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Full-Text Articles in Education

The Lifelong Learning Of Science, William W. Cobern Jan 2015

The Lifelong Learning Of Science, William W. Cobern

Scientific Literacy and Cultural Studies Project

The lifelong learning of science is actually becoming harder and harder to avoid. We can expect that there will be fewer and fewer adults who are truly uninterested in science and technology. What will happen is that people will periodically be interested and periodically uninterested. The rising impact of science and technology on lifelong learning, with the constant flow of information through the media, Internet and 24 hour news cycle, will make some interest in science some of time unavoidable for most people. Thus, the question is not whether adults will learn science throughout life, but what they will learn ...


An Investigation Of Teacher Response To National Science Curriculum Reforms In Turkey, Ridvan Elmas, Nilay Öztürk, Meltem Irmak, William W. Cobern Apr 2014

An Investigation Of Teacher Response To National Science Curriculum Reforms In Turkey, Ridvan Elmas, Nilay Öztürk, Meltem Irmak, William W. Cobern

Scientific Literacy and Cultural Studies Project

Major science education curriculum reform is taking place in Turkey involving a substantial break with past science curricula. Such reform has significant implications for teachers but to date there has been little research on teacher response to these reforms. The purpose of this qualitative study was to investigate the impact on the teachers who are charged with implementing reforms. Semi-structured interviews with 18 elementary science teachers were conducted and additional observational data was recorded. The interview schedule comprised 23 questions in 9 themes. According to the data analysis, the main problem for teachers is that curriculum reforms involve overly big ...


Pedagogy Of Science Teaching Tests: Formative Assessments Of Science Teaching Orientations, William W. Cobern, David Schuster, Betty Adams, Brandy Ann Skjold, Ebru Zeynep Mugaloglu, Amy Bentz, Kelly Sparks Jan 2014

Pedagogy Of Science Teaching Tests: Formative Assessments Of Science Teaching Orientations, William W. Cobern, David Schuster, Betty Adams, Brandy Ann Skjold, Ebru Zeynep Mugaloglu, Amy Bentz, Kelly Sparks

Scientific Literacy and Cultural Studies Project

A critical aspect of teacher education is gaining pedagogical content knowledge of how to teach science for conceptual understanding. Given the time limitations of college methods courses, it is difficult to touch on more than a fraction of the science topics potentially taught across grades K-8, particularly in the context of relevant pedagogies. This research and development work centers on constructing a formative assessment resource to help expose pre-service teachers to a greater number of science topics within teaching episodes using various modes of instruction. To this end, 100 problem-based, science pedagogy assessment items were developed via expert group discussions ...


Enseñanza De Las Ciencias Y Contextos Culturales: Un Testimonio De Vida, William W. Cobern, Adela Molina-Andrade, Gonzalo Peñaloza-J. Nov 2013

Enseñanza De Las Ciencias Y Contextos Culturales: Un Testimonio De Vida, William W. Cobern, Adela Molina-Andrade, Gonzalo Peñaloza-J.

Scientific Literacy and Cultural Studies Project

William W. Cobern es PhD en Educación en Ciencias, de la Universidad de Colorado Boulder. En la actualidad es profesor en la Western Michigan University. Su trabajo ha girado en torno a la relación entre cultura tradicional y enseñanza-aprendizaje de las ciencias. Por varios años trabajó en Nigeria y desarrolló propuestas de formación de profesores y de programas educativos dirigidos a grupos nómadas. A partir de su experiencia propuso su concepto de “visión del mundo”, que es tanto un marco teórico como metodológico para entender y abordar el vínculo entre ciencia y cultura. Su trabajo ha motivado investigaciones en diferentes ...


Analysis Of A Typical Chinese High School Biology Textbook Using The Aaas Textbook Standards, Ye Liang, William W. Cobern Aug 2013

Analysis Of A Typical Chinese High School Biology Textbook Using The Aaas Textbook Standards, Ye Liang, William W. Cobern

Scientific Literacy and Cultural Studies Project

The purpose of this study was to evaluate a typical Chinese high school biology textbook using the textbook standards of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). The data were composed of three chapters selected from the textbook. Each chapter was analyzed and rated using the AAAS textbook standards. Pearson correlations between the chapter ratings and the AAAS textbook standards were calculated. Results showed that the chapters meet most of the AAAS standards. This paper discussed the weaknesses and strengths of the textbook chapters based on the criteria. In general, the Chinese textbook was found satisfactory; however, there ...


