Critique on “Activity Matters: Understanding Student Interest in School Science”

Topics: Citation, The Elements, Element Pages: 2 (491 words) Published: November 13, 2013
 “Activity Matters: Understanding Student Interest in School Science”, was written by Su Swarat, Andrew Ortony, and William Revelle, published on 9 February 2012 in Wiley Online Library. The article briefly discusses about students interest in science and developed a research design involving three components to evaluate their influence on student interest. Though certain references are relevant, the authors failed to present a relevant research gap and meaningful literature review.

Under “Sources of Science Interest”, the components relating to the research were introduced by citing past papers on interest in its various forms. The three articles citied (Baram-Tsabari and Yarden, 2005; Dawson, 2000; Jenkins and Nelson, 2005) produced a list of topics the students (collective age group between 9 to 15 year-olds) found interesting. They also cited two articles (Mitchel, 1993; Palmer 2009) that focused on the methods in which science is taught in schools and listed their findings. They then introduced the research gap; that it is unfair to analyse a singular component exclusively as it does not reflect the true nature of a classroom and proposed their more comprehensive approach.1 The structure of this section is organised and the explanations to each citation are thorough. However, these citations do not help to show or reinforce their research gap and unfortunately the reporting the findings of these articles take up the most part of the section. Listing the topics or the methods that students found interesting does not demonstrate the weakness of a one component study and hence is insignificant to strengthen their argument. Furthermore, the cited topics of interest in Mitchel’s study almost 20 years ago would hardly be of any significance to their research. The authors should have excluded irrelevant details of their citations and instead developed their argument of the complexities of a classroom further to make the reading more relevant and concise to...
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