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Learning concepts is a real challenge for learners because of the abstract nature of concepts. This holds particularly true for concepts in science and technology education where learning concepts by doing design activities is potentially a powerful way to overcome that learning barrier. Much depends, however, on the role of the teacher.

Design-Based Concept Learning in Science and Technology Education brings together contributions from researchers that have investigated what conditions need to be fulfilled to make design-based education work. The chapters contain studies from a variety of topics and concepts in science and technology education. So far, studies on design-based learning have been published in a variety of journals, but never before were the outcomes of those studies brought together in one volume. Now an overview of insights about design-based concept learning is presented with expectations about future directions and trends.
Volume Editors: Nasser Mansour and Heba EL-Deghaidy
This book presents an international perspective of the influence of cultural issues on STEM reform. Effective STEM education is of considerable importance internationally because there is increase pressure by governments to produce technically skilled people from the compulsory education sectors; people capable of participating actively in the so-called’ knowledge economy’ or knowledge society. An important and distinguishing feature of the book is that it draws upon the empirical experiences and research of the local experts from an extremely diverse cohort across the world.

Contributors are: Nayif Awad, David Barlex, Alexandra Bazdar, Saouma BouJaoude, Heba EL-Deghaidy, Marwa Eltanahy, Sibel Erduran, Sufian Forawi, Clare Gartland, Lilia Halim, Ying-Shao Hsu, Zanaton Haji Iksan, Deena Khalil, Meredith Kier, Nasser Mansour, Mohamad Sattar Rasul, Seema Rivera, Dalene Swanson, Paige Teamey, Tuan Mastura Tuan Soh, Russell Tytler, Noël Williams and Yi-Fen Yeh.
Volume Editors: Kenneth Tobin and Konstantinos Alexakos
Doing Authentic Inquiry to Improve Learning and Teaching consists of 18 chapters, and 19 authors from 4 countries. The book is suited for use by educators, researchers and classroom practitioners involved in teaching and learning, teacher education, and policy. All chapters are grounded in urban contexts, but are broadly applicable. Multilogical research highlights uses of sociocultural theory, authentic, event-oriented, interpretive inquiry, narrative, and willingness to learn from difference. Methodologies are historically constituted, emergent, contingent, and participatory, embracing collaborative, and contemplative practices, and value of many voices and diverse meaning systems. Readers experience research that is potentially both personally and professionally transformative and applicable to today’s challenges.

Contributors are: Jennifer D. Adams, Konstantinos Alexakos, Arnau Amat, Marissa E. Bellino, Mitch Bleier, Corinna Yolanda Brathwaite, Olga Calderon, Katelin Corbett, Amy DeFelice, Gene Fellner, Helen Kwah, Manny Lopez, Anna Malyukova, Kate E. O'Hara, Malgorzata Powietrzyńska, Isabel Sellas, Kenneth Tobin, and Yau Yan Wong.
The educational world is experiencing exciting yet tension-filled times. We all wish to strengthen and support creativity and creative teaching in schools. Yet recent debates about what “creativity” means, and how it should be implemented, raise the need for more specific approaches. Write a Science Opera (WASO) is one such approach. WASO is a transdisciplinary, inquiry-based approach to teaching at the intersection of art and science in schools. It is all about creative teaching and teaching for creativity.

Inquiry-Based Learning: A Guidebook to Writing a Science Opera provides teachers with the reasons for, and advantages of, introducing pupils of all ages to WASO. It provides step-by-step instructions for how to implement WASO in classrooms. WASO is challenging, but the rewards are powerful: In WASO, it is the pupils’ curiosity and creative imagination which develop their science and art curriculum.

Get ready for an exciting, creative journey …
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Abstract

The study introduces exemplary explicit teaching strategies as enacted by a middle school STEAM teacher. Through a 10-lesson climate change STEAM program, data were collected to explore explicit teaching strategies using O-TOP (Oregon Collaborative for Excellence in the Preparation [OCEPT] Teaching Observation Protocol) and NGSS 8 Practices (Next Generation Science Standards). Data from teacher interviews and class observations were also used to identify and describe how this STEAM teacher offered students opportunities to solve real problems in their community. Examples demonstrating three stages of STEAM education: understanding context presentation, performing creative design, and experiencing emotional touch are provided. We argue STEAM programs should be presented with more realistic issues arising from the community students belong to and that explicit teaching strategies should give students the opportunity to achieve core competencies and scientific literacy. Our study offers implications about the need for systemic teacher training and professional development for STEAM education.

