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REFERENCE LINKING PLATFORM OF KOREA S&T JOURNALS
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Journal of The Korean Association For Science Education
Journal Basic Information
Journal DOI :
The Korean Association for Research In Science Education
Editor in Chief :
Volume & Issues
Volume 35, Issue 6 - Dec 2015
Volume 35, Issue 5 - Oct 2015
Volume 35, Issue 4 - Aug 2015
Volume 35, Issue 3 - Jun 2015
Volume 35, Issue 2 - Apr 2015
Volume 35, Issue 1 - Feb 2015
Selecting the target year
An Analysis of the Patterns of Scientific Questions Generation among Elementary Science-Gifted and General Students
Eom, Ju Gyeong ; Lee, Kil-Jae ;
Journal of The Korean Association For Science Education, volume 35, issue 4, 2015, Pages 537~548
DOI : 10.14697/jkase.2015.35.4.0537
This study aims to identify and compare the patterns of scientific questions generation among elementary science-gifted and general students when conducting observational tasks. The pattern in generating scientific questions, which is distinguished from other types of scientific questions, is the manner that students generate a variety of types of questions in an inquiry process. To analyze the patterns in generating scientific questions, the task of observing dry grapes in soda pop, candlelight, and dyed celery were selected as suitable tasks. The subjects were 26 science-gifted students participating in a gifted education program and 27 general students in an elementary school in the same city. They were all sixth graders. The results of this study are as follows: First, the patterns of scientific questions generation among gifted students and general students during observational tasks were classified into five patterns: [Pattern 1] single, [Pattern 2] sequential, [Pattern 3] repetitive, [Pattern 4] circulative, [Pattern 5] repetitive, and circulative. Second, gifted students and general students presented all of the five patterns, but the frequency of the patterns indicated differences between the two groups. The gifted students primarily presented [Pattern 3] and [Pattern 5]. On the other hand, the general students mainly presented [Pattern 1], [Pattern 2], and [Pattern 3]. These results suggest that the ways of generating scientific questions are very much as important as the types of questions. Teachers can establish teaching-learning strategies for generating scientific questions appropriate to learner's characteristics.
The Influences of Integrated Science Developed Under the 2009 Revised National Curriculum on Students' Views on Nature of Science and Science-Technology-Society Relationship, Interest in Science, and Science Aspiration
Yang, Chanho ; Kim, Minhwan ; Noh, Taehee ;
Journal of The Korean Association For Science Education, volume 35, issue 4, 2015, Pages 549~555
DOI : 10.14697/jkase.2015.35.4.0549
In this study, we investigated the influences of Integrated Science on the views of 10th graders with regards to the nature of science (NOS), STS, interest in science, and science aspiration, in order to explore the effects of Integrated Science developed under the 2009 Revised National Curriculum. Participants in this study were 214 10th graders in Seoul. The survey was administered at the beginning and at the end of the Integrated Science course. The analyses of the results revealed that there was no statistically significant difference in the scores of the pre-test and post-test on the NOS survey. However, the post-test scores of the tentativeness of scientific knowledge and the use of imagination, which are the sub-constructs of the NOS, were found to be significantly lower than the pre-test scores. There were no statistically significant differences in the frequencies of the responses to each item of the STS survey. The pre-test and post-test scores of the interest in science and the science aspiration were also not significantly different. The results indicated that Integrated Science did not have any impact on students' views on NOS, STS, interest in science, and science aspiration. Educational implications of these findings are discussed.
