Research in Science and Technological Education (Res Sci Technol Educ)

Publisher: Taylor & Francis (Routledge)

Journal description

Research in Science & Technological Education publishes original research from throughout the world dealing with science education and/or technological education. It publishes articles on psychological, sociological, economic and organisational aspects of science and technological education, as well as evaluation studies of curriculum development in these fields. Its main aim is to allow specialists working in these areas the opportunity of publishing their findings for the benefit of institutions, teachers and students. It is hoped that the journal will encourage high quality research that will lead to more effective practices, behaviours and curricula in science and technology within educational establishments.

Current impact factor: 0.28

Impact Factor Rankings

Additional details

5-year impact 0.00
Cited half-life 0.00
Immediacy index 0.00
Eigenfactor 0.00
Article influence 0.00
Website Research in Science & Technological Education website
Other titles Research in science & technological education (Online), Research in science and technological education
ISSN 0263-5143
OCLC 45090679
Material type Document, Periodical, Internet resource
Document type Internet Resource, Computer File, Journal / Magazine / Newspaper

Publisher details

Taylor & Francis (Routledge)

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    • SSH: Social Science and Humanities
    • Publisher last contacted on 25/03/2014
    • This policy is an exception to the default policies of 'Taylor & Francis (Routledge)'
  • Classification
    green

