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Teacher Beliefs toward Using Alternative Teaching Approaches in Science and Mathematics Classes Related to Experience in Teaching
Mine Isiksal-Bostan, Elvan Sahin & Hamide Ertepinar
pp. 603-621 | DOI: 10.12973/ijese.2015.257a | Article Number: ijese.2015.022
The purpose of this study was to examine the relationships among Turkish classroom, science and mathematics teachers’ beliefs toward using inquiry-based approaches, traditional teaching approaches, and technology in their mathematics and science classrooms; their efficacy beliefs in teaching those subjects; and years of experience in teaching in consideration of curriculum movements. The analysis was based on 258 teachers who had been working in elementary schools in Ankara, Turkey. The Teacher Beliefs toward Instructional Approaches Questionnaire-Revised Scale was used as a measuring instrument. Conducting descriptive statistics, it was found that the teachers had strong beliefs in using inquiry-based instructional approach. The results of two-way MANOVA showed no statistical difference between teachers’ beliefs regarding alternative teaching approaches with respect to their branches. Similarly, no significant difference was reported on their beliefs regarding traditional and technology-enhanced instructional approaches in terms of years of experience in teaching. On the other hand, the teachers with an experience of more than 16 years had significantly more favorable beliefs on using inquiry-based instructional approaches than the teachers with an experience of 6-10 years. The results of path analysis revealed that teachers’ experience in teaching had a significant and positive relation to their beliefs in using traditional teaching approaches and their teaching efficacy, but negative relation to their beliefs in using technology-enhanced teaching approaches. No significant relationship between these teachers’ experiences and their beliefs in using inquiry based approaches was reported. It was also shown that beliefs in using inquiry-based approaches were positively associated with beliefs in using technology-enhanced approaches.
Keywords: teaching experience, inquiry-based approaches, teaching efficacy belief, technology-enhanced teaching
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Comparing Students’ Individual Written and Collaborative Oral Socioscientific Arguments
Amanda M. Knight & Katherine L. McNeill
pp. 623-647 | DOI: 10.12973/ijese.2015.258a | Article Number: ijese.2015.023
Constructing and critiquing scientific arguments has become an increasingly important goal for science education. Yet, the differences in the ways students construct collaborative oral and individual written socioscientific arguments are not well established. Our research with one middle school class in an urban New England school district addresses the following question: What are the similarities and differences between students’ collaborative oral and individual written scientific arguments? Data sources consisted of transcripts from three videotaped lessons and associated student work. The sophistication of both the collaborative oral and individual written argument products were analyzed using a proposed learning progression. Results suggest that the students’ collaborative oral arguments tended to be of lower sophistication whereas the individual written arguments tended to be of higher sophistication; however both modalities tended to include inappropriate justifications. Moreover, in the written arguments it was easier for students to include a rebuttal than limit their argument to using only appropriate justifications. These findings suggest that there are both commonalities and differences across the expressive modalities that can be targeted in an effort to strengthen the quality of students’ arguments.
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Primary Student-Teachers’ Practical Knowledge of Inquiry-Based Science Teaching and Classroom Communication of Climate Change
Ilkka Ratinen, Jouni Viiri, Sami Lehesvuori & Tuukka Kokkonen
pp. 649-670 | DOI: 10.12973/ijese.2015.259a | Article Number: ijese.2015.024
A teacher’s practical knowledge contains the teacher’s beliefs about the goals, values and principles of education that guide his or her actions in the classroom. There is still a lack of knowledge about how teachers’ practical knowledge influences their teaching. The present study examines student teachers’ practical knowledge in the context of teaching climate change in elementary schools. Participating student-teachers planned their lessons using the principles and ideas of inquiry-based science teaching and the communicative approach. The same two approaches were applied in analysing the lessons, providing a broader basis on which to study student-teachers’ beliefs about teaching science. The analysis revealed different levels of success in terms of implementation of inquiry-based learning; the communicative approach was not comprehensively realised in any class. Stimulated recall interviews highlighted that most student-teachers possessed sufficient knowledge to reflect on their lessons and the necessary awareness to use the communicative approach. By comparing the results of lesson plan analysis, communication analysis and stimulated recall interviews, we can better understand student-teachers’ practical knowledge in the classroom.