An Analysis on Beginning Secondary Science Teachers' Problems in their Teaching Practice through Collaborative Mentoring
Park, Jihun ; Nam, Jeonghee ; Kwon, Jeongin ;
Journal of The Korean Association For Science Education, volume 35, issue 4, 2015, Pages 557~564
DOI : 10.14697/jkase.2015.35.4.0557
The purpose of this study is to examine the problems in the teaching practice of beginning science teachers who participated in the collaborative mentoring program to improve their teaching expertise. The participants were six beginning science teachers and six mentors at middle and high school levels. From each beginning science teacher and mentor teacher, journals, one-to-one mentoring records and transcripts, interviews and questionnaires, and transcripts conducted at the beginning, middle and the end of the mentoring program were collected. Seven aspects of the beginning science teachers' problems in their teaching practice were identified. The result showed that mentee teachers didn't set up specific learning objectives and they organized and presented lesson contents without considering students' proficiency level. Also, they found it hard to prepare for the lessons irrelevant to their major field of study and they tended to use convergent questions more than divergent questions. Mentee teachers tend to give teacher-centered rather than student-centered teaching. Beginning teachers' recognition of their problems in their teaching practice tends to lead changes in their teaching practice. Some of the problems that mentee teachers showed could be overcome if they recognized the problem through the collaborative mentoring program, but if not, it tends to remain throughout mentoring program.This study also highlighted the importance of reflection on beginning science teachers' practice.
Research Trends of Web-Based Inquiry Learning Effectiveness in Science Education: A Review of Publications in Selected Journals from 2000 to 2014
Lee, Jeongmin ; Park, Hyunkyung ; Jung, Yeonhwa ; Noh, Jiyae ;
Journal of The Korean Association For Science Education, volume 35, issue 4, 2015, Pages 565~572
DOI : 10.14697/jkase.2015.35.4.0565
The purpose of this paper is to offer an analysis on the research trends of web-based inquiry learning effectiveness in science education, and to present suggestions for future studies. This study compiled data on 43 articles in Korea and international journals. The content analysis of articles published were from academic journals related to science education and educational technology from 2000 to 2014. The results are as follows: Among domestic articles, the participants ranged from school children to high school students. On the contrary, among foreign articles, the participants are centralized on secondary school students; most used experimental studies; most of the studies resulted with web-based inquiry learning in science education showing effectiveness on science learning performance or science inquiry ability; all web-based inquiry learning were designed using different models of teaching and learning, with the result in the case of domestic research, the utilized models refer to the STS learning model, Internet utilization problem-center inquiry learning model, Procedural model, while in the case of overseas research, the utilized models are SCY, IBLE, and TESI model. Implications of the findings are then discussed, which implies considerations for further research related to web-based inquiry learning.
A Case Study on the Inquiry Guidance Experiences of Pre-Service Science Teachers : Resolving the Dilemmas between Cognition and Practice of Inquiry
Cho, Sungmin ; Baek, Jongho ;
Journal of The Korean Association For Science Education, volume 35, issue 4, 2015, Pages 573~584
DOI : 10.14697/jkase.2015.35.4.0573
Inquiry has been consistently emphasized in science education as a crucial element for learning. Although many researchers came to agree on the importance of scientific inquiry, authentic inquiry activities are hard to be actualized in an educational context. Therefore it is required to critically examine what teachers have difficulty in teaching inquiry. In this article, we looked into inquiry-based science activities in a small group setting where pre-service science teachers faced dilemmas between cognition and practice of inquiry. A case study was conducted on eight undergraduate students who are majoring in science education. The participants attended a weekly science program for middle school students in low SES as teaching assistants and mentors, and took full care of his/her mentees during open-inquiry activities. The results were drawn by analyzing participants' personal and group interviews, participant observations, self-reports, and others. The pre-service teachers viewed the knowledge and procedure of science as an essential factor in inquiry activities along with student's spontaneous attitude. However, in the process of performing inquiry, they faced several dilemmas between ideal cognition and real activities. The aspects of dilemmas could be summarized in three pairs of opposing concepts: 'diverging inquiry or converging science', 'interest-centered inquiry or learning-centered inquiry', and 'student as the subject or student with the insufficient expertise.' We discussed ways of resolving dilemmas and alternative perspectives on scientific inquiry.
