People engaged in science technology are more likely to participate in science workshops or public engagement activities concerning science, technology and innovation policy than unengaged people. From the viewpoint of fostering scientific literacy for all, this situation needs to be improved. So far, in order to attract the unengaged, combining science workshops with other kinds of workshops such as art or tea ceremony has been attempted. In this paper, we propose a new approach, “science workshops for parents and their children.” We investigated participants in science workshops for parents and their children from the viewpoint of their interest in science and technology. Our results showed that 1) more parents and their children in the group potentially interested in science and technology participated in the workshops, 2) there is no significant difference in the rate of parents’ interested groups compared to interested groups of their children, 3) there is a significant difference in the rate of children’s interested groups between their grades.
In order to discuss various ways of learning as part of teacher education, it is important to clarify the learning mechanism of each student. However, no research focusing on mindset has been conducted in teacher education research in Japan. In this study, as a first step to clarify the teachers’ mindset concerning science, differences between implicit theories of intelligence and preservice teachers’ mindset about teaching competences were explored and their perceptions about the competences necessary for science were analyzed. The results of the research can be summarized in the following four points: (1) Preservice teachers believe that teacher competences can grow more than intelligence. (2) First-year university students have greater belief that teacher competences can be developed than do second-year students. (3) Preservice teachers consider having the ability to experiment; having abundant class contents or peripheral knowledge; and raising the interest, motivation, and curiosity of children as teacher competences necessary for science. (4) Second-year university students value the need for children-centered classes, which may have created a difference in their mindset about teaching competences compared to first-year students.
Among science education areas at junior high school, astronomy learning is difficult because it requires learners to understand phenomena from both a ground-level perspective and a space perspective. In this study, we first developed a software to help learners understand the sun’s diurnal motion from the ground-level perspective. A practice with the software showed that it could improve the understanding of the transparent hemisphere, but it did not significantly improve the understanding of the sun’s diurnal motion. We focused on the possibility that the learners were not conscious of important phenomena such as sunrise, sunset, and culmination. Thus, in the next phase, we developed a software through which learners intentionally learn this information using gamification. As a result, the understanding of the sun’s diurnal motion in each season was significantly improved. Also, from the result of the delayed test, we confirmed the importance of understanding the ground-level perspective correctly before learning the space perspective, and that our software is effective for this purpose.
The aim of this study was to reconsider the history of the US high school physics in the early 20th century. The authors analyzed the historical change of the purposes of the US high school natural philosophy and physics between 1821–1930. This period was divided into three sub-periods, and the purposes of the subjects found in each sub-period were analyzed by the frameworks used in Osborne’s arguments on four values of science education: Economic, Democratic, Cultural, and Utilitarian. As a result, the purposes of natural philosophy and physics changed as shown below:
1. Development of citizens who have a religious understanding of nature in the first sub-period (1821–1872).
2. Mental discipline for both students who become future citizens and ones who study physics in college in the second sub-period (1873–1899).
3. Development of citizens who understand the history of physics and adopt scientific habits of mind in the third sub-period (1900–1930).
While high school physics in the early 20th century was regarded as a subject for the preparation for further scientific study in college, this study found that it was oriented toward democratic and cultural purposes.
The purpose of this paper was to clarify junior high school student validation processes in solving word problems for simultaneous equations. We proposed and demonstrated new hypotheses through the observation of an 8th-grade mathematics class from the following two viewpoints: validation of real results in solving word problems in mathematical modeling and an implicit requirement for learners referred to as the fictionality of word problems. Fictionality is described as the fact that when learners solve word problems, they cannot avoid constructing nonexistent fictional worlds in their minds from the problems and engage in modeling activities in these fictional worlds. Analyzing the classroom observations, we found that even if learners are aware of the fictionality of a word problem, it is when they obtain mutually exclusive multiple real results that they feel the necessity of validating their results. It is suggested that a condition of word problems as teaching materials for supporting learners’ realization of the necessity of validating their results is that the problems must allow them to generate multiple real models.
