, Volume 19, Issue 4, pp 315-331
Date: 22 Dec 2009

Trends of Science Education Research: An Automatic Content Analysis

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Abstract

This study used scientometric methods to conduct an automatic content analysis on the development trends of science education research from the published articles in the four journals of International Journal of Science Education, Journal of Research in Science Teaching, Research in Science Education, and Science Education from 1990 to 2007. The multi-stage clustering technique was employed to investigate with what topics, to what development trends, and from whose contribution that the journal publications constructed as a science education research field. This study found that the research topic of Conceptual Change & Concept Mapping was the most studied topic, although the number of publications has slightly declined in the 2000’s. The studies in the themes of Professional Development, Nature of Science and Socio-Scientific Issues, and Conceptual Chang and Analogy were found to be gaining attention over the years. This study also found that, embedded in the most cited references, the supporting disciplines and theories of science education research are constructivist learning, cognitive psychology, pedagogy, and philosophy of science.