Special Issue "Hands-On Science: Developing a Sustainable Education System"

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 May 2022.

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. José Benito Vázquez Dorrío
E-Mail Website1 Website2 Website3
Guest Editor
Applied Physics Department. Mining and Energy Engineering School. University of Vigo, 36310 Vigo, Spain
Interests: applied optics; photonics; optical engineering; hands-on science; science education; training of teachers; sustainability
Prof. Dr. Miguel Ángel Queiruga Dios
E-Mail Website1 Website2
Guest Editor
Department of Specific Didactics, Universidad de Burgos, 09001 Burgos, Spain
Interests: self-regulated learning; teaching methods in science education; sustainability
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

World sustainable development, both in economic and social terms, strengthening the democracy and social cohesion in our societies alongside high levels of human development with respect to the United Nations Charter of Human Rights, should be a goal of all countries and of each one of us. The importance of science, both the pursuit of knowledge and the search for practical uses of scientific knowledge, is widely recognised at all levels in modern societies. A strong and enlarged scientific literacy is not only fundamental to the development of science and technology, but also to a democratic citizenship. In most countries, a distinct lack of science technicians and science and technology teachers is being registered. Driven by this fact, science is gaining an increasing importance in school education. It is hopeful that, by also recognising the importance of study and training in science in the development of our youngsters’ personalities and abilities, both professional and social changes in school curricula are being implemented in most countries, clearly giving science a higher importance. However, these improvements in the levels of quality and effectiveness in school science education can hardly be achieved without an effective change in the way science education is traditionally approached in our schools. The method that drives the pursuit of scientific knowledge should be the driving and guiding basis of all processes of in-school teaching/learning of science, leading the students towards an active volunteer commitment to hands-on experimental science learning activities: observing, analysing critically, deducing, reasoning, defining, discussing, experimenting… and, as such, “making” (learning) science as scientists do.

We are honoured to serve as Guest Editors of this Special Issue to be published in Sustainability, which will contain papers related to the field of experimental science education that describe "hands-on" experiences and research as a path to sustainable education. Research with IBSE, Maker, Do it Yourself, Do It With Others, Design Thinking, Low-Cost Science or Experimental Citizen Science approaches that contributes to the improvement of science education, both from formal and non-formal education, will also be appreciated. We warmly invite researchers to submit their contributions, both original research articles and review papers, to this Special Issue.

Prof. Dr. José Benito Vázquez Dorrío
Prof. Dr. Manuel Filipe P. C. M. Costa
Prof. Dr. Miguel Ángel Queiruga Dios
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1900 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • hands-on science
  • scientific literacy
  • curricular integration
  • innovation
  • SDG
  • Maker
  • IBSE
  • DT
  • DiY
  • DiWO
  • low-cost science
  • science education
  • experimental citizen science

Published Papers (2 papers)

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Research

Article
Awareness and Knowledge of Portugal Residents about Natura 2000
Sustainability 2020, 12(22), 9663; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12229663 - 19 Nov 2020
Viewed by 795
Abstract
Natura 2000 is the European Union’s key strategy to address the current sharp decline in biodiversity. However, according to a recent survey, most Europeans have never heard about it. The present study intended to further explore the perceptions of residents in Portugal about [...] Read more.
Natura 2000 is the European Union’s key strategy to address the current sharp decline in biodiversity. However, according to a recent survey, most Europeans have never heard about it. The present study intended to further explore the perceptions of residents in Portugal about this network of protected areas through the nationwide implementation of a survey. Overall, 232 questionnaires were fulfilled, which showed that most respondents (n = 126, 54%) had never heard of Natura 2000. Furthermore, even the respondents who knew what Natura 2000 is were not well-informed about it. For instance, on average, they were only able to name 2.8 ± 2.2 sites within Portugal; plus, 66% (n = 65) could not correctly name any wild species that inhabited their favourite site. Surprisingly, literacy levels were not significantly correlated with the number of visits to the network (rs = 0.181, p = 0.082), and they were only weakly correlated with the frequency that the respondents engaged in ecological behaviours (rs = 0.277, p = 0.007). Overall, the current findings are in agreement with similar studies carried out in Poland that revealed that the population was poorly informed about this important network of protected areas. This scenario is especially worrisome, considering that public participation is regarded as a key factor for successful nature conservation initiatives. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Hands-On Science: Developing a Sustainable Education System)
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Article
Systematic Review on Inclusive Education, Sustainability in Engineering: An Analysis with Mixed Methods and Data Mining Techniques
Sustainability 2020, 12(17), 6861; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12176861 - 24 Aug 2020
Viewed by 1033
Abstract
In the last few years, research in the field of sustainability has experienced a significant increase in interest between sustainability and other areas (inclusive education, active methodologies, and society). Moreover, the use of mixed research methods (quantitative and qualitative) along with the application [...] Read more.
In the last few years, research in the field of sustainability has experienced a significant increase in interest between sustainability and other areas (inclusive education, active methodologies, and society). Moreover, the use of mixed research methods (quantitative and qualitative) along with the application of data mining techniques, enables the analysis of information and the connection between the different studies. The objectives of this paper were: (1) To establish the results of the research related to the concepts of sustainability, inclusive education, and disability. (2) To study the key concepts that are detected in the articles selected with respect to the concepts of sustainability, inclusive education, disability, and their relations. In order to do so, two studies were carried out (quantitative and qualitative). In the first study, K-means and heat map clustering techniques were applied. In the second study, the technique of text mining was applied. One hundred and thirty-three scientific papers were studied, of which 54 fulfilled all the inclusion criteria. Three clusters were found in the first study; cluster 1 included the categories: inclusive society, educational innovation, and active methodologies. Cluster 2 included active methodologies and society and economy and cluster 3 included inclusive society and society and economy. In the second study, the highest Krippendorff’s Alpha coefficient were found in articles that linked sustainability with social transformation stemming from a change in education by means of the use of active teaching methods and technological resources. The research moves towards the development of competencies in sustainability at all stages of the educational system, and in all areas of knowledge. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Hands-On Science: Developing a Sustainable Education System)
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Planned Papers

The below list represents only planned manuscripts. Some of these manuscripts have not been received by the Editorial Office yet. Papers submitted to MDPI journals are subject to peer-review.

Title: Exploring the effects of task order in inquiry learning on interests and concept achievement in science education
Authors: Yu-Sheng Su
Affiliation: Department of Computer Science and Engineering, National Taiwan Ocean University, Keelung City, Taiwan
Abstract: Mathematics is an important foundation for the development of science education. In the past, when the instructors taught mathematical concepts of geometry shapes, they mostly used traditional textbooks and aids to conduct teaching activities, which resulted in students may not be able to understand the principles exactly. Nowadays, it has become a trend to integrate emerging technologies into mathematics courses and to use digital instructional aids. Emerging technologies can effectively enhance students' sensory experience while strengthening their impressions and understanding of subject concepts. In this paper, we apply virtual reality immersive technologies to develop a virtual reality mathematics geometry teaching system, which is used to teach mathematical geometry concepts. Teachers use the system to develop three basic mathematical geometry learning materials as "Triangular pyramid volume = 1/3 prism volume", "Cone volume calculation", and "Triangle center of gravity derivation". In the experimental activity, the teacher uses virtual reality teaching aids to guide students to learn mathematical geometry concepts in a fun way so that they can achieve the effectiveness of immersive learning. This study explores the impact of using the virtual reality mathematics geometry teaching system on students’ technology acceptance, learning motivations, and learning performance. The experimental result showed that using the virtual reality mathematics geometry teaching system can improve the learning motivations and learning performance of students.

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