Jakobsson, A., Mäkitalo, Å. & Säljö, R. (2009). Conceptions of knowledge in research on students' understanding of the greenhouse effect. Science Education, 93(6), 978–995.
This study suggests that the assessment of students’ understanding of scientific vocabulary, concepts, and reasoning associated with the greenhouse effect may be better accomplished by observing and understanding learners’ developing language use over time. The indication of previous research that students hold tenacious misconceptions may be an artifact of the questionnaires used. The authors argue that listening to student conversations is the key to better recognize learning. This paper can help ISE educators think more deeply about how and when to assess for student understanding, including considering most appropriate and informative methods.
Emdin, C. (2011). Dimensions of communication in urban science education interactions and transactions. Science Education, 95(1), 1–20.
This study is relevant to educators seeking to expand science practices and discourse in their programs for youth. The author finds that a lack of understanding of everyday communication patterns of African-American students leads many science teachers to shut down students just as they are beginning to express interest and active involvement in the science classroom. The result may be orderly looking classrooms, but the youth have in fact “checked out” and are merely following procedures. This paper presents a framework for analyzing various levels of authentic involvement in the science classroom, and is an important resource for ISE educators seeking to engage urban youth in structured science education programs.
Atwood, S., Turnbull, W., & Carpendale, J.I.M. (2010). The construction of knowledge in classroom talk. Journal of the Learning Sciences, 19(3), 358–402.
In this study, researchers investigated the nature of three different modes of classroom talk—cumulative, exploratory, and disputational—to determine how these modes supported engagement and participation of college-aged students in psychology courses. The article is relevant to ISE educators in that conversation and verbal meaning-making often characterize programs such as science summer camps, afterschool programs, etc. The paper points out how such talk can be made more productive by making it more exploratory in nature.
Tsybulskaya, D., & Camhi, J. (2009). Accessing and incorporating visitors' entrance narratives in guided museum tours. Curator: The Museum Journal, 51(1), 81–100.
ISE educators who provide guided tours at museums and similar institutions will be interested in this paper as it addresses how informal educators can assess a visitor's "entrance narrative," or collection of experiences, memories, and knowledge related to the subject matter of the museum, and respond to it in ways that enhance and increase visitors engagement with the subject matter during the tour. Visitors that experienced the entrance narrative mapping technique described here believed it helped them more deeply engage in the subject matter of the tour.
Brown, B. A., & Kloser, M. (2009). Conceptual continuity and the science of baseball: Using informal science literacy to promote students’ science learning. Cultural Studies of Science Education, 4(4), 875–897.
The formal introduction of learners to scientific phenomena is accompanied by the need to reconcile what they are being taught in classrooms with their informal or pre-existing conceptualizations of the same phenomena. Reconciled formal and informal conceptualizations represent what the authors of this study refer to as “conceptual continuity,” which, they argue, is an important asset for science educators seeking to support students’ conceptual development. In this paper, authors studied the ways in which high-school baseball players expressed their understanding of how curveballs curve using both scientific and everyday language. This study will be of use and interest to ISE educators, who seek to support students’ conceptual continuities across different settings.
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.
Hsu, P.-L., Roth, W.-M., & Mazumder, A. (2009). Natural pedagogical conversations in high school students’ internship. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 46(5), 481–505.
This study identifies the elements of natural pedagogical conversations during an internship in a science laboratory. It offers ISE practitioners insight into how scientists teach science in their labs, how youth interns initiate learning, and describes productive conversational forms that may impact their own work with youth.
Furberg, A. & Arnseth, H.A. (2009). Reconsidering conceptual change from a socio-cultural perspective: Analyzing students’ meaning making in genetics in collaborative learning activities. Cultural Studies of Science Education, 4, 157–191.
How do students understand through talk and interaction with their resources? This series of articles reviews conceptual change through social interaction, learning opportunities that support students’ gaining understanding of genetics, and institutional constraints that influence students’ discussions.
Barton, A. C., & Tan, E. (2009). Funds of knowledge and discourse and hybrid space. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 46(1), 50–73.
This design experiment integrated students’ everyday discourses and knowledge into classroom scientific practice, thereby allowing for the creation of hybrid spaces, where students were able to meaningfully apply science learning to their everyday lives. This research shows that providing students with opportunities to co-author their learning can engage students more deeply.
Rincke, K. (2011). It’s rather like learning a language: Development of talk and conceptual understanding in mechanics lessons. International Journal of Science Education, 33(2), 229–258.
This study reports on how high school students use scientifically correct language to articulate the concept of ‘force’. Although the analysis is somewhat complex, the importance of this study is its research of how the students engage with scientific concepts and language, and moreover, how they use and apply it.