Journal of Science Education and Technology (J Sci Educ Tech )

Publisher: Springer Verlag


Journal of Science Education and Technology provides a wide variety of papers aimed at improving and enhancing science education at all levels in the United States. The journal's original peer-reviewed articles foster the communication of new ideas and research to correct the problems that hinder scientific instruction. The broad scope of this ambitious quarterly encompasses science education from kindergarten to the college level across a wide range of disciplines. Areas of coverage include: disciplinary (learning processes related to the acquisition and assessment of biology chemistry physics computer science and engineering); technological (the latest computer video audio and print technology that plays a role in scientific advancement understanding and information delivery); organizational (legislation implementation administration and teacher enhancement issues); and practical (development demonstration and evaluation of effective educational methods).

  • Impact factor
  • 5-year impact
  • Cited half-life
  • Immediacy index
  • Eigenfactor
  • Article influence
  • Website
    Journal of Science Education and Technology website
  • Other titles
    Journal of science education and technology (Online)
  • ISSN
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  • Material type
    Document, Periodical, Internet resource
  • Document type
    Internet Resource, Computer File, Journal / Magazine / Newspaper

Publisher details

Springer Verlag

  • Pre-print
    • Author can archive a pre-print version
  • Post-print
    • Author can archive a post-print version
  • Conditions
    • Author's pre-print on pre-print servers such as
    • Author's post-print on author's personal website immediately
    • Author's post-print on any open access repository after 12 months after publication
    • Publisher's version/PDF cannot be used
    • Published source must be acknowledged
    • Must link to publisher version
    • Set phrase to accompany link to published version (see policy)
    • Articles in some journals can be made Open Access on payment of additional charge
  • Classification
    ​ green