Keywords: practical knowledge, inquiry, communicative approach, elementary school
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Major Matters: Relationship between Academic Major and University Students’ Environmental Literacy and Citizenship as Reflected in Their Voting Decisions and Environmental Activism
Daphne Goldman, Ofira Ayalon, Dorit Baum & Shay Haham
pp. 671-693 | DOI: 10.12973/ijese.2015.260a | Article Number: ijese.2015.025
Institutions of higher education (HE) are increasingly expected to rise to the challenge of preparing environmentally literate graduates, equipped to bring a sustainability perspective into their professional function. While considerable research has explored the relationship between HE and tendency for political participation in general, studies on a possible relationship between exposure to environmental content during studies and students’ inclusion of environmental considerations in political participation, as a component of their environmental literacy and indicator of the level of their environmental literacy, are lacking. Therefore, this study investigated, in a large university, the relationship between students’ disciplinary major and their environmental literacy and citizenship as reflected in their inclusion of the environment in decision-making as voters and in citizen-society activism. A questionnaire was administrated to students from departments that include environment-related courses (‘exposed’) and departments that do not explicitly include environmental content (‘unexposed’). The questionnaire investigated exposure to environmental content, EL-dimensions (knowledge, dispositions, self-reported involvement in environmentally-responsible behaviours), voting characteristics. All these variables were found to be significantly related to academic major: ‘Natural Resource and Environmental Management’ and Geography majors acknowledged greater exposure to environmental topics and were more knowledgeable of these. These students, along with biology majors, reported being more active in responsible environmental behaviour (REB) and in environmental organizations. ‘Exposed’ students rated higher environmental issues as factors that influence their political decision-making, declared greater willingness to vote for environmentally-oriented parties and reported increased support for such parties in the 2006 and 2009 elections compared to ‘unexposed’ students. Results also indicate that despite these differences between the two groups, self-reported participation of ‘exposed’ students in REB and in civic society was lower than could be expected. Results indicate that two interplaying factors may underlie the relationship between academic major and students’ environmentalism: a transformative influence of studies via the content, ideas and philosophies of the studied discipline, and pre-existing orientation of students which influences their choice of studies. These processes can be taken into consideration towards incorporating sustainability within different academic programs in a manner that will be effective in educating environmentally-responsible graduates and preparing them as influential environmental citizens and professionals in society.
Keywords: environmental literacy, higher education, academic major, political voting, responsible environmental behavior
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Environmental Education and Behavioral Change: An Identity-Based Environmental Education Model
Nicholas M. McGuire
pp. 695-715 | DOI: 10.12973/ijese.2015.261a | Article Number: ijese.2015.026
In this paper, the effectiveness of environmental education (EE) programs at fostering ecologically responsible behavior is analyzed through the lens of psychology. In section 1, a critique of knowledge and attitude appeals is presented using contemporary psychological understandings of these constructs to show why many EE programs have been met with mixed results. It is argued that knowledge and attitudes are misunderstood in precisely how they are employed in decision-making and that these misunderstandings hamper the impact of EE programming. In section 2, the theoretical foundation for applying identity research is developed further and is shown to engage both the automatic and controlled cognitive processes—the key distinction of the IBEE model. In section 3, this research is applied to develop a novel program for producing ecologically responsible behavior through EE using self-identity as a more sophisticated and effective behavioral mediator, as is how a ‘pro-environmental identity’ could be developed. Self-identity is a durable and robust behavioral mediator that has been shown to be highly predictive of an individual’s behavior and can be shaped to lead one toward ecologically responsible behavior across behavioral domains.
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|View Abstract References Full text PDF|
International Peer Collaboration to Learn about Global Climate Changes
Majken Korsager & James D. Slotta
pp. 717-736 | DOI: 10.12973/ijese.2015.262a | Article Number: ijese.2015.027
Climate change is not local; it is global. This means that many environmental issues related to climate change are not geographically limited and hence concern humans in more than one location. There is a growing body of research indicating that today’s increased climate change is caused by human activities and our modern lifestyle. Consequently, climate change awareness and attention from the entire world’s population needs to be a global priority and we need to work collaboratively to attain a sustainable future. A powerful tool in this process is to develop an understanding of climate change through education. Recognizing this, climate change has been included in many science curricula as a part of science education in schools. However, teaching such a complex and global topic as climate change is not easy. The research in this paper has been driven by this challenge. In this paper, we will present our online science module called Global Climate Exchange, designed with inquiry activities for international peer collaboration to teach climate change. In this study, we engaged 157 students from four countries (Canada, China, Sweden, and Norway) to collaborate in Global Climate Exchange. To explore the opportunities that international peer collaboration in Global Climate Exchange gives, we have analyzed how students develop their explanations about climate change issues over time. Our analysis showed that the students increased the proportion of relevant scientific concepts in relation to the total number of words in their explanations and that they improved the quality of links between concepts over a six-week period. The analysis also revealed that the students explained more perspectives relating to climate change issues over time. The outcomes indicate that international peer collaboration, if successfully supported, can be an effective approach to climate change education
