Yilmaz-Tuzun and Topcu - IJSE 2008

Relationships among Preservice Science Teachers' Epistemological Beliefs, Epistemological World Views, and Self-efficacy Beliefs

Ozgul Yilmaz-Tuzun (a); Mustafa Sami Topcu (b)

(a) Middle East Technical University, Turkey
(b) Yuzuncu Yil Universitesi, Turkey

DOI: 10.1080/09500690601185113
International Journal of Science Education, Volume 30, Issue 1 January 2008 , pages 65 - 85
First Published on: 23 May 2007

This study discusses preservice elementary science teachers' (PSTs) epistemological beliefs and the relationships among their epistemological beliefs, epistemological world views, and self-efficacy beliefs. Four hundred and twenty-nine PSTs who were enrolled in five large universities completed the Schommer Epistemological Questionnaire (SEQ), the Epistemological World Views Scale, andthe Science Teaching Efficacy Belief Instrument. Factor analysis results revealed four factors for the SEQ. These factors were Innate Ability, Simple Knowledge, Certain Knowledge, and Omniscient authority. Multiple regression analysis suggests that for "Innate Ability" factor scores, three of the predictor variables - self-efficacy, outcome expectancy, and world view - contributed significantly to the model. For "Simple Knowledge," only one predictor variable - epistemological world view - contributed significantly to the model. For "Certain Knowledge" factor scores, only one predictor variable - outcome expectancy - contributed significantly to the model. None of the predictor variables significantly contributed to the "Omniscient Authority" factor scores. Results revealed that in Turkish culture, PSTs' epistemological beliefs support the multidimensional theory. In addition, while PSTs developed more sophisticated beliefs in some of the SEQ dimensions, they had less sophisticated beliefs in other dimensions. Also PSTs indicated that, when they want to teach science with student-centered methods, they believed that they would be successful only if their students memorize the scientific concepts and facts.

Ehrlén - IJSE 2008

Children's Understanding of Globes as a Model of the Earth: A problem of contextualizing

Karin Ehrlén
Stockholm University, Sweden
DOI: 10.1080/09500690601185956

International Journal of Science Education, Volume 30, Issue 2 February 2008 , pages 221 - 238

Visual representations play an important role in science teaching. The way in which visual representations may help children to acquire scientific concepts is a crucial test in the debate between constructivist and socio-cultural oriented researchers. In this paper, the question is addressed as a problem of how to contextualize conceptions and explanations in cognitive frameworks and visual descriptions in cultural contexts. Eleven children aged 6-8 years were interviewed in the presence of a globe. Those children who expressed views of the Earth that deviated from the culturally accepted view did not show any difficulties in combining these different ideas with the globe model. The way that this is possible is explained using a model of conceptual development as a process of differentiation between contexts and frameworks. The child must differentiate not only between the Earth as an area of flat ground in a common-sense framework and the planet Earth in a theoretical framework, but also between these frameworks and the framework of the representation. It is suggested that a differentiation on a meta-level is needed to distinguish which problems and explanations belong to which cognitive framework. In addition, the children must contextualize the visual description of the Earth in the globe in a cultural context to discern which mode of representation is used.

Snowman - arxiv.org 2007

Quantifying Student Effort and Class Involvement in the Introductory Higher Education Science Classroom

Daniel P. Snowman
Date: Wed, 28 Nov 2007 19:38:39 GMT (6kb)

This note details a minimal effort program, Cash Participation, that
quantifies class participation while increasing class energy, decreasing
student apathy and removing student embraced anonymity.


Smith Wittmann - arxiv.org 2007

Toward a more effective use of the Force and Motion Conceptual Evaluation
Trevor I. Smith, Michael C. Wittmann

contact: Trevor.I.Smith@umit.maine.edu and wittmann@umit.maine.edu

(Submitted on 12 Nov 2007)
We suggest one redefinition of common clusters of questions used to analyze student responses on the Force and Motion Conceptual Evaluation (FMCE). Our goal is to move beyond the expert/novice analysis of student learning based on pre-/post-testing and the correctness of responses (either on the overall test or on clusters of questions defined solely by content). We base our work in resource theory, taking special note of the context dependence of questions with seemingly similar physics content. We analyze clusters in ways that allow the most common incorrect answers to give as much, or more, information as the correctness of responses in that cluster. Using this dichotomy of correct and most common incorrect models (in clusters defined by common models) we can apply Model Analysis to help better map a class's thinking about the physics on the FMCE. We give one example of such an analysis as a proof-of-concept of our approach.

Comments: 13 pages, 7 figures, submitted to Phys. Rev. ST Phys. Educ. Res
Subjects: Physics Education (physics.ed-ph)
Cite as: arXiv:0711.1838v1 [physics.ed-ph]
Submission history

[v1] Mon, 12 Nov 2007 18:11:32 GMT (250kb,D)


NSF division - DRL

This isn't an announcement of a new journal article, it's a post about an NSF division that many of us should be aware of. The
Division of Research on Learning in Formal and Informal Settings has the Research and Evaluation on Education in Science and Engineering (REESE) , Discovery Research K-12 (DR- K12), and more. Very cool. Check it out the link more information.