One Christian's Perspective On Creation And Evolution, William W. Cobern Jan 2012

One Christian's Perspective On Creation And Evolution, William W. Cobern

Scientific Literacy and Cultural Studies Project

As a graduate student I took a course on FORTRAN, a widely used computer programming language. The author, with an obvious sense for the humorous, began his text with this epigram: “On no! Just what the world needs, another book on FORTRAN.” I begin my essay with a similar bemused foreboding, posing the question: “Do we really need yet one more essay on the evolution/creation controversy?” Who knows? But I do think that my own students and perhaps others will benefit from a discussion focused directly on the most difficult Biblical issues and that comes from a person within ...


The Competing Influence Of Secularism And Religion On Science Education In A Secular Society, William W. Cobern May 2007

The Competing Influence Of Secularism And Religion On Science Education In A Secular Society, William W. Cobern

Scientific Literacy and Cultural Studies Project

We live in country where by Constitution there can be no religious test for public office. On the other hand, we have a Bill of Rights that guarantees the free exercise of religion. We call this a secular system of government, and sometimes go so far as to use Jefferson's phrase that there is a wall between church and state. For the most part this secular system of government comports well with the teachings of Christianity based on Jesus’ remark that one should render unto Caesar that which belongs to Caesar, and unto God that which belongs to God ...


Id Hysteria Says More About Some People's Freudian 'Id' Than About Science, William W. Cobern Jan 2006

Id Hysteria Says More About Some People's Freudian 'Id' Than About Science, William W. Cobern

Scientific Literacy and Cultural Studies Project

One of the dumbest things I have ever heard from an otherwise intelligent person came not quite a decade ago and from astronomer Alan Hale commenting on the Heaven’s Gate mass suicide (Hale, 1997). It is silly enough that he thought that his personal encounters with a few psychotic speculators regarding the Hale-Bopp comet represented a commonly held view of comets; but no, we learn from Alan Hale that the real reason 39 people in the Heaven’s Gate cult committed suicide is that they were ignorant and superstitious. They apparently didn’t know that after all a comet ...


Worldview, Science And The Understanding Of Nature, William W. Cobern Jan 2005

Worldview, Science And The Understanding Of Nature, William W. Cobern

Scientific Literacy and Cultural Studies Project

I am drawn to Nature because I see in Nature the handwork of God and I wonder what are our responsibilities as stewards of Nature? Being of a scientific bent, I wonder how Nature works? I wonder how Nature came to be? In other words, my thoughts– my everyday thoughts– about Nature are rooted in deep, fundamental beliefs that I hold about my life and the world in which I live, that is, my worldview. Nature of course is the traditional domain in which the “natural” sciences operate, but how we understand science and Nature is rooted in our worldview ...


Thinking About Science Survey V2, William W. Cobern Jan 2005

Thinking About Science Survey V2, William W. Cobern

Scientific Literacy and Cultural Studies Project

No abstract available.


Thinking About Science And Christian Orthodox Beliefs: A Survey Study Of Preservice Elementary Teachers, William W. Cobern, Cathleen C. Loving Jan 2004

Thinking About Science And Christian Orthodox Beliefs: A Survey Study Of Preservice Elementary Teachers, William W. Cobern, Cathleen C. Loving

Scientific Literacy and Cultural Studies Project

Since its origination with Andrew Dickson White, the Warfare Metaphor has been used to characterize the relationship between science and religion, specifically orthodox Christianity. Though thoroughly discredited by historians of science, the ideological descendants of Thomas Huxley, who spoke of science in quasi-religious terms, have kept the Warfare Metaphor alive. On the other hand, there are substantial numbers of Christians who at least appear to oppose science given their high-profile opposition to the general theory of evolution. The purpose of the research reported in this paper was to examine this specific question: does anti-science sentiment increase with increasing orthodox Christian ...


Culturally Important Issues And Science: A Gender And Science-Interest Investigation, William W. Cobern, Cathleen C. Loving Jan 2002

Culturally Important Issues And Science: A Gender And Science-Interest Investigation, William W. Cobern, Cathleen C. Loving

Scientific Literacy and Cultural Studies Project

Elementary science methods students nearing completion of their preservice teacher preparation are an important source for gauging views about science and its relation to culture. This research investigates gender and science interest as correlates of the valuation of science vis-à-vis nine culturally important categories as measured by the Thinking About Science Survey. Over one thousand male and female students at a large midwestern university took part in this study.


