Center for Educational Policy Studies Journal 2023-05-11T10:50:37+02:00 Iztok Devetak Open Journal Systems <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> Editorial: Evolution Education in Europe 2023-03-31T10:11:57+02:00 Gregor Torkar Kostas Korfiatis 2023-03-31T09:39:21+02:00 Copyright (c) 2023 Center for Educational Policy Studies Journal Not by Design Alone! Modelling Practices to Identify Students’ Frameworks of Evolution in Real-Life Contexts 2023-03-31T10:11:26+02:00 Noa Ageitos Laura Colucci-Gray Blanca Puig <p>Despite being a fundamental concept in biology, evolution continues to be one of the most challenging topics to teach in science education. Ideas of evolution emphasising anatomical or behavioural features of individuals, as opposed to the interplay between genetics and the environment, are reinforced through language and culture, making them robust and persistent in the student population at all educational levels. Model-based reasoning has been reported to be useful for students to make sense of process-based science content, combining epistemological with linguistic and value dimensions. However, there is a dearth of evidence in biology education showing how modelling can instigate epistemological maturity, specifically about issues of agency and design in evolution by natural selection. Drawing on this perspective, this study focuses on describing the nature of students’ ideas while modelling the resistance developed by a population of mosquitoes in a lagoon after an insecticide is introduced. Data collection includes students’ written reports and drawings, which were analysed with content and discourse analysis. The findings show that, at first, students believed adaptation to feature at will was a behavioural characteristic instigated by a pre-existing design. After modelling the process of natural selection, the explanations appeared to improve (from Lamarckian to Neo-Darwinian views), and most groups showed accurate explanations about adaptation.</p> 2023-03-31T09:44:26+02:00 Copyright (c) 2023 Center for Educational Policy Studies Journal The Role of Wonder in Students’ Conception of and Learning About Evolution 2023-03-31T10:11:18+02:00 Bodil Sundberg Magdalena Andersson <p>Learning about evolution can be challenging for students, as a full understanding may require them to see the world in new ways, to master a disciplinary language and to understand complex processes. Drawing on a long line of theoretically grounded arguments of philosophers and researchers for including wonder in science teaching, we report on the results of an empirical study with the primary aim of investigating the role of wonder in students’ learning about evolution. The study was carried out through a formative intervention in which two researchers in science education collaborated with a seventh-grade teacher. Over a period of six weeks, 45 students participated in lessons and workshops aimed at eliciting a sense of wonder in relation to concepts that are known to impact the learning of evolution. We incorporated four ‘triggers’ to elicit students’ wonder in the science class: <em>aesthetic experiences</em>, <em>defiance of expectations, agency</em> and <em>awareness of a mystery within the ordinary</em>. Logbook entries and interviews with student pairs provided empirical material for a qualitative analysis of the role of wonder in the students’ meaning-making about, learning of and engagement in evolution. The results show that it is possible to design science teaching that triggers students’ wonder in relation to an intended learning object. The results also reveal that the participating students described their sense of wonder in qualitatively different ways and that they still struggled to make sense of the concept of evolution after six weeks of teaching.</p> 2023-03-31T09:46:35+02:00 Copyright (c) 2023 Center for Educational Policy Studies Journal Relationships between Epistemological Beliefs and Conceptual Understanding of Evolution by Natural Selection 2023-03-31T10:10:56+02:00 Andreani Baytelman Theonitsa Loizou Salomi Hadjiconstantinou <p>This study researches relationships between 12<sup>th</sup>-grade students’ epistemological beliefs towards science and their conceptual understanding of evolution by natural selection. Forty-two 12<sup>th</sup>-grade students in a suburban high school in Cyprus, who participated in a biology course, completed measures of their: (a) epistemological beliefs towards science before the intervention of being taught evolution n (b) conceptual understanding of evolution by natural selection after evolution intervention, (c) epistemological beliefs towards science after evolution intervention. Based on previous research, we hypothesised there would be a significant relationship between students’ epistemological beliefs and their conceptual understanding of evolution by natural selection after the evolution intervention. We also hypothesised that inquiry-based intervention on evolution by natural selection would foster students’ epistemological beliefs. Our results indicate that participants’ initial epistemological beliefs predict very modestly and statistically non-significant learning achievements on conceptual understanding of evolution by natural selection. However, our results show a significant improvement in participants’ epistemological beliefs after engagement in an inquiry-based intervention on evolution by natural selection. The educational significance of this and its implications are discussed.