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Teaching about science teaching and learning through an experimental inquiry approach.



This study investigates the effect of a science teaching approach--the experimental inquiry approach--on preservice student teachers understanding of the teaching and learning of science in primary schools. This understanding might be influenced by their prior science learning experiences in schools and in teacher education. In this study, the experimental inquiry approach was implemented in the teaching of two exemplary science units in a teacher education module. Pre-tests and post-tests about their views of the teaching and learning of science were conducted and analysed. Their views, expectations and limitations of teaching science in primary schools in ways congruent con·gru·ent  
adj.
1. Corresponding; congruous.

2. Mathematics
a. Coinciding exactly when superimposed: congruent triangles.

b.
 to the experimental inquiry approach were also probed, as was the feasibility fea·si·ble  
adj.
1. Capable of being accomplished or brought about; possible: a feasible plan. See Synonyms at possible.

2.
 of implementing the experimental inquiry approach in primary schools during their teaching practicum practicum (prak´tikm),
n See internship.
.

**********

I started my career in education as a science teacher in the mid 1970s in Hong Kong Hong Kong (hŏng kŏng), Mandarin Xianggang, special administrative region of China, formerly a British crown colony (2005 est. pop. 6,899,000), land area 422 sq mi (1,092 sq km), adjacent to Guangdong prov. . From early on as science teacher to the present as science teacher educator at the Hong Kong Institute of Education This article or section needs copy editing for grammar, style, cohesion, tone and/or spelling.
You can assist by [ editing it] now.
, my teaching has been driven by an imperative imperative: see mood.

imperative - imperative language
 derived de·rive  
v. de·rived, de·riv·ing, de·rives

v.tr.
1. To obtain or receive from a source.

2.
 from the question: How can I help my students become better learners? This question has, at its root, similarities with the catalyst catalyst, substance that can cause a change in the rate of a chemical reaction without itself being consumed in the reaction; the changing of the reaction rate by use of a catalyst is called catalysis.  for self-study self-stud·y
n.
1. Study or examination of oneself.

2. A form of study in which one is to a large extent responsible for one's own instruction.
 described by Whitehead whitehead /white·head/ (hwit´hed)
1. milium.

2. closed comedo.


white·head
n.
1.
 (1993) where he asks, 'How can I better help my students to learn?' and 'How do I live up to my values more fully in my practice?'. However, in contrast to Whitehead, my work is firmly based in the teaching and learning of science. Therefore, for me, one way of resolving this question has been to develop teaching strategies and procedures that facilitate learners' approaches to constructing science knowledge personally and effectively. This paper examines how I have attempted to influence my student-teachers' understanding of, and approaches to, science teaching through challenging the traditional approach to primary science teaching so prevalent prevalent

widespread occurrence.
 in Hong Kong and so often inadvertently reinforced re·in·force also re-en·force or re·en·force  
tr.v. re·in·forced, re·in·forc·ing, re·in·forc·es
1. To give more force or effectiveness to; strengthen: The news reinforced her hopes.
 through approaches to teaching in teacher education programs.

Context of primary science teacher education in Hong Kong Education in Hong Kong has a similar system to that of the United Kingdom, in particular the English education system of Hong Kong was modernized by the British in 1861. The system can be described as extremely competitive by global standards.  

Most primary school teachers in Hong Kong are graduates of either the former colleges of education (before 1994) that were run by the Hong Kong Education Department or the Hong Kong Institute of Education (HKIEd) that was established in 1994 to replace the colleges of education. These teachers mostly graduated with a Certificate in Education (CE) but, from 2001, the Bachelor of Education A Bachelor of Education (BEd) is an undergraduate academic degree which qualifies the graduate as a teacher in schools. North America
In North America the degree is awarded for courses taken that generally last two years (one year in some Canadian universities).
 (B.Ed) degree from the HKIEd became the major primary school teaching qualification. In either the Certificate in Education (Primary) program or the Bachelor of Education (Primary) program offered by HKIEd, science was not offered as an elective elective

non-urgent; at an elected time, e.g. of surgery.

elective adjective Referring to that which is planned or undertaken by choice and without urgency, as in elective surgery, see there noun Graduate education noun
 or as a major or minor subject in the curriculum frameworks. Science was not taught as an independent subject in local primary schools, but only as a component subject in the General Studies curriculum which is an integrated subject comprising science, social studies and health education (Education Commission, 1990).

In effect, there was only one compulsory Wikipedia does not currently have an encyclopedia article for .

You may like to search Wiktionary for "" instead.

To begin an article here, feel free to [ edit this page], but please do not create a mere dictionary definition.
 module, entitled en·ti·tle  
tr.v. en·ti·tled, en·ti·tling, en·ti·tles
1. To give a name or title to.

