James H. Wandersee

Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, United States

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Publications (40)76.93 Total impact

  • Renee M. Clary, James H. Wandersee
    Geoheritage 12/2014; 6(4):241-256. DOI:10.1007/s12371-014-0116-x · 1.67 Impact Factor
  • Renee M. Clary, James H. Wandersee
    Journal of Geoscience Education 09/2014; 62(3):402-409. DOI:10.5408/13-077.1
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    Renee M. Clary, James H. Wandersee
    Earth Sciences, 02/2012; , ISBN: 978-953-307-861-8
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    ABSTRACT: Karpicke and Blunt (Reports, 11 February 2011, p. 772) reported that retrieval practice produces greater gains in learning than elaborative studying with concept mapping and concluded that this strategy is a powerful way to promote meaningful learning of complex concepts commonly found in science education. We question their findings on methodological and epistemological grounds.
    Science 10/2011; 334(6055):453; author reply 453. DOI:10.1126/science.1203698 · 31.48 Impact Factor
  • Renee M. Clary, James H. Wandersee
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    ABSTRACT: William Buckland (1784–1846) first identified and scientifically studied coprolites in the early 1820s. Although some of his contemporaries did not look favorably upon him or his research, Buckland's early experiments advanced paleoecology and taphonomy. Because our informal presentations with coprolites resulted in students' spirited reactions, we investigated whether coprolite introduction, accompanied with its history of science, had potential for meaningful learning in K-12 Earth Science classrooms. Practicing Earth Science teachers (N = 28) enrolled in an online paleontology course researched coprolites, identified potential student interest, and designed coprolite activities for their individual classrooms. Resulting projects were diverse and creative, and incorporated investigations into fossilization processes, paleoenvironments, food chains, and geologic time. In anonymous surveys, teachers indicated that their students' interest in coprolites is high. We propose inclusion of coprolites and their history in Earth Science classrooms as a portal to hook students' interest and as springboard to additional scientific topics.
    10/2011; 111(6):262 - 273. DOI:10.1111/j.1949-8594.2011.00087.x
  • James H. Wandersee, Joel J. Mintzes, Mary W. Arnaudin
    03/2010; 89(8):654 - 668. DOI:10.1111/j.1949-8594.1989.tb11978.x
  • Renee M. Clary, James H. Wandersee
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    ABSTRACT: Archive-based, historical research of materials produced during the Golden Age of Geology (1788–1840) uncovered scientific caricatures (SCs) which may serve as a unique form of knowledge representation for students today. SCs played important roles in the past, stimulating critical inquiry among early geologists and fueling debates that addressed key theoretical issues. When historical SCs were utilized in a large-enrollment college Earth History course, student response was positive. Therefore, we offered SCs as an optional assessment tool. Paired t-tests that compared individual students’ performances with the SC option, as well as without the SC option, showed a significant positive difference favoring scientific caricatures (α=0.05). Content analysis of anonymous student survey responses revealed three consistent findings: (a) students enjoyed expressing science content correctly but creatively through SCs, (b) development of SCs required deeper knowledge integration and understanding of the content than conventional test items, and (c) students appreciated having SC item options on their examinations, whether or not they took advantage of them. We think that incorporation of SCs during assessment may effectively expand the variety of methods for probing understanding, thereby increasing the mode validity of current geoscience tests.
    Science & Education 01/2010; 19(1):21-37. DOI:10.1007/s11191-008-9178-y · 0.72 Impact Factor
  • Renee M. Clary, Robert F. Brzuszek, James H. Wandersee
    Journal of Geoscience Education 09/2009; 57(4):275-. DOI:10.5408/1.3544278
  • Renee M. Clary, James H. Wandersee
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    ABSTRACT: Amber is a fossil by itself, and can also contain plants and animals that lived millions of years ago. Some of these perfectly preserved specimens give scientists a convenient window to past environments, including the biology, ecology, geology, and chemistry of Earth's past. By using an interdisciplinary approach, we can demonstrate to students a more accurate representation of the scientific community, which does not work in isolation. (Contains 6 figures.)