</p> 2023-03-31T09:47:48+02:00 Copyright (c) 2023 Center for Educational Policy Studies Journal Conceptions of Portuguese Prospective Teachers about Real-Life Evolution Situations 2023-03-31T10:10:36+02:00 Bento Cavadas Xana Sá-Pinto <p>The importance of introducing evolution in primary schools has been highlighted in evolution education research, but few studies have approached the understanding of evolution of prospective teachers who are being prepared to teach at primary school level. The present exploratory study aims to answer three research questions about the ability of Portuguese prospective teachers to apply evolution to two real-life situations: 1) Are prospective teachers able to identify evolution misconceptions in online newspaper articles? 2) What misconceptions are expressed by prospective teachers when explaining real-life evolution situations? and 3) Which key evolution concepts do prospective teachers apply to make sense of real-life evolution situations? Twelve prospective teachers participated in the study. In the first situation, the prospective teachers were asked to identify statements from a newspaper article that would reveal evolution misconceptions and justify their choices. In the second situation, they were asked to read a text about SARS-CoV-2 and explain why scientists were worried about uncontrolled outbreaks of the virus. The prospective teachers’ answers were analysed through content analysis. Regarding the first research question, our results show that only half of the prospective teachers were able to identify teleological misconceptions in the newspaper article. Concerning the second research question, some of the prospective teachers either identified misconceptions in information in which there was no misconception, or revealed their own misconceptions in their explanations. Regarding the third research question, although more than half of the prospective teachers identified at least two key evolution concepts, some of them found it difficult to explain how evolution is related to the situation described. Although this is an exploratory study, it shows which key concepts of evolution the prospective teachers mobilised and identifies their misunderstandings, thus highlighting dimensions that should be addressed in their evolution education.</p> 2023-03-31T09:48:55+02:00 Copyright (c) 2023 Center for Educational Policy Studies Journal The Impact of Exploring Sexual Selection on Primary School Students’ Understanding of Evolution 2023-03-31T10:10:32+02:00 Xana Sá-Pinto Patrícia Pessoa Alexandre Pinto Pedro Cardia Joaquim Bernardino Lopes <p>Several researchers and scientific institutions argue that evolution should be explored from the first school years. However, few studies have analysed primary school students’ understanding of evolutionary processes or evaluated the impact of educational activities on such knowledge. The available data: i) suggest that primary school students can learn about evolution; and ii) identify differential reproduction as the key evolution concept less often used by students to make and justify evolutionary predictions. In the present study, we evaluate the impact of an educational programme on primary school students’ level of understanding of evolution by sexual selection and on their ability to employ differential reproduction to propose and justify evolutionary predictions. An evaluation framework was applied to estimate primary school students’ level of understanding of evolution by sexual selection in third- and fourth-grade classes, before and after the students were exposed to the educational programme. A significant increase in the level of understanding of evolution by sexual selection was observed in the target classes, but not in the control classes. This result was primarily driven by a significant increase in the students’ justifications employing the concept of differential reproduction. The results suggest that activities that model and simulate biological evolution through sexual selection can contribute to primary school students’ understanding of evolutionary processes.</p> 2023-03-31T09:49:54+02:00 Copyright (c) 2023 Center for Educational Policy Studies Journal Evolution in the Spanish Primary Education Autonomic Curricula and Textbooks. A Geographic Analysis 2023-05-11T10:50:37+02:00 Ortuzar-Iragorri Mª Arritokieta Teresa Zamalloa <p>Evolution by natural selection is a theory that constitutes a powerful paradigm capable of conveying the teaching-learning of multiple concepts in biology. However, it has been controversial from its formulation to the present, which also affects education. For instance, while some of the basic curricula of primary education in Europe are arranged around the concepts that are considered necessary for structuring the scientific model of evolution (i.e., Sweden), other curricula do not contemplate such concepts. The last is the case of the basic curriculum of primary education in Spain. However, in Spain, on the basis of such a curriculum, there are 17 different primary education curricula corresponding to each of the autonomous communities of the state. The objective of this work is to state a detailed geographical picture of the presence of the concepts necessary to articulate the model of evolution through the analysis of the autonomic curricula of Spain. With such an aim, words that represent such concepts (evolution, inheritance, selection, adaptation and biodiversity, etc.) have been searched for in the natural sciences and social sciences areas of the autonomous curricula of primary education. Furthermore, a search for such evolution-related concepts has also been performed in the activities of eighteen Spanish primary education textbooks on natural and social science subjects. For this purpose, two aspects were considered: characterisation and scientific skills. Both the autonomous curricula of primary education and the textbooks hold important gaps when addressing evolution. The texts include activities that prioritise basic cognitive skills over the more demanding ones associated with scientific competence.