Science Education

Published by Wiley
Online ISSN: 1098-237X
PIP The purpose of this paper is the examination of use and awareness of population education materials among 2 national samples of population education teachers. A 1974 sample included 593 teachers taken from 3 sources: participants in workshops, institutes, and training programs in population education between 1971-73; subscribers to the Population Reference Bureau publication, "Interchange," and population educators named by principals in a random sample of 1000 secondary schools. A 1976 survey sampled from lists of secondary school teachers maintained by the National Science Teachers Association, stratified to reflect national proportions of teachers of general science, environmental and earth science, social studies, and biology. Both surveys used mail questionnaires, with response rates of 47 and 46% resepctively. Educators were asked about their use and awareness of 20 population education materials (2 bogus materials were also included to check for overstatement). Data were also gathered form publishers of the materials to assess the availability and dissemination strategies of these materials. The inescapable conclusion is that, with few exceptions, these materials are finding little use in U.S. secondary school classrooms. The majority of the actual materials were reportedly used less than the bogus materials. Some evidence was found that suggest that training of teachers in population education increases to some degree the utilization of the materials. If dissemination of population materials is to be successful, materials have to be provided to larger numbers of teachers and instruction must be given on how best to utilize them within already established curricula.
In this study, students' views on the nature of science (NOS) were investigated with the use of a large-scale survey. An empirically derived multiple-choice format questionnaire was administered to 1702 Korean 6th, 8th, and 10th graders. The questionnaire consisted of five items that respectively examined students' views on five constructs concerning the NOS: purpose of science, definition of scientific theory, nature of models, tentativeness of scientific theory, and origin of scientific theory. Students were also asked to respond to an accompanying open-ended section for each item in order to collect information about the rationale(s) for their choices. The results indicated that the majority of Korean students possessed an absolutist/empiricist perspective about the NOS. It was also found that, on the whole, there were no clear differences in the distributions of 6th, 8th, and 10th graders' views on the NOS. In some questions, distinct differences between Korean students and those of Western countries were found. Educational implications are discussed. © 2004 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Sci Ed, 89:314–334, 2005
Analogical models are frequently used to explain science concepts at all levels of science teaching and learning. But models are more than communicative tools: they are important links in the methods and products of science. Different analogical models are regularly used to teach science in secondary schools even though little is known about how each student's mental models interact with the various models presented by teachers and in textbooks. Mounting evidence suggests that students do not interpret scientific analogical models in the way intended, nor do they find multiple and competing models easy to understand. The aim of this study is summarized in the research question: How can students' understanding of the multiple models used to explain upper secondary chemistry concepts be enhanced? This study qualitatively tracked ten students' modeling experiences, intellectual development, and conceptual status throughout grade 11 as they learned about atoms, molecules, and chemical bonds. This article reports in detail a year-long case study. The outcomes suggest that students who socially negotiated the shared and unshared attributes of common analogical models for atoms, molecules, and chemical bonds, used these models more consistently in their explanations. Also, students who were encouraged to use multiple particle models displayed more scientific understandings of particles and their interactions than did students who concentrated on a “correct” or best analogical model. The results suggest that, when analogical models are presented in a systematic way and capable students are given ample opportunity to explore model meaning and use, their understanding of abstract concepts is enhanced. © 2000 John Wiley & Sons, Inc. Sci Ed84:352–381, 2000.
Despite considerable focus on evolution knowledge–belief relationships, little research has targeted populations with strong content backgrounds, such as undergraduate degrees in biology. This study (1) measured precertified biology and non-biology teachers' (n = 167) knowledge of evolution and the nature of science; (2) quantified teacher preferences for the teaching of creationism in schools; (3) examined the associations among knowledge and belief variables; and (4) contrasted the knowledge and beliefs of prospective biology teachers with those of non-biology teachers. Methodologically, teacher knowledge was quantified by using three measures and studied in relation to certification area, self-reported religiosity, personal conflict concerning science and religion, and completion of an evolution course. We found (1) generally low levels of knowledge of evolution and the nature of science—and high misconception magnitudes—in both biology and non-biology teachers; (2) comparable antievolutionary positions in biology and non-biology teachers: nearly half of the teachers in both groups advocated for the inclusion of creationism in school; (3) weak association between knowledge and preference/belief variables; and (4) no difference in preference for teaching creationism between those teachers who had taken an evolution course and those who had not. Overall, biology and non-biology teachers were found to display “mixed” and “novice naturalistic” evolutionary reasoning patterns. © 2009 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Sci Ed93:1122–1146, 2009
The development of valid and reliable instruments for attitudes' measurement has been proven crucial for the quality of research. This study is dealing with the development and validation of an attitude toward chemistry instrument. By using this instrument, 11th grade Greek students' attitudes regarding the difficulty, the interest, the usefulness of chemistry course, and the importance of chemistry were investigated. Gender and study specialization differences in students' attitudes toward chemistry were examined for this population. Report card grades for the chemistry course were used to measure students' achievement in chemistry and its correlation with students' attitudes toward chemistry was explored. © 2004 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Sci Ed88:535–547, 2004
The purpose of this study was to explore the development over time of students' understandings of the concept of chemical reaction in the context of two familiar reactions in solution. The study is based on interviews of 48 students, aged 16–18, who had been successful in their year 11 examinations and had selected to study chemistry as one of their advanced level subjects in year 12 (age 16–17) and year 13 (age 17–18). All the students were interviewed (on a one-to-one basis) twice, once in year 12 and again in year 13, allowing progression in their understanding to be studied. The results show that students made some progress in their understanding of the concept of chemical reaction, but some fundamental misconceptions remained. © 2001 John Wiley & Sons, Inc. Sci Ed85:568–585, 2001.
Several investigators have reported difficulties in changing the alternative conceptions which high school students hold about aspects of mechanics. It has been suggested that students should be introduced to mechanics at a younger age because as they get older they become less willing or less able to change their ideas. To test this proposal, the present study was designed to find out whether older students were less ready to change their conceptions than younger students. Individual interviews were carried out with 63 students in year 6 (ages 11–12) and 66 students in year 10 (ages 15–16). Those students who held the alternative conception that “motion-implies-force” were asked to read a refutational text. This text was “student-centered” in that it was not presented as the correct answer, but rather as just another possible alternative which the student could consider. Immediate and delayed posttests, and the metacognitive responses of the students, showed that conceptual change had occurred in 35% of the year 6 group and 44% of the year 10 group who had read the text (although the difference in percentages was not significant). Therefore, there was no evidence to suggest that conceptual change is more difficult for older students. © 1997 John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
Top-cited authors
Peter W. Hewson
  • University of Wisconsin–Madison
Jonathan Osborne
  • Stanford University
Norman G. Lederman
  • Illinois Institute of Technology
Paul Edward Newton
  • Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation
Dana L. Zeidler
  • University of South Florida