Science Education Research for Citizen Science Classroom-based Activities: A Content Analysis of papers published in 2016

Bol, Fulda
Çakıroğlu, Jale
Contribution In the modern World, manufactured technology and society is our new nature to understand, convert and investigate new things to make better our life and future. That’s why we need to make more connection between real World and school education. Moreover “the important part of learning in science is to link contrived classroom activities to events in the real world” (King & Ritchie, 2016) and therefore, students can be familiar around their World. By the rapid change on the science and technology, it was recognised that only a few U.S. workers have enough background to use the technology. The Committee of Conceptual Framework for New K-12 Science Education Standards in the USA was deployed for determining the needs of science education to develop the citizen’s personal and civic decision making ability about the nation’s future (Commitee, 2012, p.x). The committee focused on the three dimensions which are the scientific and engineering practices, the crosscutting concepts and the core ideas to support the students’ meaningful learning in science and engineering (Commitee, 2012, p.2) that are important for the aim of “all students should know in preparation for their roles as citizens” (Commitee, 2012. p.10) in our scientifically complex and technology rich society. In the recommendation part of the Next Generation Framework (Committee, 2012, p.298), the committee focuses on the developing a scientifically literate citizen as an urgent topic (Totz, 2016, p.67). Citizen Science term describes “an approach where scientific insight is gained by individuals who do not work professionally in the relevant scientific field” by the help of the scientist or without any professional support (Bonn, 2016, p.6). Citizen science is a tool that connects the public to the scientific community with the goal of expanding scientific knowledge and literacy (Bonney et al., 2009). It also provides the opportunities for scientist to get help from the public by actively collecting data towards real scientific investigations. Citizen science programs use diverse techniques to engage citizens in science and monitoring and balance a variety of goals (Dickinson et al., 2010). Previous studies on citizen science focuses on assessing the reliability, validity, and applications of volunteer-collected data (Gardiner et al., 2012). Less is known about educational outcomes of citizen science. Citizen Science Project can include different types of science activity such as short-time collection data from field or online by citizens who are not scientist and attending argumentations initiated by civil society for decision making procedure of any social or environmental problem (Bonn, 2016, p.6). Citizen science activities can be also expanded into the science classrooms included K-12 education (Collins, 2014; Totz, 2016). The aim of the present study to provide a content analysis of citizen science research related with science curriculum and school practice. Therefore, the results of the study will have implications for science education and future research on citizen science. Method In the present study, we aimed to report the status of the citizen science according to main discipline, subject matters, sample type, curriculum implementation and learning area used in research papers in the year of 2016. 1. Which main discipline are chosen in science education research related with the citizen science in 2016? 2. Which subject matters are chosen in science education research related with the citizen science in 2016? 3. Which sample type is chosen in science education research related with the citizen science in 2016? 4. What type of the citizen science project are focused on by the science education researcher according to be curriculum based or out of curriculum? 5. What type of the citizen science project are focused on by the science education researcher according to be classroom-based or outside education? The content analysis methods are used in qualitative studies (Sözbilir, Kutu & Yaşar, 2012). We conducted a manual search using Google Academic ( searching engine. Keywords of “citizen science” “middle school” and “classroom” was searched for 2016 and 16 papers collected. But, during the analysis, 2 articles are dismissed because of the publishing time then one of the newest dated article from 2015 were taken for completing the number of article to 15. The papers were evaluated by using paper classification form (Sözbilir, Kutu & Yaşar, 2012) and the graphs are created in Microsoft Excel Office Program. Expected Outcomes In this part the research questions will be answered respectively. Firstly, there were 5 main disciplines that articles covered in this study, but there was no study about citizen science related with physics discipline. It was found that most of the study focused on science and technology. Secondly, there were 7 subject areas that selected papers focused on including teaching, teacher training, study on teaching materials, general education problems, environmental education, curriculum studies and test and scale development. It seems that environmental education area is more preferred by the researchers. When the sample of the studies was examined, it was seen that 9 of those studies collected data from teachers, 5 of them collected data from the students. Most of studies focused on primary and middle school level students. Fourthly, 5 of the studies were curriculum related, 6 of them were out of curriculum and 4 of them used both curriculum and outside education together. Lastly, it was found that 4 papers focused on the classroom-based citizen science activities and 6 papers considered citizen science as out of school activities. Citizen science was examined as both classroom-based and out of school activities in 5 studies and classroom-based citizen science activities were seen in 9 papers out of 15. Therefore, the recent researches show that embedding of citizen science projects into the classroom activities by considering the curriculum getting more important by the time (Totz, 2016) to increase the community awareness, critical thinking, problem solving ability (Shah & Martinez, 2016) of students and show connections between community issue and school learning science.
European Educational Research Association (ECER) (2017)


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Citation Formats
F. Bol and J. Çakıroğlu, “Science Education Research for Citizen Science Classroom-based Activities: A Content Analysis of papers published in 2016,” presented at the European Educational Research Association (ECER) (2017), Copenhagen, Danimarka, 2017, Accessed: 00, 2021. [Online]. Available: