Journal of Baltic Science Education

Journal Information
ISSN / EISSN : 1648-3898 / 2538-7138
Published by: Scientia Socialis Ltd. (10.33225)
Total articles ≅ 695
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Latest articles in this journal

André du Plessis
Published: 25 August 2022
Journal of Baltic Science Education, Volume 21, pp 536-544; https://doi.org/10.33225/jbse/22.21.536

Abstract:
COVID-19 had a severe impact on teaching and learning in schools and tertiary education institutions. Human Rights Watch (Impact of Covid-19 on Children’s Education in Africa, 2022) posits that due to the closure of many schools in African countries, a significant majority of learners were excluded from continuing their education as learning and teaching halted. The pandemic has also had its effect on the higher education sector within the South African context, however, data about non-attendance and drop-out seems not to be freely available as revealed by searching online. Nonetheless, it is reasonable to assume that there were drop-outs and non-attendance by students, however, not to the same extent as within schools as universities embarked on contingency plans to minimize dropouts. Nelson Mandela University in Gqeberha South Africa where the author of this editorial resides, implemented contingency plans within weeks of the COVID pandemic outbreak to offer students ICT devices on loan, e.g. by debiting it against their student accounts while Wi-Fi data access was secured through collaboration with internet providers. It appears that the university sector was able to be more proactive than schools, which can probably be attributed to the fact that the majority of universities have their own ICT infrastructures. In addition, many modules incorporated the use of ICT in various ways, including the use of learning management systems such as Moodle or similar. This resulted in many universities being better prepared to embrace the opportunity to extend online teaching, learning, and assessment in various forms during the COVID-19 pandemic.
, Yuqing Yuan
Published: 25 August 2022
Journal of Baltic Science Education, Volume 21, pp 575-593; https://doi.org/10.33225/jbse/22.21.575

Abstract:
Non-cognitive factors are considered critical aspects in shaping students' academic achievement. This study aims to analyze and explore the mechanisms of the influence of non-cognitive factors on 15-year-old students' abilities in China and the United States. Based on the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) 2018 education dataset, the Classification and Regression Tree (CART) model identifies and explains the factors. The study finds that there are 11 most influential common features in China and 9 in the United States. The two countries have 5 common features, the meta-cognition assess credibility, summarizing text ability, PISA test difficulty perception, science learning time, and school lessons numbers per week. Family economic status also impacts personal ability. Regarding subject characteristics, attitude towards failure is the determinant of reading and mathematics. Cooperation and competition among students help to improve mathematics and science. Furthermore, the comparison between the two countries concludes that self-awareness, family economic status, and school learning environment are critical to personal ability. The study concludes that it is necessary to foster a sense of healthy competition among students at the school level and provide more attention to students with low family socioeconomic status to improve their abilities. Keywords: machine learning approach; non-cognitive factors; PISA 2018; personal ability
Zorana Lužanin, , Tatjana Hrubik-Vulanović
Published: 25 August 2022
Journal of Baltic Science Education, Volume 21, pp 638-650; https://doi.org/10.33225/jbse/22.21.638

Abstract:
The use of infographics for presenting data in the media and on the Internet has become a widespread phenomenon. This study examines how well undergraduates interpret the mean when presented in infographic, their attitudes towards the misuse of statistics, and their perceptions of their knowledge and use of statistics. The infographic was intended for the general public. The questionnaire was developed in a pilot study and then it was presented to a sample of 270 students from universities in Serbia and the USA. The study showed that STEM undergraduates and those who attended a course in statistics interpreted the infographic better. However, between 46% and 65% of those misinterpreted the infographic which indicates that changes are needed in statistics education to improve statistical literacy. Concerning demographic characteristics, somewhat better results were achieved by the American students, while gender had weak significance. Students whose interpretations were more successful perceived their knowledge and use of statistics as better. An extremely low number of students, 7.5%, disagreed that statistics is often misused, while only 14.2% trusted the research results presented in the media. The results from this study can be useful for curriculum developers, teachers, and researchers on statistical education. Keywords: infographics, mean interpretation, non-STEM students, statistical literacy, STEM students, students’ attitudes
, Harun Uygun, Muharrem Duran
Published: 25 August 2022
Journal of Baltic Science Education, Volume 21, pp 694-705; https://doi.org/10.33225/jbse/22.21.694