The Process of Group Writing and Processes Factor
Kim, Semi ; Kim, Sung-Won ;
Journal of The Korean Association For Science Education, volume 35, issue 4, 2015, Pages 585~598
DOI : 10.14697/jkase.2015.35.4.0585
This study aims to investigate the components of group writing through three steps of group writing course consist of collecting information, organizing information, and revision. A total of 19 pre-service teachers who took the science argumentation course participated in the group writing activity. They made up a group of four or five and chose one subject from among socioscientific issues for group writing. The discussion contents and writing were analyzed inductively to find the group writing components at every step. The results of the study are as follows: First, components in the step of collecting information were (1) sharing information (2) understanding information. and (3)judging information. Second, components in the step of organizing information were (1) categorizing information, (2) decentralization, (3) balancing information, and (4) reflection. The last, process components in the step of revision were (1) unification of form, (2) global review, and (3) improving readability.
Characteristics of Student Inquiry Found in Project-based Science Practices: Focusing on Theory-Evidence-Method Coordinations and Skills in Using Tools
Lee, Sun-Kyung ; Han, Jiwon ; Lee, Jaewon ; Noh, Taehee ;
Journal of The Korean Association For Science Education, volume 35, issue 4, 2015, Pages 599~608
DOI : 10.14697/jkase.2015.35.4.0599
This study aims to explore the characteristics of student inquiry found in project-based science practices. The participants were four high school students in a science research club and worked their own project for one semester. During the project, they made their research questions, planned and executed their research procedures, and made their own conclusion. Their activities during the project were videotaped and recorded. They were also interviewed. Group worksheets and written reports were all collected for analyses. The whole processes of the inquiry were analyzed and interpreted qualitatively. The characteristics of student inquiry were presented in the view of the theory-evidence-method coordination. Three different modes of the coordinations that were found recursively in their inquiry were the theory-evidence coordination, the evidence-method coordination, and the theory-evidence-method coordination. It was also revealed that students' tacit knowledge using various tools were exhibited and these skills improved during their group works. The implications for school science inquiry education and research based on this study are discussed.
Science Educators' Perceptions About the Learning Situation of Visually Impaired Students through Scientific Inquiry in the Darkroom
Kim, Hak Bum ; Pak, Sung Jae ; Cha, Jeongho ;
Journal of The Korean Association For Science Education, volume 35, issue 4, 2015, Pages 609~618
DOI : 10.14697/jkase.2015.35.4.0609
The purpose of this study is to investigate the perspectives of science educators on the learning situations of visually impaired students through scientific inquiry in a darkroom. Twenty-four science educators who came to the annual conference of the Korean Association for Science Education volunteered to participate in 'the scientific inquiry in the darkroom' activities. They were encouraged to touch models of 'the molecular structure of ice' and 'the structure of eyes' and to discuss with participants during the activities. Surveys were done before and after darkroom activities, and the discussions during and after the activities were recorded and analyzed. As a result, participants recognized that science education for visually impaired students is both very feasible and necessary. Also, some of them, who have had an experience of teaching blind students and thought that they fully understood the learning situation of the visually impaired, were especially surprised by the fact that they did not actually understand how it was like to be a visually impaired and responded that they were able to more deeply comprehend the learning situation of visually impaired students through these activities. Through this experience, participants also became resolute to try more deeply to understand not only the visually impaired students, but also sighted students with learning disabilities. Based on these results, educational implications of scientific inquiry in the darkroom were discussed.
