Course Literature FI-MSECINT Introduction to science education and communication theories (version 2017-2018 - period 3)

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C1: Scientific literacy: indispensable for citizenship?

Scientific literacy is the ability to engage with science-related issues, and with the ideas of science, as a reflective citizen. A scientifically literate person is willing to engage in reasoned discourse about science and technology, which requires the competencies to:

(OECD (2017). PISA 2015 Assessment and Analytical Framework. OECD: Paris. doi:10.1787/9789264281820-en)


Shamos, M. H. (1996). The Myth of Scientific Literacy. Liberal Education, 82(3), 44-49. full text

Wals, A. (2012). Deconstructing a happy meal

Core readings

Kolstø, S. D. (2001). ‘To trust or not to trust, ...' - pupils' ways of judging information encountered in a socio-scientific issue. International Journal of Science Education, 23, 877-901. full text

Stocklmayer, S.M., & Bryant, C. (2012). Science and the public -What should people know? International Journal of Science Education B, 2, 81-101. doi: 10.1080/09500693.2010.543186

Wals, A. E. J., Brody, M., Dillon, J., & Stevenson, R. B. (2014). Convergence Between Science and Environmental Education. Science, 344(6184), 583-584. Retrieved from

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C2: Attitude and motivation: for the love of science

"What’s inside the black box? That question captured my imagination on the first day of 10th grade in a Virginia public school, sparking an interest in scientific exploration that has never let me go. But I must confess it was an opportunity that I very nearly missed..." read on Francis S. Collins in (American Scientist, 2012)


American Scientist (2012). 100 Reasons to become a Scientist or Engineer. American Scientist, 100, 300- full text

Core readings

Ryan, R.M., & Deci, E.L. (2000). Self-determination theory and the facilitation of intrinsic motivation, social development, and well-being. American Psychologist, 55, 68-78. doi:10.1037/0003-066X.55.1.68 full text

Osborne, J., Simon, S., & Collins, S. (2003). Attitudes towards science: a review of the literature and its implications. International Journal of Science Education, 25, 1049-1079. full text

Schreiner, C., & Sjøberg, S. (2007). Science education and youth's identity construction - two incompatible projects? In: D. Corrigan, J. Dillon, and R. F. Gunstone (eds.). The Re-Emergence of Values in Science Education (pp. 231-248). Rotterdam, Sense. full text

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C3: Knowledge: no empty slate

Learners do always bring their prior knowledge and experiences. Quite often prior knowledge is a great help and the best predictor of successful learning, but prior knowledge may also get in the way of new insights. How do we best deal with prior knowledge?


Harvard-Smithsonian (1987) A private Universe [Video file]. Cambridge, MA: Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. watch online

Core readings

Vosniadou, S. (1994). Capturing and modeling the process of conceptual change. Learning and Instruction, 4, 45-69. full text

Limon (2001) On the cognitive conflict as an instructional strategy for conceptual change: a critical appraisal. Learning and Instruction, 11, 357-380. doi: 10.1016/S0959-4752(00)00037-2

Klaassen, C. W. J. M., & Lijnse, P. L. (1996). Interpreting students - and teachers - discourse in science classes: An underestimated problem? Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 33, 115-134. full text

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C4: Inquiry and reinvention, why would you like to reinvent the wheel?


Harvard-Smithsonian (1997). Minds of our own: Lessons from thin air [Video file]. Cambridge, MA: Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. watch online

Fetter, A. (2011). Ever Wonder What They'd Notice? (if only someone would ask). Speech at the NCTM conference. Indianapolis. watch online

Core readings

Bakker, A., & Gravemeijer, K. P. E. (2004). Learning to reason about distribution. In D. Ben-Zvi & J. Garfield (Eds.), The challenge of developing statistical literacy, reasoning, and thinking (pp. 147-168). Dordrecht, the Netherlands: Kluwer Academic Publishers. full text

Schwarz, C. V., Reiser, B. J., Davis, E. A., Kenyon, L., Achér, A., Fortus, D., Krajcik, J. (2009). Developing a learning progression for scientific modeling: Making scientific modeling accessible and meaningful for learners. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 46, 632–654. doi:10.1002/tea.20311

Kind, P., & Osborne, J. (2017). Styles of Scientific Reasoning: A Cultural Rationale for Science Education? Science Education, 101, 8–31. doi:10.1002/sce.21251

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S1: Knowledge: Context, meaning and transfer

The use of real life contexts is widely being advocated as a means to increase relevance and applicability, and to bring coherence to otherwise abstract knowledge, but a wealth of context information may also distract from core conceptual ideas and perhaps hinder transfer. How and when could context usage be helpful, and what pitfalls need to be avoided?