An Investigation Of Preservice Elementary Teachers' Thinking About Science, William W. Cobern, Cathleen C. Loving Jan 2002

An Investigation Of Preservice Elementary Teachers' Thinking About Science, William W. Cobern, Cathleen C. Loving

Scientific Literacy and Cultural Studies Project

It is not common to find media reports on the failures of science education; nor uncommon to hear prestigious scientists publicly lament the rise of anti-science attitudes. Given the position elementary teachers have in influencing children, anti-science sentiment amongst them would be a significant concern. Hence, this article reports an investigation where preservice elementary teachers responded to the Thinking about Science survey instrument. This newly developed instrument addresses the broad relationship of science to nine important areas of society and culture and is intended to reveal the extent of views being consistent with or disagreeing with a commonly held worldview ...


In Defense Of Realism: It Really Is Commonsense, William W. Cobern, Cathleen C. Loving Jan 2001

In Defense Of Realism: It Really Is Commonsense, William W. Cobern, Cathleen C. Loving

Scientific Literacy and Cultural Studies Project

“What is truth?” Pilot asked Jesus of Nazareth. For many in academe today this question seems quaintly passé. Rejection of “truth” goes hand-in-hand with the rejection of epistemological realism. Educational thought over the last decade has instead been dominated by anti-realist, instrumentalist ideas of two types: first by psychological constructivism and later by social constructivism. Social constructivism subsequently has been pressed to its logical conclusion in the form of relativistic multiculturalism. Proponents of both psychological constructivism and social constructivism value knowledge for its utility and eschew as irrelevant speculation any notion that knowledge is actually about reality. The arguments are ...


A Reasoned Approach To The Teaching Of Evolution In The Public's Interest, William W. Cobern Jan 2001

A Reasoned Approach To The Teaching Of Evolution In The Public's Interest, William W. Cobern

Scientific Literacy and Cultural Studies Project

Should school science “teach the controversy” about evolution? Yes–sort of. Evolution should be taught bearing in mind public interest in science, not the interests of the science community. Evolution almost always prompts “cosmic questions.” Not that evolution addresses any cosmic question per se; but, because evolution offers a mechanism for how things have come to be as they are, people quite wonder if evolution is a sufficient mechanism for what they believe about our world. People wonder if there isn’t something more that is needed. People wonder if what we believe about the world is amenable with ideas ...


The Thinking About Science Survey Instrument (Tsso): An Instrument For The Quantitative Study Of Socio-Cultural Sources Of Support And Resistance To Science, William W. Cobern Jan 2001

The Thinking About Science Survey Instrument (Tsso): An Instrument For The Quantitative Study Of Socio-Cultural Sources Of Support And Resistance To Science, William W. Cobern

Scientific Literacy and Cultural Studies Project

Many scientists and science educators are concerned about the public’s ambiguous relationship with science and this public includes elementary teachers. Like many citizens, too many elementary teachers find science disconnected from everyday life and thinking. Science is a “school” subject - not an important part of everyday life. Some may believe that science conflicts with important personal beliefs they hold about other areas of life such as religion and art. Elementary teachers who feel this disconnection with science will at best approach science teaching as something one does if school authorities demand it. Given that we are now promoting constructivist ...


The Rhetoric Of Science Education Reform, William W. Cobern Jan 2000

The Rhetoric Of Science Education Reform, William W. Cobern

Scientific Literacy and Cultural Studies Project

Leon Lederman’s Project ARISE promotes a “physics first” reorganization of the secondary science curriculum. As a Nobel laureate in physics, his ideas have attracted considerable attention. Issues outside of physics, however, that Lederman does not appear ready to acknowledge will limit the impact Lederman hopes to achieve.


