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ISSN 1306-3065

Publications in this journal

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    ABSTRACT: The purpose of this study is to investigate whether or not conceptions of learning diverge in different science domains by identifying high school students’ conceptions of learning in physics, chemistry and biology. The Conceptions of Learning Science (COLS) questionnaire was adapted for physics (Conceptions of Learning Physics, COLP), chemistry (Conceptions of Learning Chemistry, COLC) and biology (Conceptions of Learning Biology, COLB) firstly and they were separately administered to 361 high school students at the same time. The factor structures of each questionnaire were also analyzed by exploratory factor analysis. The differences between students’ conceptions of learning in each questionnaire factors of all three domains were analyzed with paired-samples t-test. The results indicated differences in high school students’ conceptions of learning physics, chemistry and biology which were identified for all seven factors except application. In general sense, it was found that students preferred higher-level conceptions of learning biology more when compared with physics and chemistry domains. Possible implications about how students prefer to view learning from a higher-level perspective rather than a lower-level perspective, especially the ones with a high mean score in physics and chemistry (such as memorizing, preparing for exam and calculating and practicing) are discussed.
    International Journal of Environmental and Science Education 12/2015; 10(6):813-826. DOI:10.12973/ijese.2015.278a
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    ABSTRACT: A teacher’s practical knowledge contains the teacher’s beliefs about the goals, values and principles of education that guide his or her actions in the classroom. There is still a lack of knowledge about how teachers’ practical knowledge influences their teaching. The present study examines student teachers’ practical knowledge in the context of teaching climate change in elementary schools. Participating student-teachers planned their lessons using the principles and ideas of inquiry-based science teaching and the communicative approach. The same two approaches were applied in analysing the lessons, providing a broader basis on which to study student-teachers’ beliefs about teaching science. The analysis revealed different levels of success in terms of implementation of inquiry-based learning; the communicative approach was not comprehensively realised in any class. Stimulated recall interviews highlighted that most student-teachers possessed sufficient knowledge to reflect on their lessons and the necessary awareness to use the communicative approach. By comparing the results of lesson plan analysis, communication analysis and stimulated recall interviews, we can better understand student-teachers’ practical knowledge in the classroom.
    International Journal of Environmental and Science Education 10/2015; 10(5):649-670. DOI:10.12973/ijese.2015.259a
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    ABSTRACT: The Climate Change Attitude Survey is composed of 15 Likert-type attitudinal items selected to measure students’ beliefs and intentions toward the environment with a focus on climate change. This paper describes the development of the instrument and psychometric performance characteristics including reliability and validity. Data were gathered from 1576 middle school students from across the United States in 2014 to validate the instrument and establish the measurement properties of the instrument’s scales. Factor analysis revealed two stable constructs representing beliefs and intentions, which were reconfirmed through multidimensional scaling and hierarchical cluster analysis techniques. Internal consistency reliability was found to be respectable for the survey as a whole as well as the two separate scales. The Climate Change Attitude Survey was created to fill a void in the measurement of middle school students’ affective responses to the environment and climate change. Educators may find this survey useful for assessing pre- to post intervention attitude changes as well as for identifying differences in selected groups of students. Further development is targeted to include adding new constructs as well as testing the instrument with different population subgroups.
    International Journal of Environmental and Science Education 10/2015; 10(5):773-788. DOI:10.12973/ijese.2015.276a
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    ABSTRACT: The purpose of this study was to examine the relationships among Turkish classroom, science and mathematics teachers’ beliefs toward using inquiry-based approaches, traditional teaching approaches, and technology in their mathematics and science classrooms; their efficacy beliefs in teaching those subjects; and years of experience in teaching in consideration of curriculum movements. The analysis was based on 258 teachers who had been working in elementary schools in Ankara, Turkey. The Teacher Beliefs toward Instructional Approaches Questionnaire-Revised Scale was used as a measuring instrument. Conducting descriptive statistics, it was found that the teachers had strong beliefs in using inquiry-based instructional approach. The results of two-way MANOVA showed no statistical difference between teachers’ beliefs regarding alternative teaching approaches with respect to their branches. Similarly, no significant difference was reported on their beliefs regarding traditional and technology-enhanced instructional approaches in terms of years of experience in teaching. On the other hand, the teachers with an experience of more than 16 years had significantly more favorable beliefs on using inquiry-based instructional approaches than the teachers with an experience of 6-10 years. The results of path analysis revealed that teachers’ experience in teaching had a significant and positive relation to their beliefs in using traditional teaching approaches and their teaching efficacy, but negative relation to their beliefs in using technology-enhanced teaching approaches. No significant relationship between these teachers’ experiences and their beliefs in using inquiry based approaches was reported. It was also shown that beliefs in using inquiry-based approaches were positively associated with beliefs in using technology-enhanced approaches.
