Journal of Science Education and Technology

, Volume 19, Issue 4, pp 315–331 | Cite as

Trends of Science Education Research: An Automatic Content Analysis

  • Yueh-Hsia Chang
  • Chun-Yen Chang
  • Yuen-Hsien Tseng


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.


Science education research Journal publication Content analysis Scientometric method 



The work in this study was supported by the National Science Council of Taiwan under contracts NSC 97-2631-S-003 -003 and NSC 98-2631-S-003 -002.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yueh-Hsia Chang
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Chun-Yen Chang
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Yuen-Hsien Tseng
    • 4
  1. 1.Graduate Institute of Science EducationNational Taiwan Normal UniversityTaipeiTaiwan
  2. 2.Department of Earth SciencesNational Taiwan Normal UniversityTaipeiTaiwan
  3. 3.Science Education CenterNational Taiwan Normal UniversityTaipeiTaiwan
  4. 4.Information Technology CenterNational Taiwan Normal UniversityTaipeiTaiwan, ROC

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