of the very highest orders of cognitive abilities and a key competency in higher education. Asking questions is an important component of rich learning experiences, structurally embedded in the operations of critical thinking. Our clear sense is that critical thinking and, within that, critical questioning, is heavily context dependent, in the sense that is applied, used by critical learners in a contextualised way. Purpose: Our research deals with enhancing science undergraduates’ critical questioning. We are interested in understanding and describing the nature and development of students’ critical questioning. The purpose is to conceptualise critical questioning as a competency, into three domains – knowledge, skills and attitudes/dispositions. We have no interest in a taxonomic category of context-free question-types called ‘critical questions’. In contrast, our view is that ‘being a critical questioner’ trades heavily on context. Sources of evidence: Four cases are considered as illuminative of the dimensions of science undergraduates’ critical questioning. Data were collected in natural learning environments through non-participant observation, audio-taping teacher-students interactions and semi-structured interviews. Students’ written material resulting from diverse learning tasks was also collected. Main argument: Our supposition is that one vehicle for achieving university students as critical thinkers is to enable them not just to ask critical questions, but to be critical questioners. We relate critical questioning to three domains: (1) context, (2) competency and (3) delivery, and propose a model based on illuminating examples of the in-classroom action. Conclusions: The dimensions of the competency-context-delivery model provide a framework for describing successful student critical questioning, showing that students’ capacity to be critical can be developed. It is possible, in our view, to generate critical questioners by means of promoting a true spirit of critical inquiry. The model also gives important insights into the design of teaching, learning and assessment contexts, where critical questioning could be promoted.
    Research in Science and Technological Education 01/2014; 32(2).
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    ABSTRACT: Background:Since the discontinuation of Standard Attainment Tests (SATs) in science at age 11 in England, pupil performance data in science reported to the UK government by each primary school has relied largely on teacher assessment undertaken in the classroom. Purpose:The process by which teachers are making these judgements has been unclear, so this study made use of the extensive Primary Science Quality Mark (PSQM) database to obtain a ‘snapshot’ (as of March 2013) of the approaches taken by 91 English primary schools to the formative and summative assessment of pupils’ learning in science.PSQM is an award scheme for UK primary schools. It requires the science subject leader (co-ordinator) in each school to reflect upon and develop practice over the course of one year, then upload a set of reflections and supporting evidence to the database to support their application. One of the criteria requires the subject leader to explain how science is assessed within the school. Sample:The data set consists of the electronic text in the assessment section of all 91 PSQM primary schools which worked towards the Quality Mark in the year April 2012 to March 2013. Design and methods:Content analysis of a pre-existing qualitative data set. Text in the assessment section of each submission was first coded as describing formative or summative processes, then sub-coded into different strategies used. Results:A wide range of formative and summative approaches were reported, which tended to be described separately, with few links between them. Talk-based strategies are widely used for formative assessment, with some evidence of feedback to pupils. Whilst the use of tests or tracking grids for summative assessment is widespread, few schools rely on one system alone. Enquiry skills and conceptual knowledge were often assessed separately. Conclusions:There is little consistency in the approaches being used by teachers to assess science in English primary schools. Nevertheless, there is great potential for collecting evidence that can be used for both formative and summative purposes.
    Research in Science and Technological Education 01/2014; 32(2).
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    ABSTRACT: Background: Few studies have examined students’ attitudinal perceptions of technology. There is no appropriate instrument to measure senior high school students’ motivation and self-regulation toward technology learning among the current existing instruments in the field of technology education. Purpose: The present study is to validate an instrument for assessing senior high school students’ motivation and self-regulation towards technology learning. Sample: A total of 1822 Taiwanese senior high school students (1020 males and 802 females) responded to the newly developed instrument. Design and method: The Motivation and Self-regulation towards Technology Learning (MSRTL) instrument was developed based on the previous instruments measuring students’ motivation and self-regulation towards science learning. Exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses were utilized to investigate the structure of the items. Cronbach’s alpha was applied for measuring the internal consistency of each scale. Furthermore, multivariate analysis of variance was used to examine gender differences. Results: Seven scales, including ‘Technology learning self-efficacy,’ ‘Technology learning value,’ ‘Technology active learning strategies,’ ‘Technology learning environment stimulation,’ ‘Technology learning goal-orientation,’ ‘Technology learning self-regulation-triggering,’ and ‘Technology learning self-regulation-implementing’ were confirmed for the MSRTL instrument. Moreover, the results also showed that male and female students did not present the same degree of preference in all of the scales. Conclusions: The MSRTL instrument composed of seven scales corresponding to 39 items was shown to be valid based on validity and reliability analyses. While male students tended to express more positive and active performance in the motivation scales, no gender differences were found in the self-regulation scales.
