Oliver, M. (2011). Towards an understanding of neuroscience for science educators. Studies in Science Education, 47(2), 211–235.
In this review, Oliver calls for greater cross-pollination between neuroscience research and educational practice. She argues that a richer understanding of the brain can dispel educational myths—and indeed uses research data in this paper to do so. She explores ways in which brain science can not only inform emerging theories of learning and teaching but also inspire effective educational interventions.
Laubach, T. A., Crofford, G. D., & Marek, E. A. (2012). Exploring Native American students’ perceptions of scientists. International Journal of Science Education, 34(11), 1769–1794.
Some say that if we could dismantle negative stereotypes of scientists, minority students would be more likely to consider careers in STEM. But precisely what views do minority students hold? In this study, researchers examined the perceptions of 133 Native American students by analysing students’ drawings of scientists and their accompanying written explanations.
Sjaastad, J. (2012). Sources of inspiration: The role of significant persons in young people’s choice of science in higher education. International Journal of Science Education, 34(10), 1615–1636.
Researchers asked 5,000 Norwegian college-level students of STEM about the sources of inspiration for their educational choices. The most influential people were teachers and parents—the people who knew the young people best. The findings suggest that the most effective STEM role models are individuals who have a personal connection with the young person making education and career choices.
Vadeboncoeur, J. A. (2006). Engaging young people: Learning in informal contexts. Review of Research in Education, 30, 239–278.
This 2006 paper reviews the ways in which structured informal learning programs for youth have been characterized in the research literature. The paper synthesizes opportunities for and challenges to research in this domain; it categorizes programs and gives concrete examples of various program types. A proposed Vygotskian research framework is organized around key dimensions of the informal learning context, including location, relationships, content, pedagogy, and assessment.