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.
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.
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.
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.
Hampden-Thompson, G., & Bennett, J. (2013). Science teaching and learning activities and students’ engagement in science. International Journal of Science Education, 35(8), 1325–1343. doi: 10.1080/09500693.2011.608093
This study uses data from the 2006 PISA survey to examine the association between student engagement in science and the nature of teaching and learning activities. It also explores school and family factors. Key findings are to be expected but also surprising. For example, variety in types of activity is associated with greater engagement. However, smaller classes do not necessarily result in greater enjoyment of science!
Cochran, G. R., & Ferrari, T. M. (2009). Preparing youth for the 21st century knowledge economy: Youth programs and workforce preparation. Afterschool Matters, 8, 11–25.
Successfully combining youth development with workforce preparation means creating opportunities for work-based learning, where youth are learning workplace skills through work rather than learning about a specific career path. This paper summarizes the ways in which workforce skills such as communication, critical thinking, leadership, and teamwork can be cultivated through three types of program models: “value-added,” “growing your own,” and employer partnerships.
Alexander, J. M., Johnson, K. E., & Kelley, K. (2012). Longitudinal analysis of the relations between opportunities to learn about science and the development of interests related to science. Science Education, 96(5), 763–786. doi:10.1002/sce.21018
This study considers the relationship between preschoolers’ early exposure to informal science experiences and their interest in science, with particular attention paid to gender differences. A longitudinal study of children ages 4 to 7 found that early science interest was a strong predictor of later parent-provided opportunities to engage in science learning.
Barron, B. (2006). Interest and self-sustained learning as catalysts of development: A learning ecology perspective. Human Development, 49, 193–224.
The researcher of this study presents definitive arguments for the need to move beyond a “school-centric” approach to studying how people learn. Citing ecological perspectives on learning, this paper claims that for an understanding of how people develop interests, participation, and fluency in a given domain, it is necessary to first examine how these interests are developed and nurtured across time and settings. The researcher provides three case studies of teens who familiarized themselves with electronic technologies, each of them following different pathways, all of which spanned multiple settings and opportunities. The informal sector is sometimes designated as a niche where children can become interested, while school is the place where they can develop their expertise. This paper illustrates that the nature of interest and expertise development is very complicated, and the ISE sector can spark, sustain, and strengthen interest and expertise.
Fields, D, A. (2009). What do students gain from a week at science camp? Youth perceptions and the design of immersive research-orientated astronomy camp. International Journal of Science Education, 31(2), 151–171.
Using Gee’s (2004) notion of ‘affinity spaces’ – places where people collaboratively interact in response to a common interest or affinity – this paper examines how a week-long astronomy camp can shape student self-identities. The paper also examines the design of the camp and notes that it successfully blends the ‘student-led research’ approach with the ‘cognitive-apprenticeship model’.
Anderman, E. M., Sinatra, G. M., & Gray, D. L. (2012). The challenges of teaching and learning about science in the twenty-first century: Exploring the abilities and constraints of adolescent learners. Studies in Science Education, 48(1), 89–117.
In this paper, Anderman and colleagues examine the skills adolescents need in order to learn science effectively. They note that many negative experiences associated with science learning could be avoided if educators were more aware of the abilities of adolescents and the types of environments that foster particular abilities. They offer seven recommendations to practitioners.