Abstract:
Pedagogical content knowledge (PCK) is one of the most important research topics in science teacher education. The purpose of this study was to investigate the PCK of science teachers with different teaching experiences and examine the effects of teachers' PCK on students' achievement and attitudes toward science. A mixed methods research design was used for the study. Participants were science teachers and their students from two middle schools. Interviews, observation forms, achievement tests, and attitude scales were used as instruments for data collection. Data were collected and analyzed using content analysis, descriptive and inferential statistics. The findings obtained from the quantitative and qualitative data showed some significant differences between teachers' PCKs according to their teaching experience. The results also showed that the PCK of a teacher with the least experience was lower than that of the other two experienced science teachers. The results indicated that experienced teachers who developed PCKs did not significantly impact student achievement and attitudes. Educational implications and recommendations for further studies are also provided. Keywords: attitudes toward science, pedagogical content knowledge, science achievement, science teachers, teaching experience
, Emmanuel Gakuba, Gonzague Habinshuti
Published: 25 August 2022
Journal of Baltic Science Education, Volume 21, pp 663-679; https://doi.org/10.33225/jbse/22.21.663

Abstract:
Students' attitude towards a subject is a key indicator of academic performance, therefore its enhancement is imperative for academic success. A sample of 328 grade eleven students was selected using cluster random sampling. Two different study groups; the experimental and control groups, were composed and exposed to the guided inquiry and demonstration methods of teaching chemistry experiments respectively. The Non-equivalent control group research design was employed with instruction lasting six weeks. Data on pre-test and post-test attitudes were collected using a 25-item attitude towards teaching and learning chemistry through experiment survey. Comparisons of mean attitude scores were made between the experimental and control groups, and between the pre-test and post-test for each group. The Mann-Whitney U test analyses indicated a higher mean attitude score for the control group. However, the difference in the mean scores was not statistically significant. The Wilcoxon Signed-Rank test analyses indicated statistically significant differences between the pre-test and post-test attitude mean scores for both independent groups. These outcomes show that both methods of teaching chemistry through experiments enhance students' attitudes to essentially the same extent. These findings imply that Liberian teachers can enhance students' attitudes through demonstrations. Keywords: chemistry experiments, demonstration, guided inquiry, non-equivalent control group, students’ attitude
'Maphole Marake, Loyiso C. Jita,
Published: 25 August 2022
Journal of Baltic Science Education, Volume 21, pp 651-662; https://doi.org/10.33225/jbse/22.21.651

Abstract:
It is important for students to understand force concepts because they are central to learning physics and other sciences; however, students find it difficult to understand. There are calls for teachers to tap into their professional knowledge and develop beliefs that help them assist students comprehend the topic. To meet this challenge, teachers’ perceptions of their knowledge base for teaching force concepts should be probed because perceptions act as windows into teachers’ practices. This study, therefore, explored physics teachers’ perceptions of their knowledge base for teaching force concepts. Science teachers’ pedagogical content knowledge (PCK) frameworks were used to develop a questionnaire based on a 5-point Likert scale administered to 100 physical science teachers who were randomly selected from 54 schools in five districts in Lesotho. Data were analysed using descriptive statistics. The results suggest that, even though teachers reported positive views about their knowledge base, there is no correlation between sub-components of curricular knowledge. It is concluded that teachers should build the curricular knowledge by participating in collaborative activities. It is, therefore, recommended that studies that probe teachers’ actual knowledge of PCK constructs are executed, so that appropriate information is available when planning professional development activities targeting teachers’ PCK. Keywords: force concepts, pedagogical content knowledge, teacher knowledge, teachers’ perceptions of knowledge
Love Kotoka,
Published: 25 August 2022
Journal of Baltic Science Education, Volume 21, pp 615-637; https://doi.org/10.33225/jbse/22.21.615

Abstract:
Learners underperform in stoichiometry as they lack conceptual reasoning of the underlying concepts and the ability to solve stoichiometric problems. Therefore, it was necessary to determine if there is a statistical correlation between problem-solving skills and conceptual reasoning in stoichiometry and if so, whether one can significantly predict the other. The theoretical framework is the cognitive load theory (CLT). This theory expects teachers to know where to focus their teaching and how to assess their learners’ work to avoid unnecessary overloading of the working memory, which might affect their performance. The explanatory sequential mixed-method research design was employed with 410 grade 11 Physical Science learners in their intact classes. The participants wrote the learner achievement test (LAT) and responded to a semi-structured interview. The learners’ test scores were then used to run a statistical test. The Pearson correlation and regression showed that the justifications given by learners for choosing correct or incorrect multiple-choice options were not due to chance, and the results of the learner interviews supported the learners’ performance in the test. Moreover, the findings indicated that there was a positive correlation between problem-solving skills and conceptual reasoning where statistically, conceptual reasoning predicted learners’ problem-solving skills using regression analysis. Keywords: conceptual reasoning, cognitive load theory, explanatory sequential research design, stoichiometry, problem-solving skills
Wenxiu Tang, Xintong Zhu, Yangyi Qian
Published: 25 August 2022
Journal of Baltic Science Education, Volume 21, pp 680-693; https://doi.org/10.33225/jbse/22.21.680

