20 SES 06 A, Networking for Intercultural Learning
Science is an important component of progress and development in a society. Fundamental driving force of science makes science education top concern for many countries. Nevertheless, some crucial project reports pointed out that most of the students who live in European Union and OECD countries, especially in developed countries, don’t want to become a scientist although they appreciate the importance of science and technology (EC, 2004; NF, 2008; Sjoberg & Schreiner, 2005). Students’ understandings of science and career choices are influenced by their images of scientists (Sjoberg & Schreiner, 2005).
Why don’t students follow a career in science or get a job related to science? Students’ understanding and images of science are configured through their culture, life and education in which they are exposed to certain understanding of science. Students’ understandings of science and career choices are also influenced by their images of scientists. For this reason, research results on students’ images of scientists might be useful to shed light on the question stated that “Why don’t students choose a career in science?”.
In order to elicit students’ images of scientists, most used instrument is Drawing a Scientist Test (DAST) developed by Chambers (1983). Chambers (1983) reported seven elements of stereotypical image of scientists such as; lab coat, eyeglasses, facial growth of hair, symbols of research, symbols of knowledge, technology, relevant captions.
Research studies on students’ images of scientists consistently showed that students have stereotypical images of scientists such as having eyeglasses, facial hair, wild hair, wearing laboratory coats, doing dangerous and secret things (Chambers, 1983; Finson, et al. 1995). Nevertheless, these studies just reflected images of scientists of students in western countries. However, little has been done to provide information about situation in non-western countries such as Turkey (Akcay, 2011; Leblebicioglu, Metin, Yardimci, & Cetin, 2011; Turkmen, 2008) and Korea (Song & Kim, 1999). On the contrary to western countries, these research studies pointed out that stereotypical images of the scientists are slightly less in non-western countries than the ones revealed in western studies. On the other hand, in the Turkish context, some studies (Cakmakci, Tosun, Turgut, Orenler, Sengul, & Top, 2011; Kaya, Dogan, & Ocal, 2008) provided results in parallel with western DAST studies.
In order to clear out this contradictory situation in Turkish study results, more research must be conducted both to eliciting students’ images of scientists and to improve their images of scientists through effective interventions. Thus, the purpose of the study is to investigate the effectiveness of a science camp during which children interacted with non-stereotypical scientists formally and informally on children’s images of scientists by using data sets collected in a four-year period.
Akcay, B. (2011). Turkish elementary and secondary students‟ views about science and scientist. Asia-Pacific Forum on Science Learning and Teaching, Volume 12, Issue 1, Article 5. Cakmakci, G. Tosun, O., Turgut, S., Orenler, S., Sengul, K., & Top, G. (2011). Promoting an inclusive image of scientists among students: towards research evidence-based practice. International Journal of Science and Mathematics Education, 9, 627-655. Chambers, D. W. (1983). Stereotypical images of the scientist: The Draw-Scientist Test. Science Education, 67(2), 255-265. European Commission (EC). (2004). Europe Needs More Scientists: Report by the High Level Group on Increasing Human Resources for Science and Technology. Brussels. European Commission. Finson, K. D., Beaver, J. B., & Cramond, B. L. (1995). Development and field test of a checklist for the Draw-A-Scientist Test. School Science and Mathematics, 95(4), 195-205. Kaya, O. N., Dogan, A., & Ocal, E. (2008). Turkish elementary school students‟ images of scientists. Eurasian Journal of Educational Research, 32, 83-100. Leblebicioglu, G., Metin, D., Yardimci, E., & Cetin, P.S. (2011). The effect of informal and formal interaction between scientists and children at a science camp on their images of scientists. Science Education International, Volume 22, No 3, 158-174. Nuffield Foundation (NF). (2008). Science Education in Europe: Critical Reflections. London. Sjoberg, S. & Schreiner, C. (2005). How do learners in different cultures relate to science and technology? Results and perspectives from the project ROSE. Asia Pacific Forum on Science Learning and Teaching, 6, 1-16. Song, J. & Kim, K. S. (1999). How Korean students see scientists: the images of the scientist. International Journal of Science Education, 21(9), 957-977. Turkmen, H. (2008). Turkish primary students‟ perceptions about scientist and what factors affecting the image of the Scientists. Eurasia Journal of Mathematics, Science & Technology Education, 4(1), 55-61.
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