Research in Science Education

, Volume 43, Issue 6, pp 2153–2177 | Cite as

Developing ‘Butterfly Warriors’: a Case Study of Science for Citizenship

Article

Abstract

Given worldwide concern about a decline in student engagement in school science and an increasing call for science for citizenship in New Zealand Curriculum, this study focused on a butterfly unit that investigated how students in a year-4 primary classroom learnt about New Zealand butterflies through thinking, talking, and acting as citizen scientists. The butterfly unit included five lessons. The researchers observed the lessons and interviewed students and the classroom teacher. The students completed a unit evaluation survey after the unit. Findings indicate that the students enjoyed and were interested in activities such as reading about butterflies, learning and using new vocabulary, drawing butterfly life cycles, as well as hunting, tagging and releasing butterflies and publishing the data they had collected on a dedicated website. Through their participation in the unit, students had opportunities to act locally and globally, and to ‘see themselves’ in science through ‘being there’ experience. Units like this have the potential to develop students’ interest for longer-term engagement in science, even those students who may never envision themselves as professional scientists.

Keywords

Primary science Classroom study Biology Qualitative Action 

References

  1. Aikenhead, G., Orpwood, G., & Fensham, P. (2011). Scientific literacy for a knowledge society. In C. Linder, L. Ostman, D. Roberts, P. O. Wickman, G. Erickson, & A. MacKinnon (Eds.), Exploring the landscape of scientific literacy (pp. 28–44). New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  2. Archer, L., Dewitt, J., Osborne, J., Dilion, J., Willis, B., & Wong, B. (2010). “Doing” science versus “being” a scientist: examining 10/11-year-old schoolchildren’s constructions of science through the lens of identity. Science Education, 94(4), 617–639.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Bolstad, R., & Hipkins, R. (2008). Seeing yourself in science—the importance of the middle school years. Wellington: New Zealand Council for Educational Research.Google Scholar
  4. Brickhouse, N. W. (2001). Embodying science: a feminist perspective on learning. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 38(3), 282–295.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Brickhouse, N. W., Lowery, P., & Schultz, K. (2000). What kind of a girl does science? The construction of school science identities. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 37(5), 441–458.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Brossard, D., Lewenstein, B., & Bonney, R. (2005). Scientific knowledge and attitude change: the impact of a citizen science project. International Journal of Science Education, 27(9), 1099–1121.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Bull, A., Gilbert, J., Barwick, H., Hipkins, R., & Baker, R. (2010). Inspired by science. Research document. New Zealand Council for Educational Research. http://www.pmcsa.org.nz/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/NZCER-Inspired-by-science.pdf. Accessed 20 June 2012.
  8. Carlone, H., & Johnson, A. (2007). Understanding the science experiences of successful women of color: science identity as an analytic lens. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 44(8), 1187–1218.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Chin, C. (2002). Student generated questions: encouraging inquisitive minds in learning science. Teaching and Learning, 23(1), 59–67.Google Scholar
  10. Coffey, A., & Atkinson, P. (1996). Making sense of qualitative data: complementary research strategies. London: Sage.Google Scholar
  11. Collopy, R. (2003). Curriculum materials as a professional development tool: how a mathematics textbook affected two teachers’ learning. The Elementary School Journal, 103(3), 287–311.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Corrigan, D., Dillon, J., & Gunstone, R. (Eds.). (2007). The re-emergence of values in science education. Rotterdam: Sense.Google Scholar
  13. Creswell, J. W., & Miller, D. L. (2000). Determining validity in qualitative inquiry. Theory into Practice, 39(3), 124–131.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Davies, I. (2004). Science and citizenship education. International Journal of Science Education, 26(14), 1751–1763.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Dillon, J., & Reid, A. (2007). Science, the environment and citizenship: teaching values at the Minstead Study Centre. In D. Corrigan, J. Dillon, & R. Gunstone (Eds.), The re-emergence of values in science education (pp. 77–88). Rotterdam The Netherlands: Sense.Google Scholar