    International Journal of Environmental and Science Education 10/2015; 10(5):603-621. DOI:10.12973/ijese.2015.257a
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    ABSTRACT: In terms of sustainability, renewable resources, nourishment and healthy diet, crops are important to the public. Thus, knowledge of crops is needed in order to enable people to participate in public discussions and take responsibility. This is in contrast to former surveys showing that students’ knowledge of and interest in plants in general, crop plants and agricultural issues is moderate to little. At the same time, approaches to improving knowledge and interest in school are missing. We initiated and established the Greenhouse Project (GHP) where secondary school students (grades 5-13) get to know crops through cultivating from seed to seed. To investigate whether or not original contact with a variety of staple crops and hands-on activities positively affect students’ knowledge, students of two German secondary schools were asked via questionnaires before and after the treatment. Our study was conducted in the cities of Mainz and Wiesbaden which are situated in the German Federal states of Rhineland-Palatinate and Hesse, respectively. In total, 74 students in 6/7th and 11/12th grades took part in this pretest-posttest survey; three additional 6/7th and 11/12th grade classes (i.e. 48 students) were used as control classes, and had no contact with the GHP during this time. We demonstrated that the treatment has positive effects on students’ knowledge, and that girls performed better than did boys. Therefore, knowledge of crop plant species, as well as morphological knowledge, improved. A higher level of knowledge cannot only be observed objectively via test scores, but also subjectively via the students’ self-assessment of knowledge. In contrast, the students’ opinions about and attitudes towards agriculture and crops decreased in the posttest, both in the treatment and control classes.
    International Journal of Environmental and Science Education 10/2015; 10(5):737-755. DOI:10.12973/ijese.2015.263a
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    ABSTRACT: Constructing and critiquing scientific arguments has become an increasingly important goal for science education. Yet, the differences in the ways students construct collaborative oral and individual written socioscientific arguments are not well established. Our research with one middle school class in an urban New England school district addresses the following question: What are the similarities and differences between students’ collaborative oral and individual written scientific arguments? Data sources consisted of transcripts from three videotaped lessons and associated student work. The sophistication of both the collaborative oral and individual written argument products were analyzed using a proposed learning progression. Results suggest that the students’ collaborative oral arguments tended to be of lower sophistication whereas the individual written arguments tended to be of higher sophistication; however both modalities tended to include inappropriate justifications. Moreover, in the written arguments it was easier for students to include a rebuttal than limit their argument to using only appropriate justifications. These findings suggest that there are both commonalities and differences across the expressive modalities that can be targeted in an effort to strengthen the quality of students’ arguments.
    International Journal of Environmental and Science Education 10/2015; 10(5):623-647. DOI:10.12973/ijese.2015.258a
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    ABSTRACT: Climate change is not local; it is global. This means that many environmental issues related to climate change are not geographically limited and hence concern humans in more than one location. There is a growing body of research indicating that today’s increased climate change is caused by human activities and our modern lifestyle. Consequently, climate change awareness and attention from the entire world’s population needs to be a global priority and we need to work collaboratively to attain a sustainable future. A powerful tool in this process is to develop an understanding of climate change through education. Recognizing this, climate change has been included in many science curricula as a part of science education in schools. However, teaching such a complex and global topic as climate change is not easy. The research in this paper has been driven by this challenge. In this paper, we will present our online science module called Global Climate Exchange, designed with inquiry activities for international peer collaboration to teach climate change. In this study, we engaged 157 students from four countries (Canada, China, Sweden, and Norway) to collaborate in Global Climate Exchange. To explore the opportunities that international peer collaboration in Global Climate Exchange gives, we have analyzed how students develop their explanations about climate change issues over time. Our analysis showed that the students increased the proportion of relevant scientific concepts in relation to the total number of words in their explanations and that they improved the quality of links between concepts over a six-week period. The analysis also revealed that the students explained more perspectives relating to climate change issues over time. The outcomes indicate that international peer collaboration, if successfully supported, can be an effective approach to climate change education.
    International Journal of Environmental and Science Education 10/2015; 10(5):717-736. DOI:10.12973/ijese.2015.262a
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    ABSTRACT: Thematic justification of the study is conditioned by the fact that in contemporary system of higher professional pedagogical education we can see serious drawbacks in training the future teachers for the methods of organizing leisure time activities and interacting with children. Therefore, this article studies the problem of future social teachers being professionally ready to organize children's leisure activities. Personal-activity and individual- creativity approaches were the leading in our research. As a result we have revealed the essence and content of social teacher’s professional activity, components of its professional readiness to organize the leisure activities of children and adolescents. We have shown technological and substantive aspects of professional training of future social workers such competence in the educational process of pedagogical high school. The material given here is of practical significance for specialists in the organization of children's leisure; for a system of higher education in organizing the special courses of future teachers training.
    International Journal of Environmental and Science Education 08/2015; 10(4):595-602. DOI:10.12973/ijese.2015.274a
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    ABSTRACT: The article describes features of the communicative competence evolution in adolescents growing up in orphanages. The specificity is revealed and definition is given to key concept of the research, namely "communicative competence". Authors emphasize and demonstrate the evaluation peculiarities of the adolescents, growing up in orphanages. The paper deals with the evolution forms and methods of communicative competence in adolescents, growing up in orphanages. Additionally, the article presents the results of experimental work on the evolution of communicative competence in such adolescents. The study proved the effectiveness of the "Effective Communication" program on the evolution of communicative competence in adolescents growing up in orphanages.
