Change search
Link to record
Permanent link

Direct link
BETA
Mc Ewen, Birgitta, Associate professorORCID iD iconorcid.org/0000-0002-4984-2415
Alternative names
Publications (10 of 53) Show all publications
Thörne, K., Gericke, N. & Mc Ewen, B. (2019). Learning epigenetic mechanisms with analogies. In: : . Paper presented at ESERA, European Science Education Research Association 26-30 Aug Bologna Italy.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Learning epigenetic mechanisms with analogies
2019 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Refereed)
National Category
Didactics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-74743 (URN)
Conference
ESERA, European Science Education Research Association 26-30 Aug Bologna Italy
Available from: 2019-09-13 Created: 2019-09-13 Last updated: 2019-11-14Bibliographically approved
Mc Ewen, B. (2019). Rethinking reviews - how to design reviews about complex biology for teachers. In: : . Paper presented at ESERA, European Science Education Research Association 26-30 August.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Rethinking reviews - how to design reviews about complex biology for teachers
2019 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Refereed)
National Category
Didactics
Research subject
Biology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-74744 (URN)
Conference
ESERA, European Science Education Research Association 26-30 August
Available from: 2019-09-13 Created: 2019-09-13 Last updated: 2019-10-28Bibliographically approved
Nyberg, E., Castera, J., Mc Ewen, B., Gericke, N. & Clement, P. (2019). Teachers' and Student Teachers' Attitudes Towards Nature and the Environment: A Comparative Study Between Sweden and France. Scandinavian Journal of Educational Research
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Teachers' and Student Teachers' Attitudes Towards Nature and the Environment: A Comparative Study Between Sweden and France
Show others...
2019 (English)In: Scandinavian Journal of Educational Research, ISSN 0031-3831, E-ISSN 1470-1170Article in journal (Refereed) Epub ahead of print
Abstract [en]

Throughout the world, the educational system is expected to deal with issues regarding sustainability and to promote pro-environmental behaviours and attitudes. This study investigates attitudes towards nature and the environment among 1,109 teachers and student teachers in Sweden and France, using the 2 factor Model of Environmental Values (2-MEV). The results imply that in both Sweden and France, teachers and student teachers hold a prevailingly ecocentric attitude, as opposed to an anthropocentric attitude, which possibly indicates a predominantly positive approach towards the environment and environmental education. Comparisons between the countries show, however, that the Swedish teachers and student teachers hold a more anthropocentric attitude than the teachers and student teachers in the French sample.

Keywords
Environmental attitudes, anthropocentrism, ecocentrism, education
National Category
Pedagogy
Research subject
Education
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-74571 (URN)10.1080/00313831.2019.1649717 (DOI)000479885800001 ()
Available from: 2019-08-29 Created: 2019-08-29 Last updated: 2019-09-05Bibliographically approved
Gericke, N., Mc Ewen, B. & Thörne, K. (2018). Epigenetic literacy and the implementation of epigenetics in school biology. In: : . Paper presented at Oral presentation at the ERIDOB (European Researchers In Didactics Of Biology) conference. 2 – 6th of July, Zaragoza, Spain..
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Epigenetic literacy and the implementation of epigenetics in school biology
2018 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

In this study we aim to define what epigenetic literacy should be, and further investigate how it can be implemented in school biology. Epigenetics is the understanding of how the environment interplays with genes, and thus how the environment can affect human characteristics and behaviour. ‘Epi’ derives from the Greek word for ‘over’ and ‘above’ and the word ‘epigenetics’ refers to the mechanisms acting ‘above’ the sequence of the DNA base-pairs. Epigenetics has revolutionized biological theory since it explains how our life style, including factors such as exercise, stress and nutrition, influences our genes. Hence, everyday lifestyle decisions can materialistically explain cell changes and give information about the future health of, for example, students. Health issues are highly profiled in media and society today. However, epigenetics is not yet included in the biology curricula in Sweden or many other countries. Therefore, this study aims to identify what should be taught in school biology about epigenetics, and investigate how it can be integrated in genetics education.

The study includes two ongoing sub-studies: a Delphi study and a Design study we investigate what epigenetic processes and conceptions a citizen needs to know to be able to make relevant decisions concerning both personal and social issues related to epigenetics. In the design study we develop, implement and evaluate a teaching module based on the findings from the Delphi study. Twelve in-service biology teachers at lower and upper secondary schools will take part in this study.