2. To furnish with a right or claim to something:
 'Science for Primary Education' for all students of the Certificate in Education (Primary) program. There was also only one compulsory module, entitled 'Foundation Science' before 2002, and one optional module, entitled 'Exploring Science' after 2002 in the Bachelor of Education (Primary) program. Those students who took General Studies as an elective (CE) or major or minor (B.Ed) studied more science modules; but non General Studies students, who are the majority of the student population, take either one of the above modules. Moreover a majority of the students in HKIEd are Arts-stream students, who have studied science only up to the level of (high school) Secondary 3. Therefore most of the HKIEd students who become prospective teachers in primary schools do not receive any intensive training in teaching science.

With the well-documented difficulties associated with primary teachers' lack of confidence in science content knowledge (Appleton Appleton, city (1990 pop. 65,695), seat of Outagamie co., E Wis., on the Fox River near its exit from the northern end of Lake Winnebago, in a dairying and stockraising region; inc. 1857.  & Symington Symington may refer to:
  • Fife Symington III (b. 1945), American politician; Governor of Arizona
  • Gaye Symington (b. 1954), American politician, Speaker of the Vermont House of Representatives
, 1996; Jeans & Farnsworth Farns·worth   , Philo Taylor 1906-1971.

American electrical engineer who as early as 1927 demonstrated a working television system.
, 1992; Skamp, 1991, 1992) and skills in conducting scientific investigations, teaching science topics in General Studies is inevitably a difficult task for many students of HKIEd in their teaching practice. Therefore it is not surprising that a general practice in Hong Kong primary schools is that teachers rely on textbooks and deliver the subject matter literally to children. There are usually no (or at best very few) experiments conducted to support learning.
   Teachers of upper primary classes often used 'teacher's explication'
   and 'daily application' in teaching science ... The strategies
   seldom used by teachers are 'role play', 'pupils' group
   experiments', 'simulations' and 'pupils' individual experiments'.
   (So, Tang, & Ng, 2000, pp. 510--511)


So, Tang tang, in zoology
tang: see butterfly fish.
 and Ng's (2000) conclusion is in accord with those reported by Holbrook Holbrook, town (1990 pop. 11,041), Norfolk co., E Mass.; settled 1710, set off from Randolph and inc. 1872. It has both agriculture and light manufacturing.  (1990) who noted that 'in the main, primary school teachers reported they favored whole class teaching using "lecturing" and "question and answer" rather than small group or individualized in·di·vid·u·al·ize  
tr.v. in·di·vid·u·al·ized, in·di·vid·u·al·iz·ing, in·di·vid·u·al·iz·es
1. To give individuality to.

2. To consider or treat individually; particularize.

3.
 teaching" (p. 82), and Leung and Law (1997) who found that 'teaching in science classrooms tends to be teacher-centered and didactic di·dac·tic
adj.
Of or relating to medical teaching by lectures or textbooks as distinguished from clinical demonstration with patients.
. At primary level, teaching is conducted by teacher presentations ... Teaching frequently follows the textbook textbook Informatics A treatise on a particular subject. See Bible.  very closely' (p. 167).

In the Certificate in Education program, students who completed the Science for Primary Education module (1999-2000, n = 124) answered a Science Teaching and Learning Questionnaire questionnaire,
n a series of questions used to gather information.

questionnaire,
n a form usually filled out by patients that provides data concerning their dental and general health.
 (extensively documented in Ma, 2004). One overwhelming response from these student teachers about their experiences of school science teaching and learning was of teacher-centred explication ex·pli·cate  
tr.v. ex·pli·cat·ed, ex·pli·cat·ing, ex·pli·cates
To make clear the meaning of; explain. See Synonyms at explain.



[Latin explic
 of textbook content. For example, an indicative indicative: see mood.  response to this was:
   ID 181: In primary school time, teachers only taught science
   knowledge, there were no experiments at all. The most was to read
   some experiment diagrams in the textbooks. In secondary school time,
   there were experiments. The experiments followed the textbook
   contents. I only memorized the textbook contents, and did not care
   how to do the experiments or their results as examination emphasized
   on textbook contents only. (Ma, 2004, p. 183)


Further to this, Chan and Kwok's (1999) study on Primary Teachers' Confidence in Teaching Science and Technology highlighted teachers' lack of confidence in teaching physical science topics, due to their poor science background and their lack of skills in physical science investigations. Therefore, the overwhelming response is perhaps not so surprising. In many ways, it could be well argued that these student teachers could very easily end up replicating in their science teaching what they had learnt through their 'apprenticeship of observation' (Lortie, 1975).

Science teacher preparation

As the above background establishes, primary teachers in Hong Kong seldom appear to adopt inquiry approaches to teaching science. As highlighted in previous research (Ma & Loughran, 2000, 2001, 2002), there are many reasons given by primary teachers for not conducting experiments, or not using an inquiry approach in teaching primary science. These include:

1 insufficient science background knowledge which leads teachers to avoid conducting experiments;

2 insufficient resources in primary schools for carrying out experimental work;

3 teachers being too busy and therefore not having sufficient extra time for preparing experiments;

4 conducting experiments is time consuming and so there is not sufficient time to teach the subject content covered in the textbooks; and

5 conducting experiments in the classroom is not always safe and it is difficult to maintain 'good order' in the class as children see it as a chance to play around and generally be disruptive disruptive /dis·rup·tive/ (-tiv)
1. bursting apart; rending.