  16. Drake, C., Spillane, J. P., & Hufferd-Ackles, K. (2001). Storied identities: teacher learning and subject-matter context. Journal of Curriculum Studies, 33(1), 1–23.Google Scholar
  17. Eagan, K., Herrera, H., Sharkness, J., Hurtado, S., & Chang, M. (2011). Crashing the gate: identifying alternative measures of student learning in introductory science, technology, engineering, and mathematics courses. Paper presented in the American Research in Education Association, New Orleans, Louisiana, USAGoogle Scholar
  18. Elster, D. (2009). Biology in context: teachers’ professional development in learning communities. Journal of Biological Education, 43(2), 53–61.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Engle, R. (2006). Framing interactions to foster generative learning: a situative explanation of transfer in a community of learners classroom. The Journal of the Learning Sciences, 15(4), 451–498.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Engle, R., Nguyen, P., & Mendelson, A. (2011). The influence of framing on transfer: initial evidence from a tutoring experiment. Instructional Science, 39, 403–628.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Enyedy, N., Goldberg, J., & Welsh, K. M. (2006). Complex dilemmas of identity and practice. Science Education, 90, 68–93.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Fasse, B., & Kolodner, J. L. (2000). Evaluating classroom practices using qualitative research methods: defining and refining the process. In B. Fishman & S. O’Connor-Divelbiss (Eds.), Fourth international conference of the learning sciences (pp. 193–198). Mahwah: Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  23. Fensham, P. (2008). Science education policy-making: eleven emerging issues. Scientific and Cultural Organization: United Nations Educational.Google Scholar
  24. Gee, J. P. (2008). Game-like learning: an example of situated learning and implications for opportunity to learn. In P. Moss, D. Pullin, J. Gee, E. Haertel, & L. Young (Eds.), Assessment, equity, and opportunity to learn (pp. 200–221). New York: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Gilbert, J. K. (2006). Context based chemistry education on the nature of “context” in chemical education. International Journal of Science Education, 28(9), 957–976.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Gluckman, P. (2011). Looking ahead: science education for the twenty-first century. http://www.pmcsa.org.nz/2011-archive-%E2%80%93-speeches-media-releases/. Accessed 4 June 2012.
  27. Harlen, W. (Ed.). (2010). Principles and big ideas of science education. Hatfield: ASE.Google Scholar
  28. Hodson, D. (1999). Going beyond cultural pluralism: science education for sociopolitical action. Science Education, 83(6), 775–796.Google Scholar
  29. Hodson, D. (2003). Time for action: science education for an alternative future. International Journal of Science Education, 25(6), 645–670.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Hodson, D. (2009). Teaching and learning about science: language, theories, methods, history, traditions and values. Rotterdam: Sense.Google Scholar
  31. Jenkins, E. W. (1992). School science education: towards a reconstruction. Journal of Curriculum Studies, 24, 229–246.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Jenkins, L. (2011). Using citizen science beyond teaching science content: a strategy for making science relevant to students’ lives. Cultural Studies of Science Education, 6(2), 501–508.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Kerr, S. T. (1996). Technology and the future of schooling. Chicago, IL: National Society for the Study of Education.Google Scholar
  34. Lemke, J. L. (2000). Across the scales of time: artifacts, activities, and meanings in ecosocial systems. Mind, Culture, and Activity, 7(4), 273–290.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Lent, R. W., Brown, S. D., & Gore, P. A. (1997). Discriminant and predictive validity of academic self-concept, academic self-efficacy, and mathematics-specific self-efficacy. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 44(3), 307–315.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Lincoln, Y. S., & Guba, E. G. (1985). Naturalistic inquiry. Beverly Hills: Sage.Google Scholar
  37. Luehmann, A. L. (2001). Factors affecting secondary science teachers’ appraisal and adoption of technology-rich project-based learning environments. Unpublished doctoral dissertation. The University of Michigan, Ann ArborGoogle Scholar