    01/2009;
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    Renee M. Clary, James H. Wandersee
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    ABSTRACT: In June 2009, the U.S. Department of Education released a meta-analysis of online learning studies that detailed strong support for online learning. The authors of this report, however, cautioned that online students' increased interaction--as well as differences in curriculum and pedagogy--did not allow a direct comparison between online and traditional classrooms. Moreover, the positive learning benefits of online education examined in this report applied only to K-12 students. Can online education also provide an effective learning environment for teachers? In this article, the authors sought teachers' opinions on whether online classrooms provided opportunities for successful professional development, especially when the online courses were "science" content courses, and the methods for content delivery included active-learning strategies and informal education sites. Using research literature that documented best practices for content delivery, the authors designed their online science classrooms to include the integration of informal environments and assignments that would provide active learning and inquiry-based learning benefits. In their online courses, the authors sought to discover whether science instruction delivered through an online environment could help close the gap in teachers' knowledge of science. Through multiple semesters of their online science courses, the authors' surveys revealed that teachers enjoyed opportunities that (1) transported them beyond the confines of their computer environment; and (2) facilitated relationships with their online colleagues and local communities. From their research and the survey responses, the authors found that teachers are tremendously positive when discussing the value of the online environment for furthering their content knowledge in the subjects they teach.
    12/2008; DOI:10.1080/00228958.2009.10516689
  • Renee M. Clary, James H. Wandersee
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    ABSTRACT: Henry T. De la Beche (1796–1855) began his geological career within an elite circle (Geological Society of London, 1817; FRS, 1819), collaborating with influential gentlemen geologists and publishing original research. When his independent income dwindled, De la Beche managed to secure governmental funding for his mapping projects. This led to recognition of the Geological Ordnance Survey (1835) with De la Beche as director. However, De la Beche’s most influential role emerged from his unique position of successfully bridging the privileged circle of gentlemen geologists and the working class of emerging professionals. Henry De la Beche advocated education and knowledge of the Earth for all social classes. He used his government influence to lobby for the establishment of facilities and organizations dedicated to geology’s growing professionalization and popularization. The Museum of Practical Geology, School of Mines, and Mining Records Office were founded largely through his efforts, and each included educational components. De la Beche believed that geological instruction should transcend social boundaries, and thus he was an early advocate for the instruction of lower classes. Henry De la Beche can be acknowledged as an early champion of geological literacy for the general population.
    Science & Education 10/2008; 18(10):1359-1375. DOI:10.1007/s11191-008-9177-z · 0.72 Impact Factor
  • Renee M. Clary, James H. Wandersee
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    ABSTRACT: Mixed methods research conducted across three semesters in introductory college geology classes (n = 187, 190, 138) attempted to ascertain whether integrated study of petrified wood could serve as a portal to improved student geobiological understanding of fossilization, geologic time, and evolution. The Petrified Wood Survey™ was administered as a preinstructional and postinstructional assessment in control and experimental classes; the experimental class received integrated petrified wood instruction. Paired t tests of differences in students' pre- and postinstructional scores for control and experimental groups revealed significance (α = 0.05, effect size = 0.79, confidence interval 0.56–1.01). The students with integrative study showed greater knowledge gains about petrified wood's abundance, properties, nature, location, and geologic time. However, understanding of fossilization geochemistry remained problematic for both groups. © 2006 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Res Sci Teach 44: 1011–1035, 2007
    Journal of Research in Science Teaching 10/2007; 44(8):1011 - 1035. DOI:10.1002/tea.20178 · 2.64 Impact Factor
  • John E. Trowbridge, James H. Wandersee
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    ABSTRACT: The purpose of this research study was to (a) describe how concept mapping can be used as an integral instructional strategy for teaching a college course on evolution, (b) evaluate the utility of incorporating concept mapping in a college course on evolution, (c) determine whether students' concept maps reveal “critical junctures” in learning as the course unfolds, and (d) assess the impact of concept mapping on students' study practices and on students' understanding of course content. Key findings include: (a) Critical junctures in learning evolution can be identified by monitoring the degree of concordance of superordinate concepts appearing on the class set of concept maps submitted after each of the course lectures; (b) students who made concept maps reported spending an average of 37% more study time on this college biology course than on their previous biology courses; and (c) the use of “seed concepts,” “micromapping,” a standard concept map format, and a standard concept map checklist made the strategy feasible for the instructor to implement and for the student to adopt. A concept map performance index formulas was also developed for this research study in order to assess students' overall mapping performance.
