Graphs illustrating complex scientific relationships require students to integrate multiple concepts and visual features into a coherent understanding. We investigate ways to support students in integrating their understanding of density concepts through a graph that is linked to a simulation depicting the relationship between mass, volume, and density. We randomly assigned 325 8th-grade students to 1 of 2 graphing activities.
Incorporating scientific uncertainty as part of science teaching means acknowledging that there may be incomplete or potentially limited scientific information when scientists draw conclusions. In the geosciences, scientists routinely make inferences about the Earth based on observations of the present, and test those observations against hypotheses about Earth’s history and processes that are not readily observable.
In this article, we turn our attention to context-based approaches to science instruction. We studied the effects of changes to a set of secondary science teacher education programs, all of which were redesigned with attention to the Secondary Science Teaching with English Language and Literacy Acquisition (SSTELLA) instructional framework, a framework for responsive and contextualized instruction in multilingual science classrooms. Contextualizing science activity is one of the key dimensions of the SSTELLA instructional framework.
Recent reform efforts in science education include a focus on science practices. Teachers require support in integrating these practices into instruction. Multimedia educative curriculum materials (MECMs), digital materials explicitly designed to support teacher learning, offer one potential resource for this critical need. Consequently, the authors investigated how teachers used MECMs and whether that use impacted their beliefs about the practice of scientific argumentation. They conducted a randomised experimental study with 90 middle school science teachers in the USA.
Implementation of reform curricula requires teachers to adopt new approaches to teaching. Research has provided promising results about the influence of educative curriculum on teachers’ learning and instruction. However, this approach generally focuses on teachers as isolated learners. Using a design-based research approach, the authors developed a web-based tool, iPlan, which provides access to educative curriculum materials in an online interactive learning platform.
Experimentation is one of the important strategies used in engineering design to understand the relationship between relevant variables so that they can be manipulated to generate optimized solution for a particular problem or design. The understanding of students’ experimentation strategies allows educators to help students improve their design experiments by providing scaffolds or guidance. The purpose of this study is to investigate students’ experimentation strategies while they work on a design challenge.
In science and engineering education, the use of heuristics has been introduced as a way of understanding the world, and as a way to approach problem-solving and design. However, important consequences for the use of heuristics are that they do not always guarantee a correct solution. Learning by Design has been identified as a pedagogical strategy that can guide individuals to properly connect science learning via design challenges.
This article focuses on the impacts of a program designed to prepare elementary classroom teachers to mentor preservice teachers for effective science instruction. The mentor preparation program was grounded in research on effective science instruction and learning-focused mentoring.