Cultural Aspects Of Learning Science, William W. Cobern, Glen Aikenhead Jan 1997

Cultural Aspects Of Learning Science, William W. Cobern, Glen Aikenhead

Scientific Literacy and Cultural Studies Project

Over the past few decades our focus on learning science has evolved (Aikenhead, 1996; Cobern, 1993, 1994; Solomon, 1994). The psychological perspectives on the individual learner of earlier years, such as Piaget, Ausubel, and personal constructivism (West and Pines, 1985), have expanded to encompass sociological perspectives that contextualize learning in social settings; for instance, social constructivism, science for specific social purposes, and situated cognition (Goodnow, 1990; Hennessy, 1993; Layton, Davey and Jenkins, 1986; O'Loughlin, 1992; Solomon, 1987; Tharp and Gallimore, 1988). This chapter addresses the next stage in the evolution of our focus on learning science—an anthropological perspective ...


Public Understanding Of Science As Seen By The Scientific Community: Do We Need To Re-Conceptualize The Challenge And To Re-Examine Our Own Assumptions?, William W. Cobern Nov 1996

Public Understanding Of Science As Seen By The Scientific Community: Do We Need To Re-Conceptualize The Challenge And To Re-Examine Our Own Assumptions?, William W. Cobern

Scientific Literacy and Cultural Studies Project

My task is to address the question of how the scientific community views the public understanding of science and whether there needs to be a re-conceptualization of the challenge to foster the public understanding of science, and also whether there is a need to re-examine assumptions. I am compelled to begin by acknowledging a debt to an important book, Inarticulate Science, written by Edgar Jenkins and his colleagues at Leeds. Inarticulate Science is an outstanding contribution on the concept of the public understanding of science and I think of my contribution today on this topic as a footnote. My perspective ...


Traditional Culture And Science Education In Africa: Merely Language Games?, William W. Cobern Sep 1996

Traditional Culture And Science Education In Africa: Merely Language Games?, William W. Cobern

Scientific Literacy and Cultural Studies Project

I want to begin today with two short personal remarks. My field of research at home is the cultural study of science education. In other words, I am interested in what is commonly called the culture of science and how that becomes interpreted in science education by teacher and curriculum. I am interested in the variation of culture among American students, cultural variations grounded in family and community and brought to the classroom. I am interested in the cultural interactions that are precipitated by the meeting of cultures in the science classroom. In my current work I use worldview concepts ...


Constructivism And Non-Western Science Education Research, William W. Cobern Jan 1996

Constructivism And Non-Western Science Education Research, William W. Cobern

Scientific Literacy and Cultural Studies Project

In this paper, I argue that science education research and curriculum development efforts in Nonwestern countries can benefit by adopting a constructivist view of science and science learning. The past efforts at transferring curricula from the West, and local development projects that result in curricula only marginally different from Western curricula, stem from an acultural view of science. These efforts also ground science learning in concepts of logical thinking rather than understanding. The resulting level of science learning, however, has not met expectations. Constructivism offers a very different view of science and science learning. It assumes that logical thinking is ...


Leaving Elementary School With A Sense Of Order In Nature, William W. Cobern, Adrienne T. Gibson, Scott A. Underwood Jan 1996

Leaving Elementary School With A Sense Of Order In Nature, William W. Cobern, Adrienne T. Gibson, Scott A. Underwood

Scientific Literacy and Cultural Studies Project

Ninth graders in Arizona high schools have just left their elementary, general science education and are at the start of more specialized secondary science education. They are beginning a course of study that will form the foundation for tertiary education and employment after high school graduation. The research asked, Who are these kids entering high school science courses? The researchers noted that one of the key objectives of elementary education is to foster in children the concept that nature is inherently orderly and thus amenable to scientific investigation. Since the concept of order or disorder is fundamental in one’s ...


The Different Worlds Of High School Biology And Physical Science Teachers, William W. Cobern, Adrienne T. Gibson, Scott A. Underwood Jan 1996

The Different Worlds Of High School Biology And Physical Science Teachers, William W. Cobern, Adrienne T. Gibson, Scott A. Underwood

Scientific Literacy and Cultural Studies Project

A science teacher not only presents scientific concepts, but tacitly creates a context in which scientific concepts are presented to the class. This context can be strongly influenced by teacher beliefs or worldview. In the current research, teacher worldviews with respect to the essence of nature were examined. Two biology and two physical science teachers individually sat for qualitative interviews. The same interview protocols were used in a concurrent study involving ninth graders at their high school. The analysis led to three assertions: (1) When compared with their students, the science teachers had a much more focused and less diverse ...