2. causing confusion or disorder.
.

As preservice student teachers are the primary science teachers of the future and they form one group that might begin to challenge the status quo [Latin, The existing state of things at any given date.] Status quo ante bellum means the state of things before the war. The status quo to be preserved by a preliminary injunction is the last actual, peaceable, uncontested status which preceded the pending controversy. , one response I have adopted has been to introduce investigative approaches in teaching science under the General Studies subject at the HKIEd. As a consequence, I have developed experimental investigations that I have purposefully pur·pose·ful  
adj.
1. Having a purpose; intentional: a purposeful musician.

2. Having or manifesting purpose; determined: entered the room with a purposeful look.
 used in my teaching about primary science. I have developed this approach as a means of making experimental investigation more engaging for my student teachers as learners of science, and to model the type of teaching that might help to deal with the problems listed above.

Experimental inquiry approach

The experimental inquiry approach (EIA (Electronic Industries Alliance, Arlington, VA, www.eia.org) A membership organization founded in 1924 as the Radio Manufacturing Association. It sets standards for consumer products and electronic components. ) is organised in such a way as to require student teachers to participate in designing simple experiments that would be suitable to conduct in a primary classroom. In other words Adv. 1. in other words - otherwise stated; "in other words, we are broke"
put differently
, the modules create experiences of learning science through inquiry that hopefully provide the participants with insights into using such an experimental inquiry approach in their teaching of primary science. In so doing, I clearly hope that these student teachers will then teach primary science in a way that reflects these experiences of how they have learned in their teacher education program.

Participants and method

The participants in this research comprised a sample of preservice student teachers in the two-year full-time full-time
adj.
Employed for or involving a standard number of hours of working time: a full-time administrative assistant.



full
 Certificate in Education program offered by the Hong Kong Institute of Education. They studied a core module, Science for Primary Education, in their first year of study. This core module was compulsory for all student teachers in that cohort cohort /co·hort/ (ko´hort)
1. in epidemiology, a group of individuals sharing a common characteristic and observed over time in the group.

2.
, who were drawn for a diversity of backgrounds in science ranging from Secondary 3 to tertiary tertiary (tûr`shēârē), in the Roman Catholic Church, member of a third order. The third orders are chiefly supplements of the friars—Franciscans (the most numerous), Dominicans, and Carmelites. . An overwhelming majority were school leavers who had finished the Hong Kong Advanced Level Examination The Hong Kong Advanced Level Examination (HKALE, 香港高級程度會考), or more commonly known as the A-level, conducted by the Hong Kong Examinations and Assessment Authority (HKEAA), is normally taken by senior students , which meant they had studied up to Secondary 7 (Table 1 illustrates the composition of the sample that participated in this research).

I was a member of the teaching team for this module and was responsible for teaching two units, 'Water' and 'Air' to five classes, out of a total of seven classes. The research was implemented through the teaching of these two science units and all of the student teachers in these five classes were invited to participate.

At the start of the first lesson, I informed the students that I would be conducting research during my lessons. They were encouraged to participate in this research on a voluntary basis. Completion of the questionnaire was conducted during class time so that involvement in the study did not adversely add to the time they needed to make available. To avoid the possibility of ill-feeling of being biased or perceived per·ceive  
tr.v. per·ceived, per·ceiv·ing, per·ceives
1. To become aware of directly through any of the senses, especially sight or hearing.

2. To achieve understanding of; apprehend.
 threats of being penalised for non-participation in this research, I informed them that I would not mark their written assignments of this module and that double marking of the answer scripts by two lecturing staff for the module would be carried out. (The assessment on this module is by a group written assignment and examination.) Moreover, according to according to
prep.
1. As stated or indicated by; on the authority of: according to historians.

2. In keeping with: according to instructions.

3.
 institute regulations, students do not write their names on the examination answer scripts, only their student numbers. So there would hopefully be no fear that they could be unfairly treated if they did not participate in this research.

They did not have to indicate whether they were willing to participate in the research at the beginning of the lessons. If they were willing to do so, they simply needed to complete and return the questionnaire during class time--clearly then, students could choose not to complete the questionnaire and hand in a blank copy if they so desired. Of the total cohort (N = 179) in these five classes, completion and returns were high (n = 148), representing a sample size of 83 per cent.

