Inquiry-Based STEM Teaching and Learning

A special issue of Education Sciences (ISSN 2227-7102). This special issue belongs to the section "STEM Education".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 May 2024 | Viewed by 3200

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
School of Education, University of Texas at Tyler, 3900 University Blvd, Tyler, TX 75701, USA
Interests: STEM teaching and learning; preservice STEM; STEM schools

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Guest Editor
1. College of Education and Psychology, The University of Texas at Tyler, 3900 University Blvd, Tyler, TX 75799, USA
2. College of Engineering, The University of Texas at Tyler, 3900 University Blvd, Tyler, TX 75799, USA
Interests: bilingual STEM education; sustainable STEM education; international education

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Guest Editor
School of Teaching & Learning, College of Education & Human Development, Bowling Green State University, Bowling Green, OH, USA
Interests: early STEM education

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Internationally, high-stakes testing is driving STEM teaching and learning. This Special Issue explores the impact of high-stakes testing on teachers’ implementations of inquiry-based STEM teaching practices and its effect on students’ attitudes toward science, beliefs about the nature of science, and content knowledge. High-stakes testing impacts the teaching practices of teachers (Smith 1991; Johnson and Leden, 2019). Zhao et al. (2016) found that high-stakes testing had a significant impact on the pedagogy implemented in the classroom focusing primarily on facts versus inquiry. Teacher preparation programs typically prepare preservice and inservice teachers with inquiry-based strategies as these strategies have been shown to promote the deeper learning of STEM content (Odell & Pedersen, 2020). Additionally, the ability of teachers to engage in inquiry activities over an extended period has a positive impact on their attitudes toward implementing inquiry science (Worch, Duran, & Duran, 2016). However, there are often barriers to implementing inquiry-based learning in schools solely focused on high-stakes test scores. There is evidence that schools can implement inquiry-based pedagogy and earn high scores on high-stakes tests. Schools implementing project- and problem-based learning as the primary pedagogy had higher achievement than comparison schools (Odell, Kennedy &Stocks, 2019).

This Special Issue of Education Sciences aims to reflect the current empirical research on the implementation of inquiry-based teaching and learning in STEM education at the primary and secondary levels, including inservice and preservice STEM teacher preparation.

We invite original research on STEM teacher education, STEM teacher professional development, the implementation of inquiry-based pedagogies, and the impact on student academic and non-academic outcomes. We are particularly interested in documenting the successful implementation of inquiry pedagogy that enhances tests scores.

Themes:

  • inquiry-based practice
  • impact of high-stakes testing on pedagogy
  • student understanding of the nature of science
  • impact on student achievement
  • pedagogical content knowledge (PCK)

References

Jonsson A., & Leden L. (2019) The ambiguous influence of highstakes testing on science teaching in Sweden, International Journal of Science Education, 41(14), 1926–1943. https://doi.org/10.1080/09500693.2019.1647474.  

Odell, M. R., Kennedy, T. J., & Stocks, E. (2019). The Impact of PBL as a STEM School Reform Model. Interdisciplinary Journal of Problem-Based Learning, 13(2). Available at: https://doi.org/10.7771/1541-5015.1846.

Odell, M.R.L., & Pedersen, J.L. (2020). Project and Problem-Based Teaching and Learning. In B. Akpan & T.J. Kennedy (Eds.), Science Education in Theory and Practice: An Introductory Guide to Learning Theory. (Chapter 23, pp. 343–357). Switzerland: Springer Nature. ISBN 978-3-030-43619-3; ISBN 978-3-030-43620-9 (eBook). http://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-43620-9.

Smith, M. L. (1991). Put to the test: The effects of external testing on teachers. Educational Researcher, 20(5), 811. https://doi.org/10.3102/0013189X020005008.

Worch, E. A., Duran, E., & Duran, L. B. (2016). An analysis of elementary science teachers’ beliefs regarding inquiry science teaching. World Journal of Educational Research, 3(1), 182–199.

