Volume 2 Number 3

Published: 30 September 2009

Responsible Editor: Iuliana Marchis


1. “On the other side of the barrier is thinking”

Simon Brown (Australia)


Abstract: Science requires imagination nourished by knowledge, experience and sustained critical thinking.  Science teaching has the same requirements, but metacognition is even more important to a teacher than it is to a practioner of science.  Critical thinking is essential to both science and science teaching: in either domain, imagination relies on sustained critical thinking based on relevant knowledge.  Knowledge can be acquired by the prepared mind, but the capacity to think must be nurtured and exercised.  The raw material of critical thinking is comprehension of fundamental processes rather than knowledge of facts. In parallel with the rapid growth of scientific knowledge, there has been a tendency to focus on content rather than developing the skills needed to do science.  In essence, what has been neglected is critical thinking.


Received: 11 August 2009, accepted: 24 September 2009

Pages 1-8.           Download PDF

2. Is Romanian Science School Curricula Open towards the Development of school students’ Critical Thinking Skills? 

Liliana Ciascai, Lavinia Haiduc (Romania, Romania)


Abstract: Critical thinking is considered to be an important outcome that all students, regardless of their academic major, need to achieve during their undergraduate study.  In addition, critical thinking allows students to respond to less-well defined problems and thus to be better prepared for both personal and professional challenges. Taking into consideration the importance of critical thinking in the learning process we have investigated, in order to identify the references to the concept of critical thinking, a number of 56 Romanian school science curricula available on the site of the Ministry of Education, Research and Innovation. The analysis has been made on two levels. The first level of analysis was the terminology level and the second level was the level of the critical thinking skills. The results show that the terminological entries (critical thinking, critical analysis, criticism etc.) are poor and the critical thinking skills are disproportionately represented in the curricula of the primary and secondary science education. The results presented in this study revealed that critical thinking is not a real concern for the authors of the Romanian science school curricula.


Received: 5 September 2009, accepted: 20 September 2009

Pages 9-18.           Download PDF

3. Study on students’ critical thinking capacities during seminars of the Didactics of Geography

Eliza Maria Dulamă, Oana Ilovan (Romania, Romania)


Abstract: In this study we tried to find answers to the following question: What is the effect of cognitive organisers (schemes, graphical organisers, quintets) on developing capacities characteristic of critical thinking? The hypothesis we wanted to test was the following: restructuring information through cognitive organisers did not suppose compulsory critical thinking, but restructuring while observing certain explicit tasks. We tested the hypothesis during a seminar of the Didactics of Geography in 2008. The sample was represented by 64 students in the second year at the Faculty of Geography. The task was to realise a poster about a country. That poster should have included a quintet, ten keywords, a graphical organiser, a sigle, a schematic map, and the essential ideas about the respective country. After analysing students’ results we noticed the following: restructuring information in quintets, realising the sigle and identifying ten keywords about a country required and proved use of critical thinking as a result of observing explicit or implicit tasks; when restructuring information into graphical organisers and into lists of ideas, students used certain capacities characteristic of critical thinking, but they did not assess all ideas according to the same criteria and, therefore, restructuring that information should be realised on the basis of observing certain explicit tasks.


Received: 10 August 2009, accepted: 25 September 2009

Pages 19-30.           Download PDF

4. The advantages perceived by schoolteachers in engaging their students in university-based chemistry outreach activities

Jauyah Tuah, Timothy G. Harrison, Dudley E. Shallcross (Brunei, UK, UK)


Abstract: The value teachers put on university-based outreach activities designed for 14 -16 year olds that involves both practical and lecture activities are discussed. A variety of good reasons for attending are provided by the teachers but the role of a School Teacher Fellow in mapping the events to the curriculum is shown to be vital to the success of any event. The pre-event difficulties needing to be overcome in engaging with universities are discussed with health and safety and in particular paperwork associated with this being cited as a particular barrier to engagement.


Received: 24 September 2009, accepted: 29 September 2009

Pages 31-44.           Download PDF

5. Romanian, Spanish and US Secondary Science Teacher  Perceptions of Threats to the Biosphere

Michael Robinson, Adrienne Kozan Naumescu, Bob Ives (USA, Romania, USA)


Abstract: This paper presents the data from a current study involving 41 Romanian secondary science teachers and a previously published study that compared 89 Spanish and 42 US secondary science teachers. All three groups were convenience samples who answered a two part questionnaire that was given in English, Spanish or Romanian, depending on the sample. The overriding question was whether citizens in countries that have different environmental experiences perceive threats to the biosphere differently and teach about different environmental problems/threats in science classes if at all. Five specific research questions were addressed including the following two:

 1) What were some of technological and environmental problems and or threats that were discussed in the 2002 Johannesburg Earth Summit? 

2) Can you describe any reasons why you do or do not teach about environmental and technological problems and or threats in your science classes? 

The results indicated considerable differences in the three nationalities perceptions of and understanding of threats to the biosphere. Perhaps the most important conclusions were: First, perceptions of environmental threats are based to a large degree on citizens personal experiences with the threat/s in the environment in which they live even when those threats may not be the most urgent global threats; and second, if all citizens, no matter where they live, are to become better informed about global threats to the biosphere faced by the world as a whole, there must be a common global science curriculum that addresses these threats.