In: Asia-Pacific Science Education
In: Asia-Pacific Science Education

Abstract

This research explored the characteristics of students’ activities and their artifacts during their participation in climate change club projects and investigated the impacts of the club project participation on students’ ecological citizenship. Climate change club projects were developed to help students understand climate change, investigate climate change issues, and plan and participate in social actions. Participants developed scientific models of causes of climate change and were expected to develop the own perspectives about socio-scientific issues related to climate change. Five types of competences of ecological citizenship were targeted through club activities: knowledge and understanding, responsibility, justice, sustainability, and participation. Researchers found activities were student centered and interactive and artifacts generated by students were resources for social action. Climate change club activities demonstrated the potential for student participation in club projects to promote competence for mitigating climate change among future generations by fostering a new form of citizenship: ecological citizenship.

In: Asia-Pacific Science Education
Authors: Ji-Ho Kim and Chan-Jong Kim

Abstract

This study explored types and intensities of students’ emotions related to participation in school-based SSI club project related to climate change (CE). Ten high school students participated twice a week for 7 weeks in club activities to model causes/ impacts of CE, explore local problems related to CE, and plan and participate in social action. Researchers used the control-value theory to analyze how students’ emotions changed over time and found that while some initially reported negative emotions persisted after the club activities concluded (anxiety, fear, guilt, and despair), students also reported more positive emotions (sense of accomplishment, confidence) than before. Students’ emotions became more positive when planning and participating in social action and some emotions (guilt, anxiety, and expectation) helped to drive students to action. We discuss implications for club activities as a way to educate students about CE and we raise questions for future research.

In: Asia-Pacific Science Education

Abstract

This paper presents historical analysis of the development of science education in Singapore from 1997 to 2011 with the aim of understanding the impact of education initiatives introduced during this period known as the ability-driven phase in Singapore. To provide context for the research, the author first describes the state of governance and education in Singapore during this period and then provides an introduction to the Thinking Schools, Learning Nation vision, and two main educational initiatives: the Teach Less, Learn More initiative and the Information Technology Masterplan. Next the impact of these initiatives on science education is explored and the impact on science culture and science education in Singapore is discussed. The author concludes with a discussion about value of historical analysis examining the impact of policy on educational practice and a discussion about the implications of this research for science and science education in Singapore in the future.

In: Asia-Pacific Science Education

Abstract

Quality environmental education (EE) is key for supporting sustainable development and use of resources. Educators in rural India face considerable challenges to teach EE in K-12 school settings. This study took place in Assam in Northeast India where non-governmental organization (NGO) educators are working to develop an EE program for students in rural areas. To reveal students’ perceptions of the environment, researchers administered the Draw-an-Environment Test (DAET) to 277 middle school students in government schools. Analysis of students’ drawings of the environment revealed that while students recognized humans have an impact on the environment, they did not fully understand the impact could often be negative and drawings did not necessarily reflect the reality of the local environment. Implications for how these findings can be used to develop responsive EE curriculum that challenges and extends students’ conceptions of the environment and the need for future research are discussed.

In: Asia-Pacific Science Education

Abstract

This article introduces the reader to past, current, and future trends in science teacher preparation and professional development in Vietnam. The authors rely on document analysis for data collection and focused analysis to describe the general education system and the mechanisms for teacher training in Vietnam from the past to the present. Research questions focused on exploring changes in the organization of the education system over time, identifying advances that have been made, and describing what challenges teacher education faces today. In addition, this paper offers a special focus on how Vietnamese pedagogy institutions are working to prepare new teachers. Finally, the authors describe how Vietnam is preparing to implement a new national general education program that will strongly affect all aspects of education, including training and retraining of teachers. The authors conclude by raising some important questions for future research and development.

In: Asia-Pacific Science Education

Abstract

Climate change education (CCE) programs should foster citizen response to climate change by integrating knowledge/skill development with reflection on the need for actively changing current social systems and personal actions. An analytical framework was developed to examine 16 Korean and international CCE programs to identify (1) structure and content and (2) to categorize action-emphasized climate change education (AECCE) programs. Results show most CCE programs are for elementary levels and place emphasis on knowledge/skill development, but not on action. AECCE categorized programs were less structured, included more reflexive activities, and promoted more action. Korean AECCE programs offered online content and promoted action at the personal level. International AECCE programs balanced online/real-life content and promoted more action at the socio-political level. AECCE programs need to foster values/attitudes and to promote participation and action at all grade levels, should balance potential and practical components, and target both personal and socio-political levels of action.

In: Asia-Pacific Science Education