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.
Devine-Wright, P., Devine-Wright, H., & Fleming, P. (2004). Situational influences upon children’s beliefs about global warming and energy. Environmental Education Research, 10(4), 493–506.
This study highlights the ways in which individuals’ beliefs and their perceptions of self-efficacy can affect their attitudes toward global climate change. Individuals with personal philosophies favoring active cooperation and participation seem more likely to see the value in taking action to fight climate change.
Douglas, J. A., & Katz, C. (2009). It’s all happening at the zoo: Children’s environmental learning after school. Afterschool Matters, 8, 36–45.
The authors of this article advocate for broad opportunities for young children to engage with the natural environment. In one out-of-school time (OST) program, called Animal Rescuers, children aged 10–12 participated in zoo visits, environmental education activities, and the creation of an online space. This project can give ISE educators insight into how zoos might connect children’s development with issues such as animal and environmental justice.
Barton, A. C., & Tan, E. (2010). 'It changed our lives': Activism, science, and greening the community. Canadian Journal of Science, Mathematics and Technology Education, 10(3), 207–222.
In this article, researchers report on the ways that middle school students positioned themselves as agents of change in their community by using the results of their research into local scientific phenomena and advocating for environmental reforms. This article might be of interest to ISE educators who are exploring how their programs can support the emergence of positive science learning identities in their youth participants.
Boyes, E., & Stanisstreet, M. (2012). Environmental education for behaviour change: Which actions should be targeted? International Journal of Science Education, 34(10), 1591–1641.
This study shines light on the complex relationship between student beliefs and student behaviour in the particular context of climate change. Findings indicate that affecting student behaviour is more complicated that simply providing them with information. Rather, their willingness to act is related to their perceptions on the usefulness of such actions.
Whitmarsh, L. (2009). What’s in a name? Commonalities and differences in public understanding of “climate change” and “global warming.” Public Understanding of Science 18(4), 401–420. doi:10.1177/0963662506073088
At first glance, public knowledge of climate science appears encouraging. When prompted, most people can correctly identify some of the contributors to climate change. But they are much less likely to do so when they are not shown a checklist of possible causes. This study examined public understanding of two commonly used terms: “global warming” and “climate change.” The findings have important implications for informal science educators seeking to develop effective programmes and exhibitions on climate science.
Levine Rose, S., & Calabrese Barton, A. (2012). Should Great Lakes City build a new power plant? How youth navigate socioscientific issues. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 49(5), 541–567.
This study examines how youth navigate socioscientific issues through the case studies of two students in an afterschool program. The study explores how the students’ thinking changed during the program and what influenced the students’ final stance on whether or not to build a new hybrid power plant in their community.
Lombardi, D., & Sinatra, G. M. (2013). Emotions about teaching about human-induced climate change. International Journal of Science Education 35(1), 167–191. doi:10.1080/09500693.2012.738372
Do teachers’ emotions about climate change affect their approach to instruction? Researchers examined the relationships among teachers’ emotions about climate change, their perceptions of the plausibility of the findings of climate science, and their understanding of climate science. The findings paint a complicated picture of the potential effect of emotions on instructional practice.
Smith, L. (2009). Identifying behaviors to target during zoo visits. Curator: The Museum Journal, 52(1), 101–115.
This paper will be of value to ISE professionals interested in designing communication strategies to influence visitor behaviour. The author draws on persuasive communication theory to discuss the design and delivery of messages to target behaviours. This study reflects on the difficulties encountered during a process of identifying and prioritising behaviours to target in zoo contexts.