Lawrenz, Huffman, Gravely - JRST 2007

Impact of the collaboratives for excellence in teacher preparation program
© 2007 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Res Sci Teach 44: 1348-1369, 2007
Frances Lawrenz 1 *, Douglas Huffman 2, Amy Gravely 1
1University of Minnesota
2University of Kansas
email: Frances Lawrenz (Lawrenz@umn.edu)
*Correspondence to Frances Lawrenz, University of Minnesota

Funded by:
National Science Foundation; Grant Number: DUE 9908902

This study investigated the national impact of the Collaboratives for Excellence in Teacher Preparation program (CETP). Impact of the program was examined in two different settings: institutions of higher education, and K-12 science and mathematics classrooms. The focus of this study was to determine the impact of the CETP program on the institutional culture and collaborations among faculty, and changes in instructional techniques used by higher education faculty and K-12 teachers. Data were gathered over a 3-year period from 12 different CETP projects. At the higher education level faculty reported more collaboration and a slight increase in the use of standard-based teaching. At the K-12 level, students of teachers who were prepared by the CETP program viewed classroom instruction as slightly more standards-based than comparable students of non-CETP prepared teachers. Additionally, external observers rated classes taught by teachers educated in CETP projects as more standards-based than classes taught by non-CETP teachers educated in other programs. Implications of the results for national large-scale reform of science and mathematics education are discussed.

Lotter, Harwood, Bonner - JRST 2007

The influence of core teaching conceptions on teachers' use of inquiry teaching practices
© 2007 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Res Sci Teach 44: 1318-1347, 2007

Christine Lotter 1 *, William S. Harwood 2, J. José Bonner 3
1University of South Carolina, Instruction and Teacher Education, 820 South Main Street, Wardlaw 223, Columbia, SC 29208
2University of Northern Iowa, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Cedar Falls, IA 50614
3Indiana University, Department of Biology, Bloomington, IN 47405
email: Christine Lotter (lotter@gwm.sc.edu)
*Correspondence to Christine Lotter, University of South Carolina, Instruction and Teacher Education, 820 South Main Street, Wardlaw 223, Columbia, SC 29208.

Funded by:
Howard Hughes Medical Institute; Grant Number: 52003732
a Maris M. Proffitt & Mary Higgins Proffitt Endowment Grant; Grant Number: 2940215

This article investigates three teachers' conceptions and use of inquiry-based instructional strategies throughout a professional development program. The professional development program consisted of a 2-week summer inquiry institute and research experience in university scientists' laboratories, as well as three academic year workshops. Insights gained from an in-depth study of these three secondary teachers resulted in a model of teacher conceptions that can be used to direct future inquiry professional development. Teachers' conceptions of inquiry teaching were established through intensive case-study research that incorporated extensive classroom observations and interviews. Through their participation in the professional development experience, the teachers gained a deeper understanding of how to implement inquiry practices in their classrooms. The teachers gained confidence and practice with inquiry methods through developing and presenting their institute-developed inquiry lessons, through observing other teachers' lessons, and participating as students in the workshop inquiry activities. Data analysis revealed that a set of four core conceptions guided the teachers' use of inquiry-based practices in their classrooms. The teachers' conceptions of science, their students, effective teaching practices, and the purpose of education influenced the type and amount of inquiry instruction performed in the high school classrooms. The research findings suggest that to be successful inquiry professional development must not only teach inquiry knowledge, but it must also assess and address teachers' core teaching conceptions.

Kang - JRST 2007

Elementary teachers' epistemological and ontological understanding of teaching for conceptual learning
© 2007 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Res Sci Teach 44: 1292-1317, 2007

Nam-Hwa Kang
Department of Science and Mathematics Education, Oregon State University, 239 Weniger Hall, Corvallis, Oregon 97331
email: Nam-Hwa Kang (kangn@science.oregonstate.edu)

The purpose of this study was to examine the ways in which elementary teachers applied their understanding of conceptual learning and teaching to their instructional practices as they became knowledgeable about conceptual change pedagogy. Teachers' various ways to interpret and utilize students' prior ideas were analyzed in both epistemological and ontological dimensions of learning. A total of 14 in-service elementary teachers conducted an 8-week-long inquiry into students' conceptual learning as a professional development course project. Major data sources included the teachers' reports on their students' prior ideas, lesson plans with justifications, student performance artifacts, video-recorded teaching episodes, and final reports on their analyses of student learning. The findings demonstrated three epistemologically distinct ways the teachers interpreted and utilized students' prior ideas. These supported Kinchin's epistemological categories of perspectives on teaching including positivist, misconceptions, and systems views. On the basis of Chi's and Thagard's theories of conceptual change, the teachers' ontological understanding of conceptual learning was differentiated in two ways. Some teachers taught a unit to change the ontological nature of student ideas, whereas the others taught a unit within the same ontological categories of student ideas. The findings about teachers' various ways of utilizing students' prior ideas in their instructional practices suggested a number of topics to be addressed in science teacher education such as methods of utilizing students' cognitive resources, strategies for purposeful use of counter-evidence, and understanding of ontological demands of learning. Future research questions were suggested.


An awesome post title about believing the possible

This blog post title is one of the best I've read in a long time:

It's possible that your stupidity will affect your ability to understand this post

I will let you read it yourself, and will only point out why I am putting this in a PER articles blog. The point is that students come to our questions with immense amounts of information about likelihoods of events, and, based on this article, their beliefs tinge how they read the questions we ask them. This is a major result, obvious in some ways, but subtle in others. What I'm getting at is shown in the insomnia/deafness graph, which I won't explain because you can go and read the article yourself.