Effects of Diagnostic and Formative Assessment Using Equivalent Test on Elementary Science Classes : Focused on the 'Earth and Moon' Unit
Son, Jun Ho ; Kim, Jonghee ;
Journal of The Korean Association For Science Education, volume 35, issue 4, 2015, Pages 619~628
DOI : 10.14697/jkase.2015.35.4.0619
The purpose of this study is to find out the effects of the diagnostic and formative assessment on elementary science classes. For this purpose, we developed the diagnostic and formative assessment test and provided them to students before giving them the equivalent and learning achievement tests. The results are described as follows: First, for the science class that took the diagnostic assessment; the test provided help in improving the students' learning achievement. Second, for the science class that took the formative assessment; the test did not provide help in improving the students' learning achievement and in improving their openness to learning opportunity only to self-directed learning attitudes. Third, for the science class that were given both the diagnostic and formative assessment test; the tests provided help in improving the students' learning achievement. It also helped in improving their openness to learning opportunity, initiative for learning, and passion for learning except in problem-solving skills on self-directed learning attitude. Therefore, I recommend the utilization of the diagnostic and formative assessment tests be provided to students in order to improve learning achievement and self-directed learning attitudes in science classes.
The Learning Experience of 7
Graders on NOS (Nature of Science) as a Process in Research-Based "Becoming a Scientist" Mentor-mentee Program
Jung, Chan-Mi ; Shin, Dong-Hee ;
Journal of The Korean Association For Science Education, volume 35, issue 4, 2015, Pages 629~648
DOI : 10.14697/jkase.2015.35.4.0629
This study is a case study examining how research-based 'authentic' science education program contextually facilitates students' learning on NOS as a process. We developed 'Becoming a Scientist' mentor-mentee program and applied it to six Korean 7th graders for 8 months. A mentor, who is also a researcher, provided scaffolding and coaching, and her mentees were to perform the whole process of science research, including selecting the research subject and questions, planning research design, doing experiments, collecting and analysing data, writing research paper, and experiencing poster presentation at an academic conference. The research questions are 1) What would the students experience at every step of their research process?, and 2) Which perceptions would they construct NOS as a process? Data include classroom observations, interview, mentor's journal, and students' learning products. The results show that the mentees have experienced their views of NOS as a process in various ways such as role of research question and purpose, validity of measured value, researcher's subjectivity in interpreting data, experience of making public and peer review, and significance of academic conference. This study has shown that students' actual experience in scientific research enhanced their views about NOS as process without explicit and reflective approaches. We defined 'authenticity' associated with not only with its similarity to what scientists do but to learner's identity as scientific researcher. Based on the situated learning theory, this study sheds light on the necessity of reconsideration about the meaning of authenticity and embodying authentic context in science education for better NOS learning.
Case Study on the Writing of the Papers of Journal of the Korean Association for Science Education
Han, JaeYoung ;
Journal of The Korean Association For Science Education, volume 35, issue 4, 2015, Pages 649~663
DOI : 10.14697/jkase.2015.35.4.0649
This study investigated the current state of writing in research papers of science education with focus on the translationese and basic Korean grammar, and found a way of improving the Korean language. The science education research have characteristics of both social science and natural science, and of having more quantitative than qualitative research, which could influence the writing of the research paper. The translationese means the conventional expression originated from foreign language other than Korean. The basic Korean grammar includes 'agreement,' 'spelling, word spacing, punctuation mark,' 'causative suffix,' 'use of English or loanword,' and the translationese is divided in 'English,' 'Japanese,' and 'English and Japanese.' The sentences in nine research papers in the 'Journal of the Korean Association for Science Education' were analyzed, and the problematic sentences were discussed and provided with alternatives. The cases with high frequency include '-jeok,' 'use of English,' 'expression of the plural,' 'passive voice of the verb with -hada,' '-go inneun,' '-eul tonghayeo,' '-e daehayeo,' 'gajida,' 'genitive case marker -eui,' 'passive voice with subject of thing,' and 'causative suffix, -sikida.' Based on the results, the characteristics of writing of science education research papers were described as 'writing of quantitative research,' 'objective writing of academic research,' and 'writing of research of foreign origin.' In order to improve the writing of research paper of science education, the science education researcher should pay attention to basic Korean grammar and the translationese, and be familiar with the concrete examples of problematic cases. The results of this study could be used in the education of writing and grammar of Korean language.