    Journal of Research in Science Teaching 05/2007; 31(5):459 - 473. DOI:10.1002/tea.3660310504 · 2.64 Impact Factor
  • James H. Wandersee
    The American Biology Teacher 12/2006; 69(Jan 2007):16-23. DOI:10.1662/0002-7685(2007)69[16:LOTTAC]2.0.CO;2 · 0.37 Impact Factor
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    Renee M Clary, James H Wandersee
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    ABSTRACT: Asteroids Asteroids oh so scary Some are big and some are glary When you see one in the night It could give you quite a fright Flying across the sky so fast It's quite a surprise they really last They killed out dinosaurs in the past It must have been quite a blast They've been known to fly everywhere Day and night here and there Some of them in the asteroid belt If one hit Antarctica it could melt They could hit a truck and kill a duck And kill a bull about to buck Riding one would be quite fun You'd be going faster than a bullet from a gun Camden McCosker, 11 years Australia Poem Neutron, photon, electron and ion Science only turns my brain on. Bugs and animals, plants and trees Give me some biology please. Abstract Because many incoming geoscience students did not acknowledge their previous personal encounters with the earth's geological processes or products, we developed the Geological Sense of Place (GSP) template as a convenient way to assess students' earth science backgrounds through short answer, mini-essay, and induced associative responses. The GSP was administered in introductory earth science courses for elementary education majors (n = 42, n = 56), and in a non-major introductory physical geology course (n = 148) at a large research university in Louisiana (US). Student opinions about the GSP were gathered as part of anonymous electronic surveys at the end of the semester (earth science courses, n = 45, n = 56; physical geology course, n = 134). Students reported that the GSP integrated their past life experiences with geology, and initiated geological thinking. Our research indicates that the GSP provides teachers with a standard method to ascertain students' personal geological knowledge and experiences before instruction begins, and to incorporate these experiences into the classroom. Teachers can determine the impact of instruction on knowledge integration by comparing initial GSP student responses with responses in the post-instruction section of the GSP.
    The American Biology Teacher 09/2006; 5(Sep 2006). DOI:10.1662/0002-7685(2006)68[419:AWTFPS]2.0.CO;2 · 0.37 Impact Factor
  • Renee M. Clary, James H. Wandersee
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    ABSTRACT: Aquarium views, or AqViews, offer a glimpse into a split-phase aquatic system that is not normally afforded to terrestrial viewers. Although geologist Henry De la Beche created the AqView prototype two decades before the advent of the aquarium, this graphic type did not become popular until after the Victorian aquarium craze. We investigate the historical development and construct a comprehensive typology of AqViews that can be used by science teachers. We identify variations on the AqView, as well as a broader category encompassing non-aquatic systems, the PhaseView. Our research indicates that horizontal, cross-sectional representation of underwater scenes now appears to be the default position for some textbook authors, artists, and students. In spite of this, we believe AqViews are currently untapped resources for learning in science classrooms, and offer potential for enhancing science instruction, assessment, and visual literacy.