Constructivism For Science Teachers, William W. Cobern Sep 1995

Constructivism For Science Teachers, William W. Cobern

Scientific Literacy and Cultural Studies Project

Constructivism is a concept that in recent years has garnered considerable attention among science education researchers. Essentially, it is a model or metaphor of how learning takes place. prominent science educators have called it a most promising model and a theoretical shift that may lead to a coalescing of current thought as well as the simulation of new ideas. I do not believe this is hyperbole. The potential significance of constructivism has already extended beyond research and into the science classroom. References to constructivism appear ever more frequently in the literature, however, often with little or only trivial discussion of ...


Worldview--Reality As Viewed By Students: Additional Methodologies, William W. Cobern Jan 1995

Worldview--Reality As Viewed By Students: Additional Methodologies, William W. Cobern

Scientific Literacy and Cultural Studies Project

We are basically asking 1) to what extent people see themselves as a natural part of nature; 2) whether or not people are perceived as being qualitatively different from other aspects of nature; 3) to what extent, if any, control over nature by people is appropriate. The interview description given for the first interview sequence applies here as well.

An interview begins with the grand tour question, "If there is any kind of order in the world, where do people fit in that order?" The informant's response is followed with three elicitation devices.


World View, Culture, And Science Education, William W. Cobern Dec 1994

World View, Culture, And Science Education, William W. Cobern

Scientific Literacy and Cultural Studies Project

In the last few years many science education policy documents, including those from Project 2000+, have noted the need for further knowledge and understanding of how people individually and as members of social and cultural groups learn and teach science. To this end science educators have studied cognitive development and mental capacity. They have explored the effectiveness of various instructional strategies. Among other things they have investigated the errors students make. However, what students believe about the physical world, belief rooted and nurtured in students' socio-cultural environments, has received far less attention. In a non-Western economically developing nation one speaks ...


Cultural Constructivist Approach To The Teaching Of Evolution, William W. Cobern Jan 1994

Cultural Constructivist Approach To The Teaching Of Evolution, William W. Cobern

Scientific Literacy and Cultural Studies Project

Educators typically think that one teaches evolution to develop students' conceptual understanding of evolution. It is assumed that if students understand evolution they will believe it. From a constructivist perspective it can be argued that understanding and belief, though related, are distinct concepts each of which is a potential goal for instruction. Though there are good reasons why belief should not be an instructional goal, achieving conceptual understanding requires that issues of belief be addressed. The point is that students are not likely to gain much understanding of something that they dismiss outright as unbelievable. What counts as believable for ...


Alternative Constructions Of Science And Science Education, William W. Cobern Jan 1994

Alternative Constructions Of Science And Science Education, William W. Cobern

Scientific Literacy and Cultural Studies Project

I want to begin today with two short personal remarks. My field of research at home is the cultural study of science education. In other words, I am interested in what is commonly called the culture of science and how that becomes interpreted in science education by teacher and curriculum. I am interested in the variation of culture among American students, cultural variations grounded in family and community and brought to the classroom. I am interested in the cultural interactions that are precipitated by the meeting of cultures in the science classroom. In my current work I use worldview concepts ...


Worldview Theory And Conceptual Change In Science Education, William W. Cobern Jan 1994

Worldview Theory And Conceptual Change In Science Education, William W. Cobern

Scientific Literacy and Cultural Studies Project

Once again science education finds itself in the midst of reform. Reform documents are too numerous to mention by name but they all share the same view that Americans know far too little science. Durant (1990) noted that even the well educated often know little science. Of course every reform document by its very nature offers a solution. Many in the science education research community "see conceptual change as the emerging focus of science teaching" (Wandersee, 1993, p. 319) and thus focus their research interests here as well. To borrow warfare metaphors, conceptual change activities are tactical devices used to ...


Conceptualizations Of Nature And Scientific Literacy, Part I: Research Methodology, William W. Cobern, Adrienne T. Gibson Jan 1994

Conceptualizations Of Nature And Scientific Literacy, Part I: Research Methodology, William W. Cobern, Adrienne T. Gibson

Scientific Literacy and Cultural Studies Project

If we may paraphrase and adapt from feminist scholars, there are voices of people that need to be heard if scholars intend to have a valid understanding of people and their behavior. The feminist scholars were of course seeking ways of making women’s voices heard but the importance of their work exceeds gender issues. It is important for restoring the image of people as persons rather than as objects of research. As we have undertaken it, the foundational perspective of worldview research is that one must hear from students and science teachers about themselves. We thus suggest it is ...