Publications in this journal

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Background: In the last few decades, researchers have turned their attention to students’ understanding of scientific concepts at different school levels. The results indicate that the learners have different ideas, and most of them are inaccurate in terms of those generally accepted by the scientific community.Purpose: This study was undertaken to describe the development, validation and use of a three-tier multiple-choice diagnostic test (PEMT) to reveal Turkish high school students’ common misconceptions in terms of the photoelectric effect.Sample: In this study, 243 students (male=86, female=137) from six high schools made up the sample which comprised approximately 76% of the 11th grade population.Design and Methods: Based on findings from the literature, open-ended questions and interviews, the PEMT was developed and administered to 243 students. The data was analysed descriptively.Results: The Cronbach’s alpha reliability coefficient of the scores was estimated as .83. Construct, content and face validities were established by senior experts and through the use of statistical techniques. The findings denoted that the test is a valid and reliable measure of students’ qualitative understanding of the photoelectric concept. The results revealed that the majority of the students demonstrated a limited understanding of the photoelectric effect and have five prevalent misconceptions. These are: (1) an increase in intensity would provide the photon with enough energy to release electrons; (2) the photoelectric effect results from the ionization of atoms through the interaction with light; (3) a light beam whose photons have smaller energies than the work function would release electrons with the help of a voltage source; (4) the number of photoelectrons depends on the energy of the photon and (5) the photon has kinetic energy and it depends on the colour of light. The last two misconceptions were discovered in the current study.Conclusion: The findings indicated that the PEMT is a reliable and valid measuring tool for investigating high school students’ conceptual understanding and misconceptions. Future studies could use the PEMT as a tool for assessing the misconceptions of high school students, pre-service science or pre-service physics teachers.
    No preview · Article · Jan 2016 · Research in Science and Technological Education
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    ABSTRACT: Background: Photovoice is one method that enables an educator to view an experience from a student’s perspective. This study examined how teachers might use photovoice during an informal learning experience to understand the students’ experiences and experiential gain. Design and methods: Participants in this study consisted of six students, three male and three female, ranging from ninth through twelfth grade at a rural Ohio high school, who attended a field trip to a biological field station for a four-day immersive science experience. Students were provided cameras to photograph what they believed was important, interesting, or significant during an immersive four-day science trip to a biological field station, individualizing their observations in ways meaningful to them, and enabling them to assimilate or accommodate the experiences to their schema. Results: Analysis identified five positive benefits to use photovoice as an evaluation tool: teachers were provided qualitative evidence to evaluate student interaction on the field trip; teachers could evaluate the students’ photographs and captions to determine if the field trip met the learning objectives; students were empowered to approach the goals and objectives of the field trip by making the field trip personally relevant; students assimilated and accommodated the new observations and experiences to their own schema; students automatically reflected upon the learning experience as they captioned the photos. Conclusions: Through photovoice, the teachers were enabled to qualitatively assess each student’s experience and learning from the field trip by illustrating what the students experienced and thought was significant; providing the teachers a method to evaluate all participating students, including those who are secretive or do not normally contribute to class discussions.
    No preview · Article · Jan 2016 · Research in Science and Technological Education
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    ABSTRACT: Background: One of the most important goals of science education is to enable students to understand the nature of science (NOS). However, generally regular science teaching in classrooms does not help students improve informed NOS views. Purpose: This study investigated the influence of an explicit reflective conceptual change approach compared with an explicit reflective inquiry-oriented approach on seventh graders’ understanding of NOS. Sample: The research was conducted with seventh grade students. A total of 44 students participated in the study. Design and method: The study was an interpretive study because this study focused on the meanings that students attach to target aspects of NOS. Participants were divided into two groups, each consisting of 22 students. One of the groups learned NOS with an explicit reflective conceptual change approach. The requirements of conceptual change were provided through the use of conceptual change texts and concept cartoons. The other group learned NOS with an explicit reflective inquiry-oriented approach. The data were collected through open-ended questionnaires and semi-structured interviews. These instruments were employed in a pre-test, a post-test and a delayed test. Students’ views of the aspects of NOS were categorized as naive, transitional and informed. Results: The result of this study indicated that before receiving instruction, most of the participants had transitional views of the tentative, empirical and imaginative and creative aspects of the NOS, and they had naive understandings of the distinction between observation and inference. The instruction in the experimental group led to a 60% – a 25% increase in the number of students who possessed an informed understanding of the tentative, empirical, creative and observation and inference aspect of the NOS. The instruction in the control group led to a 30% – a 15% increase in the informed NOS views. Conclusion: The explicit reflective conceptual change approach is more effective than the explicit reflective inquiry-oriented approach in improving participants’ NOS conceptions. Another conclusion of this study is that if NOS is taught within the explicit reflective conceptual change approach, learners can retain learned views long after instruction.
    No preview · Article · Nov 2015 · Research in Science and Technological Education
