International Journal of Science Education (Int J Sci Educ )

Publisher: Taylor & Francis

Description

The International Journal of Science Education is firmly established as the authoritative voice in the world of science education. It bridges the gap between research and practice, providing information, ideas and opinion. It serves as a medium for the publication of definitive research findings. Special emphasis is placed on applicable research relevant to educational practice, guided by educational realities in systems, schools, colleges and universities. The journal is comprises peer-reviewed general articles, papers on innovations and developments, research reports and book reviews. Each volume contains a Special Issue devoted to a topic of major interest and importance, guest-edited by an acknowledged expert. Recent Special Issues have featured environmental education and policy and practice in science education.

  • Impact factor
    1.23
  • 5-year impact
    1.72
  • Cited half-life
    8.50
  • Immediacy index
    0.20
  • Eigenfactor
    0.01
  • Article influence
    0.63
  • Website
    International Journal of Science Education website
  • Other titles
    International journal of science education, IJSE
  • ISSN
    1464-5289
  • OCLC
    15531109
  • Material type
    Periodical, Internet resource
  • Document type
    Journal / Magazine / Newspaper, Internet Resource

Publisher details

Taylor & Francis

  • Pre-print
    • Author can archive a pre-print version
  • Post-print
    • Author cannot archive a post-print version
  • Restrictions
    • 12 month embargo for STM, Behavioural Science and Public Health Journals
    • 18 month embargo for SSH journals
  • Conditions
    • Some individual journals may have policies prohibiting pre-print archiving
    • Pre-print on authors own website, Institutional or Subject Repository
    • Post-print on authors own website, Institutional or Subject Repository
    • 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)
    • Publisher will deposit to PMC on behalf of NIH authors.
    • STM: Science, Technology and Medicine
    • SSH: Social Science and Humanities
    • 'Taylor & Francis (Psychology Press)' is an imprint of 'Taylor & Francis'
  • Classification
    ​ yellow

