Scholarly article on topic 'Examining of Problem Solving Skills According to Different Variables for Science Teachers Candidates'

Examining of Problem Solving Skills According to Different Variables for Science Teachers Candidates Academic research paper on "Economics and business"

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Abstract of research paper on Economics and business, author of scientific article — Nilgun Yenice, Baris Ozden, Burcu Evren

Abstract Todays society needs persons who have easy access to information and ability to use it for contribute production, communication and critical thinking skills with capability of analysis, synthesis and evaluation, investigating, creative, questioning, adopted universal values and constantly improving themselves. In this context, are expected to train the manpower with that features from education systems. Especially science teachers have most importance earning mentioned qualities to students. For this reason, in research is aimed to investigate problem-solving skills of science teacher candidates in terms of demographic characteristics. For this purpose, to the teacher candidates were applied problem-solving inventory and personal information form which were developed by Heppner and Peterson (1982), adapted to Turkish by Şahin, Şahin and Heppner (1993). Total 125 teacher candidates who located in the western provinces of Turkey participated to study. According to the research results, teacher candidates total scores of problem solving skills shows no statistically significant differences according to gender, grade level and type of high school.

Academic research paper on topic "Examining of Problem Solving Skills According to Different Variables for Science Teachers Candidates"

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Social and Behavioral Sciences

Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences 46 (2012) 3880 - 3884

WCES 2012

Examining of problem solving skills according to different variables

for science teachers candidates

Nilgun Yenicea*, Baris Ozdenb, Burcu Evrenc

aAdnan Mender es University, Faculty of Education, Department of Science Education, Ay din, 09010, Turkey bAdnan Menderes Universty, Faculty of Education, Aydin, 09010, Turkey cAdnan Menderes Universty, Faculty of Education, Aydin, 09010, Turkey

Abstract

Todays society needs persons who have easy access to information and ability to use it for contribute production, communication and critical thinking skills with capability of analysis, synthesis and evaluation, investigating, creative, questioning, adopted universal values and constantly improving themselves. In this context, are expected to train the manpower with that features from education systems. Especially science teachers have most importance earning mentioned qualities to students. For this reason, in research is aimed to investigate problem-solving skills of science teacher candidates in terms of demographic characteristics. For this purpose, to the teacher candidates were applied problem-solving inventory and personal information form which were developed by Heppner and Peterson (1982), adapted to Turkish by §ahin, §ahin and Heppner (1993). Total 125 teacher candidates who located in the western provinces of Turkey participated to study. According to the research results, teacher candidates total scores of problem solving skills shows no statistically significant differences according to gender, grade level and type of high school.

Keywords: Science teachers', problem-solving skills.

1. Introduction

Day to day in changing and complicated world, people faces variety of problems and seeking ways to solve them. To overcome these problems, it is natural to look for ways to the appropriate solution and this situation is ongoing throughout the life of man (Taylan, 1990). Therefore, at fast growing and constantly changing social structure, the problem-solving skills are very important for people facing with problems in almost every area of life.

There are various definitions in the literature on the concept of problem-solving. According to the Kaptan and Korkmaz (2002) problem-solving is a way to develop individual skills and effective learning, according to Heppner and Peterson (1982) problem-solving is expressed as a processes which include cognitive, affective and behavioral transactions and problem-solving is defined to direct cognitive and affective transactions, such as behavioral responses with a purpose of internal or external requests or calls, to a destination.

Bilen (1993) who arranged with taking into account of J. Dewey's analysis of the thinking process, states that the six steps of the process of problem-solving skills: Becoming aware of the problem, Definition and limitation of problem, Collecting information that can solve problem, Forming hypothesis, Testing hypothesis, Reaching solution.

* Nilgün Yenice. Tel.:+90 256 214 20 23; Fax: +90 256 214 10 61. E-mail address: nyenice@gmail.com.

ELSEVIER

1877-0428 © 2012 Published by Elsevier Ltd. Selection and/or peer review under responsibility of Prof. Dr. Huseyin Uzunboylu doi:10.1016/j.sbspro.2012.06.165

As we can see, the problem-solving process is associated with, properly defining the problem, how to approach the problem and self-assessment of the person to cope with problems (Heppner and Peterson, 1982).

