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Daiki NAKAMURA

Doctoral Program, Science Education,

Graduate School of Education, Hiroshima University

Research

1. Scientific thinking skills (scientific reasoning skills)

We are conducting basic research on scientific thinking and scientific reasoning skills, which are necessary for learners to carry out scientific inquiry. In particular, we are conducting research on evaluation and teaching methods for hypothesis-setting and control variables skills. In a hypothesis-setting situation, it is necessary to construct a tentative explanation (i.e., hypothesis) for the problem situation, which requires finding dependent and independent variables from the problem situation and logically considering causal relationships. In addition, when examining the experimental method to confirm the hypothesis, it is necessary to appropriately control the independent variables (control variables) other than the operating variables. This kind of advanced scientific thinking is very difficult for beginners, and the development of teaching methods is an issue.


2. Need for cognition in science education

Need for cognition refers to an individual characteristic of "an intrinsic tendency to engage in and enjoy effortful cognitive activities". Need for cognition has received much attention as a variable that predicts a variety of behaviors and academic performance. Cognitive activity in science learning is scientific thinking, and our research aims to develop learners who can enjoy thinking scientifically.


3. Meta-analysis on instructional effect size

Due to sample size limitations, research in the field of education faces the problem that it is difficult to generate strong generalizable evidence from a single study. Therefore, a method called meta-analysis has been implemented to generate stronger evidence by quantitatively integrating previous studies on a specific topic. We have conducted meta-analyses on the effects of technology use in science and mathematics education and the effects of various teaching methods in science education. The results of the meta-analysis will be useful not only in summarizing our research to date, but also in considering future research and educational policies.


4. Reproducibility of research and open science

In recent years, the reproducibility crisis, in which past research results are not reproduced, has become a problem in many academic fields including pedagogy. The existence of questionable research practices (QRPs) has been pointed out as a cause of this reproducibility crisis, and in order to prevent QRPs,  it is necessary not only to make efforts by individual researchers but also to reform the academic system and promote open science. We are working with researchers in other fields to discuss ways to increase the transparency and improve the quality of research.

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