Course Identification

Biology module: Research in science education and what can we learn from it

Lecturers and Teaching Assistants

Dr. Moriah Ariely

Course Schedule and Location

First Semester
Tuesday, 09:15 - 10:45, Musher, Lab 2

Field of Study, Course Type and Credit Points

Science Teaching (non thesis MSc Track): Lecture; Obligatory; Regular; 2.00 points


לשני השנתונים





Language of Instruction


Attendance and participation


Grade Type

Numerical (out of 100)

Grade Breakdown (in %)


Evaluation Type

Final assignment

Scheduled date 1


Estimated Weekly Independent Workload (in hours)



The past decades have been an exciting time for research on science learning. During this time, science educators have created or adapted an impressive array of new research practices and conceptual tools that we can use to analyze student learning in science classrooms and in other settings.

The literature on science learning is diverse, and conducted by researchers from different cultural and intellectual backgrounds, using different methods, working in different settings. The diversity of methods and viewpoints can make reading research on science education a frustrating experience.

In this course, we will take our first steps toward understanding the nature of science education research. During the course, we will read and analyze several research papers from the last years. We will learn about some of the main theoretical frameworks that guide the research in science education, and their different theoretical and practical perspectives. We will also learn about the methodologies in science education research, and what counts as evidence in this field of research.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of the course students will be able to:

  • Understand the nature of science education research and the main aims and goals of this research in Israel and around the world.
  • Understand how the research in science education is evidence-based.
  • Read a research article in science education and understand its main ideas, methodologies, and theoretical background.
  • Critically evaluate a research article in science education.
  • Connect the theories to practice: students will understand how research in science education can inform their own practices (and vice versa). specifically, the students will be able to understand and reflect on a specific research article in terms of their own teaching practices.

Reading List

*The reading list may be changed during the course

Ariely, M., Livnat, Z., & Yarden, A. (2019). Analyzing the language of an adapted primary literature article. Science & Education, 28(1), 63-85.

Drew, S. V., & Thomas, J. (2018). Secondary science teachers’ implementation of ccss and ngss literacy practices: A survey study. Reading and Writing, 31(2), 267-291. 10.1007/s11145-017-9784-7

Duncan, R. G., Chinn, C. A., & Barzilai, S. (2018). Grasp of evidence: Problematizing and expanding the next generation science standards’ conceptualization of evidence. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 55(7), 907-937.

Haskel-Ittah, M., Duncan, R. G., & Yarden, A. (2020). Students’ understanding of the dynamic nature of genetics: Characterizing undergraduates’ explanations for interaction between genetics and environment. CBE—Life Sciences Education, 19(3), ar37. 10.1187/cbe.19-11-0221

Kampourakis, K. (2020). Students’ “teleological misconceptions” in evolution education: Why the underlying design stance, not teleology per se, is the problem. Evolution: Education and Outreach, 13(1), 1. 10.1186/s12052-019-0116-z

Koomen, M. H., Weaver, S., Blair, R. B., & Oberhauser, K. S. (2016). Disciplinary literacy in the science classroom: Using adaptive primary literature. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 53(6), 847-894.

Krist, C., Schwarz, C. V., & Reiser, B. J. (2019). Identifying essential epistemic heuristics for guiding mechanistic reasoning in science learning. Journal of the Learning Sciences, 28(2), 160-205. 10.1080/10508406.2018.1510404

Marttunen, M., Salminen, T., & Utriainen, J. (2021). Student evaluations of the credibility and argumentation of online sources. The Journal of Educational Research, 114(3), 294-305. 10.1080/00220671.2021.1929052

National Research Council (NRC). (2012). Framework for k-12 science education: Practices, crosscutting concepts, and core ideas. Washington D.C.: The National Academies Press.

Nawani, J., von Kotzebue, L., Spangler, M., & Neuhaus, B. J. (2019). Engaging students in constructing scientific explanations in biology classrooms: A lesson-design model. Journal of Biological Education, 53(4), 378-389. 10.1080/00219266.2018.1472131

Osborne, J. F., & Patterson, A. (2011). Scientific argument and explanation: A necessary distinction? Science Education, 95(4), 627-638.

Sharon, A. J., & Baram?Tsabari, A. (2020). Can science literacy help individuals identify misinformation in everyday life? Science Education, 104(5), 873-894.

Zafrani, E., & Yarden, A. (2022). Dialog-constraining institutional logics and their interactional manifestation in the science classroom. Science Education, 106(1), 142-171.