Kaminski, J.A.; Sloutsky, V.M., Heckler, A.F. (2008). The advantage of abstract examples in learning math. Science 320, 454-455. doi: 10.1126/science.1154659

Core readings

De Bock, D., Deprez, J., Van Dooren, W., Roelens, M., Verschaffel, L. (2011). Abstract or concrete examples in learning mathematics? A replication and elaboration of Kaminski, Sloutsky, and Heckler's study. Journal for research in Mathematics Education, 42, 109-126. full text

Kortland, J. (2005), Physics in personal, social and scientific contexts: A retrospective view on the Dutch Physics Curriculum Development Project PLON. In P. Nentwig & D. Waddington (Eds.), Making it relevant. Context based learning of science (pp. 67-89). Munster: Waxmann. Full text

OECD (2012). PISA 2012 Science framework In: PISA 2012 Assessment and Analytical Framework Mathematics, Reading, Science, Problem Solving and Financial Literacy. (pp. 97-118). OECD. full text

S2: Attitude and motivation: the quality of learning


Chua, A. (2011, Jan 8). Why Chinese mothers are superior. Wall Street Journal. full text

Core readings

Lepper, M.R., & Greene, D. (1975). Turning play into work: Effects of adult surveillance and extrinsic rewards on children's intrinsic motivation. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 31, 479-486. doi: 10.1037/h0076484 full text

Midgley, C., Kaplan, A., & Middleton, M. (2001). Performance-approach goals: Good for what, for whom, under what circumstances, and at what cost? Journal of Educational Psychology, 93, 77–86. UU full text

Vansteenkiste, M. et al. (2004). Motivating Learning, Performance, and Persistence: The Synergistic Effects of Intrinsic Goal Contents and Autonomy-Supportive Contexts. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 87, 246-260. doi: 10.1037/0022-3514.87.2.246 full text

S3: Instruction and inquiry: what, why and when?


Wall Street Journal (2010) Teaching math to spark creative thinking [Video file] watch online

Meyer, D. (2010). Math class needs a makeover. TED talk [Video file]  watch online

Core readings

Kirschner, P. A., Sweller, J., & Clark, R. E. (2006). Why minimal guidance during instruction does not work: An analysis of the failure of constructivist, discovery, problem-based, experiential, and inquiry-based teaching. Educational Psychologist, 41, 75-86. doi: 10.1207/s15326985ep4102_1  full text

Furtak, E.M., Seidel, T., Iverson, H., & Briggs, D.C. (2012). Experimental and quasi-experimental studies of inquiry-based science teaching a meta-analysis. Review of Educational Research, 82, 300-329. doi:10.3102/0034654312457206

Klahr, D. & Nigam, M. (2004).  The equivalence of learning paths in early science instruction: effects of direct instruction and discovery learning. Psychological Science, 15, 661-667. full text

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S4: Scientific literacy: dealing with risk and uncertainty


Ariely D. (2008). Are we in control of our own decisions? TED talk watch online

Bond, M. (2009). Risk School. Nature, 461, 1189-1192. doi:10.1038/4611189a

Kahan, D.M., Peters, E., Wittlin, M., Slovic, P., Ouellette, L.L., Braman, D., & Mandel, G. (2012). The polarizing impact of science literacy and numeracy on perceived climate change risks. Nature Climate Change 2, 732–735. doi:10.1038/nclimate1547

Core readings

Slovic, P. (1999). Trust, emotion, sex, politics, and science: Surveying the risk-assessment battlefield. Risk Analysis, 19, 689-701, Doi: 10.1023/A:1007041821623 full text

Gigerenzer, G., Edwards, A. (2003). Simple tools for understanding risks: from innumeracy to insight. British Medical Journal, 327, 741-744. full text

Steinberg, L. (2007). Risk taking in adolescence new perspectives from brain and behavioral science. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 16, 55-59. doi:10.1111/j.1467-8721.2007.00475.x  full text