A Case Study of Preservice Secondary Science Teachers' Demonstration of STEAM Lessons
Choi, Sookyeong ; Lee, Jaewon ; Noh, Taehee ;
Journal of The Korean Association For Science Education, volume 35, issue 4, 2015, Pages 665~676
DOI : 10.14697/jkase.2015.35.4.0665
In this case study, we analyzed the processes of STEAM lessons conducted by preservice secondary science teachers. Three preservice science teachers at a college of education in Seoul participated in this study. After the workshop for STEAM education, they planned and practiced STEAM lessons. All of the teaching-learning materials were collected before lessons, and their lessons were observed and videotaped. Semi-structured interviews were also conducted before and after their lessons. The processes of STEAM lessons were analyzed while focusing on PCK and PDC. Their difficulties, needs, and views on STEAM education were also studied. It was found that they have taken much efforts to reflect the objectives and characteristics of STEAM education, and prepared teaching-learning materials by searching on the internet and arranging creative contents. Their great difficulty was to determine topics for STEAM lessons. While one preservice teacher satisfied with her lesson perceived STEAM education positively, the others perceived that it would be very difficult to practice STEAM lessons in school. For their STEAM lessons to be successful, the workshop needs to include some specific information on grades, proper topics for each grade, ways of making materials, and tips for effective STEAM lessons. In addition, it will be effective if the workshop is carried out after their study on constructivist learning theory and if they experience successful STEAM lessons.
International Comparative Study on the Science Curriculum Concepts Continuity - Focus on the Concepts of Moon and Rock cycle -
Lee, Hyonyong ; Kim, Jin Sook ; Park, Byung-yeol ; Jeon, Jaedon ;
Journal of The Korean Association For Science Education, volume 35, issue 4, 2015, Pages 677~689
DOI : 10.14697/jkase.2015.35.4.0677
The purpose of this study is to derive suggestions and implications to strengthen the science curriculum continuity of Korea through comparative analysis with focus on the continuity of science curriculum in six countries (Taiwan, the United Kingdom, Finland, the United States, Canada, Korea). Original and Korean translations of the national curriculums of each country gathered from NCIC comparatively analyzed the contents of the 'Moon' and 'Rock cycle' based on features of curriculum configuration, vertical, and lateral connectivity. As a result, it was found that the concepts of Big Ideas or Cross-cutting Concept was utilized internationally to strengthen the linkage between grades or subjects. In particular, dealing with the aspect of the system was important. In the comparison of countries for the content, Korea deals with the most frequency on the 'Moon' and 'Rock cycle'. The contents of the chapter about the moon were simply repeated from elementary to high school levels with some variation. Korean science curriculum holds different perspectives and contents about the Rock cycle compared to other countries. In conclusion, Korea's curriculum requires appropriate tools to strengthen curriculum linkage and by doing so, it will be able to take advantage of the systems approach. Moreover, it is important to constitute the curriculum based on a sufficient understanding of the learning development of students according to their grade levels for the effective application of the curriculum.
Analyzing the Effect of Argumentation Program for Improving Teachers' Conceptions of Evolution
Kwon, Jieun ; Cha, Heeyoung ;
Journal of The Korean Association For Science Education, volume 35, issue 4, 2015, Pages 691~707
DOI : 10.14697/jkase.2015.35.4.0691
This study aims to develop biology teachers' education program based on argumentation activity about core concepts of evolution and to analyze the characteristics of core concepts of evolution learned during the program. The eight core concepts of evolution in this study were variation, heritability of variation, competition, natural selection, adaptation, differential reproductive rate of individuals, changes in genetic pool within a population, and macroevolution. The performances of teachers participating in the program were compared before and after argumentation activities; consisting of seven sessions on the eight core concepts of evolution. The process of the program was specially designed by learning cycle model for teacher education, consisting of seven phases: identification of the task, production of a tentative argument, small group's written argument, share arguments with the other groups, reflective discussion, final written argument, and organization by an instructor. Participants in the study were two pre-service biology teachers and four in-service biology teachers. The results suggest that biology teachers reduced the teleological explanation for biological evolution and improve its adequacy after the intervention. Teachers lacked the opportunity to discuss variation, heritability of variation, competition, and macroevolution because science textbooks lack information on the concepts of biological evolution. The results of this study suggest that because the argumentation program developed for teachers helps to improve understanding the concepts of evolution and to reduce inadequate conceptions in biology, teacher education programs using argumentation activity and eight core concepts of evolution will play a role for efficient evolution education for biology teachers.
