Evans, M. A., Lopez, M., Maddox, D., Drape, T., & Duke, R. (2014). Interest-driven learning among middle school youth in an out-of-school STEM studio. Journal of Science Education Technology, 23(5), 624–640. doi:10.1007/s10956-014-9490-z
In this paper, Evans, Lopez, Maddox, Drape, and Duke investigate how intentionally designed features of an out-of-school time program,Studio STEM, influenced middle school youths’ engagement in their learning. The authors took a connected learning approach, using new media to support peer interaction and engagement with an engineering design challenge in an open and flexible learning environment.
Penuel, W. R., Fishman, B. J., Cheng, B. H., & Sabelli, N. (2011). Organizing research and development at the intersection of learning, implementation, and design. Educational Researcher, 40(7), 331–337. doi:10.3102/0013189X11421826
One challenge in scaling up effective educational programs is how to adjust implementation to local contexts. One solution that the authors Penuel, Fishman, Cheng, and Sabelli propose is “design-based implementation research,” (DBIR) in which researchers and practitioners collaboratively identify problems and strategies during implementation while learning from this process to support innovations in new contexts.
Morag, O., & Tal, T. (2012). Assessing learning in the outdoors with the Field Trip in Natural Environments (FiNE) framework. International Journal of Science Education, 34(5), 745–777.
Despite increasing interest in the potential of outdoor learning experiences, limited research has focused on identifying “good” outdoor education practice. In this paper, the authors propose a theoretically based practical framework for assessing field trips in nature parks and other outdoor settings. The framework focuses on four aspects of field trips: preparation, pedagogy, activity, and outcomes.
Sandoval, W. (2014). Conjecture mapping: An approach to systematic educational design research. Journal of the Learning Sciences, 23, 18–36. doi:10.1080/10508406.2013.778204
Design-based research (DBR) is a method for testing educational theories while simultaneously studying the process of creating and refining educational interventions. In this article, Sandoval proposes “conjecture mapping” as a technique to guide DBR processes. Conjecture mapping responds to critiques that DBR lacks clear standards and methodological rigor.
Bouillion, L. M., & Gomez, L. M. (2001). Connecting school and community with science learning: Real world problems and school-community partnerships as contextual scaffolds. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 38(8), 878–898. doi:10.1002/tea.1037
To improve science education for culturally and linguistically diverse students, schools and communities can create “mutual benefit partnerships” to identify and address local problems. Through the example of the Chicago River Project, Bouillion and Gomez illustrate how such partnerships can connect formal learning contexts with the rich ways communities experience science outside of school.
Morehouse, H. (2009). Making the most of the middle: A strategic model for middle school afterschool programs. Afterschool Matters, 8, 1–10.
This paper summarizes key design elements for programs for middle-school-aged children, addressing issues of relationships, relevance, reinforcement, real-life projects, and rigor. The authors argue that these five components take into account the intellectual and emotional developmental needs of this age range.
Hamlin, M. L. (2013). “Yo soy indígena”: Identifying and using traditional ecological knowledge (TEK) to make the teaching of science culturally responsive for Maya girls. Cultural Studies of Science Education, 8(4), 759–776. doi:10.1007/s11422-013-9514-7
Hamlin provides a how-to guide for leveraging traditional ecological knowledge (TEK) to teach science in indigenous contexts. Her process uses the Vitality Index of Traditional Ecological Knowledge with ethnography to identify TEK. She describes how a community-driven program used TEK to expand the learning opportunities of a historically oppressed group: Maya women in Guatemala.
Lyon, G., & Jafri, J. (2010). Project Exploration's Sisters4Science. Afterschool Matters, 11,15–22.
This article describes an afterschool science program targeting girls from communities underrepresented in the sciences. The authors argue for the need for such programs to build on research findings that are relevant to girl-specific programs, which they summarize in the article. This article provides a highly condensed overview of research findings and illustrates how the authors have applied these findings to their program design. It could be of interest to ISE educators seeking to design STEM programs for girls.
McGregor, D. (2012). Dramatising science learning: Findings from a pilot study to re-invigorate elementary science pedagogy for five- to seven-year olds. International Journal of Science Education, 34(8), 1145–1165.
Rather than enacting imaginative approaches, some teachers tend to engage in safe but unexciting transmission of science knowledge. This study examined a professional development programme wherein primary school teachers learned the skills and approaches of Dramatic Science. The findings indicate that the programme met its aim of helping teachers become more confident and creative in supporting children’s science learning.