Questionnaire

This questionnaire (see Appendix appendix, small, worm-shaped blind tube, about 3 in. (7.6 cm) long and 1-4 in. to 1 in. (.64–2.54 cm) thick, projecting from the cecum (part of the large intestine) on the right side of the lower abdominal cavity. ) served to probe student teachers' general views of science and teaching and learning of science. It comprised 15 items, 5 of them (Items 1, 4, 5, 7 and 13) concerning the nature of science and 10 (Items 2, 3, 6, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 14 and 15) about teaching and learning of science. The questionnaire used a Likert Scale Likert scale A subjective scoring system that allows a person being surveyed to quantify likes and preferences on a 5-point scale, with 1 being the least important, relevant, interesting, most ho-hum, or other, and 5 being most excellent, yeehah important, etc  along a continuum Continuum (pl. -tinua or -tinuums) can refer to:
  • Continuum (theory), anything that goes through a gradual transition from one condition, to a different condition, without any abrupt changes or "discontinuities"
 from Strongly agree to Strongly disagree. Responses were translated into a 4-point numerical scale See: scale.  increasing from 1 for Strongly agree to 4 for Strongly disagree (the item that referred to no response was not used as a measure in analysis, hence the resultant This article is about the resultant of polynomials. For the result of adding two or more vectors, see Parallelogram rule. For the technique in organ building, see Resultant (organ).

In mathematics, the resultant of two monic polynomials
 4-point scale).The questionnaire was administered twice, once before and once after the teaching of the two science units in which the EIA was used as the form of instruction. Comparison of the responses on individual items from before to after the units provided information on changes in participants' views of teaching and learning of science as a consequence of the implementation of the EIA.

In addition to this questionnaire, an open-ended o·pen-end·ed
adj.
1. Not restrained by definite limits, restrictions, or structure.

2. Allowing for or adaptable to change.

3.
 survey was also completed at the post-test in which a number of aspects of participants' views were sought in relation to their intentions about their use of the EIA in their future teaching. For this paper, the follow-up follow-up,
n the process of monitoring the progress of a patient after a period of active treatment.


follow-up

subsequent.


follow-up plan
 questions (Will you use the inquiry approach in teaching the science units of General Studies in your teaching in future? Why/Why not? and What factors will influence your decision in using this inquiry approach in teaching primary science units in future? Why are they important to you?) are included in the results. In addition to these open-ended questions A closed-ended question is a form of question, which normally can be answered with a simple "yes/no" dichotomous question, a specific simple piece of information, or a selection from multiple choices (multiple-choice question), if one excludes such non-answer responses as dodging a , a number of volunteers (n = 31) were interviewed about their experiences of learning science through the EIA and the possible implications for their future teaching. Two of these questions are also included in the analysis of results in this paper (How will the primary school students you will teach build their science knowledge? and How will you teach your students science to help them build their science knowledge?).

Case studies

Four student teachers participating in this research volunteered to be observed during their primary school teaching practicum (March-April three months after the teaching of the science module). These student teachers taught different science units under the General Studies syllabus A headnote; a short note preceding the text of a reported case that briefly summarizes the rulings of the court on the points decided in the case.

The syllabus appears before the text of the opinion.
. They prepared their lessons and I then discussed with them their plans and observed and video-taped their teaching and interviewed them afterwards af·ter·ward   also af·ter·wards
adv.
At a later time; subsequently.


afterwards or afterward
Adverb

later [Old English æfterweard]

Adv. 1.
. This data source was used to construct case studies about these participants' approaches to, and reflections on, implementing the EIA in primary classrooms. In this paper, one of these case studies offers insight into how the EIA might be implemented as a result of the teaching and learning experiences in teacher preparation.

Results

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the influence of the EIA on student teachers' understanding of teaching and learning of primary science. The study therefore explores two research questions: What are (these) student teachers' views of teaching and learning primary science? and How does experiencing the EIA influence (these) student-teachers' views and expectations of their teaching and of their students' learning?

Student teachers' views on teaching and learning science

The responses to 10 (Items 2, 3, 6, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 14 and 15) out of a total of 15 items in the Questionnaire on views of science and teaching and learning of science (see Appendix) provided information about the student teachers' views on teaching and learning of science. Responses to individual items between the pretest pre·test  
n.
1.
a. A preliminary test administered to determine a student's baseline knowledge or preparedness for an educational experience or course of study.

b. A test taken for practice.

2.
 and post-test provide information about changes in participants' views as a consequence of learning science through the EIA. In order to offer an overview of the outcomes from the questionnaire, a selection of responses to some of these items in the pre-test and the post-test are displayed using cross-tabulation tables (see Tables 2-9).

Comment

The data in Tables 2-9 illustrate that these student teachers held prior conceptions about some specific features of teaching and learning science. For example, they believed that children have their own ideas about how things happen and this influences their learning of science (Item 3), and that hands-on hands-on
adj.
Involving active participation; applied, as opposed to theoretical: "We're involved in hands-on operations, pulling levers, pushing buttons" Arthur R. Taylor.
 and minds-on experimental investigations are an essential process in learning and teaching science (Item 15), and so on. There was not a uniform shift in views across the items with the exception of the few who changed their views from a more didactic viewpoint towards a more investigative viewpoint after they had experienced learning science through the EIA. However Item 8 does show a marked change (30 respondents In the context of marketing research, a representative sample drawn from a larger population of people from whom information is collected and used to develop or confirm marketing strategy.  changed their views from the agree to disagree Agree to disagree or "agreeing to disagree" describes or refers to a situation where two or more people or groups of people resolve conflict by reaching an agreement whereby both sides tolerate but do not accept the views, opinions or position of the other side.  side for 'Children understand science knowledge by memorising the facts described in the textbook'), as does Item 10 (24 respondents changed their views from the disagree to the agree side for 'Children understand science knowledge through doing experimental investigations'). Generally participants clung clung  
v.
Past tense and past participle of cling.