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    ABSTRACT: Background: Elementary Science Education is struggling with multiple challenges. National and State test results confirm the need for deeper understanding in elementary science education. Moreover, national policy statements and researchers call for increased exposure to engineering and technology in elementary science education. The basic motivation of this study is to suggest a solution to both improving elementary science education and increasing exposure to engineering and technology in it. Purpose/Hypothesis: This mixed-method study examined the impact of an engineering design-based curriculum compared to an inquiry-based curriculum on fifth graders’ content learning of simple machines. We hypothesize that the LEGO-engineering design unit is as successful as the inquiry-based unit in terms of students’ science content learning of simple machines. Design/Method: We used a mixed-methods approach to investigate our research questions; we compared the control and the experimental groups’ scores from the tests and interviews by using Analysis of Covariance (ANCOVA) and compared each group’s pre- and post-scores by using paired t-tests. Results: Our findings from the paired t-tests show that both the experimental and comparison groups significantly improved their scores from the pre-test to post-test on the multiple-choice, open-ended, and interview items. Moreover, ANCOVA results show that students in the experimental group, who learned simple machines with the design-based unit, performed significantly better on the interview questions. Conclusions: Our analyses revealed that the design-based Design a people mover: Simple machines unit was, if not better, as successful as the inquiry-based FOSS Levers and pulleys unit in terms of students’ science content learning.
    No preview · Article · Nov 2015 · Research in Science and Technological Education
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    ABSTRACT: Background : Studies have shown that students’ knowledge of osmosis and diffusion and the concepts associated with these processes is often inaccurate. This is important to address, as these concepts not only provide the foundation for more advanced topics in biology and chemistry, but are also threaded throughout both state and national science standards. Purpose : In this study, designed to determine the completeness and accuracy of three specific students’ knowledge of molecule movement, concentration gradients, and equilibrium, I sought to address the following question: Using multiple evaluative methods, how can students’ knowledge of molecule movement, concentration gradients, and equilibrium be characterized? Sample : This study focuses on data gathered from three students – Emma, Henry, and Riley – all of whom were gifted/honors ninth-grade biology students at a suburban high school in the southeast United States. Design and Methods : Using various qualitative data analysis techniques, I analyzed multiple sources of data from the three students, including multiple-choice test results, written free-response answers, think-aloud interview responses, and student drawings. Results : Results of the analysis showed that students maintained misconceptions about molecule movement, concentration gradients, and equilibrium. The conceptual knowledge students demonstrated differed depending on the assessment method, with the most distinct differences appearing on the multiple-choice versus the free-response questions, and in verbal versus written formats. Conclusions : Multiple levels of assessment may be required to obtain an accurate picture of content knowledge, as free-response and illustrative tasks made it difficult for students to conceal any misconceptions. Using a variety of assessment methods within a section of the curriculum can arguably help to provide a deeper understanding of student knowledge and learning, as well as illuminate misconceptions that may have remained unknown if only one assessment method was used. Furthermore, beyond simply evaluating past learning, multiple assessment methods may aid in student comprehension of key concepts.
    No preview · Article · Sep 2015 · Research in Science and Technological Education
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    ABSTRACT: Background: Density is difficult to learn and teach in middle schools. This study, hypothesizing that the density concept develops as part of a conceptual system, used a conceptual change approach to teaching density. The approach emphasized the use of multiple strategies to teach the density concept and the associated concepts in the conceptual system.Purpose: This study assessed post-instructional understanding of different aspects of density in a sample of seventh grade students, examined the effectiveness of the multi-dimensional approach in teaching density, investigated the relations between prior student characteristics and their post-instructional understanding, and investigated if the concept of density develops as part of a conceptual system.Program description: In the first part of the study, student understanding of density was assessed in regular classrooms. In the second part, the investigator and a science teacher co-taught the density unit over a two-week period emphasizing relations between density, mass, volume, part-whole relations, and a scientific particulate conception of matter. A conceptual change approach was used which emphasized multiple representations of knowledge and the use of analogies.Sample: The sample in regular classes consisted of 1645 seventh graders in 51 schools in the West Bank, Palestine. The intervention group consisted of 29 students in one school.Design and methods: The post-instructional understanding of density in 51 regularly taught classrooms was assessed in the first part of the study using a pencil-and paper test. In the second part, a pre-test was used with the intervention group. Students in both parts of the study took the same post-test. Descriptive statistics were calculated to describe student performance. Comparison between pre-test and post-test performance of students in the intervention group was conducted using t-test and ANOVA. Correlations between pre-test sub-scores and post-test scores for students in the intervention class also were calculated. X2 was used to test for co-development of the density concept and other concepts using the different items of the post-test for all groups.Results: Student understanding of density was found poor after instruction, while the intervention had a moderate effect on understanding. Students who started with a basic understanding of some aspects of density gained more from the intervention. The density concept co-developed with the concept of volume and a particulate conception of matter.Conclusions: Teaching density as part of a conceptual system helps promote understanding of the concept. This requires the continuous development and refinement of a learning progression of density, volume, and the particulate nature of matter on the one hand, and an in-depth treatment while teaching the concept on the other hand.
    No preview · Article · Aug 2015 · Research in Science and Technological Education
