Middle school classroom predictors of science persistence

International Center for the Advancement of Scientific Literacy, Chicago Academy of Science, Chicago, Illinois 60614
Journal of Research in Science Teaching (Impact Factor: 2.64). 08/2006; 31(7):721 - 734. DOI: 10.1002/tea.3660310705

ABSTRACT Very little research has been conducted to determine whether instructional practices experienced by young adolescents have lasting effects that can be connected to persistence in the study of science years later. The current study examined the question of whether variables associated with middle school classroom practices and instructional emphasis would contribute to a prediction of science course placement in the 11th grade. A LISREL analysis was performed to create a model that ties middle school classroom experiences to later course placement. Variables associated with a holistic approach to science and with clarity of presentation were retained in the final model.

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: This study investigated relationships among the use of web and human resource during science class and science career interest. Results suggested that levels of science career interest could be predicted based on classroom use of web and human resources. Regular use of human resources was predictive of science career interests for boys and girls. Use of web resources was only predictive of girl's interests, on average, 7 points higher on a 36-point scale than girls who did not use web resources. Girls who used both resources scored 16 points higher than girls who used neither. Two other predictor variables found included (1) teachers who lacked science background and used web resources regularly and (2) level of student-centered instructional strategies used in the classroom. Further research is suggested.
    Journal of Career Development 03/2005; 31(3):171-184. · 1.52 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Reflective thinking skills are important in a Problem-Based Learning environment by helping learners to deeply engage in problem- solving process. Literature suggests several key factors prompt learners' reflection (task, instructional methods, learning environment, and scaffolding tools). However, the research on learners' perception of factors prompting reflective think ing in a PBL environment is limited. In addition, it is not clear whether there is a difference in perceptions of those factors according to learners' developmental stages. The results of this study indicated that both middle school students and college students perceived two factors as helpful to their reflective thinking : learning environment and scaffolding tools. Middle school students perceived learning environment as the most helpful factor where as college students perceived scaffolding tools. Differences in learners' perception were also found in the most helpful elements in the identified factors of each group. Suggestions are given for designing developmentally appropriate PBL learning environments that support reflective thinking based on these results.
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Reflective thinking is important to young adolescents as they develop their thinking skills. Various instructional methods have been recommended to support reflective thinking, yet the nature of the underlying factors of these methods is unclear. Exploratory factor analysis was used to determine the factors prompting reflective thinking. Results of this study suggest that young students perceived three clusters of methods as supporting their reflection: reflective learning environments, reflective teaching methods, and reflective scaffolding tools. A one-way within subjects ANOVA showed that the most helpful factor was the reflective learning environment, with the most helpful elements being freedom and collaboration. Students' perceptions of concept- mapping and reflective-question prompts were found to differ significantly across gender. Recommendations are provided for designing learning environments that prompt reflective thinking.