ISSN 1087-3430 Vol. 9 - No. 3 - March 2005
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
Editor's note: The EJSE will no longer be published in HTML as of February 2003. The format that will be used in future publications will be PDF. If you do not have Acrobat Reader, please click on the "Get Reader" graphic below to download the program free of charge. Once the Acrobat Reader loads the article, use the back button on your browser to return to the EJSE..
Student Understanding of the Primitive Spring Concept:
Effects of Prior Classroom Instruction and Gender
Mark J. Lattery
University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh
A basic understanding of spring phenomena is fundamental to the development of other higher-order concepts in physics, such as the normal force and action-reaction forces. In this study, we investigate the prevalence of the primitive spring concept (a qualitative version of Hooke's Law) among college students taking physical science and astronomy. Students are asked to compare forces felt by a hand compressing a spring resting on a floor and against a wall. Study results show that approximately 10% of college males and 30% of college females lack a basic understanding of spring phenomena. This result is independent of physics background. Sources for data interpretation include oral interviews and written explanations. Implications for classroom instruction are discussed.
Pedagogical Communication Issues Arising during International Migrations to Teach Science in America
Charles B. Hutchison
University of North Carolina at Charlotte
Malcolm B. Butler
University of Georgia
Sherell M. Fuller
University of North Carolina at Charlotte
International teachers are being invited into American schools to help alleviate shortages in such critical areas as mathematics, science, and foreign languages. This study describes the pedagogical communication issues (i.e., use of expressions, manners of speech, accent, the different meanings of specific words, and spelling) faced by four international science teachers from Britain, Germany, and Ghana, when they came to teach in the United States. The teachers expressed the need to learn new communication approaches in order to function effectively in their new schools.
Survey of Changes in Science Teacher Preparation Programs Responding to Performance-Based Science Standards
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
Northern Virginia Center
Jon E. Pedersen
University of Oklahoma
San Diego State University
This study presents the results of two web-based surveys of 23 science teacher preparation programs having functional standards-based candidate performance assessment systems recognized by the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) through the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE). Our goal was to determine the degree and nature of changes made to these programs as they sought to gain NSTA-NCATE program recognition. The results indicate that most programs made major changes as they implemented performance assessment systems, now pay more attention to documenting candidate performances in all areas of concern covered by the standards, and believe the changes will benefit new teachers.
Implementing EarthComm: Teacher Professional Development and Its Impact on Student Achievement Scores in a Standards-Based Earth Science Curriculum
byDo-Yong Park, Ph.D.
Illinois State University
Robert E. Yager, Ph.D.
The University of Iowa
andMichael Smith, Ph.D.
American Geological Institute
This study was conducted to investigate the Earth System Science in the Community (EarthComm) curriculum in terms of its effectiveness in improving student learning. EarthComm is a high school earth science curriculum which was developed and interwoven with visions in the National Science Education Standards (NSES). Data gathered from field-testing EarthComm Modules I and II were analyzed to find significant changes between pre- and post- tests. Field test was conducted by the high school earth science teachers who completed a Teacher Professional Development program in which EarthComm and the NSES were studied. The finding demonstrated that student learning was enhanced by EarthComm when taught by teachers who were supportive of the NSES. Conversely, student scores were not significantly increased in classrooms of teachers who were weakly supportive of the NSES visions. It implies that teachers' thinking exerts a significant impact on student learning in high school earth science classroom.
Special Section: Resources and Programs in Higher Education
compiled by David T. Crowther, Associate Editor, EJSE
To the top of the page.
To the EJSE Archive page.