    International Journal of Environmental and Science Education 08/2015; 10(4):589-594. DOI:10.12973/ijese.2015.273a
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    ABSTRACT: Relevance of the problem stated in the article, conditioned by the fact that the successful adaptation of orphans in a foster family requires specialized knowledge and skills, as well as the need of professional support. Therefore, this article aims at substantiation of the effectiveness of the developed pilot program psycho-pedagogical support of adaptation of orphans in a foster family. The leading method of this problem’s study is the experimental method aimed to identify the problems of the adopted children and to test the program of professional support of their adaptation. The authors present the program of the orphans’ adaptation support, which includes diagnostic, projective, correctional, rehabilitative, recovery and consulting parts. This program is aimed both at providing psychological and educational assistance to adopted children and foster parents, and the achievement of successful adaptation of orphans to new conditions in a foster family.
    International Journal of Environmental and Science Education 08/2015; 10(4):553-559. DOI:10.12973/ijese.2015.269a
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    ABSTRACT: The thematic justification is due to the fact that the problem of inclusive education implementation in the modern period is very popular and requires close examination. Object of the article is to determine the conditions of formation of social successfulness of students with disabilities in the system of continuous inclusive education on the basis of value approach. Basic methods of research are the study of research and methodological materials and regulatory documentation, analysis and synthesis, interpretation of findings; main research approach is axiological value approach implementable based on the principles of continuity, consistency and purposefulness. The study revealed and tested the conditions of formation of social successfulness of students with disabilities on the basis of value approach: ensuring the continuity of formation of social successfulness of persons with disabilities within the multilevel system of inclusive education “family – preschool education – general education – additional education of children – secondary professional education – higher professional education – further professional education”; creation of the system of continuous inclusive education taking into account the peculiarities of the medical and social models of disability in students; organized work of a teacher with the use of special methods and means of education that correspond to the individual peculiarities of students with disabilities; activities of an educational organization related to the creation of special conditions for training and education of students and ensuring the mutual understanding between the subjects of educational process; focused training of future and practicing teachers for fork with students with disabilities in the mode of inclusion implementation. Materials of the article can be useful for teachers of the system of training and further training of pedagogical personnel and provide the basis for the Concepts on implementation of inclusion in multilevel and continuous educational system of Bashkortostan.
    International Journal of Environmental and Science Education 08/2015; 10(4):543-552. DOI:10.12973/ijese.2015.268a
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    ABSTRACT: This study investigated the year 12 students’ (N = 56) understanding of chemical equilibrium concepts after instruction using two conceptual tests, the Chemical Equilibrium Conceptual Test 1(CECT-1) consisting of nine two-tier multiple-choice items and the Chemical Equilibrium Conceptual Test 2(CECT-2) consisting of four structured questions. Both these tests were administered before and after the intervention. Students’ responses to the items in both the instruments indicated limited understanding of the various concepts related to chemical equilibrium. Less than 50% of the students provided correct responses to four of the nine items in the CECT-1. The total scores in the CECT-1 ranged from 0 to 8 with a mean score of 4.14 (out of a maximum of 9). In the CECT-2 the total scores ranged from 7 to 17 with a mean score of 11.0 out of a maximum score of 22. Almost half the number of students (44.6%) scored less than 50% of the total marks in the CECT-2; only 0% to 42.9% of students scored the maximum possible marks for each of the four items while achievement in all four items of the CECT-2 was below 50%. The findings will be valuable and assist teachers in planning their instruction on chemical equilibrium by taking into consideration students’ preconceptions about the topic.
    International Journal of Environmental and Science Education 07/2015; 10(6):845-863. DOI:10.12973/ijese.2015.280a
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    ABSTRACT: The current study investigates the effectiveness of grade-ten students’ reflective science journal writing on their self-regulated learning strategies. We used a pre-post control group quasi-experimental design. The sample consisted of 62 tenth-grade students (15 years old) in Oman, comprising 32 students in the experimental group and 30 students in the control group. Both groups studied a science text unit called ‘Matter and Energy in Chemical Reactions’. Students in the experimental group were given a model for a journal, which they wrote after they finished their science lessons. They reflected on their dialogues with their teacher and classmates. They also reflected on their scientific observations, their main conclusions, their evaluation of their level of understanding of the scientific concepts presented in the lesson, their achievement of the lesson goals, and their personal feelings regarding what was taught in the lesson. The control group studied the same unit without writing reflective journals. We used a modified self-regulation strategy instrument to measure the effectiveness of treatment. The results showed that participants in the journal-writing group (experimental group) (M=3.96; SD=0.37) significantly outperformed participants in the control group (M=3.62; SD=0.28) with respect to their self-regulation strategies. The study recommends that reflective journal-writing should be encouraged by science teachers and in science textbooks.
    International Journal of Environmental and Science Education 07/2015; 10(3):367-379. DOI:10.12973/ijese.2015.250a