In the Delphi study we identified three main areas of epigenetic literacy regarding 1) Epigenetic content knowledge, including core ideas of mechanisms, chromatin, cell differentiation, cell memory, enzymatic control, life history, reversibility and risk; 2) Epigenetic and society, including core ideas of epigenetics related to its influence on lifestyle, diseases, pregnancy, ethics, manipulation of organisms, policy, forensics, policy and crimes; 3) Organization of teaching epigenetics, an area in which most experts recommend that epigenetics should mainly be integrated with the genetic units, but also with other biology topics such as evolution, ecology and health education. The Delphi study show that epigenetics is considered a controversial topic from a scientific perspective because the view of epigenetics as a paradigm shift or not differs among the experts. Therefore, many experts recommended that epigenetics should be taught from a nature of science perspective. At the ERIDOB conference results relating to the design study will also be presented.

National Category
Educational Sciences Biological Sciences
Research subject
Biology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-75295 (URN)
Conference
Oral presentation at the ERIDOB (European Researchers In Didactics Of Biology) conference. 2 – 6th of July, Zaragoza, Spain.
Available from: 2019-10-14 Created: 2019-10-14 Last updated: 2019-10-28Bibliographically approved
Mc Ewen, B. (2018). Epigenetics gives new knowledge about learning: The example physical education. In: Odilla Finlayson, Eilish McLoughlin, Sibel Erduran, Peter Childs (Ed.), Electronic Proceedings of the ESERA 2017 Conference: Research, Practice and Collaboration in Science Education. Paper presented at ESERA 2017 Conference, Dublin City University, Dublin, Ireland. 21st-25th August, 2017 (pp. 367-374). Dublin, Ireland: Dublin City University, Part 2
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Epigenetics gives new knowledge about learning: The example physical education
2018 (English)In: Electronic Proceedings of the ESERA 2017 Conference: Research, Practice and Collaboration in Science Education / [ed] Odilla Finlayson, Eilish McLoughlin, Sibel Erduran, Peter Childs, Dublin, Ireland: Dublin City University , 2018, Vol. Part 2, p. 367-374Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

New knowledge in biology accumulates fast. This has great implications, for example, for our views of learning. Brain research, as well as research in the new field of epigenetics, have been very intense during the last few decades, and will doubtless influence our view of learning. It is important to follow the development in biology, derive advantages from new insights, and to consider changed practices at school. This paper is an example of how an increased amount of physical education in the school timetable could increase performance in theoretical school subjects. This relation is discussed in the light of the recently discovered epigenetic mechanisms. Studies have revealed epigenetic modifications in the brain cells during learning. Learning, combined with physical activity, has revealed increased epigenetic modifications. Thus, it has been speculated that epigenetic mechanisms might explain improved results in theoretical subjects due to physical activity. This ought to have implications for the school timetable, and lead to more physical education at school. It is discussed that one of the easiest ways to improve results in theoretical school subjects could be to increase the amount of physical education in the school timetable.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Dublin, Ireland: Dublin City University, 2018
Keywords
Curriculum, Learning and Neuroscience, Nature of Science
National Category
Didactics
Research subject
Biology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-48262 (URN)978-1-873769-84-3 (ISBN)
Conference
ESERA 2017 Conference, Dublin City University, Dublin, Ireland. 21st-25th August, 2017
Available from: 2017-04-05 Created: 2017-04-05 Last updated: 2018-12-06Bibliographically approved
Walan, S. & Mc Ewen, B. (2018). Students' reflections on participation in a science and technology school competition. In: Odilla Finlayson, Eilish McLoughlin, Sibel Erduran, Peter Childs (Ed.), Electronic Proceedings of the ESERA 2017 Conference: Research, Practice and Collaboration in Science Education. Paper presented at ESERA 2017 Conference, Dublin City University, Dublin, Ireland. 21st-25th August 2017 (pp. 273-282). Dublin, Ireland, Part 2
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Students' reflections on participation in a science and technology school competition
2018 (English)In: Electronic Proceedings of the ESERA 2017 Conference: Research, Practice and Collaboration in Science Education / [ed] Odilla Finlayson, Eilish McLoughlin, Sibel Erduran, Peter Childs, Dublin, Ireland, 2018, Vol. Part 2, p. 273-282Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Different kinds of efforts have been made in many countries to stimulate students' interest in science and technology, for example through school competitions. Few studies, however,have investigated the effect of school competitions in science and technology. This study centres onhow students participatingin the science and technology school competition The Technology Eightexperienced the outcomesof taking part inthe competition. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with seventeen 15-year-old students. Transcripts of the interviews were analysed based on contentand resulted in four categories: Social effects, Attitude to competitions, Stimulated interest in science and technology and Gained knowledge. The students enjoyed participating in the competition and found that it had a positive effect on the social situationin the classroom. Competitions were also appreciated and seen to encourage students to work harder. However, the competition didnot have much effect in changing interest in science and technology. Finally, the students found it difficult to express how the competition had contributed to gainingmore content knowledge in the subjects, but they emphasised the practical aspects of learning.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Dublin, Ireland: , 2018
Keywords
Science and technology, school competition, outcome
National Category
Didactics
Research subject
Biology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-48261 (URN)978-1-873769-84-3 (ISBN)
Conference
ESERA 2017 Conference, Dublin City University, Dublin, Ireland. 21st-25th August 2017
Available from: 2017-04-05 Created: 2017-04-05 Last updated: 2019-07-12Bibliographically approved
Walan, S. & Mc Ewen, B. (2018). Teachers’ and principals’ reflections on student participation in a school science and technology competition. Research in Science & Technological Education, 36(4), 391-412
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Teachers’ and principals’ reflections on student participation in a school science and technology competition
2018 (English)In: Research in Science & Technological Education, ISSN 0263-5143, E-ISSN 1470-1138, Vol. 36, no 4, p. 391-412Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Background: The European Union asks for renewed pedagogies in schools according to teaching strategies and necessary competences for the twenty-first century, instead of the often-used transmissive pedagogies. The national Swedish competition in science and technology for grade eight, The Technology Eight, provides an opportunity for teachers to work with instructional strategies in line with suggested pedagogies.

