Cultivating a Scientific Mindset in the Age of Inference

Philip Short, Austin Peay State University

Call for Chapters

This is a call for chapters that are inspirations and ideas for cultivating the proper mindset for the studying, teaching, and practicing of science in the modern era. This is in collaboration with the “ATE/NASA Joint Commission on STEM Education in the Future” and other STEM-related entities.

How do we most effectively use observations and data to improve our lives and understanding of the world? In an age where we are inundated with information, the ability to discern the right information to make proper decisions and solve problems is ever more critical. Modern science, which espouses a systematic approach to making “inferences,” requires a certain mindset that allows for a degree of comfort with uncertainty. This book will offer inspirations and ideas for cultivating the proper mindset for the studying, teaching, and practicing of science that will be useful for those new to as well as familiar with the field. The chapters will be written by experts such as specialists from NASA, STEM teacher educators in higher education, and veteran k-12 educators, and other professionals with relevant experience. The target audience for this book is students, educators, and practitioners of science who want to be well-positioned for the ever-changing modern era where making the right inferences will be invaluable and increasingly inviolable.

Chapter Types: Two types of chapters will be accepted:
1) research-based; and
2) practitioner-centered manuscripts.

Illustrations and visualizations are highly encouraged.

Research-based chapters may be any of the following, and may be up to 10,000 words except as noted below, not including references, charts, or visuals:

 EMPIRICAL STUDIES (or primary research) aim to gain new knowledge on a topic through direct or indirect observation and research. These include quantitative and/or qualitative data and analysis.

 CASE STUDIES explain, describe, or explore events or phenomena in the everyday contexts in which they occur. Articles capture information on explanatory 'how', 'what' and 'why' questions, such as 'how is the intervention being implemented and received on the ground?' The case study approach can offer insights into why one implementation strategy is chosen over another.

 OBSERVATIONAL PIECES are short descriptions of research results that are focused on the needs of the modern day science educator (up to 1200 words).

 PERSONAL NARRATIVES provide insight into the role of the change agent in science education. Stories are a powerful medium for fostering understanding of diverse experiences and discovering commonalities. Personal narratives can help one understand the depth and breadth of the challenges of effectively teaching science. Writing and publishing our stories allows us to acknowledge and share the uncertainties, fears, regrets, grief, frustration, and disappointments that we all experience when trying to shift mindset. It also gives an opportunity to share what is so rewarding—those times we know we have made an important difference in people's lives.

 REVIEW ARTICLES provide a synthesis of existing research on a particular topic. It differs from a systematic review in that it does not aim to capture all of the research on a particular topic.

 SYSTEMATIC REVIEWS are methodical and thorough literature reviews focused on a particular research question. The intention is to identify and synthesize all scholarly research on a particular topic in an unbiased, reproducible way to provide evidence for practice and policy-making. These papers include published studies as well as gray literature (unpublished studies, reports, dissertations, conference papers, abstracts, governmental research, etc.). May include a meta-analysis.

 META-ANALYSES combine or contrast data from different independent studies in a new analysis in order to strengthen the understanding of a particular topic. There are many methods, some complex, applied to performing this type of analysis. May be part of a systematic review.

 PERSPECTIVES discuss models and ideas from a personal but balanced viewpoint. Perspective articles present a new and unique viewpoint on existing problems, fundamental concepts, or prevalent notions on a specific topic, propose and support a new hypothesis, or discuss the implications of a newly implemented innovation. Perspective pieces may focus on current advances and future directions on a topic, and may include original data as well as personal opinion (up to 2000 words).

Practitioner-centered chapters may be either of the following, with word limits as noted below, not including references, charts, or visuals:

 COMMENTARIES draw attention to a previously published article, book, or report, explaining why it interested them and how it might be illuminating for readers. Authors are commenting on the work of others (1000-1500 words).

 QUICK-HITTERS are short, accessible articles. Articles may be how to, trends, or advice-oriented. Format may include visuals, lists, question & answer, etc. Authors may refer to their own work or the work of others (150-500 words).

Topics of interest include (but are not limited to) the following as they relate to effective implementation of the National Framework for K-12 Science and Three-Dimensional Science Instruction as well as anticipated impacts from shifts in science education:

 History and Philosophy of Science Education

 Role of Changing Regulations, Standards, and/or Assessments

 Constructivist Approach and Application to Science Learning/Teaching

 Value of Scientific Literacy/Mindset/Predisposition

 Inquiry Based Learning (IBL)

 Problem Based Learning (PBL)

 Process Oriented Guided Inquiry Learning (POGIL)

 Place-Based and Experiential Learning

 Authentic Student Investigations

 Self-Reflective Practices/Assessment/Evaluation

 Integration with Math, Language Arts, Social Studies, and other disciplines

 Data Sense-Making/Visualization

 Inferencing and Hypothesis Testing

 Machine Learning/Inference Engines/Neural Networks/AI

 Importance to Social Equity, Economics, Environment, Special Needs Populations, and/or Cultural Competency

Chapter proposals should be submitted via email by September 1, 2019.

The proposal should contain an abstract, follow 6th edition APA formatting, be no more than two pages (not including references), and clearly address either one of the topics above or another proposed topic related to the theme of the book. Proposals should include a cover page with author’s name, affiliation, email, phone number, and biographical statement.

Notifications of acceptance of proposals will be sent out by October 1, 2019, with chapter drafts for review by December 31, 2019.

Anticipated publication is October 2020.

Chapter Submission:
Full chapter submissions will be evaluated in the following categories:

 contribution to the field of science education;
 originality;
 attention to the book’s purpose;
 adherence to 6th edition APA formatting guidelines;
 overall quality

Final chapters to be included in the book should be no more than 25 pages in length,
including all text, tables, and references, and will undergo a rigorous peer review prior
to being included in the book. Illustrations and visualizations are highly encouraged.

Please send all chapter proposals and/or inquiries to:
Philip Short at:

Please enter “Scientific Mindset Proposal” as the e-mail subject line.

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