Discipline-Based Research in College Science Teaching

By Dykstra, Dewey I., Jr. | Journal of College Science Teaching, September 2006 | Go to article overview

Discipline-Based Research in College Science Teaching


Dykstra, Dewey I., Jr., Journal of College Science Teaching


Byline: Dewey I. Dykstra, Jr.

To submit a manuscript to the Research and Teaching column, please visit http://msrs.nsta.org. Please note in the "Comments" section of the manuscript submission form that your work is intended for the Research and Teaching column.

We are, all of us, devoted to our sciences. For college science faculty this devotion to our respective disciplines extends in part to teaching. We share a common characteristic: we have extensive training and experience in the methods of science and in our own disciplines, particularly. In recent years these methods have been turned, by scientists intensely interested in teaching their own area of science, on the challenge of teaching. This effort has been described as discipline-based research in learning and teaching science.

This discipline-based research is conducted by coordinated groups, as well as by individuals. An example of a coordinated, ongoing group effort in this field is the Physics Education Group in the Physics Department at the University of Washington in Seattle. Results of the efforts of such groups and of individuals in this effort can be found in the Research and Teaching Column of this journal and elsewhere.

The field of discipline-based research in science learning and teaching is large enough that there are multiple research threads. One of the major threads focuses on evidence of students' conceptions-their understandings-of the phenomena studied in the various sciences (see Note). Students apparently come to us having already implicitly formulated conceptions or explanations of how the phenomena work. They are not empty vessels waiting to be filled.

Because students already have these conceptions, they interpret whatever they experience in terms of their existing conceptions. Because these conceptions are often fundamentally disproportionate with the conceptual basis of existing scientific explanations, students' interpretations of what they experience in a course are found not to be those intended by instructors. It is documented that many of these conceptions are remarkably resistant to standard instruction. If our intent is that students develop new conceptions or understandings of the phenomena in our courses, then these discipline-based research findings raise fundamental questions about our teaching. At the same time, the findings give direction for more effective teaching.

While not all college science instructors are in a position to, wish to or even need to participate in discipline-based research in teaching, as college science instructors we are all in a position to make use of the results of such research to the benefit of our own efforts in teaching. It is the goal of this journal's Research and Teaching column to assist in the wider dissemination of the findings of discipline-based research in learning and teaching science to all college science instructors.

The Journal of College Science Teaching is not primarily a research journal. We do not intend to compete with journals whose central focus is research in science education, such as the Journal of Research in Science Teaching or the International Journal of Science Education, for example. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Discipline-Based Research in College Science Teaching
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.