All posts by: technovision

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Attempting to Develop Secondary Student’s Interest for Science and Technology Through an In-Service Teacher Training Initiative Based on the Principles of the Learning Community

Abstract: This article presents the results of a quasi-experimental research that has been conducted by the (Infrastructure of the authors) for two years. This research aimed at increasing student’s interest for science and technology (ST) by enhanced pedagogical interventions, designed by their teachers in the context of a learning community. It also aimed at measuring this possible increase. Results show that three of the four intervention types (scientific inquiry, context-based and project-based learning) had positive effects of various strengths on students’ interest, but that collaborative teaching did not. Hypotheses to explain these results and recommendations are formulated.

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Online First, Vol. 3 Iss. 1

Teachers and Museum Educators’ Views About Inquiry Practices: The Aftermath of a Joint Professional Development Course

Abstract: Current science curricula adopt inquiry as a basic component in their proposals, and at the same time they place emphasis on the non-formal aspect of education, due to the fact that inquiry is easier to be implemented in science centers and museums. In this context, both teachers and museum educators’ roles are viewed with a common lens, as though both groups of professionals have critical roles in the success of a school museum visit, they do not necessarily share the same agenda for the visit. In the present small-scale qualitative research, we studied two Greek science teachers and two museum educators who attended a joint professional development course on the Tinkering approach in Milan in the context of an EU funded project. We looked into the impact of the joint course on their views about inquiry and specifically their views about inquiry before and after being exposed to inquiry based Tinkering activities. We also studied their views about the joint course per se. Data collection was based on semi-structured interviews and the participants’ notes. The results point both to some different and common points between teachers and museum educators’ views. The opportunity to exploit the results in a broader non-formal science education context is also being discussed.

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Vol. 3 Iss. 1

Are we accidentally teaching students to mistrust science?

Almost 60 years ago Jawaharlal Nehru speaking about the future of India’s economy and society observed that it is “science alone that can solve the problems of hunger and poverty, of sanitation and literacy, of superstition and tradition, of vast resources running to waste, of a rich country inhabited by starving people… The future belongs to science and to those who make friends with science.”

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Vol. 3 Iss. 1

Science Education under a Totalitarian Theocracy: Analyzing the ISIS Primary Curriculum

Abstract: We conducted an unprecedented analysis of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) primary school science curriculum. The research question focuses on the general scientific quality of the five documents examined, the integration of religious content and the possible tensions between science and religion that result from including such material in the corpus. This content analysis also focuses on the ideological/political agenda that supports its content and structure. Conclusions argue that the ISIS science curriculum appears to be committed to an absolutist/theocratic ideological program that, among other things, promotes a very inadequate concept of scientific activity and content. Recommendations about secularization and the reconstruction of post-ISIS education systems are formulated.

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Vol. 2 Iss. 3

Didactic proposal to overcome the difficulties in the learning of Area and Volume in Spanish Primary Education students

Abstract: This work presents a didactic proposal for the learning and measure of surface area and body volume. This proposal is framed in the Anthropological Theory of the Didactic (ATD), based on the recognized errors in the learning of these magnitudes and considering their connection with the typified learning difficulties or epistemological obstacles. The proposal was developed as a didactic sequence, including the tasks from didactic situations (as considered by Brousseau) and with a cross-curricular perspective in relation to the social-systemic structure (ATD), without restricting them in any didactic unit. The praxeology was structured in accordance with the approaches of the ATD, and the didactic methodology was based on the definition of the errors, which followed the phases of development of the usual models in the learning of Geometry.  These phases were defined under a generic framework influenced by the developed Van Hiele model for the learning of Geometry. The tasks that composed the didactic sequences were created “ad-hoc” or extracted from adequate sources throughout the Spanish curriculum of Primary Education. The proposal was designed to be applied in the 5th Primary Education grade. The collection of evidences on the students learning regarding the area and the volume after the implementation of the proposal constitutes the natural next step of this project.

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Vol. 2 Iss. 3

An Indonesian Translation and Adaptation of the POSTT: A Science Teacher Pedagogical Orientation, Formative Assessment Device

Abstract: Indonesia has experienced problems in teacher quality, especially science teachers. Teacher-training programs in which preservice teachers are taught to use the most appropriate science teaching methods are critical in order to prepare qualified teachers. Having a formative way to assess and discuss preservice science teachers’ preferred teaching orientations is important. Therefore, the Pedagogy of Science Teaching Test (POSTT) was translated and adapted into Bahasa as a formative assessment for preservice science teachers. There were eight steps in the translation and validation of a selected set of POSTT items into Bahasa (Indonesian language) involving Indonesian language experts and science content experts. Pilot study data indicates that the transadapted items are both reliable and valid for use with Indonesian teachers, and that the transadapted POSTT items are understandable and adequately fit with Indonesian school culture. This being the case, science educators in other countries may also wish to employ transadapted POSTT items for preservice science teacher education purposes.

