14 SES 08 B, Place-Based and Place-Conscious Education I
Teaching science outside school
An emergent theme within the science education literature highlights a contradiction between students’ attitudes towards science in general and their specific attitudes towards school science. Research shows that attitudes towards science itself are often regarded as positive; however, attitudes towards school science are often negative (e.g. Osborne, Simon & Collins, 2003). Specifically, Quigley (2014) argued that while students’ interest in school science is waning, their interest in science during informal experiences is intensifying. One possible explanation is that school science is seen as lacking relevance, decontextualised (Osborne, Simon & Collins, 2003), tedious, or out-dated (Quigley, 2014). In comparison to classroom-based science teaching, out-of-school science experiences are often perceived as engaging, challenging and relevant (Braund & Reiss, 2007). Consequently, moving science teaching outside school as a supplement to classroom-based teaching may be a way to enhance learning and interest among students.
Students’ cognitive achievement and knowledge acquisition
Studies investigating students’ learning (Bamberger & Tal, 2008), cognitive achievement (Sturm & Bogner, 2010), retention of knowledge (Randler, Kummer & Wilhelm, 2012), and knowledge acquisition (Carrier, Thomson, Tugurian & Stevenson, 2014) in science teaching outside school seems to highlight the benefits of including out-of-school contexts. However, few studies have explored the characteristics of knowledge acquired by students taught science outside school as studies have primarily focused on growth in knowledge or cognitive achievement.
Forms of knowledge
In defining what we mean by forms of knowledge, we refer to the revisions of Bloom’s Taxonomy of Educational Objectives (Anderson et al., 2001). In this taxonomy, four knowledge dimensions are described which are factual knowledge, conceptual knowledge, procedural knowledge, and metacognitive knowledge. These dimensions are further divided into subcategories specifying each dimension ranging from very specific knowledge to more abstract forms of knowledge. These various forms of knowledge are highlighted as important for different cognitive processes and tasks in science (Mayer, 2002; Pintrich, 2002). For example, procedural knowledge is essential knowledge when students apply procedures to perform exercises or solve problems (Mayer, 2002), whereas metacognitive knowledge are assigned useful for students to appropriately adapt the ways in which they think and operate (Pintrich, 2002). Teaching outside schools often contains elements of ‘hands-on’ approaches (Rickinson, Dillon, Teamey, Morris, Choi, Sanders, & Benefield, 2004) which might support the development of procedural knowledge, as this form of knowledge is defined as knowledge of ‘how to do something’ – that is methods of inquiry, criteria for using skills, algorithms, techniques, and methods (Krathwohl, 2002). As such, it is important that science teaching support students in acquiring different forms of knowledge to be competent in science.
Therefore, we explore the forms of knowledge and extensions in knowledge acquired by students taught science in different teaching contexts and pedagogical environments at school and outside school. Hence, the aims are to explore 1) the forms of knowledge acquired by students taught curriculum-based natural science and technology at school and outside school in a science-specific topic and 2) the extensions (the degrees and the ranges) in knowledge acquired by students at school in teaching outside school.
Anderson, L. W., Krathwohl, D. R., Airasian, P. W.,Cruikshank, K. A., Mayer, R. E., Pintrich, P. R., Raths, J. & Wittrock, M. C. (2001). A Taxonomy for Learning, Teaching and Assessing. A Revision of Bloom’s Taxonomy of Educational Objectives. Addison Wesley Longman, Inc. Bamberger, Y. & Tal, T. (2008). Multiple Outcomes of Class Visits to Natural History Museums: The Students’ View. Journal of Science Education and Technology, 17, 274-284 Braund, M. & Reiss, M. (2007). Towards a More Authentic Science Curriculum: The contribution of out‐of‐school learning. International Journal of Science Education, 28 (12), 1373-1388. Carrier, S. J. Thomson, M. M., Tugurian, L. P. & Stevenson, K.T. (2014). Elementary Science Education in Classrooms and Outdoors: Stakeholder views, gender, ethnicity, and testing. International Journal of Science Education, 36 (13), 2195-2220. Falk, J.H. (2003). Personal Meaning Mapping. In: G. Caban, C. Scott, J. Falk & L. Dierking, (Eds.) Museums and Creativity: A study into the role of museums in design education, pp. 10-18. Sydney, AU: Powerhouse Publishing. Flyvbjerg, B. (2006). Five Misunderstandings about Case-Study Research. Qualitative Inquiry, 12 (2), 219-245. Hsieh, H-F & Shannon, S. E. (2005). Three approaches to qualitative content analysis. Qualitative Health Research, 15 (9), 1277-1288. Kratwohl, D. R. (2002). A Revision of Bloom’s Taxonomy: An Overview. Theory into Practice, 41 (4), 212-218. Mayer, R. E. (2002). Rote versus meaningful learning. Theory into Practice, 41 (4), 226-232. Osborne, J., Simon, S. & Collins, S. (2003). Attitudes towards science: a review of the literature and its implications. International journal of science education, 25 (9), 1049-1079. Pintrich, P. R. (2002).The Role of Metacognitive Knowledge in Learning, Teaching, and Assessing. Theory Into Practice, 41 (4), 219-225. Randler, C. , Kummer, B & Wilhelm, C. (2012) . Adolescent Learning in the Zoo: Embedding a Non-Formal Learning Environment to Teach Formal Aspects of Vertebrate Biology. Journal of Science Education and Technology, 21, 384-391. Rickinson, M., Dillon, J., Teamey, K., Morris, M., Choi, M. Sanders, K., & Benefield, P. (2004). A Review of Research on Outdoor Learning. London: National Foundation for Educational Research and King’s College London. Retrieved from http://www.field-studies-council.org/documents/general/NFER/A_review_of_research_on_outdoor_learning .pdf . Sturm, H. & Bogner, F. X. (2010). Learning at workstations in two different environments: A museum and a classroom. Studies in Educational Evaluation, 36, 14-19. Quigley, C. (2014). Expanding our view of authentic learning: bridging in and out-of-school experiences. Cultural Studies of Science Education, 9 (1), 115-122.
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