Publications in this journal

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: This manuscript details our efforts to assess and compare students' learning about electricity in three countries. As our world is increasingly driven by technological advancements, the education of future citizens in science becomes one important resource for economic productivity. Not surprisingly international large-scale assessments are viewed as significant sources of information about the effectiveness of science education. However, these assessments do not provide information about the reasons for particular effectiveness—or more importantly a lack thereof—as these assessments are based on one-time measurements of student achievement. In order to identify reasons for the effectiveness of science education, it is necessary to investigate students' learning as a result of science instruction. In this manuscript we report about the development of an instrument to assess students' learning in the field of electricity and the use of this instrument to collect data from N = 2,193 middle school students in Finland, Germany and Switzerland prior to and after instruction on the topic of electricity. Our findings indicate that the differences in students' science achievement as observed in large-scale assessments are a result of differences in students' science learning. And our findings suggest that these differences are more likely to stem from differences in science instruction than from systemic differences: a result that needs to be further explored by analyzing instruction in the three countries and its effect on students' learning. - See more at: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/suppl/10.1080/09500693.2014.950185#tabModule
    International Journal of Science Education 08/2014;
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: This exploratory study applied a proposed force and motion learning progression (LP) to high-school and university students and to content involving both one- and two-dimensional force and motion situations. The Force Concept Inventory (FCI) was adapted, based on a previous content analysis and coding of the questions in the FCI in terms of the level descriptors of the LP. Using a Rasch measurement model and latent class analysis, students' responses were tested for fit with the proposed LP. Results indicated that the recoded FCI response options are generally consistent with a progression of difficulties as proposed in the LP, and that the students could be organized into different groups with progressively different levels of ability. However, reliability for the ability estimates was only moderate and response options at lower levels of the LP were not well differentiated. Implications for the assessments with LPs and revisions for both the FCI and the force and motion LP are also discussed.
    International Journal of Science Education 07/2014;
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The concept of energy is one key component of science education curricula worldwide. While it is still being taught in many science classrooms from a mainly conceptual knowledge perspective, the need to frame the concept of energy as a socioscientific issue and implement it in the context of citizenship education and education for sustainable development, is getting more and more explicit. As we will be faced with limited fossil fuels and the consequences of global climate change in the future, students have to be supported in becoming literate citizens who are able to reach informed energy-related decisions. In this article, we focus on students’ reasoning and decision-making processes about socioscientific energy-related issues. In more detail, we developed a paper-and-pencil measurement instrument to assess secondary school students’ competencies in this domain. The functioning of the measurement instrument was analysed with a sample of 850 students from grades 6, 8, 10 and 12 using item response theory. Findings show that the measurement instrument functions in terms of reliability and validity. Concerning student ability, elaborate reasoning and decision-making was characterised by the use of trade-offs and the ability to weigh arguments and to reflect on the structure of reasoning and decision-making processes. The developed measurement instrument provides a complement for existing test instruments on conceptual knowledge about the concept of energy. It aims to contribute to a change in teaching about energy, especially in physics education in the sense of education for sustainable development.
    International Journal of Science Education 06/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: This study explores pre-service teachers’ past interactions with ‘place’ in outdoor settings and how these experiences contribute to their current perceptions of the importance of taking their own students into the outdoors. Specifically, the researchers were interested in investigating if current pre-service teachers are part of the ‘nature-deficit disorder’ generation described by Louv in his book, Last child in the woods: Saving our children from nature-deficit disorder (2005), as a generation of children growing up without direct experiences in nature. Study participants included 148 undergraduate pre-service elementary teachers enrolled in science teaching methods instructional courses at an urban college in the Northeastern United States and two suburban universities in the Southeastern United States. Participants wrote essay responses after reading Louv’s Last Child in the Woods in which they were asked to relate the reading to their own past experiences and their ideas about elementary science education. Results indicate that a large majority of participants (97%) describe significant youth experiences in the outdoors, view nature as important in varying ways (89.9%), and express a desire to expose their own students to the outdoors (65.5%). Key findings are illustrated with direct quotations from the pre-service teachers’ essay responses, as they write vividly of their interactions in outdoor places, referred to as ‘place meanings’. Implications are presented for teacher educators working with pre-service teachers to build upon their outdoor experiences and prepare them for implementing naturebased instruction.
    International Journal of Science Education 05/2014;
  • International Journal of Science Education 05/2014; 36(9):1412-1433.
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: This study was launched from a National Science Foundation GK-12 grant in which graduate fellows in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) are placed in classrooms to engage K-12 students in STEM activities. The investigation explored whether the STEM Fellows' presence impacted the K-12 students' stereotypical image of a scientist. Since finding a valid instrument is critical, the study involved (1) determining the validity of the commonly administered Draw-A-Scientist Test (DAST) against a newly designed six-question survey and (2) using a combination of both instruments to determine what stereotypes are currently held by children. A pretest–posttest design was used on 485 students, grades 3–11, attending 6 different schools in suburban and rural Maine communities. A significant but low positive correlation was found between the DAST and the survey; therefore, it is imperative that the DAST not be used alone, but corroboration with interviews or survey questions should occur. Pretest results revealed that the children held common stereotypes of scientists, but these stereotypes were neither as extensive nor did they increase with the grade level as past research has indicated, suggesting that a shift has occurred with children having a broader concept of who a scientist can be. Finally, the presence of an STEM Fellow corresponded with decreased stereotypes in middle school and high school, but no change in elementary age children. More research is needed to determine whether this reflects resiliency in elementary children's perceptions or limitations in either drawing or in writing out their responses.
    International Journal of Science Education 04/2014;
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: This study explores the development of professional identity as a teacher of nature of science (NOS). Our research question was ‘How can a teacher develop a professional identity as an elementary teacher of NOS?’ Through a researcher log, videotaped lessons, and collection of student work, we were able to track efforts in teaching NOS as part of regular classroom practice. A team of four researchers interpreted the data through the Beijaard et al. professional identity framework and found that it was not as simple and straightforward to teach NOS as we predicted. Development of professional identity as a teacher of NOS was influenced by contextual factors such as students, administration, and time, as well as personal struggles that were fraught with emotion. Development took place through an interpretation and reinterpretation of self through external factors and others’ perceptions, as well as the influence of sub-identities.
    International Journal of Science Education 04/2014;