clung
Verb

the past of cling

clung cling
 to the prior views despite their experiences of the EIA. For example, in Item 2, the learning of science through the EIA did not change their view that 'science teaching should emphasise teaching the scientific facts'. A majority agreed with this view even though they had experienced learning science through the EIA (which emphasises exploring knowledge rather than the teaching of facts). Responses to Item 9 also indicate that these student teachers believed that the provision of a good structured set of notes is important in teaching science. Hence the majority of these student teachers carried contradictory views and ideas about the nature of science teaching and learning as a result of their own school--and now pre-service--science learning experiences.

Expectations of teaching and learning primary science

In order to investigate the impact of these views on participants' understanding of the EIA for primary teaching, responses to the open-ended question, 'Will you use the inquiry approach in teaching the science units of General Studies in your teaching in future? Why/Why not?', are now considered.

All respondents (N = 148) stated that they thought they would use the EIA in their teaching of science in General Studies in the future--which is interesting considering the responses to the questionnaire. Their responses are summarised in Table 10. However some student teachers gave more than one reason when responding to this item and so the total counts are more than the total number of student teachers.

Some indicative responses include:
   ID 19: Yes, because the inquiry approach is interesting. Children
   will be motivated to learn. It requires children to think and this
   leads to a better understanding of the knowledge learned.

   ID 46: Yes, because this learning will make the lessons more
   interesting. It can motivate children to learn. Children's
   participation in experiments makes them better learn science. This
   mode of learning is better than teachers' talk or teach of the
   subject knowledge.

   ID 129: Yes, because this inquiry approach leads children better to
   understand the knowledge learned. It also inspires them to think and
   to investigate and this makes the lessons become more interesting.

   ID 180: Yes, because the experiments designed are simple,
   practicable and interesting. Children can do them by themselves.


Comment

Generally respondents concluded that the EIA was effective in promoting primary pupils' understanding of the science knowledge learned, and that the learning process and/or and/or  
conj.
Used to indicate that either or both of the items connected by it are involved.

Usage Note: And/or is widely used in legal and business writing.
 designing experiments was interesting and therefore capable of motivating pupils to think and stimulate stimulate /stim·u·late/ (stim´u-lat) to excite functional activity.

stim·u·late
v.
To arouse a body or a responsive structure to increased functional activity.
 them to inquire in·quire   also en·quire
v. in·quired, in·quir·ing, in·quires

v.intr.
1. To seek information by asking a question: inquired about prices.

2.
. It seems fair to assert that these student teachers understood the positive impact of the EIA on learners' knowledge and attitude development and that they might therefore have an inclination inclination, in astronomy, the angle of intersection between two planes, one of which is an orbital plane. The inclination of the plane of the moon's orbit is 5°9' with respect to the plane of the ecliptic (the plane of the earth's orbit around the sun).  to apply this inquiry approach in their future teaching of primary science in schools.

The student teachers' inclination towards using the EIA in their teaching and their expectation of their primary school pupils in learning science in General Studies was further explored through interview. Two of the interview questions are interesting to consider.

The first, 'How will the primary school students you will teach build their science knowledge?', resulted in all 31 interviewees stating that an effective way was by doing experiments, followed by thinking about the results, and then making generalisations. Their view apparently was that pupils need a chance to think and investigate the subject knowledge. The following is an indicative response.
   ID 144: The primary school pupils will build their science knowledge
   through experimental investigation. They should not just follow
   teachers' instruction in doing the experiments. They have to do
   experiments, or think about why to do the experiments and how to do
   the experiments. By this way, they will understand the science
   knowledge learned, and not just memorise by rote the knowledge
   learned.


The second interview question, How will you teach your students science to help them build their science knowledge?, resulted in all 31 interviewees stating that they would use the inquiry approach as it was important to 'let pupils be involved in the process of learning'. For example,
   ID 151: I will use the inquiry approach that I have experienced in
   your [the researcher] lessons to teach the primary school pupils.
   That means I will teach them science through experimentation. First,
   I will discuss with them the problems. Let them think about the
   problems. For simple experiments, I will let them do the experiments.
   I will let them participate through the experimental work, for
   example, let them think about why and how to do the experiments,
   help them understand the steps of doing the experiments. Let them
   observe the results and find out the true pictures by themselves.


Overview

The student teachers being interviewed experienced the EIA in learning science and the data indicate that they understood its positive effect on their knowledge, skill and attitude development. As a consequence, it seems reasonable to suggest that they could see the link between how they themselves had come to construct knowledge and how their own pupils could similarly construct knowledge through experimental investigations. There was a clear indication that participants had a strong inclination towards teaching primary science by using an approach congruent to the way they had experienced learning science--that is the Experimental Inquiry Approach.