    Research in Science and Technological Education 01/2014; 32(2).
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    ABSTRACT: Background : In Bangladesh, a common science curriculum caters for all students at the junior secondary level. Since this curriculum is for all students, its aims are both to build a strong foundation in science while still providing students with the opportunities to use science in everyday life – an aim consistent with the notion of scientific literacy. Purpose : This paper reports Bangladeshi science teachers’ perspectives and practices in regard to the promotion of scientific literacy. Sample : Six science teachers representing a range of geographical locations, school types with different class sizes, lengths of teaching experience and educational qualifications. Design and method : This study employed a case study approach. The six teachers and their associated science classes (including students) were considered as six cases. Data were gathered through observing the teachers’ science lessons, interviewing them twice – once before and once after the lesson observation, and interviewing their students in focus groups. Results : This study reveals that participating teachers held a range of perspectives on scientific literacy, including some naïve perspectives. In addition, their perspectives were often not seen to be realised in the classroom as for teachers the emphasis of learning science was more traditional in nature. Many of their teaching practices promoted a culture of academic science that resulted in students’ difficulty in finding connections between the science they study in school and their everyday lives. This research also identified the tension which teachers encountered between their religious values and science values while they were teaching science in a culture with a religious tradition. Conclusions : The professional development practice for science teachers in Bangladesh with its emphasis on developing science content knowledge may limit the scope for promoting the concepts of scientific literacy. Opportunities for developing pedagogic knowledge is also limited and consequently impacts on teachers’ ability to develop the concepts of scientific literacy and learn how to teach for its promotion.
    Research in Science and Technological Education 01/2014; 32(2).
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    ABSTRACT: Background :Interest is assumed to be relevant for students’ learning processes. Many studies have investigated students’ interest in science; most of them however have not offered differentiated insights into the structure and elements of this interest. Purpose :The aim of this study is to obtain a precise image of secondary school students’ interest for school and out-of-school learning opportunities, both formal and informal. The study is part of a larger project on measuring the students’ Individual Concept about the Natural Sciences (ICoN), including self-efficacy, beliefs and achievements next to interest variables. Sample :Next to regular school students, a specific cohort will be analyzed as well: participants of science competitions who are regarded as having high interest, and perhaps different interest profiles than regular students. In the study described here, participants of the International Junior Science Olympiad (N = 133) and regular students from secondary schools (N = 305), age cohorts 10 to 17 years, participated. Design and methods :We adapted Holland’s well-established RIASEC-framework to analyze if and how it can also be used to assess students’ interest within science and in-school and out-of-school (leisure-time and enrichment) activities. The resulting questionnaire was piloted according to quality criteria and applied to analyze profiles of different groups (boys – girls, contest participants – non-participants). Results :The RIASEC-adaption to investigate profiles within science works apparently well for school and leisure-time activities. Concerning the interest in fostering measures, different emphases seem to appear. More research in this field needs to be done to adjust measures better to students’ interests and other pre-conditions in the future. Contrasting different groups like gender and participation in a junior science contest uncovered specific interest profiles. Conclusions :The instrument seems to offer a promising approach to identify different interest profiles for different environments and groups of students. Based on the results, further studies will be carried out to form a solid foundation for the design of enrichment measures.
    Research in Science and Technological Education 01/2014; 32(2).