Understanding STEM, STEAM Education, and Addressing the Issues Facing STEAM in the Korean Context
Sim, Jaeho ; Lee, Yangrak ; Kim, Hyun-Kyung ;
Journal of The Korean Association For Science Education, volume 35, issue 4, 2015, Pages 709~723
DOI : 10.14697/jkase.2015.35.4.0709
Since 2011, after beginning of the systematic study on STEAM education, South Korea has developed a number of related programs. At this point we see that this is the time to clarify the challenges. The purpose of this study is to clarify the characteristics of their education through the review of many domestic and foreign papers in order to propose the challenges of STEAM education of Korea. The results are as follows. First, the course of integration cannot be separated by the difference in superiority but should be separated in accordance with the purpose of integration. Second, curriculum integration such as STEAM education is characterized by the emphasis on horizontal linking than vertical depth fusion. Accordingly, the content knowledge and vertical linkages are inevitably weakened. In order to overcome this problem, the key concepts and features that were emphasized in the previous curriculum need to also be emphasized in STEAM training, and the comparative study on the core concept and function of each subjects should be preceded. Third, after looking upon the current situation of our country's fusion research and talent training, the limits and the challenges that need to be overcome has been suggested. Fourth, with the basis on research results, we offered an example of the approach on STEAM education which is applicable to the current situation and proposed the challenges and implications that need to be addressed in the STEAM education of Korea in educational contexts such as curriculum, teaching and learning, and evaluation.
Secondary School Science Teachers' Actual and Preferred Types of Assessment
Noh, Taehee ; Lee, Jaewon ; Kang, Sukjin ; Kang, Hunsik ;
Journal of The Korean Association For Science Education, volume 35, issue 4, 2015, Pages 725~733
DOI : 10.14697/jkase.2015.35.4.0725
In this study, we investigated secondary school science teachers' actual and preferred types of assessment with focus on the purpose and the method of assessment. Participants were 92 secondary school science teachers. We developed a questionnaire asking science teachers about the types of assessment they have actually used and the preferred types of assessment for hypothetical situations that have been generally reported as the prototypical examples of constructivist assessment. The characteristics of the science teachers such as teaching career, experience on in-service training about assessment, and perspective toward constructivist assessment were also examined. The analysis of the actually implemented assessments in their responses revealed that most science teachers tended to aim at traditional purposes such as summative assessment, and that multiple-choice was the most prevailing assessment method followed by experiment, report, and essay. For hypothetical assessment situations, science teachers exhibited their preferences for various types of constructivist assessment methods, whereas their purposes of the assessment still remained to be traditional. The science teachers who have had a relatively constructivist perspective toward assessment showed a statistically significant preference for using formative assessment than their counterparts in the hypothetical assessment situations.