Constraining con·strain  
tr.v. con·strained, con·strain·ing, con·strains
1. To compel by physical, moral, or circumstantial force; oblige: felt constrained to object. See Synonyms at force.

2.
 factors of using EIA in teaching primary science

The student teachers indicated a strong tendency to teach primary science in a way congruent to the Experimental Inquiry Approach. However they raised concerns or factors that they considered might restrain them from using the EIA.

The open-ended questions, 'What factors will influence your decision in using this inquiry approach in teaching primary science units in future? Why are they important to you?', led to a large number of responses. A frequency count of these responses is shown in Table 11. As some student teachers gave more than one reason, the total number of responses is greater than the total number of respondents to this question.

Some indicative responses are shown below:
   ID 8: The resources of the school and the lesson time. It is because
   if there are no resources, it is difficult to use interactive and
   activity-oriented approach to teach. Moreover this inquiry approach
   takes more time than that of the traditional transmission approach.

   ID 25: Lesson time. To do experiments needs time and the time for
   experiment is not short. To do experiments will lead to the fact
   that there is not enough time to complete the teaching of the
   subject within the scheduled lessons.

   ID 140: The system (policy) of the school. If the school requires
   teaching subject knowledge and does not care whether the lesson is
   interesting or not, I will not be allowed to use inquiry approach to
   teach.

   ID 190: The teaching resources, lesson time, syllabus content to be
   taught as required by the school and parents' views.


Comment

Various factors were suggested by the respondents which help to account for possible difficulties or concerns with teaching using an EIA. Most prominent was the concern about the availability of resources for conducting experiments. Another concern was that conducting experiments was perceived as being more time consuming than direct teaching and participants who noted this were concerned that there might not be enough time to cover the General Studies syllabus or finish teaching the content in the textbook. Unexpectedly respondents' concern about the school heads' or other teachers' objections or opinions in using an inquiry approach was quite prominent. The concern about pupils' acceptance of an inquiry approach is also an interesting restraining RESTRAINING. Narrowing down, making less extensive; as, a restraining statute, by which the common law is narrowed down or made less extensive in its operation.  factor.

The nature of the experiments was another concern. However this response is congruent with previous research and therefore to be expected. It clear that experiments to be conducted need to be simple, safe, manageable and easy to perform and they can he completed within a short time interval--a 35-minute single lesson. If an inquiry approach is to be used and the experiments take too long to complete, the student teachers may be concerned that their lessons will not run smoothly, and so the lesson arrangement clearly becomes another concern for the respondents. It is reasonable to expect that these prospective teachers would be concerned about classroom management as the EIA is activity-centred and changes the normal classroom dynamics. Preparation time for the lessons or for the experiments was another concern that these participants anticipated as they were aware that teachers are usually very busy and have a heavy workload The term workload can refer to a number of different yet related entities. An amount of labor
While a precise definition of a workload is elusive, a commonly accepted definition is the hypothetical relationship between a group or individual human operator and task demands.
 in Hong Kong. They also noted that parents may object to new or unfamiliar teaching approaches. Interestingly only two respondents were concerned about their own competence Competence

Sufficient ability or fitness for one's needs. The necessary abilities to be qualified to achieve a certain goal or complete a project.
 or ability in doing or designing experiments.

Case studies

Teaching Practice is a compulsory component of the full-time 2-year Certificate in Education program. For the first-year adj. 1. Being in the first year of an experience especially in a U. S. high school or college; - of a person.

Adj. 1. first-year - used of a person in the first year of an experience (especially in United States high school or college); "a
 students, the cohort who participated in this research, their Teaching Practice was scheduled from early April to the end of May. This followed the teaching of the module, Science for Primary Education, through which this research was conducted. During the Teaching Practice, each student teacher had to teach three subjects (Chinese Chinese, subfamily of the Sino-Tibetan family of languages (see Sino-Tibetan languages), which is also sometimes grouped with the Tai, or Thai, languages in a Sinitic subfamily of the Sino-Tibetan language stock.  Language, Mathematics and General Studies) for 12 to 16 lessons per week and that meant they had to teach the General Studies subject for approximately ap·prox·i·mate  
adj.
1. Almost exact or correct: the approximate time of the accident.

2.
 4 to 6 lessons a week.

As General Studies is an integrated subject of social studies, science and health education, some of the student teachers were likely to teach primary science units in their Teaching Practice. There was also the chance that some might teach social studies or health education units instead of primary science during this Teaching Practice. The teaching schedule for individual student teachers was arranged by the primary school in which the Teaching Practice was to be conducted and there was no control in this matter by HKIEd.