Zhao, M. R., Mu, B. L., & Lu, C. P. (2016). Teaching to the test: approaches to teaching in senior secondary schools in the context of curriculum reform in China. Creative Education, 7, 32–43. http://dx.doi.org/10.4236/ce.2016.71004.

Dr. Michael R.L. Odell
Prof. Dr. Teresa Kennedy
Dr. Eric (Rick) Worch
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • STEM education
  • PCK
  • high-stakes testing
  • teacher education
  • accountability
  • policy

Published Papers (2 papers)

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Research

13 pages, 725 KiB  
Article
Culturally Responsive Pedagogical Knowledge: An Integrative Teacher Knowledge Base for Diversified STEM Classrooms
by Justina A. Ogodo
Educ. Sci. 2024, 14(2), 124; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci14020124 - 25 Jan 2024
Viewed by 1689
Abstract
Teaching can be challenging, especially when teachers are under-prepared to enter a workforce with a constantly changing landscape. Preparing teachers for STEM content has generated multiple approaches from varying perspectives. While some scholars advocate for content expertise, others promote pedagogy or social context [...] Read more.
Teaching can be challenging, especially when teachers are under-prepared to enter a workforce with a constantly changing landscape. Preparing teachers for STEM content has generated multiple approaches from varying perspectives. While some scholars advocate for content expertise, others promote pedagogy or social context as approaches for translating STEM content for students. Yet, many contend that teachers must be culturally knowledgeable to respond to student diversity effectively. While these arguments are valuable and needed, many have not considered the interconnectedness of these approaches, often used in silos. This conceptual paper unpacks some of these arguments using the social constructivism theory of learning as the epistemic lens to examine and interpret what STEM teacher knowledge should encompass in the 21st-century diversified classroom. After thoroughly evaluating the core elements of three commonly used teacher constructs, this paper presents an integrative, holistic teacher knowledge—culturally responsive pedagogical knowledge (CRPK) framework that considers the necessary qualities that teachers must possess that are functional, content-focused, and pedagogically inclusive. The proposed CRPK construct would be a valuable programmatic tool for teacher preparation, curriculum development, and classroom praxis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Inquiry-Based STEM Teaching and Learning)
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19 pages, 1109 KiB  
Article
Reflections of a First-Year Chemistry Teacher: Intersecting PCK, Responsiveness, and Inquiry Instruction
by Dana Lynn Morris
Educ. Sci. 2024, 14(1), 93; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci14010093 - 15 Jan 2024
Viewed by 894
Abstract
Many educators agree that science instruction should be dominated by inquiry strategies, while others stress the need for responsive practices to place a focus on student learning and understanding. Some scholars believe the two approaches exist on opposite ends of an instructional spectrum, [...] Read more.
Many educators agree that science instruction should be dominated by inquiry strategies, while others stress the need for responsive practices to place a focus on student learning and understanding. Some scholars believe the two approaches exist on opposite ends of an instructional spectrum, while others believe they may be aligned and intertwined. Pedagogical content knowledge (PCK), the broadly accepted gold standard for science education, seems to include both. Understanding how teachers incorporate inquiry strategies and responsiveness and how the two intersect could lead to a more complete framework for K–12 science instruction and help streamline science teacher education. This qualitative single-case study examined the reflections of a first-year chemistry teacher by exploring how she demonstrated responsiveness to students while maintaining a teaching orientation of inquiry-based instruction. Results indicated that responsiveness depended on a high level of PCK and led to higher or lower levels of inquiry based on the students’ need for teacher support. Additionally, findings showed that the teacher’s stated and demonstrated beliefs about inquiry were disconnected. Finally, a gap between science conceptual understanding and mathematics PCK suggested the need to support more innovative mathematics pedagogical strategies during physical science teacher education. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Inquiry-Based STEM Teaching and Learning)
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