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.
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.
Xu, J., Coats, L., & Davidson, M. (2012). Promoting student interest in science: The perspectives of exemplary African American teachers. American Educational Research Journal, 49(1), 124–154.
This study investigated what exemplary African American science teachers do to develop interest in science among low-income African American elementary students. The researchers found three interrelated approaches:
1) Having a genuine interest—in science, in teaching, and in students’ lives
2) Scaffolding students’ interest in science
3) Offering multiple standpoints—many ways for students to engage
Evans, M. S. (2012). Supporting science: Reasons, restrictions, and the role of religion. Science Communication, 34(3), 334–372. doi:10.1177/1075547011417890
Would religious Americans impose a ten-year moratorium on scientific research? Of 62 interviewees, 60 responded negatively. Interestingly, respondents employed reasoning skills alongside their religious beliefs, complicating the common belief that scientific and religious values cannot co-exist in the same person.
Seakins, A., & Dillon, J. (2013). Exploring research themes in public engagement within a natural history museum: A modified Delphi approach. International Journal of Science Education, Part B: Communication and Public Engagement, 3(1), 52–76.
This paper discusses a modification of the Delphi technique as a tool for bridging research and practice. The technique was used to build consensus among a variety of stakeholders on the subject matter of a proposed Ph.D. study, but it could also be used to identify a focus for other research or collaborative projects.
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.
Gruenewald, D. A. (2003). The best of both worlds: A critical pedagogy of place. Educational Researcher, 32(4), 3–12. doi:10.3102/0013189X032004003
Gruenewald blends critical pedagogy and place-based education into a critical pedagogy of place. Critical pedagogies challenge the assumptions implicit in the dominant culture. Place-based education aims to educate citizens so they can influence their social and ecological spaces. Together, these perspectives provide a framework that enables citizens to act both locally and globally to protect their cultures and environments.