This paper examines the meaning of a teacher’s actions focusing especially on the situation where mathematical terms are clarified in mathematics classrooms. In previous research, the pursuit of a fixed answer by the teacher has been regarded as undesirable. This paper focused on and examined the meaning of such actions in a mathematics classroom by an experienced teacher. As a result, it was clarified that one action of having students answer to the mathematical terms intended by the teacher has various dimensions of meaning. Specifically, two points of view are mentioned. First, in terms of the subject of the action, an interaction with one particular student was also intended to affect other students in the class/grade. Second, from the point of the meaning of the action, it relates to the local mathematical content of the identification of the multiplicative formula to be used, while on the other hand it also includes learning on how to confront mathematics. In particular, the nature of the language of mathematics is pointed out, which determines how words put a focus on things and properties so as to understand the reasons for sticking to mathematical terms.
The purpose of this study was to estimate the overall effect of instructional interventions for critical thinking in science education in Japan. We found 11 studies based on 493 participants. Our analysis revealed that (1) an overall estimate of effect size was g=0.29, (2) There was no relationship between the effect size and moderator variables (e.g., grade, subjects, teaching methods).
The concept of indeterminism is an important factor in the history of cultural anthropology; thus, the role of statistics education in dealing with indeterminism is indispensable. Statistics education is required for awareness of the relationship between statistical knowledge and contextual knowledge, as well as the shuttling between the statistical sphere and the context sphere. However, there is not yet sufficient accumulation of statistics education research. Therefore, this paper focuses on ‘context’. In Japan, statistics education is included in mathematics education, which emphasises abstraction and idealisation rather than contextual phenomena. The objective of this paper is to confirm the hypothesis that statistics education presents de-contextualised phenomena and phenomena converged on specific contexts as it progresses from elementary school to upper secondary school.
In order to achieve our objective, we analysed statistical problems in textbooks through a comparison of different types of schools. As a result of the textbook comparison, we found that de-contextualised phenomena and phenomena converged on specific contexts are occurring in Japanese statistics education.
In this study, we analyze how preconceptions regarding genetic modification affect the benefits/risk assessment for genome editing. We considered that negative prejudices against genetically modified technology would affect the understanding about genome editing, which is a similar technology. Further, we measured learners’ evaluation of genome editing using the difference in the teaching information of the relationships between genome editing and genetic modification. We conducted two experiments under the following two hypotheses: 1) preconceptions about genetic modification are reflected in the evaluation of genome editing; 2) prejudice against genetic modification affects the learning of genome editing. As a result of the experiments, hypotheses 1) and 2) were supported. The group that was rejective of genetic modification showed higher negative scores for genome editing than the group that was affective, despite learning little about the benefits/risks of genome editing. We proved that learning effects for genomic editing evaluation cannot be obtained unless it is taught that genetic modification is different from genome editing. It is advisable to grasp users’ preconceptions and to change learning materials accordingly.
Learner-centered teaching is necessary to enrich the learning of mathematics. In Japan, learner-centered teaching is emphasized, but how do Japanese mathematics teachers understand how learner-centered teaching is important? The aim of this paper is to conduct a case study to clarify how mathematics teachers in Japan place importance on learner-centered teaching. To address this purpose, a life study research methodology was employed. Based on Stephan (2014a), there are five features to learner-centered teaching: problem solving, classroom environment, collaboration, mathematical discourse, and tools/manipulatives. The participant, who is a male teacher at a junior high school in Tokyo, was interviewed for 9 years. In the interviews, the transformation of the view of mathematics learning, the view of students, and the introduction of tools were discussed. As a result of describing the participant’s experience as a life story, it is shown how the participant came to the conclusion of the importance of learner-centered teaching.
In this study, in order to grasp the consciousness and its change of a student in a course for preparing students for the teaching profession through participation in a school internship, a text analysis was conducted on the reflection worksheets of students who participated in the school internship based on the following three categories: 1) participating school types, 2) number of days of delayed submission of journals, 3) total number of characters written. In the text analysis, an extraction word list was created, and a KWIC (Keywords in Context) concordance analysis was performed on the words whose occurrence frequency changed particularly from the middle to the end of term. The result is as follows: 1) In the participating school types, the interns who participated in elementary schools emphasized emotional and friendly teachers, while those who participated in junior high schools focused on teaching in class and a reliable teacher image guiding students by aiming to build a better relationship with them. 2) In the delayed submission of journals, the shorter the delay, the more interns considered that the on-site experience would be useful in the future, but the longer the delay, they more they failed to learn from the experience. 3) Regarding the total number of characters in the description, the more characters written, the more they considered their future, whereas the fewer characters written, the more their reflection lacked depth.