Keywords: climate change education, international peer collaboration, inquiry-based science teaching
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Hands-on Crops! How Long-term Activities Improve Students´ Knowledge of Crop Species. A Pretest-Posttest Study of the Greenhouse Project
Eva-Maria Fritsch, Cornelia Lechner-Walz & Daniel C. Dreesmann
pp. 737-755 | DOI: 10.12973/ijese.2015.263a | Article Number: ijese.2015.028
In terms of sustainability, renewable resources, nourishment and healthy diet, crops are important to the public. Thus, knowledge of crops is needed in order to enable people to participate in public discussions and take responsibility. This is in contrast to former surveys showing that students’ knowledge of and interest in plants in general, crop plants and agricultural issues is moderate to little. At the same time, approaches to improving knowledge and interest in school are missing. We initiated and established the Greenhouse Project (GHP) where secondary school students (grades 5-13) get to know crops through cultivating from seed to seed. To investigate whether or not original contact with a variety of staple crops and hands-on activities positively affect students’ knowledge, students of two German secondary schools were asked via questionnaires before and after the treatment. Our study was conducted in the cities of Mainz and Wiesbaden which are situated in the German Federal states of Rhineland-Palatinate and Hesse, respectively. In total, 74 students in 6/7th and 11/12th grades took part in this pretest-posttest survey; three additional 6/7th and 11/12th grade classes (i.e. 48 students) were used as control classes, and had no contact with the GHP during this time. We demonstrated that the treatment has positive effects on students’ knowledge, and that girls performed better than did boys. Therefore, knowledge of crop plant species, as well as morphological knowledge, improved. A higher level of knowledge cannot only be observed objectively via test scores, but also subjectively via the students’ self-assessment of knowledge. In contrast, the students’ opinions about and attitudes towards agriculture and crops decreased in the posttest, both in the treatment and control classes.
Keywords: botanical and agricultural knowledge, hands-on activities, cultivation of crop plants
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Modeling Environmental Literacy of Malaysian Pre-University Students
Sheila Shamuganathan & Mageswary Karpudewan
pp. 757-771 | DOI: 10.12973/ijese.2015.264a | Article Number: ijese.2015.029
In this study attempt was made to model the environmental literacy of Malaysian pre-university students enrolled in a matriculation college. Students enrolled in the matriculation colleges in Malaysia are the top notch students in the country. Environmental literacy of this group is perceived important because in future these students will be joining work force that requires important decision making. Environmental Literacy Model of these students is explained using environmental attitude, belief, conservation knowledge and Responsible Environmental Behavior (REB) with knowledge as a mediator. For this purpose data has been collected from 384 students (114 male and 270 female) and analyzed using covariance based structural equation modeling (CB-SEM) approach. The result shows that REB is influenced by the students’ attitude and belief towards performing REB and knowledge about the environmental issues. On the other hand, students’ belief towards the environment does not influence the formation of REB. Furthermore students’ knowledge also does not mediate the influence of belief on the REB. These findings imply that individual who possess certain desirable attitude, belief and conservation knowledge have more tendencies to engage in REB. The results suggest that the matriculation colleges should integrate approaches that could promote attitude, belief and conservation knowledge into the mainstream of education.
Keywords: environmental literacy, pre-university, covariance based structural equation modeling
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The Climate Change Attitude Survey: Measuring Middle School Student Beliefs and Intentions to Enact Positive Environmental Change
Rhonda Christensen & Gerald Knezek
pp. 773-788 | DOI: 10.12973/ijese.2015.276a | Article Number: ijese.2015.030
The Climate Change Attitude Survey is composed of 15 Likert-type attitudinal items selected to measure students’ beliefs and intentions toward the environment with a focus on climate change. This paper describes the development of the instrument and psychometric performance characteristics including reliability and validity. Data were gathered from 1576 middle school students from across the United States in 2014 to validate the instrument and establish the measurement properties of the instrument’s scales. Factor analysis revealed two stable constructs representing beliefs and intentions, which were reconfirmed through multidimensional scaling and hierarchical cluster analysis techniques. Internal consistency reliability was found to be respectable for the survey as a whole as well as the two separate scales. The Climate Change Attitude Survey was created to fill a void in the measurement of middle school students’ affective responses to the environment and climate change. Educators may find this survey useful for assessing pre- to post intervention attitude changes as well as for identifying differences in selected groups of students. Further development is targeted to include adding new constructs as well as testing the instrument with different population subgroups.
Keywords: environment, middle school students, climate change, survey instrument
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