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    ABSTRACT: Background : Argumentation is accepted by many science educators as a major component of science education. Many studies have investigated students’ conceptual understanding and their engagement in argumentative activities. However, studies conducted in the subject of chemistry are very rare. Purpose : The present study aimed to investigate the effects of argumentation-based chemistry lessons on pre-service science teachers’ understanding of reaction rate concepts, their quality of argumentation, and their consideration of specific reaction rate concepts in constructing an argument. Moreover, students’ perceptions of argumentation lessons were explored. Sample : There were 116 participants (21 male and 95 female), who were pre-service first-grade science teachers from a public university. The participants were recruited from the two intact classes of a General Chemistry II course, both of which were taught by the same instructor. Design and methods : In the present study, non-equivalent control group design was used as a part of quasi-experimental design. The experimental group was taught using explicit argumentation activities, and the control group was instructed using traditional instruction. The data were collected using a reaction rate concept test, a pre-service teachers’ survey, and the participants’ perceptions of the argumentation lessons questionnaire. For the data analysis, the Wilcoxon Signed Rank Test, the Mann–Whitney U-test and qualitative techniques were used. Results : The results of the study indicated that an argumentation-based intervention caused significantly better acquisition of scientific reaction rate-related concepts and positively impacted the structure and complexity of pre-service teachers’ argumentation. Moreover, the majority of the participants reported positive feelings toward argumentation activities. Conclusions : As students are encouraged to state and support their view in the chemistry classroom when studying reaction rate, it was observed that their understanding increased in terms of both the context and the quality of the argumentation that they produced. In light of the findings, it is suggested that argumentation activities should be developed to promote students’ science content knowledge and argumentation skills.
    Research in Science and Technological Education 12/2013; 32(1).
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    ABSTRACT: Background : This paper presents a case study from a physics course at a Norwegian university college, investigating key aspects of a group-work project, so-called learning labs, from the participating students’ perspective. Purpose : In order to develop these learning labs further, the students’ perspective is important. Which aspects are essential for how the students experience the learning labs, and how do these aspects relate to the emergence of occurrences termed joint workspace, i.e. the maintenance of content-related dialogues within the group? Programme description : First year mechanical engineering students attended the learning labs as a compulsory part of the physics course. The student groups were instructed to solve physics problems using the interactive whiteboard and then submit their work as whiteboard files. Sample : One group of five male students was followed during their work in these learning labs through one term. Design and methods : Data were collected as video recordings and fieldwork observation. In this paper, a focus group interview with the students was the main source of analysis. The interpretations of the interview data were compared with the video material and the fieldwork observations. Results : The results show that the students’ overall experience with the learning labs was positive. They did, however, point to internal aspects of conflicting common and personal goals, which led to a group-work dynamics that seemed to inhibit elaborate discussions and collaboration. The students also pointed to external aspects, such as a close temporal proximity between lectures and exercises, which also seemed to inhibit occurrences termed joint workspace. Conclusions : In order to increase the likelihood of a joint workspace throughout the term in the learning labs, careful considerations have to be made with regard to timing between lectures and exercises, but also with regard to raising the students’ awareness about shared and personal goals.
    Research in Science and Technological Education 12/2013; 32(1).
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    ABSTRACT: Background: Many tools have been developed to measure the ability of workers to innovate. However, all of them are based on self-reporting questionnaires, which raises questions about their validity Purpose: The aim was to develop and validate a tool, called Ideas Generation Implementation (IGI), to objectively measure the style and potential of engineering students in generating innovative technological ideas. The cognitive framework of IGI is based on the Architectural Innovation Model (AIM). Tool description: The IGI tool was designed to measure the level of innovation in generating technological ideas and their potential to be implemented. These variables rely on the definition of innovation as ‘creativity, implemented in a high degree of success’. The levels of innovative thinking are based on the AIM and consist of four levels: incremental innovation, modular innovation, architectural innovation and radical innovation. Sample: Sixty experts in technological innovation developed the tool. We checked its face validity and calculated its reliability in a pilot study (kappa = 0.73). Then, 145 undergraduate students were sampled at random from the seven Israeli universities offering engineering programs and asked to complete the questionnaire. Design and methods: We examined the construct validity of the tool by conducting a variance analysis and measuring the correlations between the innovator’s style of each student, as suggested by the AIM, and the three subscale factors of creative styles (efficient, conformist and original), as suggested by the Kirton Adaptors and Innovators (KAI) questionnaire. Results: Students with a radical innovator’s style inclined more than those with an incremental innovator’s style towards the three creative cognitive styles. Students with an architectural innovator’s style inclined moderately, but not significantly, towards the three creative styles. Conclusions: The IGI tool objectively measures innovative thinking among students, thus allowing screening of potential employees at an early stage, during their undergraduate studies. The tool was found to be reliable and valid in measuring the style and potential of technological innovation among engineering students.
    Research in Science and Technological Education 12/2013; 32(1).