Publications in this journal

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Current science education reforms and policy documents highlight the importance of environmental awareness and perceived need for activism. As “environmental problems are socially constructed in terms of their conceptualized effects on individuals, groups, other living things and systems research based on constructivist principles provides not only a coherent framework in which to theorize about learning, but also a context for understanding socially constructed issues” (Palmer and Suggate in Res Pap Educ 19(2), 2004, p. 208). This research study investigated the impacts of the learning processes structured based on the theories of constructionism and social constructivism on students’ environmental awareness and perceived need for activism. Students constructed multimedia artifacts expressing their knowledge, attitudes, awareness, and activism about environmental issues through a constructionist design process. In addition, a social networking site was designed and used to promote social interaction among students. Twenty-two high school environmental science students participated in this study. A convergent mixed methods design was implemented to allow for the triangulation of methods by directly comparing and contrasting quantitative results with qualitative findings for corroboration and validation purposes. Using a mixed method approach, quantitative findings are supported with qualitative data (student video projects, writing prompts, blog entries, video projects of the students, observational field notes, and reflective journals) including spontaneous responses in both synchronous and asynchronous conversations on the social network to provide a better understanding of the change in students’ environmental awareness and perceived need for activism. The findings of the study indicated that students’ environmental awareness and perceived need for activism were improved at different scales (personal, community, global) throughout the constructionist and social constructivist learning processes.
    Journal of Science Education and Technology 01/2015;
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    ABSTRACT: There has been increased recognition in the past decades that model-based inquiry (MBI) is a promising approach for cultivating deep understandings by helping students unite phenomena and underlying mechanisms. Although multiple technology tools have been used to improve the effectiveness of MBI, there are not enough detailed examinations of how agent-based programmable modeling (ABPM) tools influence students’ MBI learning. The present collective case study sought to contribute by closely investigating ABPM-supported MBI processes for 8th grade students learning about natural selection and adaptation. Eight 8th grade students in groups of 2–3 spent 15 h during a span of 4 weeks collaboratively programming simulations of adaptation based on the natural selection model, using an ABPM tool named NetLogo. The entire programming processes of these learning groups, up to 50 h, were videotaped and then analyzed using mixed methods. Our analysis revealed that the programming task created a context that calls for nine types of MBI actions. These MBI actions were related to both phenomena and the underlying model. Results also showed that students’ programming processes took place in consecutive programming cycles and aligned with iterative MBI cycles. A framework for ABPM-supported MBI learning is proposed based upon the findings. Implications in developing MBI instruction involving ABPM tools are discussed.
    Journal of Science Education and Technology 12/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: In the past decade, reform efforts in science education have increasingly attended to engaging students in scientific practices such as scientific modeling. Engaging students in scientific modeling can help them develop their epistemologies by allowing them to attend to the roles of mechanism and empirical evidence when constructing and revising models. In this article, we present our in-depth case study of how two fifth graders—Brian and Joon—who were students in a public school classroom located in a Midwestern state shifted their epistemologies in modeling as they participated in the enactment of a technologically enhanced, model-based curriculum unit on evaporation and condensation. First, analyses of Brian’s and Joon’s models indicate that their epistemologies in modeling related to explanation and empirical evidence shifted productively throughout the unit. Additionally, while their initial and final epistemologies in modeling were similar, the pathways in which their epistemologies in modeling shifted differed. Next, analyses of the classroom activities illustrate how various components of the learning ecology including technological tools, the teacher’s scaffolding remarks, and students’ collective activities and conversations, were marshaled in the service of the two students’ shifting epistemologies in modeling. These findings suggest a nuanced view of individual learners’ engagement in scientific modeling, their epistemological shifts in the practice, and the roles of technology and other components of a modeling-oriented learning environment for such shifts.
    Journal of Science Education and Technology 12/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: The present study investigated the impact of a Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics and Health (STEM+H) university-based pipeline program, the Careers in Health and Medical Professions Program, over the course of two summers among predominantly African-American high school students recruited from urban school districts (N = 155). Based on a mixed methods approach, results indicated that youth made significant gains in both academic and career knowledge. Furthermore, youth generally rated the program’s sessions favorably, but also rated sessions with varying levels of satisfaction. The limitations and implications for program delivery and evaluation methods among pipeline programs are discussed.
    Journal of Science Education and Technology 12/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: The basic premise underlying this research is that scientific phenomena are best learned by creating an external representation that complies with the complex and dynamic nature of such phenomena. Effective representations are assumed to incorporate three key characteristics: they are graphical, dynamic, and provide a pre-specified outline of the domain. This study examined the impact of these characteristics on performance and learning. High school students first read an instructional text about glucose–insulin regulation and then created a representation of its content. Representations differed regarding the key characteristics such that the summary (n = 15), concept map (n = 16), model (n = 23), and outlined model (n = 21) all incorporated one additional characteristic compared to their precursor. Main results indicated learning effects in each of these four conditions. Furthermore, creating a model was found to enhance students’ learning more than creating a concept map, and students who completed an outlined model were found to learn more than those who created a model from scratch. In conclusion, this study does not univocally verify the necessity of all key characteristics individually, but the results do show that a representational format that combines all key characteristics enhances learning more than other formats.
    Journal of Science Education and Technology 12/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: The present paper informs about an analysis of students’ conceptions about car braking distances and also presents one of the novel methods of learning: an interactive computer program Tracker that we used to analyse the process of braking of a car. The analysis of the students’ conceptions about car braking distances consisted in obtaining their estimates of these quantities before and after watching a video recording of a car braking from various initial speeds to a complete stop and subsequent application of mathematical statistics to the obtained sets of students’ answers. The results revealed that the difference between the value of the car braking distance estimated before watching the video and the real value of this distance was not caused by a random error but by a systematic error which was due to the incorrect students’ conceptions about the car braking process. Watching the video significantly improved the students’ estimates of the car braking distance, and we show that in this case, the difference between the estimated value and the real value of the car braking distance was due only to a random error, i.e. the students’ conceptions about the car braking process were corrected. Some of the students subsequently performed video analysis of the braking processes of cars of various brands and under various conditions by means of Tracker that gave them exact knowledge of the physical quantities, which characterize a motor vehicle braking. Interviewing some of these students brought very positive reactions to this novel method of learning.
    Journal of Science Education and Technology 12/2014; 23(6).