Narrative Characteristics in High School Students' Geological Field Trip Reports: the Relationship Between the Narrative Mode of Thought and the Academic Achievement
Chung, Sue-Im ; Shin, Dong-Hee ;
Journal of The Korean Association For Science Education, volume 35, issue 4, 2015, Pages 735~750
DOI : 10.14697/jkase.2015.35.4.0735
The purpose of this study is to draw an educational implication by analyzing the context of narrative texts, students' narrative thinking, and their academic achievement. We investigated text types in students' geological field trip reports, the reason why students favors narrative texts, the relationship between narrative texts and their scientific knowledge recall, and the relationship between narrative thought and academic achievement. All students used expository texts, 82% of them expressed argumentative texts, and 36% of them used narrative texts. It is likely that students use more narrative texts because students were in the context of outdoor activity and so, their emotional feelings were more activated than when they are doing lab activities. The academic characteristics of earth science seemed to contribute more narrative texts in students' reports. The post-test revealed that students with narrative texts recalled better than the others. On the other hand, there were no statistically meaningful differences in academic achievement between the two groups. However, we have noted that female students whose reports contain narrative texts achieved significantly higher scores than female students whose reports are without narrative texts. From in-depth interviews, we found that students who properly used both paradigmatic and narrative mode of thought were in a more advantageous position than those who used narrative thought only. It was also found that some narratively thinking students tended to feel uncomfortable with the way of learning or evaluating questions about science. In the future, a complementary approach of narrative and paradigmatic mode of thoughts would be encouraged by understanding students' tendency of thinking.
Analysis on the Trends of Science Education Studies Related to Students' Science Learning in Korea
Kim, Youngmin ; Paik, Seoung-Hey ; Choi, Sun Young ; Kang, Nam-Hwa ; Maeng, Seungho ; Joung, Yong Jae ;
Journal of The Korean Association For Science Education, volume 35, issue 4, 2015, Pages 751~772
DOI : 10.14697/jkase.2015.35.4.0751
Valid and effective science education would require research-based decisions on multiple aspects of science education including policy decisions, science curriculum development, designing teaching resources and methods. However, this has not been the case. In order to provide a research base for science education practices and policy-making, this study reviewed research articles published in major science education research journals in South Korea in the last ten years. The analysis was focused on 8 areas including student conceptions, student thinking, inquiry, affective domain, student ideas about science, science curriculum, students' learning and classroom activity, and student learning in informal settings. General research trends found include: First, science education research conducted for the past decade focused on a certain limited topics/areas. Second, research participants were also limited to certain grade levels or types of students. Third, rather than examining developmental processes descriptive research was prevalent. Fourth, there was a lack of research on developing new areas of study or research on generation of new perspectives, theories or tools. Fifth, many studies were related to school science learning while relatively less studies were about other areas that would impact students' future. Based on the results, we suggest several implications for science curriculum development, policy development, science teaching and learning resources, and others.
Examining How Structures Shape Teacher and Student Agency in Science Classrooms in an Innovative Middle School: Implications for Policy and Practice
Park, Jisun ; Martin, Sonya N. ; Chu, Hye-Eun ;
Journal of The Korean Association For Science Education, volume 35, issue 4, 2015, Pages 773~790
DOI : 10.14697/jkase.2015.35.4.0773
Conducted as an ethnographic examination of science teaching and learning in an Innovative Middle School in Korea, this study employs sociocultural theory to examine how structures afford and limit student participation in an innovative school designed to promote student-centered learning. Data includes teacher and student interviews, student responses to a questionnaire, classroom observations, and analysis of video recordings of ten lessons in two in two 8th grade science classes. Using structure|agency dialectic theory, we identify and describe some structures that afford and limit teacher and student agency at the micro (science classrooms), meso (school), and macro (Korean society) levels to raise some questions about current reform measures, such as innovation schools, that seek to position classroom teachers as agents for change in science education reform in Korea. Findings suggest that while teachers and school administrators play an essential role in structuring learning opportunities at the meso and micro levels, they have limited agency to address structural constraints originating at the macro-level, which can negatively impact teaching and learning in the science classroom. We offer implications for policy and practice and argue the need for more qualitative research, informed by sociocultural theory, to inform science education reform efforts in Korea.