Sadeh, I. & Zion, M. (2009). The development of dynamic inquiry performances within an open inquiry setting: A comparison to guided inquiry setting. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 46, 1137–1160.
In this study, researchers compared two different forms of inquiry, guided and open. The authors found that open inquiry was more effective than guided inquiry in building students' understanding about scientific procedures. For example, students engaged in open inquiry gained insights into the ways that scientists need to adjust their studies as new information or problems arise. The findings of this research will be of interest to ISE educators who are integrating inquiry-based instruction into their programs.
Maulucci, M. (2010). Resisting the marginalization of science in an urban school: Coactivating social, cultural, material and strategic resources. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 47(7), 840–860.
Education reform efforts often focus on material supplies and teacher knowledge of science, but this article points out additional constraints that teachers face within their schools and how the teachers from one middle school overcame them. These constraints have implications for what the researcher calls “inertial forces” that may derail social justice efforts. An awareness of these issues can help ISE educators in their efforts to design and lead professional development programs that support teachers.
Mallya, A., Mensah, F. M., Contento, I. R., Koch, P. A., & Calabrese Barton, A. (2012). Extending science beyond the classroom door: Learning from students’ experiences with the Choice, Control, and Change (C3) curriculum. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 49(2), 244–269.
This paper explores how a school-day science and nutrition curriculum, Choice, Control and Change (C3), shaped student thinking, decision making, and actions outside the classroom. The curriculum taught health science content and engaged students in activities focused on analyzing and changing their personal health choices.
Jones, M. G., Taylor, A. R., & Broadwell, B. (2009). Concepts of scale held by students with visual impairment. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 46(5), 506–519.
Size and scale are important concepts across disciplines, particularly with recent advances at the very large and very small ends of the continuum, which are also hard to teach and understand. Since not much is known about how people develop a sense of linear size and scale, particularly for children with visual impairments, the authors compared their accuracy to that of normal students, as well as examined their experiences learning about size in- and out-of-school. The authors speculate that educators may find students with visual impairments to have unique accessibility to concepts of the very large and small scales of science.
Varelas, M., Pappas, C. C., Tucker-Raymond, E., Kane, J., Hankes, J., Ortiz, I., & Keblawe-Shamah, N. (2010). Drama activities as ideational resources for primary-grade children in urban science classrooms. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 47(3), 302-325.
ISE professionals can use this article as a source of ideas to guide thinking about what makes a successful dramatic experience for learners. Alternative, physical ways to engage science learners are often the most challenging to envision, effectively execute, and articulate how learning is fostered. The researchers and teachers in this study incorporated drama into science lessons to bring in fun, creativity, thinking, and imagination as part of classroom learning, and showed how the young students collectively represented the scientific world more accurately.
Dewitt, J., & Hohenstein, J. (2010). School trips and classroom lessons: An investigation into teacher student talk in two settings. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 47(4), 454-473.
In teacher-student interactions during pre-visit, in-museum, and post–field trip interactions, open-ended styles of questions tended to happen more often during the in-museum part of the field trip, although closed-ended questions were still more frequent overall.
Palmer, David H. (2010). Student interest generated during an inquiry skills lesson. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 46(2), 147–165.
A 40-minute inquiry lesson comprising demonstration, proposal, experiment, and report to 224 ninth-grade students organized by the author provided evidence that situational interest can be developed through such activities compared to copying notes from the text and during the lecture. Situational interest, generated by the aspects of a specific situation (e.g., a spectacular demonstration may arouse students’ interest temporarily, even if they are not normally interested in science), is a short-time interest. Although it is a transient occurrence, the author’s previous findings suggest that situational interest, if experienced repeatedly, can have powerful/wide-ranging effects on student motivation. The author identifies sources of situational interest as, for example, learning, choice, novelty, physical activity, social involvement, etc., the strategies that may be especially relevant and accessible in informal learning environments.
Tan, E., Calabrese Barton, A., Kang, H., & O’Neill, T. (2013). Desiring a career in STEM-related fields: How middle school girls articulate and negotiate identities-in-practice in science. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 50(10), 1143–1179. doi:10.1002/tea.21123
This article examines middle school girls’ participation in school-day science classes and out-of-school time science clubs to understand the girls’ identification with and relationship to science. Looking at the girls’ science experiences across settings, researchers compared how the identities developed from these experiences supported or worked against the girls’ future trajectories in STEM.
Johnson, C. C. (2011). The road to culturally relevant science: Exploring how teachers navigate change in pedagogy. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 48(2), 170–198.
This article reports on a case study of two middle school science teachers who took part in professional development designed to help them enact culturally relevant pedagogy in their classrooms. The long-term and community-oriented aspects of the professional development seemed to play a vital role in supporting the teachers’ success.
Duncan, R. G., Rogat, A. D., & Yarden, A. (2009). A learning progression for deepening students’ understandings of modern genetics across the 5th–10th grades. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 46(6), 655–674.
What are the core ideas of learning genetics? How can we build coherent learning experiences to support these ideas? Learning progressions are an approach to outline how learners come to understand abstract concepts over time. This article describes a learning progression that promotes understanding of genetics from late elementary school into high school.