</p> 2023-03-31T09:51:50+02:00 Copyright (c) 2023 Center for Educational Policy Studies Journal Analysing the Montessori Principles from the Perspectives of Schools, Teachers, and Families 2023-03-31T10:06:59+02:00 Aida Macià-Gual Laura Domingo-Peñafiel <p class="Abstract" style="margin-left: 0cm; text-align: justify;"><span lang="EN-GB" style="font-size: 12.0pt; line-height: 150%;">Education, especially early childhood education, is a responsibility that both families and schools share, so much so that children find themselves in two differentiated learning environments. Educational and parenting styles may join forces, sharing values and behaviours that enhance children’s development, just as the Montessori Pedagogy has shown. It is for this reason that the present study will attempt to analyse the relations established between the opinions and the application of the principles of such pedagogy focusing on the first six years of life, both in educational and family environments, considering the degree of commitment the school has towards the Montessori Pedagogy. </span></p> 2023-03-31T00:00:00+02:00 Copyright (c) 2023 Center for Educational Policy Studies Journal Deficits in the Socio-educational School Inclusion Strategy for Students with Social Difficulty in Spain during the Covid-19 Pandemic 2023-03-31T10:06:59+02:00 Deibe Fernández-Simo Xosé Manuel Cid-Fernández María Victoria Carrera-Fernández <p>Students with administrative care measures have historically faced difficulties in achieving school goals. The Covid-19 pandemic forced the declaration of a lockdown, which accelerated changes in the schools’ pedagogical actions. This investigation analyses the strategies used by the educational system to promote the academic inclusion of students who have an open protection file in the child welfare system within the context of Covid-19. Two different phases are compared: Phase 1) from the March lockdown to the end of the 2019/20 school year; Phase 2) The first six weeks of the beginning of the 2020/21 school year. Longitudinal follow-ups were carried out with adolescents in care with a sample of <em>N</em> = 10 (Phase 1) and <em>N</em> = 11 (Phase 2). Based on the grounded theory, information is supplemented by case studies through interviews with educational professionals, <em>N</em> = 14 (Phase 1) and <em>N</em> = 11 (Phase 2). The results indicate deficits of schools’ adaptability to the situation of the students suffering social exclusion and difficulties in monitoring when students do not attend school in person and do school activities at home. It is concluded that the design of the educational policy applied in the context of the pandemic does not take the social factor into account.&nbsp;</p> 2023-03-31T00:00:00+02:00 Copyright (c) 2023 Center for Educational Policy Studies Journal Determining Pre-Service Teachers’ Astronomy-Related Self-Efficacy Belief Levels 2023-03-31T10:06:59+02:00 Ebru Ezberci Cevik Oktay Bektaş <p>This study aims to reveal the astronomy-related self-efficacy beliefs of pre-service teachers studying science education, primary school education, and social studies education programmes. The study is conducted using the survey design, a quantitative research method. The study sample consists of 322 pre-service teachers in their third or fourth year of a science education, primary school education, or social studies education programme at a university in Turkey’s Central Anatolia Region during the 2016 fall semester. The Astronomy Teaching Self-Efficacy Belief Scale developed by Güneş was used as the data collection tool. SPSS 22 was used to analyse the data, and the analyses benefited from descriptive and inferential statistics. Based on the findings, the pre-service teachers’ total scores for astronomy self-efficacy showed no significant difference in terms of certain variables (i.e., gender, age, year, and having taken a previous astronomy course). However, significant differences were found regarding self-efficacy scores in terms of the programme and having taken part in astronomy and sky-gazing activity. Concerning the obtained results, the following suggestions can be made: pre-service teachers should be actively involved during the astronomy course, and their classroom management experiences should be promoted to improve their astronomy self-efficacy belief levels.</p> 2023-03-31T00:00:00+02:00 Copyright (c) 2023 Center for Educational Policy Studies Journal Xana Sá-Pinto, Anna Beniermann, Tom Børsen, Martha Georgiou, Alex Jeffries, Patrícia Pessoa, Bruno Sousa and Dana L. Zeidler (Eds.), Learning Evolution Through Socioscientific Issues, UA Editora, 2022; 219 pp.: ISBN: 978-972-789-822-0 2023-03-31T10:09:47+02:00 Bento Cavadas 2023-03-31T09:59:11+02:00 Copyright (c) 2023 Center for Educational Policy Studies Journal Iztok Devetak and Saša Aleksij Glažar (Eds.), Applying Bio-Measurements Methodologies in Science Education Research, Springer, 2021; XVI, 311 pp.: ISBN 978-3-030-71534-2 2023-03-31T10:09:43+02:00 Jerneja Pavlin 2023-03-31T10:00:18+02:00 Copyright (c) 2023 Center for Educational Policy Studies Journal