Scholarly article on topic 'Learning Chemistry in the Frame of Integrated Science Modules – Romanian Student's Perception'

Learning Chemistry in the Frame of Integrated Science Modules – Romanian Student's Perception Academic research paper on "Materials engineering"

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Abstract of research paper on Materials engineering, author of scientific article — Crinela Dumitrescu, Radu Lucian Olteanu, Laura Monica Gorghiu, Gabriel Gorghiu

Abstract In the frame of the PROFILES project (http://profiles.ssai.valahia.ro), Valahia University Targoviste - as partner of the mentioned project - organized the training program Profiles - Education through Science, which general objective consisted on the forming and developing of specific competences of Science teachers, for implementing an educational process based on scientific inquiry and integrated approach of the Science curricula. At the end of the training program, the teachers have elaborated teaching/learning materials (modules) that were implemented in the classroom during their Science lessons. This paper aims to emphasize the student's perception after the implementation in the classroom of the training modules developed in the frame of Profiles training program. The analysis referred just the modules designed for teaching Chemistry, as basic discipline.

Academic research paper on topic "Learning Chemistry in the Frame of Integrated Science Modules – Romanian Student's Perception"

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Procedía - Social and Behavioral Sciences 116 (2014) 2516 - 2520

5th World Conference on Educational Sciences - WCES 2013

Learning Chemistry in the Frame of Integrated Science Modules -

Romanian Students' Perception

Crinela Dumitrescu a *, Radu Lucian Olteanu a, Laura Monica Gorghiu a, Gabriel

Gorghiu

aFaculty of Sciences and Arts, Valahia University Targoviste, 18-24 Unirii Blvd., Targoviste 130082, Romania bFaculty of Electrical Engineering, Electronics and Information Technology, Valahia University Targoviste, 18-24 Unirii Blvd., Targoviste

130082, Romania

Abstract

In the frame of the PROFILES project (http://profiles.ssai.valahia.ro), Valahia University Targoviste - as partner of the mentioned project - organized the training program Profiles - Education through Science, which general objective consisted on the forming and developing of specific competences of Science teachers, for implementing an educational process based on scientific inquiry and integrated approach of the Science curricula. At the end of the training program, the teachers have elaborated teaching / learning materials (modules) that were implemented in the classroom during their Science lessons. This paper aims to emphasize the students' perception after the implementation in the classroom of the training modules developed in the frame of Profiles training program. The analysis referred just the modules designed for teaching Chemistry, as basic discipline.

© 2013 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

Selection and/or peer-review under responsibility of Academic World Education and Research Center.

Keywords: Profiles project, Inquiry-based Learning and Education through Science (IBSE), students' feedback;

1. Introduction

Gaining basic and fundamental knowledge in Science area represents an important achievement for all who are active participants and engaged in various fields of interest: economic, medical, natural environments - all of them strongly based on scientific and technological progress.

During the last years, it was remarked that less students become interested in Science studies. In this respect, it is strongly tried to stimulate their interest and to motivate them by developing new specific competences as important issues for study Science. At present, it is also imposed the need of implementing active learning Science methods of teaching, for making the transition from the deductive model to that based on exploration and investigation (IBSE-Inquiry-Based Science Education) (Bolte et al., 2011).

* Crinela Dumitrescu. Tel.: +40-245-213382 E-mail address: dumitrescucrinela@yahoo.com

1877-0428 © 2013 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

Selection and/or peer-review under responsibility of Academic World Education and Research Center. doi:10.1016/j.sbspro.2014.01.603

2. Background

Having in view the mentioned facts, in the frame of the PROFILES project (http://profiles.ssai.valahia.ro), Valahia University Targoviste organized the training program Profiles - Education through Science, which general objective consisted in the forming and developing of specific competences of Science teachers to implement an educational process based on scientific inquiry and integrated approach of the curricula (Olteanu, Dumitrescu, Gorghiu, & Gorghiu, 2012). At the end of the training program, the teachers have elaborated teaching / learning materials (modules) that were implemented in the classroom during Science lessons. The training modules were structured in five sections: Introduction, Students' Activities, Teaching Guide, Assessment and Teacher's Notes.

Such overall objectives / competences of the training modules designed for teaching Chemistry (as basic discipline) can be mentioned as follows: basic scientific knowledge about chemistry issues (terms, notions, etc.), reflective scientific inquiry, evidence-base reasoning, decision-making skills, communication and working in groups, ICT skills (Bolte et al., 2012).

The implementation of the training modules involved three stages (included in the sections of the modules):

• Stage 1: Motivating students - Social Scenario

In this first stage the goal is to motivate the students by presenting a social scenario based on real life issues.

• Stage 2: Inquiry-based investigation

This stage includes web-based inquiry environment computer-based activities, experimental activities, virtual laboratory, group discussions, whole-class discussions, debates. During this process, students draw on a variety of information, organize their data and documents.

• Stage 3: Decision-Making process

During the third stage students are involved in a debate. The teacher takes the role of the coordinator, orchestrating the debate, provoking students to present their evidence and asking the groups of students to document and to explain their reasoning.

3. Findings and Results

The study is based on the students' answers from the Profiles Student's Questionnaire (Bolte, & Streller, 2012). The questionnaire includes eight sections, but the present study was made taking into consideration the following main issues:

• The first section of the questionnaire is designed to obtain the students' views on the actual or real lesson which they attend in the area of Science;

• The second section of the questionnaire is thought to gather the students' views on the ideal lessons which they would like to attend in the area of science (i.e. what they think how the lessons should like);

• The third section of the questionnaire is designed to obtain the students' views after the implementation of the training modules.