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    ABSTRACT: The challenge of preparing students for the information age has prompted administrators to increase technology in the public schools. Yet despite the increased availability of technology in schools, few teachers are integrating technology for instructional purposes. Preservice teachers must be equipped with adequate content knowledge of technology to create an advantageous learning experience in science classrooms. To understand preservice teachers’ conceptions of technology integration, this research study explored 15 elementary science methods students’ definitions of technology and their attitudes toward incorporating technology into their teaching. The phenomenological study took place in a science methods course that was based on a constructivist approach to teaching and learning science through science activities and class discussions, with an emphasis on a teacher beliefs framework. Data were collected throughout the semester, including an open-ended pre/post-technology integration survey, lesson plans, and reflections on activities conducted throughout the course. Through a qualitative analysis, we identified improvements in students’ technology definitions, increased technology incorporation into science lesson plans, and favorable attitudes toward technology integration in science teaching after instruction. This research project demonstrates that positive changes in beliefs and behaviors relating to technology integration in science instruction among preservice teachers are possible through explicit instruction.
    Journal of Science Education and Technology 12/2014; 23(6).
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    ABSTRACT: Informal environments provide students with unique experiences that allow them to actively participate in activities while promoting a positive attitude toward and an increased interest in science. One way to enhance informal science experiences is through the integration of mobile technologies. This integration is particularly useful in engaging underrepresented students in learning science. Our informal environmental science program engages underrepresented, fifth-grade students in an informal learning environment supplemented with mobile tablet technology (iPads). The purpose of this study was to explore how fifth-grade students interacted with nature using mobile technology during a nature hike series. Participants included 55 fifth-grade students from two low-income schools. We found that students used the mobile technology to explore nature and stay engaged throughout the hike. The iPads were used as references, data collectors, and engagement tools. Students had an intense desire in returning to the site and responded positively toward interacting with nature. Prior research has indicated that students in this age group are likely to lose interest in science and the incorporation of field-friendly technology that engages students with nature, not technology alone, is a useful tool for keeping students interested in science.
    Journal of Science Education and Technology 12/2014; 23(6).
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    ABSTRACT: Most physics professors would agree that the lab experiences students have in introductory physics are central to the learning of the concepts in the course. It is also true that these physics labs require time and money for upkeep, not to mention the hours spent setting up and taking down labs. Virtual physics lab experiences can provide an alternative or supplement to these traditional hands-on labs. However, physics professors may be very hesitant to give up the hands-on labs, which have been such a central part of their courses, for a more cost and time-saving virtual alternative. Thus, it is important to investigate how the learning from these virtual experiences compares to that acquired through a hands-on experience. This study evaluated a comprehensive set of virtual labs for introductory level college physics courses and compared them to a hands-on physics lab experience. Each of the virtual labs contains everything a student needs to conduct a physics laboratory experiment, including: objectives, background theory, 3D simulation, brief video, data collection tools, pre- and postlab questions, and postlab quiz. This research was conducted with 224 students from two large universities and investigated the learning that occurred with students using the virtual labs either in a lab setting or as a supplement to hands-on labs versus a control group of students using the traditional hands-on labs only. Findings from both university settings showed the virtual labs to be as effective as the traditional hands-on physics labs.
    Journal of Science Education and Technology 09/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Universities in Taiwan can be divided into two major categories of comprehensive universities and technological universities. Students studying engineering majors in comprehensive universities are often recruited from academic high schools while those in technological universities tend to be recruited from vocational high schools. The purpose of this research was to investigate differences in learning efficacy between college students with academic backgrounds and those with vocational backgrounds. Results indicated no significant differences in cognition between the two groups of students. Additionally, students with vocational school backgrounds performed better in comprehension skills compared with those with academic backgrounds and were more able to apply acquired knowledge to practical tasks according to path analysis studies and the Mann–Whitney U test.
    Journal of Science Education and Technology 08/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: The development of teachers as reflective practitioners is a central concept in national guidelines for teacher preparation and induction (National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education 2008). The Teacher Induction Network (TIN) supports the development of reflective practice for beginning secondary science teachers through the creation of online “communities of practice” (Barab et al. in Inf Soc, 237–256, 2003), which have been shown to have positive impacts on teacher collaboration, communication, and reflection. Specifically, TIN integrated the use of asynchronous, video annotation as an affordance to directly facilitate teachers’ reflection on their classroom practices (Tripp and Rich in Teach Teach Educ 28(5):728–739, 2013). This study examines the use of video annotation as a tool for developing reflective practices for beginning secondary science teachers. Teachers were enrolled in an online teacher induction course designed to promote reflective practice and inquiry-based instruction. A modified version of the Learning to Notice Framework (Sherin and van Es in J Teach Educ 60(1):20–37, 2009) was used to classify teachers’ annotations on video of their teaching. Findings from the study include the tendency of teachers to focus on themselves in their annotations, as well as a preponderance of annotations focused on lower-level reflective practices of description and explanation. Suggestions for utilizing video annotation tools are discussed, as well as design features, which could be improved to further the development of richer annotations and deeper reflective practices.
    Journal of Science Education and Technology 06/2014; 23(3).
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    ABSTRACT: The purpose of this study is to investigate and compare students’ collaborative inquiry learning behaviors and their behavior patterns in an augmented reality (AR) simulation system and a traditional 2D simulation system. Their inquiry and discussion processes were analyzed by content analysis and lag sequential analysis (LSA). Forty university students were divided into dyads and then randomly assigned into AR group and traditional 2D group to collaboratively conduct an inquiry task about elastic collision. The results of the content analysis and LSA indicated that both systems supported students’ collaborative inquiry learning. Particularly, students showed high frequencies on higher-level inquiry behaviors, such as interpreting experimental data or making conclusions, when using these two simulations. By comparing the behavioral patterns, similarities and differences between the two groups were revealed. The AR simulation engaged the students more thoroughly in the inquiry process. Moreover, students in both groups adopted the same approaches to design experiments. Due to the line of AR research is in its initial stage, suggestions for future studies were proposed.
    Journal of Science Education and Technology 05/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: The research presented in this paper consisted of an investigation of the effectiveness of a four-step constructivist-based teaching activity on student understanding of how pressure and temperature influence the dissolution of a gas in a liquid. Some 44 Grade 9 students (18 boys and 26 girls) selected purposively from two school classes in the city of Trabzon, Turkey participated in the study. Students’ understanding were evaluated from examination of two items from a purpose-designed solution concept test, face-to-face semi-structured interviews and examination of students’ self-assessment exercises. Statistical analysis using two-way ANOVA of student test scores point to statistically-significant differences in test and total scores (p<0.05) suggesting that the teaching activities employed help students achieve better conceptual understanding. Further, no statistically significant differences were seen between post-test and delayed test scores, suggesting that teaching the activities enable students to retain their new conceptions in their long-term memory. However, in a few instances the activities resulted in the development of new alternative conceptions, suggesting teachers need to be conscious of the positive and negative effects of any teaching intervention.
    Journal of Science Education and Technology 04/2014; 16(3):257-270.