מאמרים בכתבי עת
1. Eshach, H. , Lin, T.C., & Tsai, CC (2017). Misconception of Sound and Conceptual change: A
1. Ben-Abu, Y. , Eshach, H., and Yizhaq, H. (2017), Interweaving the Principle of Least Potential Energy in School and Introductory University Physics Courses, Symmetry, 9(45).
Understanding advanced physical phenomena such as vertically hanging elastic column, soap bubbles, crystals and cracks demands expressing and manipulating a system's potential energy under equilibrium conditions. However, students at schools and universities are usually required to consider the forces acting on a system under equilibrium conditions, rather than taking into account its potential energy. As a result, they find it difficult to express the system's potential energy and use it for calculations when they do need to do so. The principle of least potential energy is a powerful idea for solving static equilibrium physics problems in various fields such as hydrostatics, mechanics, and electrostatics. In the current essay, the authors describe this principle and provide examples where students can apply it. For each problem, the authors provide both the force consideration solution approach and the energy consideration solution approach.
2. Eshach, H., Kukliansky, I. (2017). University Physics and Engineering Students' Use of Intuitive Rules, Experience, and Experimental Errors and Uncertainties. International Journal of Science and Mathematics Education
The present study uses the intuitive rules theory as a framework to examine whether some of the difficulties in dealing with errors and uncertainties observed among students in the university physics laboratory can stem from their use of intuitive rules. The study also examines the relationship between the use of intuitive rules and laboratory experience level. Based on interviews with 20 students and a research sample, which included 52 students, having different laboratory experiences, our findings show that students used the intuitive rules in the tasks they were provided. Moreover, students with less laboratory experience used the intuitive rules more frequently than students with more laboratory experience. Understanding the influence of intuitive rules on students' performance, when dealing with experimental data, may be a great help to educators in designing better learning environments to address related science and engineering practices.
3. Eshach, H., Lin, T. C., and Tsai, C. C. (2016). Taiwanese middle school students' materialistic concepts of sound. Physical Review Physics Education Research 12(1).
This study investigated if and to what extent grade 8 and 9 students in Taiwan attributed materialistic properties to sound concepts, and whether they hold scientific views in parallel with materialistic views. Taiwanese middle school students are a special population since their scores in international academic comparison tests such as TIMSS and PISA are among the highest in the world. The "Sound Concept Inventory Instrument" with both materialistic and scientific statements of sound concepts was applied to explore Taiwanese students' ideas and corresponding confidence. The results showed that although the subject of sound is taught extensively in grade 8 in Taiwan, students still hold materialistic views of sound. The participants agreed, on average, with 41% of the statements that associate sound with materialistic properties. Moreover, they were quite confident in their materialistic answers (mean=3.27 on a 5-point Likert scale). In parallel, they also agreed with 71% of the scientific statements in the questions. They were also confident of their scientific answers (mean=3.21 ). As for the difference between grade 8 and 9 students, it seems that in grade 9, when students do not learn about sound, there is a kind of regression to a more materialistic view of sound. The girls performed better than the boys (t =3.59 , p <0. 001 ). The paper uses Vosniadou and Brewer's [Cogn. Sci. 18, 123 (1994)., 10.1207/s15516709cog1801_4] framework theory to explain the results, and suggests some ideas for improving the teaching of sound.
מאמרים בכתבי עת
1. Tripto, J., Ben-Zvi Assaraf, O., Snapir , Z., and Amit, M.2017. How does the body's systemic nature manifested amongst high school biology students? Instructional Science: Special Issue Proposal Models and Tools for Systems Learning and Instruction.45:73–98.
This study follows two groups of students (67 in all) through the 3 years of their high school biology education and examines the development of their systems thinking - specifically their models of the human body as a system. Both groups were composed of biology majors, but the students in one group also participated in a PBLbased extension program called “Medical Systems". Data was gathered by means of concept maps, which the students completed at four strategic stages of the learning process: beginning of 10th grade, end of 10th grade, end of 11th grade and end of 12th grade. At the end of the 3 year learning process, the students' showed more complex system models. They included a wider range of concepts in their maps, spanning hierarchy levels ranging from the molecular and cellular to the system level. We also found an increase in references to dynamic interactions, but this did not encourage the students to use cellular level processes when explaining phenomena that occur at the systems level. The impact of the PBL teaching method was strongly evident in the complexity of the Medical Systems program students' concept maps, which heavily emphasized “hierarchy" and “diseases" as system characteristics.
2. Shaby, N., Ben Zvi Assaraf., and Tal, T. (2017). Do particular aspects of science museum exhibits encourage students' engagement? Journal of Science Education and Technology, 19 (3) pp 359–382.