The target group was constituted from 189 students (13-18 years) who are attending lower secondary school level (77 students) and upper secondary school level (112 students). The students were participated to Chemistry lessons that were taught in different schools of Dambovita County.

After the implementation of the Chemistry modules, it can be observed that the students enjoy rate has been raised in general. In average, it can be noticed that the opinions are very based with the ideal views (how lessons in the area of science should be): 38% - ideal view, 46% - present view, 50% - after implementation view (figure 1). The satisfaction / contentment degree of the students was also slightly raised after implementation of the designed modules, as this can be observed in Table 1.

Table 1. The level of contentment of Chemistry lessons

Level of contentment IDEAL view PRESENT view AFTER IMPLEMENTATION view

extremely contented 22,2% 5,3% 5,5%

very contented 27,5% 23,8% 25,3%

contented

extremly unenjoyable

c very unenjoyable

£ somewhat unenjoyable

fairly enjoyable enjoyable very enjoyable

B..2........

extremely enjoyable

(AFTER IMPLEMENTATION vew S PRESENT view □ IDEAL view (how lessons in the area of science should be)

□ 51

□ 47

60 80 100 Opinions (target group)

Figure 1. The level of attractiveness / importance of Chemistry lessons

extremly unimportant

very unimportant

somewhat important

fairly important

important

very important

extremely important

I 68 67

44 '42

The level of importance in everyday life and to society in general of the topics approached during lessons

60 80 100 120 140 160 180 200 Opinions (target group)

Figure 2. The importance of the lessons topics in the everyday life topics

The importance of the Science topics approach during the lessons is also very important from the students' point of view. Science is always present in the everyday life in terms of phenomena, materials, technology, processes etc. Students accorded a high level of importance to the everyday life aspects (basically, topics retrieved as everyday life and society in general): important towards extremely important; 80% (ideal view), 29% (present view), 30% (after implementation view) (figure 2). As concluded, it can be considered that after the introduction of the integrated modules, the awareness of the Science involvement in everyday life has been increased from the students' points of

view, or at least, being maintained at a high level.

extremly unimportant / always

very unimportant / very often

somewhat important / often

fairly important / fairly often

important / sometimes

very important / rarely

extremely important / never

0 20 40 60 80 100 120 140 160

Opinions (target group)

Figure 3. The opportunity to make suggestions and ask questions in the lessons, related to Science subjects

extremely uncooperative / extremely small

very uncooperative / very small

somewhat uncooperative / rather small

fairly cooperative / fairly large

cooperative / large

very cooperative / very large

extremely cooperative / extremely large

Opinions (target group)

Figure 4. The cooperation between students and the level of the effort that the class is making during Science lessons

] AFTER IMPLEMENTATION view (frequence) 0 PRESENT vew (frequence) □ IDEAL view (importance)

The oportunity to make suggestions and ask questions in lessons on the science subjects

■ AFTER IMPLEMENTATION vew S PRESENT view □ IDEAL view

The cooperation between students and the level of effort that the class makes H75 during science

J lessons

0 20 40 60 80 100 120 140 160 180

The opportunity for making suggestions and asking questions in the lessons, related to Science subjects, seems to be also an important issue for the students. As is shown in figure 3 and 4, it can be observed that the introduction of the integrated modules has increased the involvement of the students during Science lessons due to specific lessons aspects: work-groups, information sharing, debates, argumentations etc.

4. Conclusions

• The PROFILES - Education through Sciences training program has proved to be an essential training program for the professional development of the involved Science teachers, in the actual Romanian educational context;

• There were made successful implementations of the designed training modules in the Science lessons, with a positive feedback collected from the students;

• It was noticed a high interest from the students part, related to the Science subjects approaches in the learning process: the awareness of Science involvement in the everyday life, the interdisciplinary aspects of the lessons, the students' participation during Science lessons.

Acknowledgements

This work was funded through the Seventh Framework Programmed "PROFILES - Professional Reflection Oriented Focus on Inquiry-based Learning and Education through Science" No. 5.2.2.1 - SiS-2010-2.2.1, Grant Agreement No. 266589, Supporting and coordinating actions on innovative methods in Science education: teacher training on inquiry based teaching methods on a large scale in Europe. The support offered by the European Commission as well as the Community Research and Development Information Service as responsible for the management of EU's programmed in the fields of research and innovation, through the project mentioned above, is gratefully acknowledged.

References

Bolte, C., Streller, S., Holbrook, J., Rannikmae, M., Mamlok Naaman, R., Hofstein, A., & Rauch, F. (2011). Profiles: Professional Reflection-Oriented Focus on Inquiry based Learning and Education through Science, Proceedings of the European Science Educational Research Association (ESERA), 5th - 9th September 2011, Lyon, France. Olteanu, R., L., Dumitrescu, C., Gorghiu, G., & Gorghiu, L. M. (2012). Aspects Related To The Continuous Professional Development Of Chemistry Teachers Stated In The Frame Of PROFILES Training Program, Giornale di Didactica e Cultura della Societa Chimica Italiana, CnS - La chimica nella Scuola, Proceedings of the 11th European Conference on Research in Chemical Education (ICCE-ECRICE), Rome, Italy, p. 266.

Bolte, C., Streller, S., Rannikmae, M., Holbrook, J., Hofstein, A., Mamlok Naaman, R., & Rauch, F. (2012). Profiles Projekt erfolgreich gestartet. In S. Bernholt (ed),Konzepte fachdidaktischer Strukturierung für den Unterricht. Zur Didaktik der Physik und Chemie. Probleme und Perspektiven, Munster. Lit-Verlag, 589-591. Bolte, C., & Streller, S. (2011). Evaluating Student Gains in the PROFILES Project, Proceedings of the European Science Educational Research Association (ESERA), 5th - 9th September 2011, Lyon, France.