This study seeks to identify the individual and institutional predictors of applied STEM course enrollment in high school. A secondary aim of the study is to explore how factors of applied STEM coursetaking are affected by when students choose to take these courses. The most striking finding of the present study is that female students are significantly less likely to enroll in applied STEM courses, even after disaggregating for the type of applied STEM course.
The purpose of this research is to seek insights into teachers’ experiences as they implement garden-based learning. Our results add to existing frameworks describing the relationship between the teacher and the curriculum specifically in the garden-based learning context.
This study examines the influence of high school exposure to basic science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) courses, high school exposure to STEM-related environment and activities, high school quantity of exposure to precollege STEM classes, and the quality of the latter for a sample of college-bound North Carolina students’ intent to major in STEM and likelihood of declaring a STEM major.
The chapter explores the space–time configuration of youth-voice driven science practices outside of school that are part of an emergent field of study known as informal science education (ISE). Education is an emergent phenomenon grounded in a relational geography of youths’ complex space–time configurations. A focus on youths’ mobilities offers new insights into the manner youth contribute to their own learning and becoming.
Our purpose is to enrich current conceptualizations of autonomy support that remain constrained by the context of study and by the limited available descriptions of teacher enactment. Toward this end, we richly describe teachers’ provision of academically significant autonomy support within an inquiry-based science curricular context to incorporate higher quality differentiations.
This study examines the relationship between applied STEM coursetaking (i.e., ‘scientific research & engineering’ and ‘information technology’) in high school and standardized math achievement. Using longitudinal data from a nationally-representative cohort of high school students, this study tests the effect of enrolling in applied STEM courses conditional on pipeline placement in traditional academic math courses, with the former emphasizing the application of concepts taught in the latter to specific occupational settings. Fixed effects regression analyses reveal that applied STEM courses have a statistically significant, but substantively small positive effect on math test scores. Students who fall lower on the math ability pipeline (i.e., who take only below average math courses like basic math and pre-Algebra) benefit much more from applied STEM courses than do students who take more advanced courses.
This chapter describes an empirical study that tests the motivational and learning effects of an intervention designed to initiate and sustain interest and engagement in high school biology classrooms. Positive effects were demonstrated for conceptual understanding, vocabulary acquisition, and perceptions of the learning experiences.
This chapter highlights the fit between youth-development-oriented programming and informal science activities in out-of-school time (OST) and illustrates how science and youth development can and should co-occur. The clover model and Dimensions of Success tool are introduced as lenses for designing and assessing science program quality in OST.
While recognizing that instructional scaffolding in a whole-class context can engage students’ learning as they move through individual zone of proximal developments (ZPDs), in this chapter, we argue that instructional scaffolding also can collectively engage a class through a shared ZPD when participant structures and discourse practices provide for coparticipation and alter traditional notions of teacher support and shared responsibility. A case study of a chemistry classroom is presented to substantiate this argument and illustrate how instructional scaffolding can be used as a support for collective engagement.
This article examines the effects of individual- and institutional-level factors across secondary and postsecondary contexts on students’ likelihood of majoring in the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields in college.
It is important that content specialists have induction programs that are tailored to their needs, given that content knowledge is important during instruction. Unfortunately, most content specialists (including science teachers) don't experience content-focused induction programs. In an effort to illuminate the need for this type of induction program, this chapter provides an overview of the programs and research that the author has conducted with beginning secondary teachers.
This study examines the perspectives of 8 exemplary African American elementary teachers toward science homework.
This research examines the relationship between mathematics and science coursework patterns among high school graduates using data from the 2000 High School Transcript Study.
Perhaps the most distinctive achievement of Western civilization is its advancement of and reliance on the disciplines of natural science, allowing humans an unprecedented understanding—and influence—over their environment. This capacity to organize certain kinds of experience has succeeded spectacularly, sometimes beyond human control and sometimes to the exclusion of other ways of understanding. Here Ian Winchester contrasts science’s focus on regularities with history’s concerns with understanding the individual events, thoughts, and actions of particular people (including scientists). He explores how current scientific thinking came to be so dominant by tracing its development over three key historical periods.