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    ABSTRACT: Background: Research on biosecurity is important as New Zealand’s agricultural export-driven economy is susceptible to biosecurity threats. Because New Zealand is reliant on the primary industries to drive its economy, bovine diseases such as foot and mouth could have a devastating effect on the economy. Purpose: Making sure that the general public are aware of the importance of maintaining biosecurity is crucial in order to protect New Zealand’s economy, human health, the environment, and social and cultural values. New Zealand Year 9 students’ knowledge of biosecurity was gauged as these students represented the next generation of individuals tasked to maintain biosecurity in New Zealand. Design: A qualitative approach using the interpretive mode of inquiry was used to investigate the knowledge about biosecurity with New Zealand Year 9 students. Questionnaires and interviews were the data collection tools. Sample: One hundred and seventy-one students completed a questionnaire that consisted of Likert-type questions and open-ended questions. Nine students were interviewed about their knowledge. Results: The findings showed that New Zealand Year 9 students lacked specific knowledge about unwanted plants, animals and microorganisms. These students saw illicit drug plants as unwanted plants and mainly saw possums as unwanted animals in New Zealand. Their knowledge about unwanted microorganisms in New Zealand was dominated by human-disease-causing microbes. A lack of knowledge of biosecurity issues in New Zealand was seen as the major factor in these students limited understanding of biosecurity. Conclusions: Based on these findings, it can be said that knowledge of an issue is critical in enabling individuals to develop an understanding about biosecurity. Explicit teaching of biosecurity-related curriculum topics could provide New Zealand Year 9 students with an opportunity to develop knowledge about biosecurity in New Zealand.
    No preview · Article · Jul 2015 · Research in Science and Technological Education
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    ABSTRACT: Background and purpose : The purpose of this study was to investigate and identify the nature and the interrelatedness of pre-service teachers’ misconceptions and scientific concepts for explaining dissolving before, during, and after a 5E learning cycle lesson on dissolving, the intervention. Sample, design, and methods : Guided by Vygotsky’s theory of concept development, the study focused specifically on the spontaneous, and spontaneous pseudo-concepts held by the 61 elementary pre-service teachers during a 15-week science methods course. Data included concept maps, interview transcripts, written artifacts, drawings, and narratives, and were thematically analyzed to classify concepts and interrelatedness. Results : Results of the study showed that spontaneous pseudo-concepts (1) dominated pre-service teachers’ understandings about dissolving throughout the study, and (2) were simply associated with scientific concepts during and after the intervention. Conclusion : Collectively, the results indicated that the pre-service teachers’ did not acquire a unified system of knowledge about dissolving that could be characterized as abstract, generalizable, and hierarchical. Implications include the need for (1) familiarity with pre-service teachers’ prior knowledge about science content; (2) a variety of formative assessments to assess their misconceptions; (3) emphasizing the importance of dialectical method for concept development during instruction; and (4) skillful content instructors.
    No preview · Article · Jun 2015 · Research in Science and Technological Education
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    ABSTRACT: Background: Students’ daily-life experiences may render favorable effects on the students’ affective domain like interest, enthusiasm, motivation, joy, curiosity, awareness, and eagerness to learn science as not commonly found in the classroom environment. However, no rigorous research has been reported on those aspects in Mainland China despite many recent studies done in various Western countries.
    No preview · Article · Apr 2015 · Research in Science and Technological Education
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    ABSTRACT: Background:Misconceptions are major obstacles to learning physics, and the concepts of heat and temperature are some of the common misconceptions that are encountered in daily life. Therefore, it is important to develop valid and reliable tools to determine students’ misconceptions about basic thermodynamics concepts. Three-tier tests are effective assessment tools to determine misconceptions in physics. Although a limited number of three-tier tests about heat and temperature are discussed in the literature, no reports discuss three-tier tests that simultaneously consider heat, temperature and internal energy.Purpose:The aim of this study is to develop a valid and reliable three-tier test to determine students’ misconceptions about heat, temperature and internal energy.Sample:The sample consists of 462 11th-grade Anatolian high school students. Of the participants, 46.8% were female and 53.2% were male.Design and methods:This research takes the form of a survey study. Initially, a multiple-choice test was developed. To each multiple-choice question was added one open-ended question asking the students to explain their answers. This test was then administered to 259 high school students and the data were analyzed both quantitatively and qualitatively. The students’ answers for each open-ended question were analyzed and used to create the choices for the second-tier questions of the test. Depending on those results, a three-tier Heat, Temperature and Internal Energy Diagnostic Test (HTIEDT) was developed by adding a second-tier and certainty response index to each item. This three-tier test was administered to the sample of 462 high school students.Results:The Cronbach alpha reliability for the test was estimated for correct and misconception scores as .75 and .68, respectively. The results of the study suggested that HTIEDT could be used as a valid and reliable test in determining misconceptions about heat, temperature and internal energy concepts.
    No preview · Article · Apr 2015 · Research in Science and Technological Education
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    ABSTRACT: Background:The nature of technology has been rarely discussed despite the fact that technology plays an essential role in modern society. It is important to discuss students’ concepts of the nature of technology, and further to advance their technological literacy and adaptation to modern society. There is a need to assess high school students’ concepts of the nature of technology.Purpose:This study aims to engage in discourse on students’ concepts of the nature of technology based on a proposed theoretical framework. Moreover, another goal is to develop an instrument for measuring students’ concepts of the nature of technology.Sample:Four hundred and fifty-five high school students’ perceptions of technology were qualitatively analyzed. Furthermore, 530 students’ responses to a newly developed questionnaire were quantitatively analyzed in the final test.Design and method:First, content analysis was utilized to discuss and categorize students’ statements regarding technology and its related issues. The Student Concepts of the Nature of Technology Questionnaire was developed based on the proposed theoretical framework and was supported by the students’ qualitative data. Finally, exploratory factor analysis and reliability analysis were applied to determine the structure of the items and the internal consistency of each scale.Results:Through a process of instrument development, the Student Concepts of the Nature of Technology Questionnaire was shown to be a valid and reliable tool for measuring students’ concepts of the nature of technology. This newly developed questionnaire is composed of 29 items in six scales, namely ‘technology as artifacts,’ ‘technology as an innovation change,’ ‘the current role of technology in society,’ ‘technology as a double-edged sword,’ ‘technology as a science-based form,’ and ‘history of technology.’Conclusions:The Student Concepts of the Nature of Technology Questionnaire has been confirmed as a reasonably valid and reliable instrument. This study provides a useful questionnaire for educational researchers and practitioners for measuring students’ concepts of the nature of technology.