    Science & Education 07/2005; 14(6):579-596. DOI:10.1007/s11191-004-7691-1 · 0.72 Impact Factor
  • Robin E. Ward, James H. Wandersee
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    ABSTRACT: This study explored the effects of Roundhouse diagram construction on a previously low-performing middle school science student's struggles to understand abstract science concepts and principles. It is based on a metacognition-based visual learning model proposed by Wandersee in 1994. Ward and Wandersee introduced the Roundhouse diagram strategy and showed how it could be applied in science education. This article aims at elucidating the process by which Roundhouse diagramming helps learners bootstrap their current understandings to reach the intended meaningful understanding of complex science topics. The main findings of this study are that (a) it is crucial that relevant prior knowledge and dysfunctional alternative conceptions not be ignored during new learning if low-performing science students are to understand science well; (b) as the student's mastery of the Roundhouse diagram construction improved, so did science achievement; and (c) the student's apt choice of concept-related visual icons aided progress toward meaningful understanding of complex science concepts.
    International Journal of Science Education 06/2002; 24(6):575-591. DOI:10.1080/09500690110074017 · 1.23 Impact Factor
  • Robin E. Ward, James H. Wandersee
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    ABSTRACT: This multiple case study explored the effects of Roundhouse diagram construction and use on meaningful learning of science concepts in a sixth-grade classroom. The investigation examined three issues: (1) the transformation of students' science conceptions as they become more proficient in constructing Roundhouse diagrams; (2) problems students encountered using this technique; and (3) the effect of choices of iconic images on their progress toward meaningfully learning science concepts. A Roundhouse diagram is a graphic representation of a learner's conceptual understanding regarding a predetermined science topic. This method involves recognizing the main ideas within a science lesson, breaking down the information into interrelated segments, and then linking each portion to an iconic image. These students typically gained a greater understanding of science explanations by constructing the diagrams. Student's science scores improved over the 10-week diagramming period and a positive relationship existed between students' choices and drawings of iconic images and the meaningful learning of science topics.
    International Journal of Science Education 02/2002; 24(2-2):205-225. DOI:10.1080/09500690110074008 · 1.23 Impact Factor
  • Phyllis Baudoin Griffard, James H. Wandersee
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    ABSTRACT: The goal of this study was to understand how six college biology students complete the tasks of a traditional paper and pencil instrument designed to detect alternative conceptions about photosynthesis. Participants responded to relevant items in a two-tier diagnostic instrument in a think-aloud task. Responses to the traditional content question (first tier) were correct more often than reasons (second tier). However the participants' verbal data indicated that they relied upon test-taking strategies, not retrieval from memory, to choose their reasons. Some distractors caused participants to accept incorrect propositions being considered for the first time (rather than eliciting a misconception from extant knowledge). They also considered relevant exceptions and subtle language cues that justified their choices of incorrect reasons. Participants voiced concerns about the conscientiousness with which students complete such instruments. These findings raise concerns about the validity of using such instruments for diagnosing alternative conceptions.
    International Journal of Science Education 10/2001; 23(10-10):1039-1052. DOI:10.1080/09500690110038549 · 1.23 Impact Factor
  • Joel J. Mintzes, James H. Wandersee, Joseph D. Novak
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    ABSTRACT: This paper discusses several new assessment strategies that encourage meaningful learning and conceptual understanding in the biological sciences. Our purpose is to introduce a handful of evaluation and measurement techniques that help students assimilate well-integrated, strongly cohesive frameworks of interrelated concepts as a way of facilitating ‘real understanding’ of natural phenomena. Among these methods are concept maps, V diagrams, SemNet software, image-based test items, clinical interviews, portfolios, written products, performance measures, and conceptual diagnostic tests. Evidence suggests that these methods are most useful at highlighting ‘alternative conceptions’ and assisting students who wish to ‘learn how to learn’.
    Journal of biological education 06/2001; 35(3):118-124. DOI:10.1080/00219266.2001.9655759 · 0.42 Impact Factor