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Research in science education in the UK: Past, present, and future. John K. Gilbert King’s College London The University of Reading. Structure. Landmarks in the history of SER in the UK; Achievements to date Current challenges in doing SER Critique of educational research

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Research in science education in the uk past present and future

Research in science education in the UK: Past, present, and future

John K. Gilbert

King’s College London

The University of Reading


Structure
Structure

  • Landmarks in the history of SER in the UK;

  • Achievements to date

  • Current challenges in doing SER

  • Critique of educational research

  • The future: Types of research

  • The future: Themes for research

  • The future: Conditions for success in SER

  • References


Landmarks in the history of ser in uk
Landmarks in the history of SER in UK

  • Nuffield Science Teaching Trust: 1962-mid 1970s

  • SER in Specialist Centres and Education Departments

  • SSRC Studentships and overseas research students

  • ‘Studies in Science Education’ (1974)

    ‘European Journal of Science Education (1979)

  • Assessment of Performance Unit (1974-88),

    Secondary Science Curriculum Review(1983-1989)

  • The National Curriculum for England and Wales 1988


Achievements in ser 1
Achievements in SER (1)

  • Common commitments:

    - School system, especially 11-16 age range

    -Improvement in teaching, hence in learning

    - Qualitative enquiry, hence explanation

    - Constructivism: Piaget, Kelly, Vygotsky


Achievements in ser 2
Achievements in SER(2)

  • Alternative conceptions / misconceptions

  • Cognitive Acceleration through Science Education

  • Teacher development

  • Language use in the classroom

  • Attitudes

  • Laboratory work

  • Argumentation

  • Policy document : ‘Beyond 2000: Science Education for the future’


Current challenges in doing ser
Current challenges in doing SER

  • Staff profile and education

  • Isolation

  • The fate of good researchers

  • Availability of high-quality time

  • Administrative and teaching load

  • Research design possibilities


Factors affecting educational decisions
Factors affecting educational decisions

  • Local political issues

  • Public, especially parental, sentiment

  • Potential legal pitfalls

  • Issues of resource availability

  • Media pressure

  • The welfare of individual pupils

    ------

  • and ‘research evidence’

    (Nelson et al{2009})


Critique of educational research 1
Critique of educational research(1)

  • Funding based on peer review;

  • Low involvement by major stakeholders;

  • Insufficient basis in existing published research;

  • Too small scale to produce ‘valid and reliable’ results;

  • Published in specialist language;

  • Published in inaccessible media;

  • Lack of interpretation for teachers or policy-makers;

  • Lack of recognition of existing norms of practice.

    (Hillage, Pearson, Anderson, Tamkin {1998})


Critique of educational research 2
Critique of educational research (2)

  • Lack of relevance to issues of local importance

  • Lack of timeliness

  • Unstated assumptions

  • Uneven quality

  • Lack of clear implications

    (Nelson et al {2009})


The future types of research
The future: Types of research

  • Inform new policy or practice in a specific area

  • Evaluation of existing policies or practices

  • Action research in specific context

  • Identification of effective practices

  • ‘Blue skies’ research

  • Enquiry from particular psychology-of-learning perspective

    ( McIntyre{1998})


The future themes for research 1
The future: Themes for research(1)

  • Relation between aims and content

  • Relation between aims and assessment methods

  • Links with other subjects, especially English, Mathematics, and Technology

  • Increasing students’ engagement with science

  • Use of out-of-school activities

  • Influence of gender and cultural background on learning

  • Linking research, policy formation, classroom practice, teacher education

    (Gilbert(Ed){2006})


The future themes for research 2
The future: Themes for Research (2)

  • Students

    - attainment of ‘scientific literacy’

    - cross-curricular integration of learning

    - learning from ‘contexts’

    - continuity/differentiation/progression

    - adult and multi-generational learning

  • Teachers

    - use of informal resources

    - subject and pedagogic content knowledge

  • Policy makers

    - procedures for decision-making

    - use of research output


The future conditions for success resources
The future: conditions for success: resources

  • ESRC

    - 55 studentships in Education (2009-2010)

    - TLRP, 1998-2009, £3.6m

    -epiSTEMe, 2008-2012

  • Charities

    - Nuffield Foundation

    - Wellcome

    - AstraZenaca Science Teaching Trust

    - Gatsby Foundation

  • European Union

  • Schools


References
References

  • Gilbert,J.K.(ed.)(2006). Science Education in Schools: Issues, evidence and proposals. London: TLRP

  • Hillage,G.,Pearson,A.,Anderson,A., Tamkin,P.(1998). Excellence in research in schools. London: DES.

  • Jenkins,E.(2000). Research in science education: Time for a health check?. Studies in Science Education, 35,1-26

  • McIntyre,D.(1998). The usefulness of educational research. In: J.Rudduck, D.McIntyre(eds.), Challenges for Educational Research. London: Paul Chapman

  • Nelson,S.,Leffler,J.,Hanseb,B.(2009). Towards a research agenda for understanding and improving the use of educational research. Portland,Oregon: Northwestern Regional Educational Laboratory. (http://www.nwrel.org/researchuse/report.pdf)

  • Waring,M.(1979). Social Pressures and Curriculum Innovation.London: Methuen