The purpose of this study is to propose an effective utilization of diagrams in the teaching/learning of solving word problems for elementary school arithmetic. In this paper, we especially show the roles of diagrams in teaching/learning word problems of the arithmetic operations of integers and decimal numbers based on the classifications of diagrams in the textbooks. We propose a classification of diagrams for solving word problems as follows; reality diagrams, mathematical scene diagrams, structure diagrams, procedure diagrams and relation diagrams. We also show that the flow of teaching/learning calculations in the textbook matches Mayer’s process of solving word problems. Furthermore, we indicate the relation between this flow and the diagrams. Based on this relation, we show that the mathematical scene diagrams and the structure diagrams are useful for grasping quantitative relations and formularizing algebraic expressions. Utilizing these diagrams is useful for going back and forth between the step of grasping the problem and the step of getting the solution.
The purpose of this paper is to clarity a method for facilitating the appreciation of aesthetic qualities of mathematical objects with learners. For this purpose, the author conducted a case study about high school students’ mathematical problem–solving process based on a theoretical framework derived from the theory of aesthetics.
As a result, the effectiveness of the method was confirmed in both single-case studies. In other words, the validity of the theoretical hypothesis was supported by both single-case studies.
On the other hand, through detailed description and analysis of the cases, specific appreciation processes not mentioned in the theoretical hypotheses were described, and the following empirical compensations for theoretical hypotheses were made: In cases where the “equivalent relation” also has a role as the “essence”, intuition as the “essence” can be made through trial and error or can be hampered by objects of the “equivalent relation”. Also, in the same case, intuition of the “essence”, intuition of the “whole”, and feeling the “vastness” are phases that learners may pass back and forth complementarily. In response to these empirical compensations, the author improved the method for facilitating appreciation of aesthetic qualities of mathematical objects with learners.
The purpose of this paper is to shed light on methods of facilitating evaluation of a base analog in analogical reasoning. With discussions about Clement’s methods and retrieval of base analog, we could demonstrate that by setting the activity to reinvestigate a target after expanding attention into the overall relationship through comparing with the relationship to the base, we could change similarity to pass through the related level. Similarly, we could demonstrate that by setting the activity to reconsider what kind of problem a target is, we could catch a target analog in an abstracting way moderately.
In a case study, the former method led to an evaluation by changing similarity to pass through the related level. The letter method lead to an evaluation in which two base analogs are compared. Therefore, we think we could define the methods of facilitating evaluation of a base analog and its utility.
Although we had previously developed several kinds of experiment for radiation education using natural spring water, the sites for spring water whose radioactivity was high enough for the experiment were limited in Japan. In the present work, we explored the possibility of using underground water, which can be easily obtained in many places. By using a plastic bottle and a charcoal filter cartridge, a safe and inexpensive apparatus was developed for collecting low concentration of radon in water phase in a short time. Our method makes it possible to observe the decay of radon and the production of its offspring species even if we use ordinary tap water coming from an underground water source.
We investigated descriptions of foreign invasive species in textbooks of Living Environment Studies in elementary school, Science in elementary school, Science in junior high school, and Science in high school. Additionally, we investigated the respective curriculum guidelines and their related commentaries. Results reveal no explanation specifically addressing invasive species in the curriculum guidelines of Living Environment Studies or Science in elementary schools. In junior high school, Science includes descriptions that include invasive species in curriculum guidelines and their related commentaries. In high school Science, textbooks introduce invasive species as a subject matter to study developmentally and in an exploratory manner. Textbooks show that learning contents are presented in higher order according to higher grades. However, some room remains for consideration because no formal basis exists for learning about invasive species. We would welcome more research to be dedicated to expanding education about foreign invasive species in educational environments.
The reaction of potassium permanganate as oxidizing agent and soluble reagent as reducing agent is practiced in an aqueous solution. The authors consider that it may be useful to find out the reaction of copper plates and potassium permanganate, even if the reaction of copper plates and potassium permanganate is equal to the reaction in an aqueous solution. In an acid solution, the black substance produced in the reacted solution of copper plates and permanganate ion was identified as manganese (IV) oxide by X-ray diffraction. The ratio of copper (II) ion/permanganate ion was 1.5 in a pH 5 solution, and nearly 2.0 in a pH 1–2 solution. It is suggested that permanganate ion changed to manganese (IV) oxide not as much as manganese (II) ion in the pH 1–2 solution, and permanganate ion changed to manganese (IV) oxide in the pH 5 solution. We attempted to develop a student experiment of potassium permanganate and copper plates.