Received: 12 August 2009, accepted: 24 September 2009

 Pages 45-60.           Download PDF

6. Application of the table manager program in the physics education

Tamás Beke (Hungary)


Abstract: In the 21st century the acquirement and transmission useful knowledge has a key role not only in Hungary but in the whole world as well. In my opinion, the interdisciplinary integration helps teaching efficiently more things than teaching each subject separately. The meaning of integration is approximately that we put together and combine different items and processes. Secondary school students usually get acquainted with the use of table manager program e.g. Excel. Even with this program they are able to solve such tasks in which they have to define/estimate the quality of physical amounts, delineate functions so we can hide physics in table manager programs. I have chosen some physical problems in terms of mechanics: firstly I describe the physical process’s basic features, the pertinent laws, formulas (both maths and physics play an important role) then we model this physical process with this table manager program. The use of the Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) at school is one of the basic ideas of modern education; besides providing information, it brings the development of skills in the foreground. In the middle of the teaching process there is such activities which are related to the subject or field in question. So in pursuance of it, the main aim of school education is to provide knowledge that is flexible and can be used later in different fields of life and prepare students to be able to learn and apply this newly acquainted knowledge through their lives.


Received: 21 May 2009, accepted: 29 September 2009

 Pages 61-74.           Download PDF

7. Assessment of the status of teaching subjects informatics and programming in terms of selected factors

Ján Záhorec, Alena Hašková, Michal Munk (Slovakia, Slovakia, Slovakia)


Abstract: In their paper the authors present a part of their research results, they obtained within a broader research focused on possibilities to influence students’ attitudes and approaches to particular subjects, mainly the less favourite ones. Following the empirically derived hierarchy of subjects identifying the degree of popularity of particular subjects among students, and influence of various factors on students’ attitudes towards these subjects the authors in their paper discuss students’ interest in study informatics and programming and try to identify the reasons of students’ interest or disinterest in them. They try to answer the question what are currently the most powerful motivation factors for students to acquire new knowledge from these areas.


Received: 21 July 2009, accepted: 25 September 2009

Pages 75-84.           Download PDF

8. Is Educational Technology Useful to Mathematics Teachers Activists?

Dorian Stoilescu (Canada)


Abstract: This study presents aspects of using educational technology in teaching mathematics education in secondary schools. It proposes exploring ways in which educational technology might be used in order to improve teachers’ cultural awareness and social activism. A rationale for a qualitative research study is presented by using multiple methods, combining action research and multiple case studies. Three high school mathematics teachers from Greater Toronto Area are selected to participate in this research. Actor Network Theory (ANT) was considered as research paradigm for this study.


Received 17 July 2009, accepted 28 September 2009

Pages 85-94.           Download PDF

9. Distance learning in low population density regions. A report from the high school teaching practice

Horst Daichendt, Ioana Magdaş (USA, Romania)


Abstract:  The most of the long distance courses are mainly based on two or three face to face meetings and printed courses or courses available on the online course web site. In this case the individual students study has attached an important amount of time. Usually the students do not receive a feed-back of their progress and do not receive answers to their questions in real time. That’s why this kind of distance learning courses is not appropriate for high school students. In this note we will present the design of a long distance course in mathematics at the high school level. The main particularity of this long distance course is the permanent contact in real time between teacher and students. At the final of this article we present a SWOT analysis of this project trying to establish the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats involved in this project.


Received: 29 April 2009, accepted: 17 September 2009

Pages 95-100.           Download PDF

10. Psycho-pedagogical Interventions in the Prevention and the Therapy of Learning Difficulties in the Field of Mathematics

Maria Anca, Carolina Haţegan (Romania, Romania)


Abstract: In the given study dyscalculia is approached in the context of learning difficulties, but also in relation with damaged psychic processes and functions.  The practical part of the study describes intervention models from the perspective of dyscalculia prevention and therapy- materialized in personalized intervention programs.


Received: 14 August 2009, accepted: 22 September 2009

Pages 101-106.           Download PDF

11. The super-cone

Zsolt Fülöp (Hungary)


Abstract: Using the concept of exploded and compressed numbers the author constructs the super-cone which is able to turn upon the border of three dimensional space and breaks through it. The introduction of super-cone gives a possibility for students to see the properties of traditional cone  while the super-cone is not a traditional cone. Moreover we show that an unbounded super-cone is a proper subset of an unbounded super-paraboloid such that they have the same infinitely large highness.


Received: 15 July 2009, accepted: 22 September 2009

Pages 107-114.           Download PDF

12. Mathematical induction and recursive definition  in teaching training

Endre Vármonostory (Hungary)


Abstract: The method of proof by mathematical induction follows from Peano axiom 5. We give three properties which are often used in the proofs by mathematical induction. We show that these are equivalent. Supposing the well-ordering property we prove the validity of this method without using Peano axiom 5. Finally, we introduce the simplest form of recursive definition.


Received: 10 September 2009, accepted: 19 September 2009

Pages 114-118.           Download PDF

13. Research on how secondary school pupils do geometrical constructions

Iuliana Marchis, Andrea Éva Molnár (Romania, Romania)


Abstract: Communicating on the mathematical language, problem solving, and reasoning are competencies tested on international test. The aim of this research is to study how secondary school pupils do geometrical constructions, how they give  mathematical argumentation and use geometrical notions in their explanations. 


Received: 7 September 2009, accepted: 25 September 2009

Pages 119-126.           Download PDF