Connecting science communication to science education : a phenomenological inquiry into multimodal science information sources among 4th and 5th graders

Gelmez Burakgazi, Sevinç
Science communication, as a multidisciplinary field, serves to transfer scientific information to individuals to promote interest and awareness in science. This process resembles science education. Rooted in science education and science communication studies, this study examines the 4th and 5th grade students` usage of prominent science information sources (SIS), the features of these sources, and their effective and ineffective uses and processes in communicating science to students. Guided by situated learning and uses and gratifications (U&G) theories, this study is a phenomenological qualitative inquiry. Data were gathered through approximately 64 hours of classroom observations; focus group and individual interviews from four elementary schools (two public, two private schools) in Ankara, Türkiye. Focus group interviews were conducted with 47 students, and individual interviews were carried out with 17 teachers and 10 parents. The data were analyzed manually and MAXQDA software respectively. The results revealed that students used various SIS in school-based and beyond contexts to satisfy their cognitive, affective, personal, and social integrative needs. They used SIS for (a) science courses, (b) homework/project assignments, (c) exam/test preparations, and (d) individual science related research. Moreover, the results indicated that comprehensible, enjoyable, entertaining, interesting, credible, brief, updated, and visual aspects of content and content presentation of SIS were among the key drivers affecting students` use of SIS. The results revealed that accessibility of SIS was an important variable in students` use of these sources. Results further shed light on the connection between science education and science communication in terms of promoting science learning.


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Citation Formats
S. Gelmez Burakgazi, “ Connecting science communication to science education : a phenomenological inquiry into multimodal science information sources among 4th and 5th graders,” Ph.D. - Doctoral Program, Middle East Technical University, 2012.