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Vol. 2 Iss. 3

Indonesia Vocational High School Science Teachers’ Priorities Regarding 21st Century Learning Skills in Their Science Classrooms

Abstract: The purpose of this study was to examine vocational high school science teachers’ instructional prioritizing the 21st Century Skills mandated in the Indonesian National Curriculum 2013 revision. The Indonesian government implemented this curriculum in 2017 to support students’ career readiness, which was inadequately addressed in previous curriculum documents. Survey data was obtained from the population of vocational high school science teachers in the city of Pontianak, West Kalimantan province, Indonesia. The study contrasted the prioritizing of 21st Century Skills objectives with previous curriculum objectives, in order to determine if teachers give priority to current curriculum requirements or are still focusing on previous requirements. The study furthermore examined whether teacher demographic data are associated with their teaching priorities. Results indicate teachers do prioritize the 21st Century Learning Skills over previous curriculum objectives. Novice teachers report higher priority on communication skills and male teachers give higher priority to problem solving. Future research includes determining how these priorities translate into classroom practice.

 

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Vol. 2 Iss. 2

The Development and Validation of a 21st Century Skills Instrument: Measuring Secondary School Students’ Skills

Abstract: Due to the rapid change in technology and information dissemination, the qualities and skills employers and colleges demand in the 21st century have changed. To help higher education institutions and workforce to identify and measure their prospective students and employees’ skills respectively, we designed an instrument for secondary grade students to self-assess their 21st century skills. After successful piloting, validation of the final instrument was done with 282 high school students from a public high school in Texas. We utilized exploratory factor analysis and investigated construct validity for the instrument using principal axis factoring with Promax rotation and Kaiser normalization. We found that the original 48 items developed for the instrument were loading the four factors as theorized in our model. Finally, confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) models for four scales were separately investigated. Maximum likelihood estimation method was used for all analyses though Mplus8.2 (Muthén & Muthén, 1998-2017). We came up with 5 factors and 43 items. Researchers, K-12 educators, postsecondary educators, and employers may benefit from the development of this instrument.

 

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Vol. 2 Iss. 2

How Preservice Elementary Teachers Develop Their Personal Philosophies About Science Teaching: The Role of Informal Science Approaches

Abstract: The purpose of this case study was to explore how (if in any way) three informal science approaches as part of a teacher preparation program could shape preservice teachers’ personal philosophies of science teaching and learning. Data were collected in a period of two academic semesters in the context of an elementary methods course through the following sources: science autobiographies, personal philosophies about science teaching, drawings about their most memorable and least memorable experiences of science, three reflective journals about the three informal science experiences (i.e., working with scientists, field, science festival), lesson plans, responses to final exam questions, observations, and semi-structured interviews. The participants were 16 preservice elementary teachers, seven males and nine females. Open coding techniques were used to analyse the data in order to construct categories and subcategories and eventually to identify emerging themes. The outcomes of the analysis showed that the inclusion of informal learning in teachers’ preparation has the potential to support preservice teachers’ in reconstructing their ideas about science and science teaching in ways that are aligned with reform efforts emphasizing student engagement, working with scientists, and utilizing out-of-school spaces for learning.

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Vol. 2 Iss. 2

Women Missing in STEM Careers: A Critical Review through the Gender Lens

Abstract: Although the number of female science students has increased at secondary level in many countries since 1990, this has not translated into pursuing a STEM education at tertiary level and not even into STEM jobs. It is thus important to analyze this issue of female participation in STEM disciplines, since their inclusion would empower them by improving the economy, health, and infrastructure worldwide and help to fight poverty internationally with technological and scientific interventions. This narrative review article aims to analyze the reasons behind female underrepresentation in STEM careers using the “feminist research methodological” approach. Underlying the conceptualization of gendering science, two specific concepts, gender role and empowerment, have been used. Here I have analyzed the educational, attitudinal, socio-cultural, and socio-economic aspects of why there are so few women in STEM careers. This analysis introduces some important concerns that can be focused on during policy implication to ensure gender equality in STEM careers.  This article highlights the socialization process of young students (especially girls), who are expected to perform their stereotyped gender roles consciously or subconsciously both in the family and educational settings. These gendered ideologies are clearly interlinked to the career they become interested or influenced in. The analysis reflects and recommends that subject domains and job sectors should be gender neutral where life experiences and interests of individuals should be emphasized. Such important concerns raised in this article would help educators in policy implication to ensure gender equality in STEM careers.

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Vol. 2 Iss. 2