Problem-solving ability is a feature that can be learned. According to Gagne's, the most aim of education programs, as at relevant subject areas, as well as the to solve the problems which they can face in their whole lifes should be teach to students (Yapici and Yapici, 2006).

In 2004, Turkey radical changes made in science teaching program and "All students, regardless of individual differences to be trained as science and technology literacy" is envisaged (Ministry of National Education [MONE], 2004). Development of students' scientific process is key complement for science and technology literacy. Therefore, for developing the ability of students' scientific thinking, it is necessary to develop their self-confidence and problem-solving skills. They can learn problem-solving from childhood but the problem-solving skills are developed in the school years. (Miller and Nunn, 2001). During school years for developing problem-solving skills; greatest task belongs to teachers. Therefore, science teacher candidates should be trained with effective problemsolving skills. In this study, the science teacher candidates who will educate second level elementary students', is to be analyzed in terms of a variety of variables, is intended. For this purpose, the following problem is answered.

1. Does problem-solving skills of science teacher candidates show a significant difference in terms of gender, grade level of their education and their graduated of high school type?

2. Method

2.1. Environment and Sample

The environment of the research is the students in the fall semester of 2010-2011 academic periods of in a province in western Turkey, in the university's Faculty of Education. The sample of the research is same university's Faculty of Education's science department 1., 2., 3. and 4. grade randomly choosen students. Sample is including 58.4 % female (N=73), 41.6 % male (N=52) a total of 125 students.

2.2. Data Collection Tools

The research data is collected with using Problem Solving Inventory and personal information forms which developed by Heppner and Peterson (1982) and adopted by §ahin, §ahin and Heppner (1993) also validity and reliability studies were made the scales Cronbach's alpha coefficient is .90 and which has 35 items with positive and negative expressions, Likert type scaled between 1-6 points. While scale is pointing, total point is found with inverting negative statements. From the scale, at least 32, up to 192 points can be taken. Height of total points obtained from the scale shows that persons perceived themselves has poor problem-solving skills (Sava§ir and §ahin 1997).

2.3. Data Analysis

Datas which obtained from research were analyzed using descriptive statistics. In addition to descriptive statistics to determine the relationship between candidates problem-solving skills and gender, Mann Whitney U-test was used, to determine the relationship between their problem-solving skills and grade level and type high school which they were graduated from, Kruskal Wallis H-test was used.

3. Findings

The change of the science teacher candidates' problem-solving skills according to gender are resolved with Mann Whitney's U-test and findings are given in Table 1.

Table 1. Results of teacher candidates' problem-solving skills according to gender variable with Mann Whitney-U Analysis

Gender N Mean rank Sum of rank Mann Whitney- U p

Female 73 57,32 4184,00 ,037*

Male 52 70,98 3691,00 1483,00

Female 73 65,14 4755,50 ,431

Male 52 59,99 3119,50 1741,50

Female 73 62,79 4584,00 ,940

Male 52 63,29 3291,00 1883,00

Female 73 65,04 4748,00 ,453

Male 52 60,13 3127,00 1749,00

Female 73 65,47 4779,00 ,366

Male 52 59,54 3096,00

Female 73 65,80 4803,50 ,303

Male 52 59,07 3071,50 1693,50

Female 73 63,40 4628,50 ,882

Male 52 62,43 3246,50 1868,50

As is shown in Table 1, according to gender variable science teacher candidates' problem-solving skills shows no significantly difference at thinking approach, avoidant approach, estimator approach, self confident approach and planned approach subscales scores, on the other hand at hasty approach subscale scores show statistically significant differences (p=,037). Determined, this difference in favor of male teachers.

The change of the science teacher candidates' problem-solving skills according to class-level variable are resolved with Kruskal Wallis's H-test and findings are given in Table 2.