For the purpose of further studying the practical implementation of the EIA in teaching primary science in schools, four student teachers participated in what would eventually become case studies (all of which are elaborated in detail in Ma (2004)). These student teachers were Wai (pseudonym pseudonym (s`dənĭm) [Gr.,=false name], name assumed, particularly by writers, to conceal identity. A writer's pseudonym is also referred to as a nom de plume (pen name). ) a science-stream student teacher who had studied science up to the level of Secondary 7 in schools and who took General Studies as an elective subject in his Certificate in Education program. The other three student teachers (Chor, Shan Shan
 Shan Tai

Any member of a Southeast Asian people who live primarily in eastern and northwestern Myanmar (Burma) and also in Yunnan province, China. The Shan are the largest minority group in Myanmar, numbering more than four million.
 and Hoi) were all art-stream students. They had studied science in school up to the level of Secondary 3 only. Moreover they did not take General Studies as an elective subject in their teacher-preparation program and thus the module, Science for Primary Education, was the only science module they had attended at HKIEd. It is reasonable to assume that Wai had a stronger science background than his three female colleagues, whose science background was rather weak but commensurate com·men·su·rate  
adj.
1. Of the same size, extent, or duration as another.

2. Corresponding in size or degree; proportionate: a salary commensurate with my performance.

3.
 with what could he regarded as the average of the population of primary student teachers in the HKIEd.

The four student teachers joined into the process that entailed what would become case studies of their teaching practice on a voluntary basis. However, in order to avoid a conflict of interest and to gather reliable data with the least intrusion Unauthorized access to a computer system or network. See intruder and IDS.  from the power relationship of teacher and student, it was important to find student teachers for the case studies, whom I would not be supervising during their teaching practice. Thus I would not be assessing their teaching performance and this would then hopefully minimise Verb 1. minimise - represent as less significant or important
downplay, understate, minimize

inform - impart knowledge of some fact, state or affairs, or event to; "I informed him of his rights"
 the impact of my role in observing their teaching during the practicum.

During the teaching practice, I visited each of the participants in a science lesson which was organised by him/her. Before the start of the teaching practice, they sent me their teaching schedules and we came to an agreement about which lessons would be possible for me to observe. Again, due to my other responsibilities and their own preferences, I could not randomly select lessons for observation. The lessons that I observed were assigned as·sign  
tr.v. as·signed, as·sign·ing, as·signs
1. To set apart for a particular purpose; designate: assigned a day for the inspection.

2.
 by them and coincided with time that I had to visit them for lesson observation.

With the participants' agreement and with permission from the school heads, I video-taped lessons for later analysis and as a visual prompt for conducting post-lesson discussion.

Case study: Hoi

Hoi taught in an urban primary school during her teaching practice and her class was Primary 1. The pupils were described as being of average ability in comparison with the population of pupils in Hong Kong. The topic of the observed lesson was tided tide 1  
n.
1.
a. The periodic variation in the surface level of the oceans and of bays, gulfs, inlets, and estuaries, caused by gravitational attraction of the moon and sun.

b.
 'Magnets are interesting'. The learning objective for the lesson was that pupils should come to know that a magnet can attract iron items and that this will persist even when something is placed between the magnet and the item, but the attraction will become weaker. Hoi did not send me her lesson plan beforehand and this topic was not covered not covered Health care adjective Referring to a procedure, test or other health service to which a policy holder or insurance beneficiary is not entitled under the terms of the policy or payment system–eg, Medicare. Cf Covered.  in a textbook; she designed and prepared all the learning activities (experiments) for this lesson.

In her lesson, Hoi let her pupils explore magnets and how iron items are attracted to them, even when something is placed between the bar magnet and the item. She asked pupils to insert paper between the bar magnet and the clip. They could see the clip being attracted by the magnet even though there was paper between them. When the number of pieces of paper increased to a certain amount (approximately 50 sheets), the attraction of the clip to the magnet ceased. She then allowed her pupils to try putting different things between the bar magnet and the iron clip. The things her students tried included plastic stoppers stoppers

see stopper pad.
, glass cups, books and so on. The pupils found out that the clip was still attracted by the magnet.

Our post-lesson discussion was held immediately after the lesson. The first question I asked her was why she chose this topic. She told me that there was a science unit in the General Studies curriculum rifled ri·fle 1  
n.
1.
a. A firearm with a rifled bore, designed to be fired from the shoulder.

b. An artillery piece or naval gun with such spiral grooves.

2. rifles Troops armed with rifles.
 'Introduction to science' and the syllabus content of the unit included knowing about magnets. The next question I asked her was about the design of the experiments. She had used paper, plastic stoppers, glass cups and books and told me that these items were common items that could be found easily at home. She also stated that one purpose of the lesson was to arouse the children's (Primary 1 pupils, 6-7 years of age) interest towards science learning in addition to their cognitive cog·ni·tive
adj.
1. Of, characterized by, involving, or relating to cognition.

2. Having a basis in or reducible to empirical factual knowledge.
 development. She told me that her trial of design experiments came from her learning of 'water' and 'air' in the science module (that I had taught at the HKIEd). From my perspective, the class observation certainly indicated that the pupils were motivated mo·ti·vate  
tr.v. mo·ti·vat·ed, mo·ti·vat·ing, mo·ti·vates
To provide with an incentive; move to action; impel.



mo
 and showed interest in the learning process.

