Practical Work in Secondary Science: A Minds-On Approach by Ian Abrahams

By Ian Abrahams

Practical paintings is an important function of secondary technology schooling. despite the fact that, questions were raised via a few technology educators approximately its effectiveness as a educating and studying process. when such an technique is usually powerful in getting scholars to do issues with gadgets and fabrics, it truly is obvious as particularly useless in constructing their conceptual figuring out of the linked clinical rules and ideas. Ian Abrahams argues that it's because it's practiced as a ‘hands-on', instead of ‘minds-on' activity.

Abrahams attracts jointly concept and perform on powerful instructing and studying in sensible paintings in technology - masking biology, chemistry and physics. He offers transparent information to make sure that scholars are inspired and supported to be ‘minds-on' in addition to a 'hands-on' if you want to utilize this studying experience.

An priceless textual content for uplifting aspiring and skilled secondary technological know-how pros, particularly for these on M-level secondary technological know-how PGCE programmes.

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Given that the aim of this model is to provide a framework for considering the effectiveness of a specific task relative to the aims and intentions of the teacher, the starting point (Box A) is an evaluation of the teacher’s learning objectives in terms of what it is they want the pupils to learn. After the teacher has decided what they want the pupils to learn the next stage in the model (Box B) is for them to design a specific practical task (or use an existing one from a scheme of work) that has, or so they believe, the potential to enable the pupils to achieve the desired learning objectives.

Osborne (1998) claims that practical work ‘only has a strictly limited role to play in learning science and that much of it is of little educational value’ (p. 156). Hodson (1991), in a similar vein, claims that, ‘as practised in many countries, it is ill-conceived, confused and unproductive’ (p. 176). Hodson’s claim is not, I would suggest, an indictment of practical work per se but of practical work ‘as practised’. Indeed very few of us would, I imagine, question the important role that practical work can play in science education.

It wouldn’t influence them into taking physics up as a career. Mr Ulleskelf was the only teacher who indicated that his use of the term ‘motivation’ meant more than just the generation of non-enduring situational interest within a particular lesson. Mr Ulleskelf: But it does have a motivating effect on most [academic ability] groups. Researcher: Now when you say motivating do you mean encouraging pupils to go beyond the requirements of the syllabus, to enhance their curiosity and understanding about science or whether, by motivation, you mean it gets them engaged in that particular lesson and therefore it’s important to have practical frequently otherwise they lose the sense of engagement?

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