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Journal of 
ISSN 1087-3430   Vol. 2 No.1   September  1997

 John R. Cannon, Editor
David T. Crowther, Associate Editor
University of Nevada, Reno
  "Go Pack" 

     Thank you for your interest in the Electronic Journal of Science Education the only journal of its kind devoted to the timely sharing of science education issues via the World Wide Web and E-mail. The editors and review board hope you find the enclosed articles academically and professionally valuable.

     It's a new year...and bit of a new look for the EJSE. This issue begins our second year thanks to our review board, authors, and Internet readers. We hope this new year brings more innovative ideas and articles to the EJSE.
     And...we are also proud to report that the EJSE subscription rates will remain the same in 1997-98 as they did in 1996-97. . . FREE!

                                          The Martian Sky at Sunset

          Photo courtesy of NASA at
Photo lower left courtesy of NASA at

    The first issue of the EJSE began with the words, "It's a new dawn..." We featured another famous NASA photo, Earthrise.  Much has developed in technology since 1969 with the astronauts of Apollo 11 landing on the moon.  Even though Viking 1 first orbited Mars in 1975, space technology has continued to evolve to the point where young engineers, many of whom were probably exposed elementary and secondary sciences using Elementary Science Study(ESS), Science-A Process Approach(S-APA), or Science Curriculum Improvement Study (SCIS) curriculum materials.  Little did their teachers know that, perhaps one day, a budding scientist or engineer in their third grade would become part of the Mars Pathfinder mission in 1997, allowing those of us who are still earth bound to enjoy the spectacular view of the Martian sunset.  I wonder if these students ever did an "egg drop"?  I bet so.
   I suggest that scholarly electronic publishing has gone through a similar evolution -- from largely text-only versions of manuscripts, often delivered via e-mail or ftp,  to World Wide Web pages, complete with color graphics, animation and audio, ever increasing in their style and  sophistication.
    The EJSE is proud to be at the forefront of this new technology in offering scholarly science education publications to its readers.  We plan  to continue to bring our readers even more science education and related information in '97-98.  We also are planning for theme issues this year, so please stay tuned and on-line for more information.

 John R. Cannon, editor

    Volume 2 (1997-1998) kicks off the EJSE with three articles, a guest editorial, and our inaugural section on Resources and Programs in Higher Education.  Each piece discusses science education issues from various facets.

    Article one, A Multiple Perspective Analysis of the Role of Language in Inquiry Science Learning:  To Build a Tower analyzes data in a new light. One reviewer commented:
"...this is a helpful step in understanding how elementary school students make sense of science and technology experiences.  I especially like the idea of examining the same evidence from a number of different theoretical perspectives."
    Article two, The Ranking Of Global Environmental Issues and Problems By Polish Secondary Students And Teachers,  reviews and discusses ecological beliefs and concerns closely held by a large segment of the Polish citizenry.  It makes clear the continued importance of evolving environmental policy, science education, and quality of life for people world-wide.

    Article three, Elementary and Secondary Students'  Perceptions Toward Science: Correlations with Gender, Ethnicity, Ability, Grade, and Science Achievement brings together and discusses research involving previously individually investigated factors, such as gender, and looks for relationships with the factors gender, ethnicity, ability, grade, and science achievement.  This collective study investigated both elementary and secondary students.
 Welcome back to the EJSE for another new academic year!


                                Table of Contents

Guest Editorial...

    Science Education A Science?

                                 by Robert E. Yager,  University of Iowa
To go to this article, click here.

Article One

A Multiple Perspective Analysis of the Role of Language 
in Inquiry Science Learning: To Build a Tower


Michael Kamen,  Auburn University
Wolff-Michael Roth, University of Victoria
Lawrence B. Flick, Oregon State University
Bonnie Shapiro, University of Calgary
Laura Barden, Western Illinois University
Elizabeth Kean, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Stephen Marble, Southwest Educational Development Lab


Jay Lemke, City University of New York

The role of language in science learning is coming into focus for science education researchers from a number of perspectives.  With a constructivist paradigm dominating the field, language is being explored for its role in facilitating and assessing learning and in understanding complex interactions related to science teaching and learning.  This paper, by opening a window onto a variety of techniques, methods, and approaches to the analysis of one short discussion between
several elementary students, presents the opportunity to continue and enhance the dialogue about ways to research and understand children's discourse during science activities.  The purpose of this paper is to clarify issues relating to the interaction between language and science learning and to relate these issues to different theoretical perspectives.  From this "discourse about discourse" the authors identify and share avenues for further research, including methodological
approaches and implications for the classroom teacher.  The researchers examine a two-and-one-half minute videotape of three boys constructing a tower of plastic drinking straws as part of a unit called "Engineering for Children:  Structures"  which was presented in a mixed fourth- and fifth-grade class.

To go to this article, click here.

Article Two

Elementary and Secondary Students' Perceptions Toward Science:
Correlations with
Gender,  Ethnicity,  Ability,  Grade, and Science Achievement


M. Faye Neathery
Southwestern Oklahoma State University
Department of Chemistry/Science Education
100 Campus Drive
Weatherford, OK 73096
(405) 774- 7133


The purpose of this study was to determine student attitudes toward science and the correlations of the attitudes with the variables of ability, gender, ethnicity, grade, and science achievement. To measure the elementary and secondary students' perceptions toward science, a modified Osgood Semantic Differential instrument was used. The attitudes examined were important/unimportant (S1), valuable/worthless (S2), understandable/confusing (S3), exciting/boring (S4), and easy/hard (S5).
An intercorrelational analysis showed significant relationships between ability and four of the five attitudes toward science. The students in the high ability group rated science as valuable, understandable, and easy; whereas, the students in the low ability group rated science as important. The attitude of exciting did not correlate with ability. Gender correlated with one attitude; males ranked science as a subject more exciting than females. Ethnicity did not correlate with any of the
five attitudes. Grade significantly correlated with each attitude toward science; the grade comparisons as measured by the Scheffe test indicated that students enrolled in grades four, five, and six perceived science more positively than secondary students. With multiple correlation, science achievement correlated with attitude toward science.
To go to this article, click here.

Article Three

The Ranking of Global Environmental Issues and Problems 
by Polish Secondary Students and Teachers


Michael Robinson, Ph.D
University of Nevada
Reno, Nevada, 89557
Tomasz Trojok, Ph.D.
Electrical Engineer
Walcownie Metali, Dziedzice
ul. Hutnicza 13
Czechowice-Dziedzice 43-502


Jan Norwisz, Ph.D.
Poszanowania Energy Foundation
ul. Bohaterow Getta Warszawskiego 9p.608
Gliwice 44-100


This article presents a study of the priorities given to global environmental issues/problems by over 700 secondary students and teachers in nine secondary schools in two cities in Katowice Province in Upper Silesia, Poland. The 12 global environmental issues/problems used in the study were originally identified by Rodger Bybee. The students and teachers ranked air quality and hazardous substances as the most important environmental problems and energy shortages and mineral resources as the least important. The study also determined where students get most of their information about environmental problems and related it to the importance of personal experience. Some background information about environmental problems in Poland is also given. The study has important implications for determining what changes should be made in secondary science curriculum and instruction in Polish secondary schools if students are to develop a greater understanding of the need for global environmental sustainability.

    To go to this article, click here.

Special Section:  Resources and Programs in Higher Education

    compiled by David T. Crowther, Associate Editor, EJSE

To go to the special section, click here.

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