    No preview · Article · Jan 2015 · Research in Science and Technological Education
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    ABSTRACT: Background:Nanotechnology education has become an urgent priority to nurture skilled human resources for the rapidly developing nanotechnology-related industries. The promotion of popular science education focusing on nanotechnology is an ideal approach to bridge the gaps in formal curricula, and to stimulate curiosity about and interest in nanotechnology among schoolchildren.Purpose:The objective of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of the Nanotechnology-based Popular Science Education Promotion and Teaching (NPSEPT) program through camp activity that was implemented in elementary schools in I-Lan City, Taiwan.Program description:To create a competitive advantage, a human resources development program was implemented as one of the nanotechnology incubation projects in Taiwan and focused on developing an appropriately-skilled professional workforce as well as promoting popular science education.Sample:The volunteer research participants were 323 sixth grade students in four elementary schools in I-Lan City, Taiwan, who were evaluated at the beginning and the end of the nanotechnology-based popular science promotion camp activity.Design and methods:A research tool called the ‘NPSEPT test’ was designed specifically for this study and was approved by experts who evaluated its content and face validity. The questionnaire was divided into three aspects: ‘Nanophenomena in the natural world’; ‘Nanomaterials and their scaling effects’; and ‘Definition, characteristics, and applications of nanotechnology.’ The effectiveness of learning among the students was analyzed using descriptive statistics, a paired sample t-test, analysis of variance (ANOVA) and a post hoc comparison.Results:The results of the three-part ‘NPSEPT test’ revealed that NPSEPT significantly advanced nanotechnology learning performance and outcomes among students in the four participating elementary schools. Of the 15 questions included in the NPSEPT test, positive change for more than 30% of students was achieved for eight questions related to nanotechnology concepts.Conclusions:Significant effectiveness of the NPSEPT program and nanotechnology learning outcomes of the elementary school students were observed. The NPSEPT program should therefore be considered an appropriate program to promote popular science with a focus on nanotechnology in elementary schools.
    No preview · Article · Jan 2015 · Research in Science and Technological Education
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    ABSTRACT: Background:Today, for most of us, technology is a vital and inevitable part of our lives. Due to its widespread use, a great emphasis is being given to educating generations about technology. And, every individual has his/her own style of organizing and collecting information.Purpose:The purpose of the present study is to identify the relationship between pre-service science teachers’ cognitive styles and their cognitive structures about technology.Sample:The study was conducted with the participation of first and third grade pre-service science teachers majoring in Science Education in the Faculty of Education at Abant İzzet Baysal University in the spring semester of 2012–2013.Design and methods:The study was designed as a case study and a qualitative research method was used. Students were administered two instruments: Group Embedded Figures Test (GEFT) and a Word Association Test (WAT).Results:Results clearly suggested that the first grade participants with a field-dependent cognitive style were better at associating concepts when compared to those with a field-independent cognitive style. And, participants with a field-dependent style, could form more connections between the technology-related concepts. A comparison of the findings on the field-dependent participants by their grade demonstrated that the first and third grade participants with a field-dependent cognitive style got similar scores in terms of the total number of words generated for each key concept.Conclusions:Considering that education is for individuals, it is impossible to ignore individual differences during the process. The most interesting finding of the present study is that field-dependent individuals have a higher cognitive structure, unlike that which has been asserted so far in the literature.
    No preview · Article · Jan 2015 · Research in Science and Technological Education
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    ABSTRACT: Background: There are some theoretical evidences that explain the relationships between core beliefs (i.e., epistemological beliefs) and peripheral beliefs (self-efficacy in learning) in the literature. The close relationships of such type of beliefs with attitudes are also discussed by some researchers. Constructing a model that investigates these relationships by considering theoretical and empirical evidences can empower researchers to discuss these relationships more comprehensively. Purpose: The purpose of this study is to explore the relationships among Turkish high school students’ scientific epistemological beliefs, self-efficacy in learning physics and their attitudes toward physics. Sample: A total of 632 high school students participated in this study; however, 269 female and 229 male (a total of 498) high school students’ data were used. Design and methods: Three distinct instruments that measure scientific epistemological beliefs, self-efficacy in learning physics and attitudes toward physics were combined into a unique questionnaire form and it was distributed to high school students. To explore the relationships among these variables, structural equation modeling was used. Results: The results showed that scientific epistemological belief dimensions uncovered by the nature of knowing (source and justification) significantly and positively related to both self-efficacy in learning physics and attitudes toward other important physics dimensions. Additionally, self-efficacy in learning physics significantly and positively predicted attitudes toward multiple physics dimensions (importance, comprehension and requirement). However, epistemological belief dimensions related to the nature of knowledge (certainty and development) did not have significant impact on self-efficacy in learning physics or attitudes toward physics. Conclusions: This study concludes that there are positive and significant relationships among Turkish high school students’ scientific epistemological beliefs, self-efficacy in learning physics and their attitudes toward physics.
    No preview · Article · Jan 2015 · Research in Science and Technological Education