This research explores learning in science museums through the most common activity in a science museum—interaction with exhibits. The goal of this study was to characterize the learning behaviors exhibited by students as they engage with interactive exhibits in order to draw insight regarding the design of the exhibits. In order to do so, we used a qualitative method of observation as well as the Visitor Engagement Framework (VEF) model, a visitor-based framework for assessing visitors' learning experiences with exhibits in a science center setting. The combined method produced a framework of nine learning behaviors exhibited during the visitors' interaction with the exhibits, grouped into three categories that reflect increasing levels of engagement and depth of the learning experience. Our research participants consisted of a total 1800 students aged 10–12 (4th, 5th, and 6th graders) who came to the museum with their class for a day visit. We observed nine exhibits, each visited by 200 students. Our observations revealed several design elements that contribute to engagement with exhibits in science museums. For example, exhibits that have familiar activation encourage visitors' interaction, exhibits that facilitate social interaction are more likely to increase engagement, and the highest levels of engagement can be found in exhibits that support large groups.
3. Siani, M., and Ben-Zvi Assaraf, O (2017). A qualitative look into geneticists' insights regarding culturally competent genetic counseling and recommendations for its enhancement. Journal of Public Health. (Published, ahead-of-print)
The aim of this study is to describe the perceptions and recommendations of Israeli genetic experts in regard to culturally competent genetic counseling. Qualitative data was collected from 15 semi-structured interviews with Israeli genetics experts. Recurring themes were identified using "thematic analysis" and coded by means of "grounded theory". Our analysis divides data from the genetic experts' interviews into four main themes: Why is culturally competent genetic counseling important? (Describing its contribution to individuals and to society); who is the recipient of culturally competent genetic counseling? (Differentiating the needs of counselees based on genetic education, cultural/religious characteristics and geographic location); what should we include in culturally competent genetic counseling? (Addressing the contents that counseling should convey);how should we perform culturally competent genetic counseling? (Addressing the methods that counseling should employ). In light of the study, we recommend lengthening the genetic counseling session so that counselors will be able to truly gauge all the prior knowledge of the counselees, their religious beliefs, norms, values and attitudes towards genetic testing. We further recommend that students continue to study genetics further into high school. Finally, we suggest adding a preparation session, similar to a prenatal course, to the genetic counseling of lay people so that their genetic knowledge, attitudes and perceptions will be enhanced, leading to more efficient genetic counseling and more informed decisions
4. Snapir, Z., Ben-Zvi Assaraf, O., Tripto, J., Eberbach, C., Hmelo-Silver, C., and Amit, M. (2017). The development of high school students' understanding of complex systems in human biology – A longitudinal study. International Journal of Science Education. (Published, ahead-of-print)
Science education today has become increasingly focused on research into complex natural, social and technological systems. In this study, we examined the development of high-school biology students' systems understanding of the human body, in a three-year longitudinal study. The development of the students' system understanding was evaluated using the Components Mechanisms Phenomena (CMP) framework for conceptual representation. We coded and analysed the repertory grid personal constructs of 67 high-school biology students at 4 points throughout the study. Our data analysis builds on the assumption that systems understanding entails a perception of all the system categories, including structures within the system (its Components), specific processes and interactions at the macro and micro levels (Mechanisms), and the Phenomena that present the macro scale of processes and patterns within a system. Our findings suggest that as the learning process progressed, the systems understanding of our students became more advanced, moving forward within each of the major CMP categories. Moreover, there was an increase in the mechanism complexity presented by the students, manifested by more students describing mechanisms at the molecular level. Thus, the 'mechanism' category and the micro level are critical components that enable students to understand system-level phenomena such as homeostasis.
5. Shaby, N., Ben Zvi Assaraf., and Tal, T. (2017).. A Student's-Eye View: What 4th Grade Students Describing Their Visit to a Science Museum Recall as Significant. Research in Science Education (Published, ahead-of-print).
This mixed-method research focuses on how school children visiting a science museum with their class perceive the overall experience of their visit to the science museum and which aspects of the science museum experience they recall as significant. The study participants were seventy two 4th grade students (age 9–10) who came to the museum with their class for a day visit. Our research revealed that the students perceive two different types of activities in the visit, according to the level of choice given to them, and that their experiences in these activities are described differently. The physical interaction during the visit is dominant, and students report at length what they have learned about how to operate the exhibits in the museum. Additionally, the students see the facilitators as traditional knowledge transmitters, repeating their explanations and referring to their contents as something they have learned. Our findings expand what is known about student visitors' experiences and can therefore help make the museum experience more meaningful for school students.
מאמרים בכתבי עת
1. Barak, M. &, Albert, D. (2017). Fostering Systematic Inventive Thinking (SIT) and Self-Regulated Learning (SRL) in Problem-Solving and Troubleshooting Processes among Engineering Experts in Industry, Australasian Journal of Technology Education. 4, 1-14. Published online.
