All posts by: technovision

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STEM practices in Science teacher education curriculum: Perspectives from two secondary school teachers’ colleges in Zimbabwe

Abstract:This study assessed how science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education is integrated in Science Teacher Education curriculum in Zimbabwe. An exploratory mixed methods research design, within the post-positivist paradigm, was used to guide the collection and analysis of data. Data were sourced from 18 Science teacher educators and 108 final year Science student teachers pooled from two secondary school Teachers’ Colleges through a semi-structured questionnaire, follow-up interviews, focusgroups and documents. From the findings, it was evident that although a lot was done to promote STEM literacy in the two colleges, integration of STEM education and practices into the science education curriculum was coincidental rather than planned. Participation in Science exhibitions at local and national level that was common and increased enrolment of teacher candidates in STEM subjects was viewed as major ways to promote the initiative in the Teachers’ Colleges. However, support that targeted a teacher education STEM curriculum and integration/liaison with Engineering and industry was largely found lacking, suggesting the need for practices such as field-trips, work visits and partnerships that foster closer collaboration between colleges, schools, professional scientists and industry.

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STEM Education and Science Identity Formation

As the world struggles with the COVID pandemic, one question that keeps coming up in conversations
among educators is how to teach students amid the uncertainty. Specifically, the difficulty is with
teaching subjects that require hands-on learning in order to master the concepts and make them one’s
own. Today, however, I would like to pose a different, more global question: How can we help
students identify with science in a deeper, more meaningful way? How can we help students
develop what is known as science identity?

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Online First, Vol. 4 Iss. 1

Engaging Students in Science Using Project Olympiads: A case study in Bosnia and Herzegovina

Making science enjoyable inspires students to learn more. Out-of-class activities such as science fairs and Olympiads, serve as reasonable informal learning environments that demand attention. The association of students’ involvement in these activities with increased student interest in science followed by the selection of science-related careers, should motivate all in-charge stakeholders. In this work, we analysed the outcomes of the Bosnia Science Olympiad (BSO) as the first national Science Olympiad inBosnia and Herzegovina (BiH), aiming the improvement of science education and bringing different ethnic groups under the umbrella of science, in a post-conflict area. The two-day endeavour held in Sarajevo includes competition in four science-related categories(Environment, Engineering, Have an Idea, Web Design)and social activities.In this work, the comprehensive data, including participants’ gender, their ethnic background, cities, schools, and supervisors, over fiveyears, was analysed.The number ofparticipating high-school students increased from 78 to 143, of supervisors from 21 to 95, and of schools from 7 to 15, reaching a wide demographic acceptance to cover all ethnic regions in BiH. The relationship between gender and the selection of a category, shows bias of male participants towards Web Design (21%) and Engineering (40%), and offemale students towards“Have an Idea”(40%) and Environment (44%) categories. The contribution of BSO choosing a science career, getting socialized without prejudices, and the improvement of students’ self-confidence, were as well addressed. Our work demonstrates a model work to successfully promote science in post-conflict settings.

Download: JRSMTE V3 3 4 DOGAN
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Vol. 4 Iss. 1

How Engineering Technology Students Perceive Mathematics

Engineering Technology (ET) is often combined with that of Engineering. Although Engineering Technology is based on a more hands-on approach and Engineering a theoretical approach, the two majors share a very similar pedagogy in teaching students the same engineering and scientific principles. An observation by an ET professor found that ET students more often than not would eschew the use of mathematical computations and instead provide answers they believe to be correct, without computation or explanation. Leading researchers to delve into possible reasons as to why ET students are reluctant to utilize mathematics. This study utilized in-person interviews with 15 undergraduate participants from a Midwestern University in the United States of America from ET to ascertain how ET students perceive mathematics. The results of the study found that although ET students were stated to not hate mathematics and are open to using mathematics, there was a slight apprehension towards math due to bad math experiences and not being able to connect the conceptual nature of mathematics to the visual and real-life scenarios ET students are used to facing. The results of this study help to lay the foundation for future research studies geared towards further understanding why ET students are apprehensive towards mathematics and ultimately how to help ET students overcome this apprehension.

Download: JRSMTE V3 3 6 TALEYARKHAN
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Vol. 4 Iss. 1

The Relationship Between U.S. High School Science Teacher’s Self-Efficacy, Professional Development, and Use of Technology in Classrooms

There have been a limited number of studies that examined the relationship between professional development (PD) and self-efficacy with technology tool use, specifically concerning high school science teachers. The main goal of this quantitative study was to identify any specific correlations between science teacher self-efficacy and the professional development science teachers received for those specific classroom technologies. Participants were comprised of a randomized sample set of high school science teachers throughout 46 different US States. The data was collected by using an online survey via the Qualtrics survey platform. The survey was sent to 3000 science instructors and 104 in total completed it. The results suggest that science teachers’ efficacy was high with course management systems and student wireless or digital devices, but not for social networking/media. There was no significant connection between technological self-efficacy and PD for related technology tools. However, it is possible that science teachers are already highly efficacious in terms of technology, and observational studies are recommended to see when and how teachers actually use technology in their classrooms.

