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ERIC Number: EJ1184660
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2018
Pages: 18
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0950-0693
Does Interest Have an Expiration Date? An Analysis of Students' Questions as Resources for Context-Based Learning
Swirski, Hani; Baram-Tsabari, Ayelet; Yarden, Anat
International Journal of Science Education, v40 n10 p1136-1153 2018
Context-based approaches can bridge the gap between abstract, difficult science concepts and the world students live in. However, the relevance of specific contexts to different groups of learners, and its stability over time, have not been extensively explored. This study used four datasets, collected in different formal and informal settings, to examine which types of contexts could capture the interest of many students and remain so for many years. In the formal setting, responses to closed-ended questionnaires in which 4-12th graders indicated their interest in studying the answers to science questions were compared. Over 700 questionnaires collected in 2007 were compared to over 1600 questionnaires collected in 2016. To document the stability of children's interest in informal science learning settings we compared over 1600 science questions sent to a TV science show in 2004 with over 7000 science questions submitted to a commercial exhibition in 2014. Although there were some differences across ages, students' interest in science remained relatively stable over the 10 years. In the formal setting, this similarity was reflected in the significant linear relationship between the two databases (r = 0.917) with regard to the questions students found interesting. In the informal setting, there was a striking similarity in the proportions of spontaneous questions in biology, astrophysics, Earth Science and chemistry. Based on the findings of this study and the literature we recommended, frequently asked questions are a valuable resource for context-based teaching which can serve to identify contexts that enhance the relevance of science in students' lives.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Israel
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A