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: This paper reports on a case study of an immersive and integrated multi-instructional approach (namely computer-based model introduction and connection with content; facilitation of individual student exploration guided by exploratory worksheet; use of associated differentiated labs and use of model-based assessments) in the implementation of coupled computer-based models and assessment in a high-school chemistry classroom. Data collection included in-depth teacher interviews, classroom observations, student interviews and researcher notes. Teacher conceptions highlighted the role of models as tools; the benefits of abstract portrayal via visualizations; appropriate enactment of model implementation; concerns with student learning and issues with time. The case study revealed numerous challenges reconciling macro, submicro and symbolic phenomena with the NetLogo model. Nonetheless, the effort exhibited by the teacher provided a platform to support the evolution of practice over time. Students' reactions reflected a continuum of confusion and benefits which were directly related to their background knowledge and experiences with instructional modes. The findings have implications for the role of teacher knowledge of models, the modeling process and pedagogical content knowledge; the continuum of student knowledge as novice users and the role of visual literacy in model decoding, comprehension and translation.
    International Journal of Science Education 02/2014; 36(3):467-505.
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: It is a common view that developing teachers’ competence to restructure or reframe their knowledge and beliefs is inevitably a complex challenge. This paper reports on a research project with the aim to develop science teachers’ pedagogical content knowledge (PCK) through their participation in a learning study. A learning study is a collegial process in which teachers work together with a researcher to explore their own teaching activities in order to identify what is critical for their students’ learning. During one semester, three secondary science teachers worked in a learning study together with a researcher in a cyclical process in order to create prerequisites and further identify conditions for students’ learning. During the learning study, data were collected from video-recorded lessons and stimulated recall sessions in which the teachers and the researcher reflected on the lessons to analyze their development of PCK, their students’ learning and the impact of that knowledge on their own teaching. The results provide an insight into how the teachers developed their self-understanding in which they questioned their own epistemological beliefs, aims and objectives of teaching and taken-for-granted assumptions about science teaching and learning. As such, the study provides an understanding of teacher professional learning through a careful investigation of how teachers’ PCK is enhanced through their participation in the learning study, and further, how students’ learning might be developed as a consequence.
    International Journal of Science Education 01/2014;
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Research in the field of students’ understandings of models and their use in science describes different frameworks concerning these understandings. Currently, there is no conjoint framework that combines these structures and so far, no investigation has focused on whether it reflects students' understandings sufficiently (empirical evaluation). Therefore, the purpose of this article is to present the results of an empirical evaluation of a conjoint theoretical framework. The theoretical framework integrates relevant research findings and comprises five aspects which are subdivided into three levels each: nature of models, multiple models, purpose of models, testing, and changing models. The study was conducted with a sample of 1,177 seventh to tenth graders (aged 11–19 years) using open-ended items. The data were analysed by identifying students' understandings of models (nature of models and multiple models) and their use in science (purpose of models, testing, and changing models), and comparing as well as assigning them to the content of the theoretical framework. A comprehensive category system of students' understandings was thus developed. Regarding the empirical evaluation, the students' understandings of the nature and the purpose of models were sufficiently described by the theoretical framework. Concerning the understandings of multiple, testing, and changing models, additional initial understandings (only one model possible, no testing of models, and no change of models) need to be considered. This conjoint and now empirically tested framework for students' understandings can provide a common basis for future science education research. Furthermore, evidence-based indications can be provided for teachers and their instructional practice.
    International Journal of Science Education 01/2014;
  • International Journal of Science Education 01/2014; 4(1):66-91.
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: This paper presents the third study of research trends in science education. In this review, a total of 990 papers published in the International Journal of Science Education, the Journal of Research in Science Teaching, and Science Education from 2008 to 2012 were analyzed. The results indicate that in the recent five years (2008–2012), the top three research topics in the published papers were those regarding the context of students' learning, science teaching, and students' conceptual learning. The changes in the most popular research topics in the past 15 years also evidentially indicate shifts in the journals' preferences and researchers' interest. For example, in 2003–2007, context of students' learning replaced students' conceptual learning, which was the most published research topic from 1998 to 2002. The research topic of students' learning contexts continued to rank the first in 2008–2012. Moreover, there was an increasing trend of research papers regarding science teaching from 1998 to 2012. The analysis of highly cited papers revealed that research topics such as argumentation, inquiry-based learning, and scientific modeling were recently highlighted by science educators. In recent 15 years, productive researchers' publications also focused on the topics about context of students' learning, science teaching, and students' conceptual learning.
    International Journal of Science Education 01/2014;
  • International Journal of Science Education 01/2014;
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: This paper presents a model of how children generate concrete concepts from perception through processes of differentiation and integration. The model informs the design of a novel methodology (evolutionary maps or emaps), whose implementation on certain domains unfolds the web of itineraries that children may follow in the construction of concrete conceptual knowledge and pinpoints, for each conception, the architecture of the conceptual change that leads to the scientific concept. Remarkably, the generative character of its syntax yields conceptions that, if unknown, amount to predictions that can be tested experimentally. Its application to the diurnal cycle (including the sun’s trajectory in the sky) indicates that the model is correct and the methodology works (in some domains). Specifically, said emap predicts a number of exotic trajectories of the sun in the sky that, in the experimental work, were drawn spontaneously both on paper and a dome. Additionally, the application of the emaps theoretical framework in clinical interviews has provided new insight into other cognitive processes. The field of validity of the methodology and its possible applications to science education are discussed.
    International Journal of Science Education 11/2013;
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    ABSTRACT: This paper discusses the nature of learner engagement with science content during small group discussions in which learners use their home languages. We observed that learners reverted to their home languages in small group discussions, yet very little is known about the dynamics of learner engagement when they use their home languages in classroom discussions in South Africa and elsewhere. We analysed transcripts of discussions by three small groups in a Grade 10 Chemistry class. Contrary to teachers' fears that learners may not engage meaningfully with science content when talking in their home languages, all three groups spent over 90% of discussion time on task. Learners made and supported claims, challenged each others' ideas and questioned each others' thinking. Although the levels of critique varied between the groups, there was evidence of negotiation of understandings of the concepts. We argue that use of learners' home languages for engagement with difficult concepts may be a legitimate resource for science teachers to create opportunities for learner conceptual understanding. Further research is needed to understand the dynamics of teacher and learner use of their languages in science lessons, the best teaching strategies to achieve this, how teacher educators may model these strategies without undermining the need by both parents and learners' for English language proficiency to access social goods.
    International Journal of Science Education 10/2013;

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