Center for Educational Policy Studies Journal https://www.cepsj.si/index.php/cepsj <p>The Center for Educational Policy Studies Journal is an open-access, peer-reviewed journal devoted to publishing research papers in different fields of education, including scientific.</p> University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Education, Slovenia en-US Center for Educational Policy Studies Journal 1855-9719 <p>In order to ensure both the widest dissemination and protection of material published in CEPS Journal, we ask Authors to transfer to the Publisher (Faculty of Education, University of Ljubljana) the rights of copyright in the Articles they contribute. This enables the Publisher to ensure protection against infringement.</p> Editorial: Diversity in Science Towards Social Inclusion https://www.cepsj.si/index.php/cepsj/article/view/1886 Silvija Markic Copyright (c) 2024 Center for Educational Policy Studies Journal 2024-03-29 2024-03-29 14 1 7 11 10.26529/cepsj.1886 Diversity and Inclusion in Science Education: Why? A Literature Review https://www.cepsj.si/index.php/cepsj/article/view/1718 <p>In the last twenty years, there has been a consensus around the world that effective science education is vital to economic success in the emerging knowledge age. It is also suggested that knowledge of science and scientific ways of thinking is essential to participation in democratic decisionmaking. Students may recognise differences and advocate diversity, but assimilating those ideas requires the creation of conditions in which students can think deeply about situations that require tolerance. Schools in many countries and regions of the world are places shaped by cultural diversity. One may observe that in many schools there are social developments like migration and demographic and value change, consequently increasing the diversity of students. The issue of diversity in science education is therefore tackled according to many aspects, e.g., culture, language, scientific literacy and gender. The aim of the present literature review is to align the ERASMUS+ project Diversity in Science towards Social Inclusion with studies and views regarding diversity and inclusion in science education. The main goals of this project were to promote inclusive education and to train and foster the education of disadvantaged learners through a range of measures, including supporting education staff in addressing diversity and reinforcing diversity among education staff. Practices dealing with dimensions of diversity and inclusion in science education are developed and the partners shared the good practices that they developed.</p> Rachel Mamlok-Naaman Copyright (c) 2024 Center for Educational Policy Studies Journal 2024-03-29 2024-03-29 14 1 13 31 10.26529/cepsj.1718 Language Support in a Student Laboratory for Chemistry in Secondary School https://www.cepsj.si/index.php/cepsj/article/view/1605 <p>Throughout the world, schools are visited by students with different native languages. Therefore, the linguistic competencies of the students are diverse. Dealing with this diversity is a great challenge for teachers in general, including in science subjects. To face this challenge, all institutions involved in education should adapt their teaching and learning to linguistic diversity to foster student’s language competencies. Non-formal education, such as student laboratories, could enhance formal chemistry education and support students in learning the subject’s contents and acquiring language competencies. To this purpose, language-sensitive and language-supportive learning settings for different chemical topics and contexts are developed to enable all students to participate actively and foster language competencies. The learning settings are implemented and evaluated at the Ludwigsburg University of Education (Germany) using a cyclical approach based on Participatory Action Research. Data from 147 students from seven learning groups of various grade levels and school types were collected before and after they experienced the work in student laboratories. The focus was on students’ situational interests and their views on offered language-sensitive and language-supportive methods, tools, and activities. The data shows that the approach has a positive effect on students’ situational interest. Methods that were especially helpful for the students are filtered. On this basis, implications are drawn for the application to other non-formal education offers.