Frewer, L. (2004). The public and effective risk communication.Toxicology letters, 149, 391-397. doi:10.1016/j.toxlet.2003.12.049

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S5: Inclusion and exclusion/ Images of science & scientists


Neil Degrasse Tyson on being Black, and Women in Science [video file] watch online

Core readings

Aikenhead, G. S., & Jegede, O. J. (1999). Cross-cultural science education: A cognitive explanation of a cultural phenomenon. Journal of research in science teaching, 36, 269-287. doi:10.1002/(SICI)1098-2736(199903)36:3<269::AID-TEA3>3.0.CO;2-T

Cheryan, S., Master, A., & Meltzoff, A. N. (2015). Cultural stereotypes as gatekeepers: increasing girls’ interest in computer science and engineering by diversifying stereotypes. Frontiers in psychology, 6 (49), 1-8. doi:10.3389%2Ffpsyg.2015.00049

Mead, M., & Metraux, R. (1957). Image of the scientist among high-school students. Science, 126(3270), 384-390.

S6: Holy smoke! Health information, between hope and denial

Core readings (choose 3)

Flynn, B. S., Worden, J. K., Bunn, J. Y., Connolly, S. W., & Dorwaldt, A. L. (2011). Evaluation of smoking prevention television messages based on the elaboration likelihood model. Health Education Research, 26(6), 976-987. doi: 10.1093/her/cyr082

Jensen, J. D., Carcioppolo, N., King, A. J., Bernat, J. K., Davis, L., Yale, R., & Smith, J. (2011). Including limitations in news coverage of cancer research: Effects of news hedging on fatalism, medical skepticism, patient trust, and backlash. Journal of health communication, 16, 486-503. doi:10.1080/10810730.2010.546491

Dixon, G. N., & Clarke, C. E. (2013). Heightening uncertainty around certain science: Media coverage, false balance, and the autism-vaccine controversy. Science Communication, 35, 358-382. doi:10.1177/1075547012458290

Berkman, N. D., Davis, T. C., & McCormack, L. (2010). Health Literacy: What Is It? Journal of Health Communication, 15(sup2), 9–19. doi:10.1080/10810730.2010.499985

S7: The public: partner or recipient - future agenda for science communication

Core readings (choose 3)

Sinatra, G. M., Kienhues, D., & Hofer, B. K. (2014). Addressing Challenges to Public Understanding of Science: Epistemic Cognition, Motivated Reasoning, and Conceptual Change. Educational Psychologist, 49, 123–138. doi:10.1080/00461520.2014.916216

Ding, D., Maibach, E. W., Zhao, X., Roser-Renouf, C., & Leiserowitz, A. (2011). Support for climate policy and societal action are linked to perceptions about scientific agreement. Nature Climate Change, 1, 462. doi:10.1038/nclimate1295 

Nisbet, M. C., & Scheufele, D. A. (2009). What’s next for science communication? Promising directions and lingering distractions. American journal of botany, 96, 1767-1778. doi:10.3732/ajb.0900041

Wynne, B. (2006). Public Engagement as a Means of Restoring Public Trust in Science – Hitting the Notes, but Missing the Music? Public Health Genomics, 9(3), 211–220. doi:10.1159/000092659

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S8: Educational Effectiveness, Equity, Assessment, and International Comparisons


Wassink, H., & Boonstra, C. (2018, Jan 12). Het succes van ons onderwijs is niet meetbaar. NRC-Next, p.18. Retrieved from:

Core readings (choose 3)

Sjøberg, S. (2015). PISA and Global Educational Governance-A Critique of the Project, its Uses and Implications. Eurasia Journal of Mathematics, Science & Technology Education, 11, 111-127. full text

Andersen, I. G., & Andersen, S. C. (2017). Student-centered instruction and academic achievement: linking mechanisms of educational inequality to schools’ instructional strategy. British Journal of Sociology of Education, 38, 533–550.

Elk, R. van, Van Der Steeg, M., & Webbink, D. (2011). Does the timing of tracking affect higher education completion? Economics of Education Review, 30, 1009-1021.

Werfhorst, H.G. van de (2011). Selectie en differentiatie in het Nederlandse onderwijsbestel. Gelijkheid, burgerschap en onderwijsexpansie in vergelijkend perspectief. Pedagogische Studiën, 88, 283-297.