Purpose: To investigate teachers’ and principals’ reflections on the competition in schools.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Taylor & Francis, 2018
Keywords
Principals’ reflections, school competitions, sTeM, teachers’ reflections
National Category
Social Sciences Didactics
Research subject
Education
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-65449 (URN)10.1080/02635143.2017.1420644 (DOI)000443911500001 ()
Available from: 2017-12-20 Created: 2017-12-20 Last updated: 2019-07-12Bibliographically approved
Gericke, N. & Mc Ewen, B. (2018). Vad är epigenetisk allmänbildning? – En Delfistudie. In: : . Paper presented at Oral presentation at FND (Swedish Association for Research in Science Education) 7-8th of November, Malmö, Sweden.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Vad är epigenetisk allmänbildning? – En Delfistudie
2018 (Swedish)Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Epigenetics has revolutionized biological theory since it explains how our life style, including factors such as exercise, stress and nutrition, influences our genes. Epigenetics is the understanding of how the environment interplays with genes, and thus how the environment can affect human characteristics and behaviour. Hence, everyday lifestyle decisions can materialistically explain cell changes and give information about the future health of, for example, students. However, epigenetics is not yet included in the biology curricula in Sweden or many other countries. Therefore, this study aims through a Delphi-study to identify what should be considered as epigenetic literacy and therefore be taught in school. In the Delphi-study a panel of experts related to different fields of epigenetics answers questions about what a citizen needs to know about epigenetics. In the Delphi study we identified three main areas of epigenetic literacy regarding: 1) Epigenetic content knowledge, including core ideas of mechanisms, chromatin, cell differentiation, cell memory, enzymatic control, life history, reversibility and risk. 2) Epigenetic and society, including core ideas of epigenetics related to its influence on lifestyle, diseases, pregnancy, ethics, manipulation of organisms, policy, forensics, policy and crimes. 3) Organization of teaching epigenetics, an area in which most experts recommend that epigenetics should mainly be integrated with the genetic units, but also with other biology topics such as evolution, ecology and health education. Moreover, the Delphi study show that epigenetics is considered a controversial topic from a scientific perspective because the view of epigenetics as a paradigm shift or not differs among the experts. Therefore, many experts recommended that epigenetics should be taught from a nature of science perspective.