Table 2. Results of teacher candidates' problem-solving skills according to grade-level variable with Kruskal Wallis-U Analysis

Grade level N Mean rank X2 p

1st grade 29 62,10

Hasty approach 2nd grade 38 69,07 ,649

3th grade 29 59,09 1,648

4th grade 29 59,86

1st grade 29 59,78

Thinking approach 2nd grade 38 67,37 ,820

3th grade 29 62,97 ,923

4th grade 29 60,53

1st grade 29 60,79

Avoidant approach 2nd grade 38 71,39 ,324

3th grade 29 55,41 3,474

4th grade 29 61,79

1s grade 29 68,79

Estimator approach 2nd grade 38 61,05 ,558

3th grade 29 56,45 2,068

4th grade 29 66,31

1st grade 29 70,79

Self confident approach 2nd grade 38 63,55 ,356

3th grade 29 53,83 3,240

4th grade 29 63,66

1st grade 29 64,36

Planned approach 2nd grade 38 69,51 ,453

3th grade 29 55,69 2,625

4th grade 29 60,41

1st grade 29 64,50

Total 2nd grade 38 69,62 ,357

3th grade 29 53,74 3,233

4th grade 29 62,09

As can be seen from Table 2, problem-solving skills of science teacher candidates' total scores and subscale scores show no statistically significantly difference.

The change of the science teacher candidates' problem-solving skills according to graduated from high school variable ^e resolved with Kruskal Wallis's H-test and findings are given in Table 3.

Table 3. Results of teacher candidates' problem-solving skills according to graduated from high school variable with Kruskal Wallis-U Analysis

High School Type N Mean rank X2 p

Academical High School 47 62,64

Hasty approach Super High School 25 73,14 ,033*

Anatolian High School 37 50,59 8,706

Other 16 76,91

Academical High School 47 65,59

Thinking approach Super High School 25 63,56 ,890

Anatolian High School 37 59,34 ,628

Other 16 63,00

Academical High School 47 52,97

Avoidant approach Super High School 25 73,30 ,009*

Anatolian High School 37 59,62

Other 16 84,19

Academical High School 47 63,60

Estimator approach Super High School 25 66,94 ,862

Anatolian High School 37 59,15 ,748

Other 16 64,00

Academical High School 47 71,57

Self confident Super High School 25 60,46 ,180

approach Anatolian High School 37 54,42 4,886

Other 16 61,63

Academical High School 47 68,53

Planned approach Super High School 25 69,20 ,225

Anatolian High School 37 54,84 4,360

Other 16 55,94

Academical High School 47 65,14

Total Super High School 25 72,44 0,69

Anatolian High School 37 50,43

Other 16 71,03

When Table 3 is examined, science teacher candidates' problem-solving skills show no significant difference at total scores, thinking approach, estimator approach, self-confident approach, planned approach subscales was concluded. In addition, for hasty approach and avoidant approach subscales of graduating from high school variable of science teacher candidates show statistically significant difference was found. The difference determined at hasty approach subscale is between Super High School graduates and Anatolian High School graduates in favor of Super High School graduates, between Anatolian High School graduates and Other High School graduates in favor of Other School graduates was concluded. The detected difference of avoidant approach subscale is between Anatolian High School graduates and Other High School graduates in favor of Other High School graduates, was concluded.

4. Results and Discussion

Results of analysis of science teacher candidates' problem-solving skills total scores show that there is no statistically significant difference according to variables of gender, grade level, and type of high school graduated.

In parallel to research results, problem-solving skills of college students show no significant difference according to gender variable has been concluded by survey carried out by Soyer and Bilgin (2010). Also researches which be done by Taylan (1990), Basmaci (1998), Saygili (2000), Yildirim and Yal9in (2008), Yenice (2011) reached similar conclusions. In this context, it can be said that research findings are supported by each other. However, there are surveys which have conclusion about gender formed differences on problem-solving skills (Ayaydin, §ahin and

Özbay, 2003; Dam§ik, 2005; Aydin, Imamoglu and Yukay, 2005). This situation which is contradictory with the work at hand, can be said to result from working with different sample groups.

Result of problem-solving skills of teacher candidates in order to total scores and subscale scores show no significantly differences according to grade level, are in line with the results of the research done by Agir (2007), Serin (2004) and Yenice (2011). In addition, in a research by Qelik (2011) conducted on teacher candidates has concluded about increase in level of the class has negative affect on problem-solving skills of teacher candidates. Contradictory of these research findings with results in hand may be due to be worked with different age and sample groups.

Problem-solving skills of teacher candidates graduate from high school variable effect were examined and the total scores show no statistically significant difference was concluded. Parallel to findings of the research at hand, researchs of tnel, Evrekli and Türkmen (2011) graduated high school type variable does not effect teacher candidates' problem-solving skills was concluded. In this context, the aforesaid research findings and this study findings lends support to each other.

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