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ISSN 1087-3430 Vol. 5 - No. 1 - September 2000


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

EJSE Editorial...

Bar Tending For Science!!

David T. Crowther
Associate Editor and Publisher



Article One

A Flexible K-12 Weather Data Collection and Education Program

Mark A. Mesarch
mmesarch@unlnotes.unl.edu

S. J. Meyer

and

D. C. Gosselin

School of Natural Resources (SNRS)
Nebraska Earth Science Education Network (NESEN)
Institute of Agricultural and Natural Resources, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Abstract

The Nebraska Earth Science Education Network (NESEN) created a program called Students and Teachers Exchanging Data, Information and Ideas (STEDII) for K-12 audiences that emphasizes data collection mixed with weather education. Curriculum with hands-on activities and basic weather instrumentation are provided to the schools, as well as a method for all schools involved to share data using the Internet. From 1996 to 1999 the STEDII program has had 55 schools participate and during the peak participation period 2500 students were involved. Eleven teachers, who actively participate in the program and represent a range of class sizes and age levels, were surveyed on how they implement the program and make it work for their particular school’s curriculum. Each school uses different approaches and the program has been modified to allow for the flexibility that is needed. However, the basics of data collection and sharing information have remained the same. The vision for STEDII is compared and contrasted from NESEN's and the teachers' points of view. Basic comparisons are made between STEDII and other educational data collection networks, such as GLOBE and One Sky, Many Voices.


Article Two

Global Environmental Priorities of Engineering Students in Krakow Poland

Michael Robinson
University of Nevada, Reno
robinson@unr.edu

and

William M. Bowen
Cleveland State University

Abstract

This paper reports and interprets the rankings of Rodger Bybee's 12 global-environmental issues/threats by 175 first and second year engineering students in the Technical University of Krakow, Poland. The students were divided into control and treatment groups and the treatment group was provided with an incisive description of the issues. Both groups were also compared on how they answered a set of questions concerning their sources of information about the threats. The judgements were analyzed using the probabilistic geometric modeling algorithms known as PROSCAL. The results indicate that personal experience with local environmental issues are the most important determinant for ranking global environmental threats. Some implications for increasing the impact of school learning through the use of the constructivist learning model are also discussed.


Article Three

Sketching Some Postmodern Alternatives:
Beyond Paradigms and Research Programs as Referents for Science Education

by

David R. Geelan
Institute for the Service Professions
Edith Cowan University
Perth, Western Australia
bravus@innocent.com

Abstract

Conceptual change pedagogy has been one of the most influential research and teaching programs in science education in the past two decades. This paper argues that Kuhn's and Lakatos' schemes for the philosophy of science have been pervasive metaphors for conceptual change approaches to the learning and teaching of science, and have been used both implicitly and explicitly to provide an organising framework and justification matrix for those perspectives. It is suggested that Lakatos' model of competing 'scientific research programs' may provide a more flexible and powerful metaphor for student learning than does Kuhn's scheme of 'scientific revolutions'. The value of this metaphorical connection between the sociological processes of scientific research and the psychological processes of student learning - between the contexts in which science is conducted and those in which it is learned - is critically discussed with reference to classroom teaching practices. Finally, four alternative perspectives, based in Kelly's 'psychology of personal constructs', Van Manen's 'pedagogical thoughtfulness', Whitehead's 'living educational theory' and Polkinghorne's 'postmodern epistemology of practice' respectively, are described as a set of postmodern referents for science education.


EJSE's Special Section on Standards-based Exemplar Lesson Plans


Special Section: Resources and Programs in Higher Education

compiled by David T. Crowther, Associate Editor, EJSE


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