</p> Sarah Kieferle Silvija Markic Copyright (c) 2024 Center for Educational Policy Studies Journal 2024-03-28 2024-03-28 14 1 33 53 10.26529/cepsj.1605 Innovative Learning Activities for Ethnically Diverse Students in Macedonian Science Education https://www.cepsj.si/index.php/cepsj/article/view/1692 <p>A game-based approach is widely used to increase students’ motivation through their active participation, whereby research is interwoven with fun and competition is incorporated with cooperation. Working in teams or groups encourages students to exchange their opinions, to try to find solutions together or to win a game. In this way, they learn and improve skills such as collaboration and responsibility. Several activities involving the 5E model as part of inquiry-based science education and an escape room as part of game-based learning were used in science classes (chemistry, biology and physics). The activities were designed on three different topics – gases, ecology and electrical circuits – within the project “Diversity in Science towards Social Inclusion – Non-formal Education in Science for Students’ Diversity”. The activities focused on the students’ self-concept towards science, interest in the subject, motivation and career aspirations in STEM, as well as the effectiveness of the implemented activities. The study aimed to assess the potential advantages of implementing activities in an ethnically diverse environment, benefiting both students and teachers. Pre- and post-questionnaires were designed and distributed to 190 students from various primary and secondary schools in Macedonia. The present paper provides an overview of game-based activities as well as a brief analysis of the pre- and post-questionnaire responses from students, focusing on the topic of ecology.</p> Katerina Rusevska Lambe Barandovski Vladimir Petruševski Aleksandra Naumoska Slavica Tofilovska Marina Stojanovska Copyright (c) 2024 Center for Educational Policy Studies Journal 2024-03-29 2024-03-29 14 1 55 77 10.26529/cepsj.1692 Someone Like Me: A Trial of Context-Responsive Science as a Mechanism to Promote Inclusion https://www.cepsj.si/index.php/cepsj/article/view/1691 <p>This paper provides evidence gathered from two suites of non-formal science activities that were intended to increase engagement in science by culturally diverse groups. Both studies involved the delivery of science activities that were designed, implemented and evaluated to show culturally contextualised science. The activities were run in two very different contexts (urban and very rural areas) and were designed to be of relevance to two distinctive cultural groups (those with links to South Asia, and those being educated through the medium of Gaelic, an indigenous minority language in Scotland), while also actively engaging with those beyond the target group. The link between language identity and culture was incorporated into the design of both sets of activities as well as the qualitative evaluation. The latter considers how the participants’ assessment of the interventions, implemented by writing or drawing on a blank postcard, was designed to provide unstructured responses and explores what the resulting data revealed about the impact of the interventions. The findings suggest that the set of activities that most strongly engaged participants on the value of diversity in the creation of scientific knowledge, as well as increasing their focus on the consequences of scientific activity, were those that facilitated a more exploratory approach to the subject matter. By contrast, activities that had to be done according to a standard scientific protocol produced growth in subject-specific knowledge. The present paper explores the principles of the inclusive pedagogies that informed the design of the activities and discusses how these were operationalised in two very contrasting cultural contexts. The key finding was that presenting science as social practice, rather than as being socially neutral, is key to promoting engagement, along with the benefits of explicitly demonstrating the relevance of science to participants’ daily lives.</p> Jane Essex Kirsty Ross Ingeborg Birnie Copyright (c) 2024 Center for Educational Policy Studies Journal 2024-03-29 2024-03-29 14 1 79 103 10.26529/cepsj.1691 Non-formal Science Education: Moving Towards More Inclusive Pedagogies for Diverse Classrooms https://www.cepsj.si/index.php/cepsj/article/view/1707 <div class="page" title="Page 1"> <div class="section"> <div class="layoutArea"> <div class="column"> <p>The Diversity in Science towards Social Inclusion–Non-formal Education in Science for Students’ Diversity (DiSSI) project aimed to provide a holistic perspective on diversity, focusing specifically on cultural and ethnic identities, language, socioeconomic background, gender, as well as differing levels of achievement. In particular, the work presented in this paper aims to tackle consciously the issues surrounding teaching and learning in socio-economically deprived areas through non-formal education. This paper presents the results of a pilot study that examined how students participating in non-formal education engage with multi-modal pedagogical approaches designed