National Category
Social Sciences Biological Sciences
Research subject
Biology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-75287 (URN)
Conference
Oral presentation at FND (Swedish Association for Research in Science Education) 7-8th of November, Malmö, Sweden
Available from: 2019-10-14 Created: 2019-10-14 Last updated: 2019-10-28Bibliographically approved
Walan, S. & Mc Ewen, B. (2017). Primary Teachers’ Reflections on Inquiry- and Context-Based Science Education. Research in science education, 47(2), 407-426
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Primary Teachers’ Reflections on Inquiry- and Context-Based Science Education
2017 (English)In: Research in science education, ISSN 0157-244X, E-ISSN 1573-1898, Vol. 47, no 2, p. 407-426Article in journal (Other academic) Published
Abstract [en]

Inquiry- and context-based teaching strategies have been proven to stimulate and motivate students’ interests in learning science. In this study, 12 teachers reflected on these strategies after using them in primary schools. The teachers participated in a continuous professional development (CPD) programme. During the programme, they were also introduced to a teaching model from a European project, where inquiry- and context-based education (IC-BaSE) strategies were fused. The research question related to teachers’ reflections on these teaching strategies, and whether they found the model to be useful in primary schools after testing it with their students. Data collection was performed during the CPD programme and consisted of audio-recorded group discussions, individual portfolios and field notes collected by researchers. Results showed that compared with using only one instructional strategy, teachers found the new teaching model to be a useful complement. However, their discussions also showed that they did not reflect on choices of strategies or purposes and aims relating to students’ understanding, or the content to be taught. Before the CPD programme, teachers discussed the use of inquiry mainly from the aspect that students enjoy practical work. After the programme, they identified additional reasons for using inquiry and discussed the importance of knowing why inquiry is performed. However, to develop teachers’ knowledge of instructional strategies as well as purposes for using certain strategies, there is need for further investigations among primary school teachers.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Springer, 2017
Keywords
Primary science teachers, Inquiry-based, Context-based, Instructional strategies, Pedagogical content knowledge
National Category
Didactics Biological Sciences
Research subject
Biology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-41081 (URN)10.1007/s11165-015-9507-5 (DOI)000398944800008 ()
Available from: 2016-03-17 Created: 2016-03-17 Last updated: 2019-07-12Bibliographically approved
Walan, S., Nilsson, P. & Mc Ewen, B. (2017). Why Inquiry?: Primary Teachers' Objectives in Choosing Inquiry- and Context-Based Instructional Strategies to Stimulate Students' Science Learning. Research in science education, 47(5), 1055-1074
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Why Inquiry?: Primary Teachers' Objectives in Choosing Inquiry- and Context-Based Instructional Strategies to Stimulate Students' Science Learning
2017 (English)In: Research in science education, ISSN 0157-244X, E-ISSN 1573-1898, Vol. 47, no 5, p. 1055-1074Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Studies have shown that there is a need for pedagogical content knowledge among science teachers. This study investigates two primary teachers and their objectives in choosing inquiry- and context-based instructional strategies as well as the relation between the choice of instructional strategies and the teachers' knowledge about of students' understanding and intended learning outcomes. Content representations created by the teachers and students' experiences of the enacted teaching served as foundations for the teachers' reflections during interviews. Data from the interviews were analyzed in terms of the intended, enacted, and experienced purposes of the teaching and, finally, as the relation between intended, enacted, and experienced purposes. Students' experiences of the teaching were captured through a questionnaire, which was analyzed inductively, using content analysis. The results show that the teachers' intended teaching objectives were that students would learn about water. During the enacted teaching, it seemed as if the inquiry process was in focus and this was also how many of the students experienced the objectives of the activities. There was a gap between the intended and experienced objectives. Hardly any relation was found between the teachers' choice of instructional strategies and their knowledge about students' understanding, with the exception that the teacher who also added drama wanted to support her students' understanding of the states of water.

National Category
Pedagogical Work
Research subject
Educational Work
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-65818 (URN)10.1007/s11165-016-9540-z (DOI)000408707400006 ()
Available from: 2018-01-25 Created: 2018-01-25 Last updated: 2018-07-04Bibliographically approved
Organisations
Identifiers
ORCID iD: ORCID iD iconorcid.org/0000-0002-4984-2415

Search in DiVA

Show all publications