IJSME, September 2008

International Journal of Science and Mathematics Education has already published the September issue. This issue contains the following 8 articles:
  1. Effects of advance organiser strategy during instruction on secondary school students’ mathematics achievement in Kenya’s Nakuru district, by Bernard N. Githua and Rachel Angela Nyabwa.
  2. Examining Reflective Thinking: A Study of Changes in Methods Students’ Conceptions and Understandings of Inquiry Teaching, by Jing-Ru Wang and Sheau-Wen Lin
  3. Following Young Students’ Understanding of Three Phenomena in which Transformations of Matter Occur, by Lena Löfgren and Gustav Helldén
  4. Secondary School Students’ Construction and Use of Mathematical Models in Solving Word Problems, by Salvador Llinares and Ana Isabel Roig
  5. Cognitive Incoherence of Students Regarding the Establishment of Universality of Propositions through Experimentation/Measurement, by Mikio Miyazaki
  6. Differentials in Mathematics Achievement among Eighth-Grade Students in Malaysia, by Noor Azina Ismail and Halimah Awang
  7. Thai Grade 10 and 11 Students' Understanding of Stoichiometry and Related Concepts, by Chanyah Dahsah and Richard Kevin Coll
  8. The Inquiry Laboratory as a Source for Development of Metacognitive Skills, by Mira Kipnis and Avi Hofstein
It might be dangerous to pick only a few articles for further comment, as all these articles raise interesting issues, but I will still make a few comments about some of them.

The article by Llinares and Roig has a focus on students' problem solving, with a particular focus on word problems. Connections are made with research on mathematical modelling (e.g. the research of Danish colleague and editor of NOMAD, Morten Blomhøj), and the article gives a nice overview of research concerning problem solving and mathematical modelling. The study that is reported in the article is a survey/test where students were faced with five questions/problems. Llinares and Roig discuss the problem-solving strategies that were used to solve the three word problems in this test.

The article by Githua and Nyabwa provides insight into mathematics teaching in Kenya, and the article builds heavily on Ausubel's theory of advance organisers. The objectives of the reported study were to investigate whether or not there were statistical significant differences in mathematics achievement between students who had been taught using advance organisers or not, and they also wanted to investigate whether gender affected achievement when advance organisers were used.

Another interesting article was the one by Ismail and Awang, which provides more insight into factors that influenced the achievement of Malaysian students in the TIMSS 1999 student assessment.