to address multiple dimensions of diversity via an intersectionality lens. Working with diverse groups requires varied methods; as such, a mixed-method approach was employed in the study to ensure the research team authentically captured and engaged with the lived experiences of the participants. The study aimed to generate best practices that augment the science capital of students, which are applicable across various contexts of diversity. The pedagogical approaches, while not novel in science education literature, were rarely utilised by the teacher and thus were rarely experienced by the students. Participants reported a greater sense of autonomy and ownership of the science through participation in the DiSSI programme. Preliminary results indicate an overall positive experience for students and teachers alike and offer insights into the overall lived experiences of participants, which inform future work.</p> </div> </div> </div> </div> Genco Guralp Martin McHugh Sarah Hayes Copyright (c) 2024 Center for Educational Policy Studies Journal 2024-03-29 2024-03-29 14 1 105 142 10.26529/cepsj.1707 Inquiry-Based Chemistry Education Activities in a Non-formal Educational Setting for Gifted Students https://www.cepsj.si/index.php/cepsj/article/view/1706 <p>Student giftedness is a complex, developmentally dynamic and contextual phenomenon that teachers confront every day. In the classroom, teachers often meet students who have exceptional potential or achieve very high learning goals. The aim of this study is to illustrate the evaluation of inquiry-based learning activities in a specific context (Diversity in Science towards Social Inclusion learning modules) implemented in a non-formal educational setting for gifted students in relation to their level of individual interest and their autonomous and controlled motivation, comparing different groups of students. We investigate how these activities affect the students’ attitudes towards inquiry-based learning, their situational interest and their interest in science careers. A total of 264 Slovenian lower secondary school students participated in the study. The students participated in non-adapted and adapted activities based on the inquiry-based learning approach. The data were collected using pre- and post-activity questionnaires. Participation in the study, which took place in the period between the 2021/22 and the 2022/23 school years, was voluntary. The data was collected anonymously and used for research purposes only. The results show several statistically significant differences in how students’ level of individual interest, autonomous motivation and controlled motivation for learning chemistry affects their attitudes towards inquiry-based learning, their situational interest in Diversity in Science towards Social Inclusion activities and their interest in science careers. For the gifted and non-gifted students who participated in “Forensics Science” lab activities before and after the adaptations to the modules, the results related to their attitudes towards inquiry-based learning and situational interest are also reported. Thus, the results of the study provide useful insights for researchers in the field of chemistry education as well as for chemistry teachers in lower and upper secondary schools. The presented study is a good example of best practices that chemistry teachers can apply in teaching chemistry, thus enabling all students, not only the gifted ones, to learn chemistry using the inquiry-based learning approach.</p> Miha Slapničar Luka Ribič Iztok Devetak Luka Vinko Copyright (c) 2024 Center for Educational Policy Studies Journal 2024-03-29 2024-03-29 14 1 143 169 10.26529/cepsj.1706 Teaching Stereochemistry with Multimedia and Hands-On Models: The Relationship between Students’ Scientific Reasoning Skills and The Effectiveness of Model Type https://www.cepsj.si/index.php/cepsj/article/view/1547 <p>This paper presents an analysis of the use of multimedia and hands-on models on university students’ understanding of stereochemistry. The relationship between students’ scientific reasoning skills and their understanding of stereochemistry was also determined. Two groups of second-year chemistry students from the State University of Malang taking organic chemistry for the 2020/21 academic year participated in this study. One group of students experienced stereochemistry teaching using multimedia models and the other hands-on models as the learning medium. Lawson’s Classroom Test of Scientific Reasoning and Short-Answer Stereochemistry Test were applied. The former was deployed to measure students’ scientific reasoning skills, while the latter was used to test their understanding of stereochemistry. The results revealed that the students’ scientific reasoning skills were significantly below the expected standard, falling in the low category. Students with high scientific reasoning skills exhibited a better understanding of stereochemistry than those with low levels. Both multimedia and hands-on models revealed an equal contribution towards students’ understanding of stereochemistry. Also, it suggests that multimedia models tend to favour students with high scientific reasoning skills, while hands-on models favour those with low skills.