The present research addressed two unique aspects of fostering problem solving and inventive thinking among engineering experts: first, teaching the Systematic Inventive Thinking (SIT) method for problem solving and new product development; second, fostering Self-Regulated Learning (SRL) comprised of cognition, meta-cognition and self-efficacy beliefs among engineering experts. The pilot study involved observations at industry sites to learn about experts' thinking while solving problems. In the main study, we developed a 30-hour workshop on teaching SIT and SRL that was delivered to five groups of 20-25 engineering experts each (total n=110) at the workplace. The workshop included lectures, discussions, games and solving authentic engineering problems. Data was collected by means of questionnaires, interviews, problem-solving tests, observations and documenting class activities. The findings indicated that the participants significantly improved their competencies related to identifying problems in a given system, and suggesting more innovative solutions and less irrelevant solutions to these problems.
2. Hacker M., & Barak, M. (2017). Important engineering and technology concepts and skills for all high school students in the United States: Comparing perceptions of engineering educators and high school teachers. Journal of Technology Education, 28(2), 31-52.
Engineering and technology education (ETE) are receiving increased attention as components of STEM education. Curriculum development should be informed by perceptions of academic engineering educators (AEEs) and classroom technology teachers (CTTs) as both groups educate students to succeed in the technological world. The purpose of this study was to identify ETE concepts and skills needed by all high school students in the United States and to compare perceptions of AEEs and CTTs relative to their importance. This research was carried out using a modified Delphi research methodology involving three survey rounds interspersed with controlled opinion feedback.
Consensus was found on 14 of 38 survey items within five ETE domains (design, modelling, systems, resources, and human values) that are repeatedly referenced in the literature. The most important competencies for high school students to learn were to: (1) identify and discuss environmental, health, and safety issues; (2) use representational modelling to convey the essence of a design; (3) use verbal or visual means to explain why an engineering design decision was made; and (4) show evidence of considering human factors when proposing design solutions. The study established a consensus between AEEs and CTTs that contributes to the body of knowledge about what high school students should learn in ETE. Study results can inform curriculum development and revision of the Standards for Technological Literacy.
3. Barak, M. (2017). Robotics, STEM and Project-Based Learning: Using the P3 Task Taxonomy to Make the Myth Real. Proceedings of the Pupils Attitudes Towards Technology (PATT-34) Conference, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA, July 10-14.
Recently, technology education has been inspired by three main subjects: robotics, STEM education and project-based learning. However, a gap exists between the theory or intentions related to each of this subjects, and its application in practice. The study presented in this paper aimed to examine the effectiveness of a 30-hour robotic course for junior high school (n=32) which incorporates STEM studies and project based learning (PBL). Class activities were designed according to the P3 Task Taxonomy, which included: 1) Practice – basic closed-ended tasks and exercises; 2) Problem solving – small-scale open-ended assignments in which the learner can choose the solution method or arrive at different answers; and 3) Project-based learning – open-ended challenging tasks. The research aimed at exploring students' working patterns, achievements in learning the course, and the impact of this experience on students' motivation to learn STEM subjects. Evaluation tools included a final exam on factual, procedural, and conceptual knowledge in the STEM subject learned in the course, class observations, interviews with the students, and administrating an attitude questionnaire before and after the course. Since the experimental class was quite heterogeneous in regard to students' prior learning achievements and motivation to learn, some of the students completed only the basic exercises, others coped well with the problem-solving tasks, and only a few took it upon themselves to carry out a complex project. However, all students showed high motivation to learn robotics and STEM subjects. In summary, robotics provides a very exciting learning environment for STEM education and PBL. Yet, the realization of this potential depends largely on a careful design of course content and methodology, and especially the design of students' assignments in the class.
1. 3. Swidan, O., Daher, W. & Darawishi, N. (2017). Using dynamic and interactive technological tools to support conceptual learning of equations among low- achieving students. Dooley, T. & Gueudet, G. (Eds.). Proceedings of the Tenth Congress of the European Society for Research in Mathematics Education (CERME10, February 1 – 5, 2017). Dublin, Ireland: DCU Institute of Education and ERME.
Mathematics education researchers have been interested in students' understanding of the equality as equivalence relations. Doing so, they pointed out that the notion of equality is difficult for students to perceive. We provided one pair of 16-year-old low-achieving students with a productive environment (technological tool, supportive teacher and an authentic activity) to support their learning of equality sentences as equivalence relations. We examined the pair of students' routines in this environment. The research results indicated that the students followed a sequence of routines where the teacher and the technology had an effective role. Moreover, students' substantiation routines relied on empirical argument that utilized concrete realizations afforded by the applet.
4. Fried, M. N. and Amit, M. (2016). Reform as an Issue for Mathematics Education Research: Thinking about Change, Communication, and Cooperation. In L. English and D. Kirshner, Handbook of International Research in Mathematics Education, 3rd Edition, pp.257-274. New York: Routledge.
Mathematics education reform takes in almost all aspects of mathematics education as a field, including teaching and learning, curriculum design, assessment, learning environments, technology, national and economic needs, cultural values, and social justice. As a process, reform must see these issues as a whole, from the inside and the outside. For this very reason, understanding reform requires a distinctive research approach and agenda, one that is more reflective and retrospective, philosophical and historical. The present chapter is programmatic in character. It suggests a general framework of issues to be investigated under the general headings of change, communication, and cooperation.