Download: JRSMTE V3 3 7 ALJUZAYRI
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Vol. 4 Iss. 1

Gender Influence on Statistics Anxiety among Graduate Students

Abstract: The present study was conducted to further explore gender-based differences in the experience of statistics anxiety among graduate students. A sample of 75 graduate students from a mid-sized research university in the southeastern United States were recruited to participate in a survey concerning statistics anxiety. Data were analyzed using multivariate analysis of covariance and discriminant analysis. Using the Statistics Anxiety Rating Scale, students’ statistics anxiety was measured. After accounting for age, the findings revealed a significant gender difference in statistics anxiety. A significant covariate effect of age indicated that older graduate students reported experiencing higher levels of anxiety as compared to their younger peers. Age accounted for 21% of variance in the combined statistics anxiety subscales. Analysis further revealed that males experienced higher levels of anxiety when seeking statistics help from a fellow student or a professor than did females. Implications for the design of statistics courses are discussed.

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Addressing Student Diversity in Science Classroom: Exploring Topic-Specific Personal Pedagogical Content Knowledge of High School Teachers

Abstract: The student diversity in today’s science classrooms presents challenges as well as learning opportunities for students and teachers. This research examines topic-specific personal pedagogical content knowledge (pPCK) of high school teachers as it relates to addressing student diversity in their science classrooms. A narrative inquiry approach was adopted to study four science teachers’ experiences of teaching science, considering teachers’ pPCK as an accumulation of experience. Narrative data were collected through interview conversations with these teachers about their experiences of conceptualizing and teaching force and motion topics to diverse groups of students in their science classrooms. The focus of these conversations was the day-to-day practice of participant teachers about making force and motion topics accessible to diverse learners. Using pedagogical content knowledge (PCK) as a conceptual framework, the narrative data were analyzed to explore how these teachers negotiated their content knowledge and knowledge of student diversity in shaping their professional knowledge of science teaching. The findings revealed that topic-specific pPCK of participant teachers was sourced in student diversity present in their science classroom, and its development underpins various processes to connect different types of knowledge. This research suggests considering teachers’ knowledge of student diversity and how this impacts their planning and teaching of specific science content as an aspect of their topic-specific pPCK. Implications for science teacher education are included.

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Download: 125, size: 0, date: 15.Sep.2020
Vol. 3 Iss. 3

Is There any Impact of Teaching Vector Spaces From Real Problems? The Case of First Year Engineering Students

Abstract: In some linear algebra courses at the university level in engineering majors, the vector spaces are presented to students in an abstract way with scarce connections with other subjects and real problems. The goal of this study was to examine the effectiveness, regarding content knowledge and motivation, of a didactic proposal based on a problem based learning and the necessity principle, PBL-NP, modelling real engineering problems through homogeneous systems of linear equations, to introduce the concept of vector space. A quasi-experiment (post-test) was designed with a convenience sample composed of two groups: the experimental group, EG, amounting 33 students who were taught using the PBL-NP, and the control group, CG, composed by 79 students, taught by following an abstract approach. Inferential statistics was used to compare the learning outcomes between groups, by using as contrast variable an external test. The results show that the students in the EG group felt more relaxed and put less effort than CG students, while both groups gather the abstract concepts in a similar extent. Also the percentage who passed the course is higher in the EG compared with CG. Although both groups value positively the subject, a percentage of students in the CG group add some comments referred to the lack of practice related with real problems in the algebra courses taught with the abstract approach.

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Vol. 3 Iss. 3

The effects of a Full-Year Pedagogical Treatment Based on a Collaborative Learning Environment on 7th Graders’ Interest in Science and Technology and Conceptual Change

Abstract: The growing popularity of collaboration in our school and its possible educational potential has led us to carry out comparative research with 7th grade students. Using a longitudinal approach over an entire school year and using a cross-lag design, we were able to test the effects of this learning environment on science misconceptions and interest. Using two questionnaires, we were able to perform an analysis of the results showing a possible positive causal link between collaborative learning and the development of scientific conception. However, we found no direct connection between collaborative learning and interest.  The analysis of the cross-lag leads us to see conceptual change as a mediator of the students’ interest in science.

Download: JRSMTE V3 2 4 DUROCHER
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Vol. 3 Iss. 3

Investigating the Perception of Senior Secondary School Students on the Role of Classroom Engagement in Mathematics Problem Solving

Abstract: This study was designed to investigate the perception of students on the role of classroom engagement in student’s problem solving in mathematics. Specifically, the study investigated the perception of 6 students taught by 4 mathematics teachers in 2 secondary schools in Nigeria for a period of 2 years. Two research objectives were developed to guide the study. Research journal and video recordings were used to document the focus group discussions and classroom observations.  The findings of the study suggested that the mathematics teachers made positive effort to use the engagement strategy as a tool to increase students problem solving abilities during mathematics classroom instruction. In addition, the result of the study suggested a positive increase in students’ problem-solving skills. This was evident in students’ engagement in collaboration, participation, increase in positive relationships that existed between students and their teachers. The study also suggested that the mathematics teachers created positive classroom atmosphere for students’ participation in classrooms problem solving. It also suggests that teachers provided inclusive support for students’ problem solving in mathematics and provided evidence of general traditional teacher centred learning in mathematics as opposed to student-centred learning among the students.

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Vol. 3 Iss. 2