ISSN 1087-3430 Vol. 7 - No. 4 - June 2003
Thank you for your interest in the Electronic Journal of Science Education, the first electronic journal of its kind devoted to the timely sharing of science education issues via the World Wide Web. The editors and review board hope you find the enclosed articles academically and professionally valuable.
John R. Cannon, Editor and Publisher
David T. Crowther, Associate Editor and Publisher
University of Nevada, Reno
Table of Contents
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Adolescent Students' Images of an Environmental Scientist: An Opportunity for Constructivist Teaching
University of Southern Indiana
andRosalina V. Hairston
University of Southern Mississippi
Abstract The constructivist theory of building knowledge has influenced our understanding of learning and the practice of teaching. Studies on children's conception reveal that the learner actively constructs a meaning for the new information in the context of one's prior knowledge and personal experiences. This quantitative study presents a method of investigating the perceptions of 757 adolescent students about an environmental scientist and how their perceptions justify the use of constructivist learning model in environmental education. The projective instrument called Draw A Scientist Test (DAST) developed by Chambers (1983) and the scoring rubric called Draw a Scientist Test Checklist (DAST-C) designed by Finson, Beaver, and Cramond (1995) were adapted for this study. The resulting instrument called Draw an Environmental Scientist (DAEST) was used to collect the perceptions of junior high and high school students from eight rural schools in the southeastern region of the United States. The findings reveal that students perceive the image of an environmental scientist as a mosaic consisting of the standard image of a scientist, with alternative images related to gender, ethnic origin, and age. Additional images depicted by the locale, type and nature of the work, and the emotions of an environmental scientist were also drawn. To a large extent, the images reflect the students' prior knowledge and personal experiences with local surroundings and persons in science-related occupations. This study provides evidence that adolescent students are capable of constructing knowledge about an environmental scientist by using their prior learning and experiences. The results of this study support the use of constructivist-based curriculum and instructional strategies in environmental science education to enhance students' conceptual learning about the environment.
Integrating Electronic Forums and Concept Mapping With a Science Methods Course for Preservice Elementary Teachers
byJames A. Rye, Ph.D.
West Virginia University
andAndrew D. Katayama, Ph.D.
United States Air Force Academy
AbstractTeachers cite insufficient release time as a barrier for learning and planning to implement instructional technology. Undergraduate methods courses should respond by providing experiences for future educators to learn with technology. An action research project that spanned three annual offerings of an elementary science methods course sought to enhance preservice teachers' perceptions of the educational value and degree to which they would like to employ electronic forums and concept mapping. Related assignments engaged preservice teachers in developing, implementing in practicum, and sharing science instruction with their peers. Post-course ratings (years 1998, 1999, 2000) of preservice teachers' perceptions of the value and future use of electronic forums and concept mapping were analyzed via one-way ANOVA with Tukey paired comparisons: Statistically significant (p's = .000 to .011) increases were revealed for the year 2000 compared to one or both of the earlier offerings. These technology tools can foster a community-centered learning environment for preservice teachers while helping them master professional preparation competencies set forth in the National Educational Technology Standards.
Rules of Engagement: Proceed with Caution when Integrating Multimedia Learning Tools into Existing Course Formats
byMary Elizabeth Dawson, Ph.D.
Steven Skinner, Ed.D., and
Arthur Zeitlin, Ed.D.
Kingsborough Community College of The City University of New York
This paper investigates the effectiveness of the integration of a multimedia learning tool into an existing human anatomy and physiology course. Student outcomes were measured, and the change in student performance as a result of adding a multimedia learning approach is presented.
Science as a way of knowing:
Using Reader Response as a means to construct a personal understanding of science literature.
byRobert W. Blake, Jr., Ph.D.
andRobert W. Blake, Ed.D.
State University of New York College At Brockport
Reader Response, a three-component sequence of responding to text: initial response, feeling response, and memory response, was used to allow undergraduate elementary education pre-service interns to write reflective narratives to both fiction and non-fiction science related literature in an environmental science class. Reader Response provided a means for interns to understand scientific writing by constructing their own personal meaning of what they had read. Results from this project provide insight into how we can use science related literature as a means to move beyond science content and allow students opportunities to apply scientific understanding that is relevant to their lives. Implications of this study extend to elementary grades where children can incorporate reader response and respond to the embedded science in children's literature and extend an understanding of how scientific information impacts on their personal lives.
Special Section: Resources and Programs in Higher Education
compiled by David T. Crowther, Associate Editor, EJSE
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