  38. Mantzicopoulos, P., Samarapungavan, A., & Patrick, H. (2009). “We learn how to predict and be a scientist”: early science experiences and kindergarten children’s social meanings about science. Cognition and Instruction, 27(4), 312–369.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Mau, W. (2003). Factors that influence persistence in science and engineering career aspirations. Career Development Quarterly, 51(3), 234–243.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Metz, K. (2004). Children’s understanding of scientific inquiry: their conceptualization of uncertainty in investigations of their own design. Cognition and Instruction, 22(2), 219–291.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Millar, R. (2006). Twenty first century science: insights from the design and implementation of a scientific literacy approach in school science. International Journal of Science Education, 28(13), 1499–1521.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Ministry of Education. (2007). The New Zealand curriculum. Wellington, New Zealand: Learning Media.Google Scholar
  43. Moreland, J., Cowie, B., Otrel-Cass, K., & Jones, A. (2010). Planning for learning: building knowledge for teaching primary science and technology. http://www.tlri.org.nz/assets/A_Project-PDFs/9215-Cowie/InsitePlanning.pdf. Accessed 20 June 2012.
  44. Oberhauser, K. S., & Prysby, M. D. (2008). Citizen science: creating a research army for conservation. American Entomologist, 54, 97–99.Google Scholar
  45. Osborne, J. F., & Collins, S. (2000). Pupils’ and parents’ views of the school science curriculum. London: King’s College London.Google Scholar
  46. Roberts, D. A. (2007). Scientific literacy/science literacy. In S. K. Abell & N. G. Lederman (Eds.), Handbook of research on science education (pp. 729–780). London: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.Google Scholar
  47. Roth, W. M., & Désautels, J. (2004). Educating for citizenship: reappraising the role of science education. Canadian Journal of Science, Mathematics, and Technology Education, 4, 149–168.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Schibeca, R., & Lee, L. (2003). Portrayals of science and scientists, and ‘science for citizenship’. Research in Science and Technological Education, 21(2), 177–192.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Sperling, E., & Bencze, J. L. (2010). “More than particle theory”: citizenship through school science. Canadian Journal of Science, Mathematics, and Technology Education, 10(3), 255–266.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Springate, I., Atkinson, M., Straw, S., Lamont, E., & Grayson, H. (2008). Narrowing the gap in outcomes: early years (0~5 Years). Slough, England: NFER.Google Scholar
  51. Tsai, C. C. (2002). Nested epistemologies: science teachers’ beliefs of teaching, learning and science. International Journal of Science Education, 24(8), 771–783.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Tytler, R. (2001). Describing and supporting effective science teaching and learning in Australian schools-validation issues. Asia-Pacific Forum on Science Learning and Teaching, 2(2), 1–22.Google Scholar
  53. Tytler, R. (2007). Re-Imagining science education: engaging students in science for Australia's future. Camberwell: Australian Council for Educational Research.Google Scholar
  54. Tytler, R., Osborne, J. F., Williams, G., Tytler, K., & Clark, J. C. (2008). Opening up pathways: engagement in STEM across the primarysecondary school transition. A review of the literature concerning supports and barriers to Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics engagement at primarysecondary transition. Canberra: Commissioned by the Australian Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations.Google Scholar
  55. Tytler, R., Symington, D., & Smith, C. (2011). A curriculum innovation framework for Science, Technology and Mathematics education. Research in Science Education, 41(1), 19–38.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Verkoeijen, P., Rikers, R., & Schmidt, H. (2005). The effects of prior knowledge on study-time allocation and free recall: investigating the discrepancy reduction model. The Journal of Psychology, 139(1), 67–79.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Williams, W. M., Papierno, P. B., Makel, M. C., & Ceci, S. J. (2004). Thinking like a scientist about real-world problems: the Cornell Institute for Research on Children science education program. Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology, 25(1), 107–126.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Windschitl, M., Thompson, J., & Braaten, M. (2008). How novice science teachers appropriate epistemic discourses around model-based inquiry for use in classrooms. Cognition and Instruction, 26(3), 310–378.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Wylie, J., & McGuinness, C. (2004). The interactive effects of prior knowledge and text structure on memory for cognitive psychology texts. British Journal of Educational Psychology, 74, 497–514.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Education Policy and LeadershipThe Hong Kong Institute of EducationTai PoHong Kong
  2. 2.University of WaikatoHamiltonNew Zealand

Personalised recommendations