Perspectives of German and US students as they make meaning of science in their everyday lives

Paul J. Preczewski, Alexandra Mittler, John W. Tillotson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Scientific literacy is a major educational and political goal worldwide, yet the development and enhancement of scientific literacy is not well understood. In order to better understand scientific literacy at the level of everyday science meaning making and a person's ability to address scientific questions and issues, this study reports on findings from semi-structured interviews of seven German and five American secondary students. This paper reports on these students' conceptions of their science interactions in everyday life. By conducting the same interviews in the native languages of students representing two countries known for their emphasis on improving secondary science education's scientific literacy enhancement, this research aims to learn from a cultural and contextual spectrum of science experiences. Our findings include two distinct themes independent of the educational setting. In addition, the research finds the recurrent and prevalent theme of German students' practicing science in nature not mentioned by American students.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)247-258
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental and Science Education
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2009


  • Science education
  • Scientific literacy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • General Environmental Science
  • General Engineering


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