Metacognition has a high affinity with regard to academic ability, motivation and learning strategies, so research on metacognition in science education in Japan is increasing. However, it is difficult for many researchers to study metacognition because metacognition is ill-defined as a concept, and is itself a higher cognitive function. This article aims to review the research trends and examine questions for future research on metacognition in science education in Japan by means of literature research. The 34 articles were collected from five major educational journals by using the CiNii and the J-STAGE database. Two inclusion criteria were identified: (1) the study title, subtitle, abstract, or keywords, had to include the word “metacognition,” (2) the study had to include a reference to science education. The result showed that there was much research activity around instructional design and learning strategies for prompting students’ metacognitive activities, however, the research on instructional strategies for acquiring metacognitive knowledge of scientific thinking / inquiry still requires a significant amount of work. A challenge that may need to be addressed is the method of assessment of metacognition, which is fundamental to the promotion of future research.
Recently, the competence-oriented science curriculum has been actively developed in Germany. Furthermore, there is increasing interest in the competence model becoming the basis of science curriculum development. This paper points out some viewpoints to note in developing the competence model in science education in Germany, especially from the aspect of articulation between elementary and secondary education. These viewpoints are as follows: (1) Setting the dimension of action and content in the competence model, (2) Having the common components of these dimensions in the competence model in both elementary and secondary science education, (3) In the dimension of action in the competence model, as the stages of education advanced, making the transition of description of individual competencies based on the actions needed in science learning progress from general to more professional: In the area of competence “Erkenntnisgewinnung”, making the transition of descriptions of individual competencies from those based on basic scientific methods to more professional scientific methods; In the area of competence “Kommunikation”, making the transition of descriptions of individual competencies from those based on general communication patterns to more professional communication patterns using scientific jargon; In the area of competence “Bewertung”, making the transition of descriptions of individual competencies from those based on the metacognitive abilities of science learning of one’s own to the comprehensive understanding of science and the development of social abilities, (4) In the dimension of content in the competence model, as the stages of education advanced, making the transition of descriptions of individual competencies from those based on case examples from daily life to scientific concepts, in this regard, especially in secondary education, through the use of “Basiskonzept”, considering both the systematic acquisition of scientific knowledge in each science subject and connecting scientific knowledge across the science subjects.
According to the PISA and TIMSS international assessments of skills and knowledge, Japanese students were found to be lacking in reading and communication skills. However, the first of the seven main goals of the new course of study implemented in 2009 is the “enhancement of reading and communication skills” by integrating their acquisition into the study of all subjects. In this study, the effect of using video data on students’ reflective learning was examined. Students in upper secondary school investigated various topics in the subject of biology, and prepared poster presentations, which were recorded. Students assessed the effectiveness of their own presentations with a questionnaire immediately after completing their presentations, and again after watching the video recording of their presentations. The results of the questionnaire were analyzed utilizing t-test and the Measurement Text Analysis. The results showed that viewing the videos had an impact on the students’ perception of their abilities. Students not only reflected on their quality of content, but also their presentation skills including language used, presentation manners, volume of speaking, and poster attributes such as text and figure size and graph presentation. This paper shows that, in accordance with the goals of the program of studies, there is high educational value in using video to prompt student reflection and enhance their awareness of their reading and communication skills.
The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of collaborative reflection aimed toward teacher knowledge development. To accomplish this purpose, we recorded and analyzed collaborative and reflective discussions that were held by student teachers who had practiced simulated classes of elementary school science. The records of their discussions were analyzed with respect to both the unit of utterance and the discussed topic. The results of the analysis showed that, from the viewpoint of the utterances, both the “discovery of problems” and “solution of problems” could be performed. However, discussion related to the complex knowledge areas was not performed so much, and the highest ratio was occupied by utterances categorized as teaching acts. On the other hand, the analysis of topics indicated that student teachers could reflectively discuss their classes with respect to not only teaching acts but also other knowledge areas, and they often considered learners’ points of view. From the above results, collaborative reflection was concluded to be effective as a strategy for teacher knowledge development.
In this study, we drew up an instructional method to foster students’ ability to set the value of the independent variable, which is included in the ability to plan an experiment, and we intended to inspect the results practically. This study was conducted with the aim that students would come to know the following four factors: “0 value set as the standard”, “number of the values”, “interval of the values” and “the possibility of the range of the values”. Specifically, students were offered some examples of the different values of the independent variable that were set in the same context. The students evaluated them with regard to the four factors. This strategy was carried out in a second-grade lower secondary science class on “exploring the relationship between voltage and electric current”. We found that the students’ ability to set the value of the independent variable improved with regard to all four factors, and even after the lesson, their ability was enhanced.
We found that using a video call in the classroom might raise information retention levels and improve students’ “Scientific Thinking, Judgment and Expression”. The study took place in 2012. The purpose of this study is to examine the validity of using a video call in a seventh grade science class. In this case, 10 iPads were dispersed among 10 groups of seventh grade students. From the results of the unit quiz, and an analysis of the recorded conversations with students from the other school, it was suggested that the information exchanged during the video call successfully raised the students’ comprehension and retention levels.
In this study, we defined children’s competency as well as science teaching skills that should be developed as the ability to construct and express a science concept through collaborative problem solving. In order to develop children’s competency and skills, we designed a science lesson based on the proposal of Taylor et al. (1997). The lesson was a fourth grade science unit: “the volume of air changes when heated”. Results indicated that: (1) Children solved the problem collaboratively. (2) Children expressed their own ideas as performance. And they developed their ideas during the process of learning. (3) The teacher assessed the children’s thinking and provided feedback based on assessment. Our science lesson could foster the development of children’s competency and skills. The proposal of Taylor et al. (1997) was useful for designing the science lesson.
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