Contextualizing Teaching to Improve Learning: The Case of Science and Geography


Laurinda Leite, Luís Dourado, Ana S. Afonso and Sofia Morgado (Editors)
Institute of Education, University of Minho, Portugal

Series: Education in a Competitive and Globalizing World
BISAC: EDU029030

This book addresses the context-based teaching of science and geography as seen by outstanding specialists from several countries around the world. It starts by providing an updated overview on the relevance of the four main physical and natural sciences (biology, chemistry, geology and physics) as well as geography for educating the public irrespective of whether citizens live (or not) in technologically advanced societies. Afterwards, it discusses unique context-based teaching approaches as well as original context-based curriculum and evaluation material tools.

Additionally, the book highlights potential relationships between science and geography, which are often seen as independent areas of knowledge, namely in school. By uncovering the similarities between them and by putting in evidence where both areas deal with issues that are relevant for citizens’ daily lives, the book explores how contexts act as tools to link and give coherence to science and geography as components of everyday life.

The worldwide trend towards providing meaningful science education to all, coupled with the concern raised by students’ disengagement in sciences, namely in technologically advanced societies, put increasingly high demands on the teachers. As shown in this book, contextualized teaching offers unique insights into how teachers can profit from students’ complicated and interconnected realities. They can use this knowledge to help them learn about the authenticity and relevance of science and geography. In addition, this book also provides directions for future research if the contribution of geography and science to context-based teaching is to be fully explored.

Therefore, it is a book designated for researchers, educators and schoolteachers, as it goes from theoretical perspectives to general research-based approaches and ends with practical applications that may make a difference in the 21st century. (Imprint: Nova)

Table of Contents

Table of Contents




PART 1. The relevance of science and geography knowledge for citizenship

Chapter 1. The Relevance of Biological Knowledge for Citizenship: A Singapore Perspective
Norman Lim, Aik-Ling Tan, Shirley Lim and Paul Teng (National Institute of Education – Nanyang Technological University, Singapore)

Chapter 2. Context-Based Chemistry Learning: The Relevance of Chemistry for Citizenship and Responsible Research and Innovation
Ilka Parchmann, Ron Blonder and Karolina Broman (Leibniz Institute for Science and Mathematics Education, IPN, Kiel, Germany, and others)

Chapter 3. The Relevance of Earth Science for Informed Citizenship: Its Potential and Fulfillment
Nir Orion (Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot, Israel)

Chapter 4. The Relevance of Geography for Citizenship Education
David Lambert (UCL/Institute of Education, University of London, London, UK)

Chapter 5. The Relevance of Physics Knowledge for Citizenship and the Incoherence of Physics Teaching
Marco Antonio Moreira (Institute of Physics – Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul, Porto Alegre, Brazil)

PART 2. Approaches to improving contextualized science and geography learning

Chapter 6. Promoting Experiences in Outdoor Environments as a Way of Enhancing Interest and Engaging Learning
Marc Behrendt and Krisanna Machtmes (Ohio University, Athens, Ohio, USA)

Chapter 7. Making the Most of the News: Approaches to Using Media-Based Learning Contexts
Billy McClune (School of Social Sciences, Education and Social Work, Queen’s University Belfast, Belfast, UK)

Chapter 8. Promotion of System Competence Based on the Syndrome Approach in Pre-Service Biology Teacher Education
Doris Elster, Nicklas Müller and Sebastian Drachenberg (University of Bremen, Bremen, Germany)

Chapter 9. Context-Based Science Education and Four Variations of Problem-Based Learning
Laurinda Leite, Luís Dourado, Ana S. Afonso and Sofia Morgado (Institute of Education/CIEd, University of Minho, Braga, Portugal)

Chapter 10. Contextualized Science Teaching and the STS Approach
Isabel P. Martins and Alcina Mendes (CIDTFF, University of Aveiro, Aveiro, Portugal, and others)

Chapter 11. Contextualizing Science Teaching in Southern Africa Using Indigenous Knowledge
Mariana G. Hewson (Independent author, USA)

PART 3. Curriculum materials and context-based learning

Chapter 12. International Science Education Projects for Context-Based Learning
Cecília Galvão, Mónica Baptista and Teresa Conceição (Institute of Education, University of Lisbon, Lisbon, Portugal)

Chapter 13. Promoting Learning and Teaching with Geospatial Technologies Using the Spatial Citizenship Approach
Jana Pokraka, Inga Gryl, Uwe Schulze, Detlef Kanwischer and Thomas Jekel (University of Duisburg-Essen, Essen, Germany, and others)

Chapter 14. Case-Based Curricula Materials for Contextualized and Interdisciplinary Biology and Geology Learning
Clara Vasconcelos and Joana Faria (University of Porto, Oporto, Portugal)

Chapter 15. Context-Based Teaching Material and Learning Chemistry
Iztok Devetak (Faculty of Education, University of Ljubljana, Ljubljana, Slovenia)

Chapter 16. Evaluating Context-Based Teaching Materials
Neslihan Ültay and Eser Ültay (Faculty of Education ,Giresun University, Giresun, Turkey)

About the Editors



“Laurinda Leite, Luís Dourado, Ana S. Afonso, and Sofia Morgado’s Contextualizing Teaching to Improve Learning: The Case of Science and Geography makes the case for people integrating science knowledge, skills, and abilities into their daily lives as citizens and individuals. In the Foreword, Derek Hodson points to large-scale hard problems being faced by humanity: “deforestation and increasing desertification, acid rain, pollution of waterways, ozone depletion, climate change, soil loss, loss of biodiversity, exhaustion of many natural resources, explosive population growth” and societal disparities “in terms of income, access to proper housing, food and water security, educational opportunity, health care, freedom, justice and safety” (2017, p. vii). Together, these issues are referred to as Socio-Scientific Issues (SSI), and the idea is that area issues in one cannot be solved without the other. This edited collection makes a solid case for contextualizing science learning in a way that learners can see the relevance in their own daily lives and can apply the learning to their citizenship behaviors…READ MORE-Shalin Hai-Jew for C2C Digital Magazine (Fall 2020/Winter 2021), Instructional Designer/Researcher, Kansas State University 

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