"과학문화교육"

2006-10-25 (Vol 3, No 10)

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국제적 과학교육학술논문 요약과 외국 과학교육 및 국제화

An anthology on the history of science education research.

Dear Sung-Jae Pak,

The Ad hoc Committee on the History of Science Education was established by the NARST Executive Board of Directors to examine issues related to the history of our field. One of the Committee's major projects is to develop and disseminate an anthology on the history of science education research.

History of science education has, for the larger part, been reduced to the history of reform efforts in science education. Associated research is often discussed in the context of the assessment of the effectiveness of such reform efforts. However, with several refereed and well established international research journals that are now several decades old and a number of international organizations, the field of science education has come out of age. Yet, we lack a shared sense of history of the research in the field in several ways. First, time after time we review manuscripts
submitted for publication in our journals or read papers published in those journals that either failed to build on, or totally missed an intimately related seminal study (or set of studies). Opportunities for genuine progress are missed: "New" ideas are put forth and "new" terms are coined that are sometimes old wine in new bottles.

Second, graduate students in science education often leave their doctoral programs with deep knowledge and perspective on a domain or a small number of domains in the field with which their advisors and other faculty members in their respective institutions are familiar. It is not unusual, however, to find that some of these graduates lack a broad sense of the field. One dimension related to this lack of a broad sense stems from unfamiliarity with seminal research studies and papers in science education. In some manner, we do not have a sense of our science education research 'heroes,' for lack of a better term.

What is more, at many times we are parochial and less aware of research in science education outside of North America. And while there are impressive individual and other worthwhile efforts (including, among other works, the 40th anniversary commemorative issue of the Journal of Research in Science Teaching, Peter Fensham's Defining an Identity: The Evolution of Science Education as a Field of Research, and John K. Gilbert's RoutledgeFalmer Reader in Science Education ) that attempted to address this issue, these efforts remain limited in scale or breadth (both temporally and across research domains within the field). The target anthology will be a comprehensive work on the scale needed to contribute to the creation of a sense of the history of research in our field and the systematic education of graduate students in science education.

The target anthology, which is intended for dissemination as an edited volume (or volumes), would re-print a number of seminal, landmark science education papers that could be organized in sections along several thematic dimensions (e.g., historical, paradigmatic, topical). Each section would begin with an overview written by an expert researcher in the relevant research domain(s). The selected papers would be preceded and/or followed by commentaries from senior researchers or original authors (in case they are still around) that situate the papers in, among other dimensions, the historical, educational, and methodological contexts in which they were produced and build a case for their significance and contribution to the field.

From the outset, the Committee decided that this work should be comprehensive in nature and should have a significant empirical component. In other words, the very identification and selection of the papers to be included in the anthology would be based on a carefully designed survey of senior scholars in the field. This effort will be coupled with additional data derived from citation indexes that could be used in the process of selecting these papers, which would draw on every high quality publication venue for science education research.

Thus, the first phase of preparing the anthology was to identify a comprehensive pool of senior scholars and experts in the field who would partake in the process of identifying papers for inclusion in the anthology. We started with the Committee members and proceeded through an iterative process of having senior colleagues in the field identify other colleagues. We concluded this first phase by identifying a pool of senior scholars in the field from around the globe.

Your name was identified by several of your colleagues as a senior scholar, researcher, and leader in the field of science education. We are hopeful that you will assist us in the second phase of the project, namely, the identification of seminal papers for inclusion in the anthology. Please use the attached table to identify about 10 papers that you believe are good candidates for the anthology. Use the following guidelines when completing the table:

(1) Under "Area(s) of expertise," please use three descriptors, phrases, or sentences to identify your major area(s) of expertise in the field of science education.
(2) While not necessary, it would be very helpful if you rank order the nominated papers in terms of importance for inclusion in the anthology. If you choose to rank order the papers, please indicate that by checking the appropriate box next to the question: "Did you rank order the nominated papers?"
(3) While a full reference for a nominated paper is surely appreciated, it is not essential. A full (or almost full) title with the name(s) of key authors and/or publication venue would suffice. We can always look up the full reference and double check it with you.
(4) Self-nominated papers are surely welcome.
(5) For each paper you nominate, please write a few sentences to justify your choice. We are not looking for an elaborate rationale here, just some initial thoughts. For instance, it is enough to say something like, "This paper pretty much launched conceptual change theory in science education"; "This paper is seminal in being the first to use a case study approach to studying gender equity in science education"; or "This meta-analysis on the impact of inquiry instruction on student science learning should be read by every graduate student in science education," etc.
(6) Please indicate whether you would like to write a brief commentary on one or more of the papers that you nominated for inclusion in the anthology.
(7) It would surely be great if you can think of more than 10 papers to nominate. If you choose to do so, we have provided space for nominating up to 20 papers in the attached table.
(8) What sort of papers are we looking for? What papers are eligible for inclusion in the anthology?
a. We are looking for seminal studies and papers in the sense of papers that initiated a viable research program in science education, stood at critical junctures in the history of the field, provided a methodological exemplar or innovation for doing research on science teaching and learning, etc. Another way to think of the selection would be to nominate papers that you believe every graduate student in science education should read.
b. While preference should be given to empirical research studies, any sort of published paper in the field of science education is eligible for nomination including, but not limited to, theoretical or position papers, policy papers, meta analyses, and reviews of the literature.
c. Papers eligible for nomination could be manuscripts that were published in refereed journals, chapters in edited or authored books, or self-contained sections from authored books. We only ask that the papers to be nominated have already been published.
d. Eligible papers could have appeared in any high quality publication venue for science education research around the globe in the past 75 years. This includes journals that are both clearly identifiable as "science education journals," as well as other journals outside the field that science education researchers use to disseminate the work.
e. We prefer that the nominated papers be written in English. However, if you feel very strongly about a paper that was written in a language other than English, please feel free to nominate the paper. We will make every effort possible to accommodate papers that require translation into English.
f. We ask that the nominated papers be written by scholars who would clearly identify themselves or could be identified by others as members of the science education research community. Given the nature of our field, we draw on a number of other disciplines in our work. However, for purposes of this anthology, we are not interested in papers from other disciplines (sociology, anthropology, epistemology, linguistics, etc.) that might have had a major impact on research in science education.

We are aware that this task will require quite a bit of effort on your part. We are very hopeful though that you will be able to help us. Moving forward with this project, which is significant for the field writ large, hinges on your contribution.

I would really appreciate it if you can get back to me with your nominations. Please e-mail your completed table to fouad@uiuc.edu. If you would rather use regular mail, please mail a hard copy of the completed table to the following address:

Fouad Abd-El-Khalick
Department of Curriculum &Instruction, MC-708
311 Education Building
1310 South Sixth Street
Champaign, IL 61820
USA

Your help with this significant and ambitious project is greatly
appreciated.

Respectfully,

Fouad Abd-El-Khalick, Chair
Ad hoc Committee on the History of Science Education

NARST ad hoc committee

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