Today we are all bombarded with powerful images, words, and sounds from various media, designed to win our hearts and minds. As adults, we have life’s experiences, the advantages of age, and often higher education as filters to help us navigate these powerful messages. Young people, at very confusing times in their lives, are trying to figure out who they are and what the world is about. How can we, as adults, help young people figure out the impact of media on their decision making, and how can we help them to use the lens of skepticism to be sure they maintain control over their life’s choices? An analytical approach to evidence is essential with the mass media.
Based on the conception of equity from a cultural anthropology perspective, the paper addresses epistemological and pedagogical issues concerning equity in science content, learning, and teaching for students from diverse languages and cultures. It provides a synthesis of major issues and research findings for effective classroom practices in the multicultural science education literature. It also offers recommendations for a research agenda to achieve the goal of “science for all,” including students from diverse languages and cultures.
The article reports on a quasi experimental study, which examined the relative effectiveness of two instructional approaches (an innovative approach developed by the author and a case-study approach) at fostering idea-based, transformative experiences in a high school science class. The construct of an idea-based, transformative experience was derived from Dewey's work on aesthetics, experience, and education. Such experience involves the active use of a concept and an expansion of perspection and value.
In this chapter we trace “what and how science should be taught" through the twentieth century. We make reference to a number of NSSE publications, as well as other publications, that have influenced science education.
As one constructivist remarked, “In summary
then the term ‘constructivism’ appears to be fashionable, mostly
used loosely with no clear definition of the term, and is used without
clear links to an epistemological base.” Although there are countless
thousands of constructivist articles, it is rare to find ones with fully
worked out epistemology, learning theory, educational theory, or ethical
and political positions. This makes appraisal difficult.
The first part of this chapter provides a brief overview of changes
that have occurred since the mid-1970s in terms of the foci of publications
in the Journal of Research in Science Teaching at intervals of
approximately five years. The second part of the chapter describes the
manner in which I have applied theory in science education in a context
of the local communities in which I participated. I describe the
ways in which constructivism became an important framework in a
context of changes in which I practiced science education and concomitant
changes occurring within the science education community
This chapter has a somewhat more restricted focus. It is concerned
with discussing, illustrating, and assessing both the impact of constructivist
ideas on classroom research and the ways this research
informs classroom practice. I will also consider some of the critiques
directed at constructivism. All this will be done within the context of
This chapter will begin by picking up some of the themes in constructivism
that were troublesome in 1993-94 when I last wrote about
the subject. The most important of these concerns constructivism as a
method of teaching and the various brands of constructivism which lie
beyond what the students tell us they think about scientific phenomena
(as though these were wholly invented or constructed by them). Then
there are two almost completely new themes which we should explore
because they are becoming more confusing but also more interesting.
The first of these is the so-called Science Wars, where angry exchanges
and polarized views about truth and constructivism between the relativists
and the scientists are beginning to assail the quieter domain of
science education in order to recruit teachers and youngsters to their
sides of the argument.
Against a backdrop of increasing concern about promoting student achievement in science, this study examines the construction of science classes without science in an academically prestigious high school.
Using data from the National Longitudinal Study of 1988 (NELS88), this study examines the access to constructivist and didactic instuction in U.S. high school science classrooms.
The five articles in this set of commentaries reflect the richness and energy of the issues surrounding national standards in math and science as they begin to reach a wider audience and take shape in implementation. The dominant issue discussed and debated in the articles is the shift in emphasis from memorizing procedures (calculations) to problem solving and understanding.
This article addresses the development, content, and potential for implementation of nationallly developed science education standards, including their adoption and effects at the state level.
A commentary on the national standards for science education from the perspective of a university faculty member in the physical sciences.
One of two articles on academic achievement, this article discusses the performance of U.S. students on mathematics and science achievement tests compared to students in other countries. Recent data show they are performing better. This commentary examines the importance of meeting certain research conditions before drawing conclusions about achievement trends.
The historical, social, and political context
of women’s experience in science serves to challenge the stereotype that girls “historically?
have had a difficult time in math and science.