Article Reviews

Article Review 1

Bulunuz, N. & Jarrett, O.S. (2010). The Effects of Hands-on Learning Stations on Building

American Elementary Teachers’ Understanding about Earth and Space Science Concepts.

Eurasia Journal of Mathematics, Science & Technology Education, 6(2), 85-99.

The article, “The Effects of Hands-on Learning Stations on Building American Elementary Teachers’ Understanding about Earth and Space Science Concepts”, addresses the misconceptions of preservice and in-service teachers in regards to reasons for seasons, phases of the moon, rock formation, and causes of earthquakes.  Research suggests that lecture alone is not effective in building understanding and that hands-on experiences are both enjoyable and helpful in clarifying these misconceptions.  Real experiences allow people to meaningfully construct their own understandings.  There were two data sources used in this study: 1) an open-ended survey about science concepts given as a pretest and posttest and 2) the students’ reflections about the hands-on learning stations in their dialogue journal.  The focus questions from the survey were: 1) why do we have seasons? 2) why do we see the phases of the moon? 3) explain the rock cycle, and 4) what causes earthquakes?  The questions provided insight on the initial knowledge of the concepts taught at the elementary level.  Hands-on activity stations were used as an intervention.  After the posttest, data showed that the hands-on science activities had a positive effect on the understanding of the students.

I consider science my weakest teaching area, and because of that, I actually took the time to answer the focus questions so that I could grade myself based on the rubric from the study.  I can relate to being a teacher who has misconceptions in these scientific areas.  I am one who learns by doing, so this article has reminded and encouraged me to use more hands-on learning activities in my classroom.  It also encouraged me to continue to research and educate myself in science so that I can be a more effective science teacher.

Article Review 2

Evans, M. & Williams, M. (2015). Blasts from the Past: 4. The living fossil. Teaching Earth Sciences, 40(1), 74-76.

This article, "Blasts from the Past: 4. The living fossil", discusses a living fossil activity that can be conducted with students.  The coelacanth is a fish that is considered the living fossil.  It was thought to be extinct, but in 1938, there was a fish was found in South Africa that high resembles the coelacanth.  This is an article that can be used with students when teaching fossils.  It gives interesting background regarding the fish as well as comprehension questions  at the end.  In addition, there are also webpages that the students can browse to gain more knowledge and understanding.

Math can be incorporated in this activity by having the students to calculate how many years ago the coelacanth was rediscovered.