</p> Rooserina Kusumaningdyah Iztok Devetak Yudhi Utomo Effendy Effendy Daratu Putri Habiddin Habiddin Copyright (c) 2023 Center for Educational Policy Studies Journal 2023-05-31 2023-05-31 14 1 171 197 10.26529/cepsj.1547 Slovenian Language Teachers’ Attitudes Towards Introducing Comics in Literature Lessons in Primary School https://www.cepsj.si/index.php/cepsj/article/view/1444 <p>The present article highlights the views of Slovenian language teachers on the introduction of comics in literature lessons in primary school. We were interested in Slovenian language teachers’ views on the introduction of comics as an art-literary type of text as part of the literature curriculum as well as the use of comics as a literary-didactic method in literature classes. This was investigated via a questionnaire, which was fully completed by 121 Slovenian language teachers of the first to the ninth grade. The results show that factors such as gender, educational period taught, professional experience, field of study, highest level of completed education, source of skills related to the introduction of comics in the classroom, teachers’ reading habits and attitudes towards reading comics, and agreement with stereotypical claims about comics per se have no influence on teachers’ attitudes towards the use of comics in the forms studied. However, their attitudes towards the use of comics in the classroom are influenced by certain stereotypical attitudes of teachers towards comics. The most important limitation of our research was also the most important finding: teachers are neither empowered to introduce and use comics as an art-literary type of text in the literary curriculum, nor are they able to use comics as a literary didactic method in literature classes. There is a great need for teacher training and teachers should be empowered to use and introduce comics in all forms.</p> Maja Kerneža Igor Saksida Copyright (c) 2023 Center for Educational Policy Studies Journal 2023-05-31 2023-05-31 14 1 199 224 10.26529/cepsj.1444 Perceptions of Didactic Strategies among Pupils and Teachers in Primary School https://www.cepsj.si/index.php/cepsj/article/view/1491 <p>The quality of educational work is inextricably linked to many factors at the system, school, teacher, and student levels. This research was carried out within the project ‘Education of Teachers as a Factor of Providing High-quality Life-long Learning in the Learning Society/The Society of Fast Socio-economic Changes and Unsure Future’, funded by the Slovenian Research Agency. This paper provides a basic overview of the characteristics of open instruction, an umbrella term that combines active and learner-centred didactic strategies. The empirical section focuses on the use of didactic strategies. The survey was carried out with 1,536 primary school<a href="#_ftn1" name="_ftnref1">[1]</a> pupils in Grades 7 and 9 and 263 of their teachers. Both pupils and teachers cited problem-based learning and research-based learning as the most commonly used didactic strategies, while project-based learning was the least frequently used. Despite the agreement on the most and least frequently used didactic strategies, there are statistically significant differences between pupils’ and teachers’ perceptions of all selected didactic strategies. Teachers reported that they used these strategies more often than was perceived by their pupils. We also found a statistically significant impact of better learning performance on the perception of certain didactic strategies. The results of the study raise new research questions, especially in the design of more detailed analyses of the use of didactic strategies in pedagogical practice.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><a href="#_ftnref1" name="_ftn1">[1]</a> Slovenian basic education lasts nine years. Students enter primary school at the age of 6 and complete it at the age of 15.</p> Monika Mithans Joca Zurc Milena Ivanuš Grmek Copyright (c) 2023 Center for Educational Policy Studies Journal 2023-05-31 2023-05-31 14 1 225 246 10.26529/cepsj.1491 Jane Essex, Inclusive and Accessible Secondary Science: How to Teach Science Effectively to Students with Additional or Special Needs, Routledge, 2023; 133 pp.: ISBN: 978-1-00316-781-5 https://www.cepsj.si/index.php/cepsj/article/view/1875 Elisabeth Hofer Copyright (c) 2024 Center for Educational Policy Studies Journal 2024-03-29 2024-03-29 14 1 247 251 10.26529/cepsj.1875