Abstract:
Redox reaction is an important concept in chemistry, and a well-organized knowledge structure of redox reaction is beneficial for concept learning. This study investigated the knowledge structure regarding redox reaction from 459 Grade 10 students. The pool of 15 redox reaction concepts was developed by content analysis, questionnaire survey, and interview. Six initial competing models with 15 concepts were identified via exploratory factor analysis (EFA) and paper-pencil test. Confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) was conducted to test and modify the six competing models according to the rating data of the students. As a result, six modified models fit the data well. However, the high inter-factor correlations indicate that the two- and three-factor models are the students' knowledge structures of redox reaction. The two-factor model is comprised of two distinct but correlated factors: the process of redox reaction and metrology. The three-factor model is comprised of three factors: the process of redox reaction, reaction ability, and metrology. The finding inflects the abstract relationships between the concepts related to redox reaction in students' minds. Keywords: redox reaction, chemistry education, knowledge structure, factor analysis
Branislava K. Blajvaz, Ivana Z. Bogdanović, , , Milica V. Pavkov-Hrvojević
Published: 25 August 2022
Journal of Baltic Science Education, Volume 21, pp 545-557; https://doi.org/10.33225/jbse/22.21.545

Abstract:
Physics teaching should facilitate students to acquire knowledge, increase metacognitive awareness and motivation for learning physics. The implementation of cooperative learning could be useful for improving teaching. The aim of this research was to examine the effect of cooperative learning (specifically the jigsaw technique) on students’ achievement in physics, metacognitive awareness, and motivation. An experiment with parallel groups (experimental and control) was carried out with 92 seventh-grade students (in lower secondary education). Jigsaw technique was implemented in the experimental group, while the control group was taught using teacher-directed teaching method. Students’ physics achievement, metacognitive awareness and motivation were measured using knowledge tests and questionnaires (before and after the experiment). Statistical analysis included calculations of Cronbach's Alpha coefficient, performance of the Shapiro-Wilk test, Mann-Whitney U test and the Wilcoxon Signed Ranks Test. The research results showed that the implementation of jigsaw technique in physics classes significantly improved students’ physics achievement, metacognitive awareness, and motivation. Therefore, it can be suggested that this technique is beneficial in lower secondary physics education, and it can be recommended to implement the jigsaw technique in everyday school practice. Keywords: cooperative learning, metacognitive awareness, parallel group design, physics education
Published: 25 August 2022
Journal of Baltic Science Education, Volume 21, pp 594-614; https://doi.org/10.33225/jbse/22.21.594

Abstract:
This study studied the types of peer scaffolding presented in scientific experimental activities. The study included 14 university students. For the experimental activity of ‘determining temperature changes using the meridian altitude of the sun,' information regarding experimental behaviors, thinking aloud, discourse, and retrospective interview data were collected and analyzed. A model was derived and utilized for experimental activities to analyze peer scaffolding, wherein students internally structured their experiences with the experimental activities. The results indicated that students utilized seven means of peer scaffolding: ‘demonstrating’, ‘assisting’, ‘monitoring’, ‘posing’, ‘questioning’, ‘explaining’, and ‘suggesting’. Three types of peer scaffolding emerged: task completion-, model elaboration-, and learning support-oriented scaffolding. Each type differed in purpose, main mean, and major explanation details. Additionally, this study has observed the level of the model for the experimental activities and the time that had been provided to understand the experimental procedure influenced the three peer scaffolding types. These outcomes indicate that providing ample time to students independently structure the experimental procedure and supporting other students during experimental activities are essential. Moreover, providing assistance to students in focusing on observable phenomena by reducing the cognitive load required to process the experimental procedure is crucial. Keywords: peer scaffolding, scientific experimental activities, students’ interaction, qualitative case study
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