Hoi completed and returned a follow-up questionnaire to the teaching practicum designed to explore the case-study participants' reflections on their teaching and learning of primary science during their teaching practice. There were seven items in this questionnaire. The responses to these items provided information about the teaching approaches they implemented for their science lessons, comments on the EIA, the problems being encountered in the implementation of teaching approaches in teaching practice, and ways of dealing with any difficulties or problems. Hoi's collated responses are included below.
   I let pupils in small group trial the experiments. The experiment
   was about how a magnet can attract iron items through obstacles or
   even though some things are put in between them. I hoped that they
   self experienced the process of learning and that they would learn
   through the process ... Through the use of experimental inquiry
   method, pupils will better understand what they have learned. It is
   also easier for them to grasp some abstract concepts ... You taught
   us about carrying out experiments in groups in topics such as
   'water'. Through experiments, you taught us the process of water
   treatment, such as how to filter muddy water and sterilise water for
   drinking and why fluorine is added and so on ... The approach you
   used with us is suitable for me to use in teaching primary science
   ... [but] there is [in schools] a shortage of resources for
   experiments, and my experience (of using experimental inquiry
   approach) in teaching primary science is not adequate; [I think]
   more training of teachers is required.


Conclusion

Hoi's case-study shows that these teachers could design simple experiments and respond to topics and ideas about student engagement and experimentation, and go beyond the simple delivery of textbook information. She illustrated that she understood the positive effect on knowledge construction of using experiments and teaching using an EIA. She clearly linked her use of the EIA with the teaching of the 'water' science module at the HKIEd. And it certainly appears as though that experience was sufficient to encourage her to try a similar approach in her own primary school teaching.

Hoi's case study was selected from the four possibilities because her science background could be regarded as normal for HKIEd primary student teachers. As such, she also illustrated a confidence and certainty CERTAINTY, UNCERTAINTY, contracts. In matters of obligation, a thing is certain, when its essence, quality, and quantity, are described, distinctly set forth, Dig. 12, 1, 6. It is uncertain, when the description is not that of one individual object, but designates only the kind. Louis.  in teaching through the EIA that was quite surprising to me and that highlighted her adoption of this approach out of the content areas that she had experienced in her science module at the HKIEd. Therefore it seems reasonable to conclude that Hoi is illustrative il·lus·tra·tive  
adj.
Acting or serving as an illustration.



il·lustra·tive·ly adv.

Adj. 1.
 of the fact that experiencing teaching and learning of science through the EIA can have an impact on student teachers' views, and eventually practices, of science.

Hoi is indicative of the somewhat contradictory views and perceptions of science teaching and learning that were highlighted through the questionnaire and open-ended item responses. She illustrates that, despite the many underlying issues that influence student teachers' views of teaching and learning primary science, there are real possibilities for change if preservice teachers are given the opportunity to learn science in ways different from the status quo of their school and traditional university training. This outcome is one to which science teacher educators This is a list of educators. See also: Education, List of education topics.
External link:

General
Category:
 need to give careful attention in developing their approach to teaching about science to the next generation of primary teachers in Hong Kong.

Keywords Keywords are the words that are used to reveal the internal structure of an author's reasoning. While they are used primarily for rhetoric, they are also used in a strictly grammatical sense for structural composition, reasoning, and comprehension.  

experimental teaching inquiry learning strategies primary school science science teaching teacher education

Appendix

Questionnaire

Views of science and teaching and learning of science

This questionnaire serves to probe views about science and teaching and learning of science. It is for research use only and has no bearing on your assessment in this unit. Please answer each item by placing a TICK tick: see mite.
tick

Any of some 825 parasitic arachnid species (suborder Ixodida, order Parasitiformes), found worldwide. Adults may be slightly more than an inch (30 mm) long, but most species are much smaller.
 ([check]) in one of the boxes provided. Please note that SA = Strongly agree, A = Agree, D = Disagree, and SD = Strongly disagree.

Please circle the following as appropriate to your science background in school. Level of study of science in schools: F3 F5 F7 Tertiary
No.   Item                              SA    A    D    SD    Unsure

1.    Science provides learners with
      knowledge, understanding and
      appreciation of our world.

2.    Science teaching should
      emphasize teaching the
      scientific facts.

3.    Children have their own ideas
      about how things happen and
      this influences their learning
      of science.

4.    Learners develop enthusiasm
      for science and wonder at the
      physical and biological world.

5.    When making scientific
      observations, all observers
      will observe the same thing.

6.    Science provides learners with
      general problem solving skills
      in a scientific context.

7.    Science is a logical, ordered
      and exact discipline in which
      there is no place for personal
      opinions.

8.    Children understand science
      knowledge, for example the
      formation of fog in air, by
      memorizing the facts described
      in the textbook.

9.    A science teacher should
      provide children with good
      structured sets of notes on
      each topic, something they can
      take away and learn.

10.   Children understand science
      knowledge, for example the
      rusting or iron, through doing
      experimental investigations.

11.   To help children construct
      science knowledge, the teacher
      must provide them with
      detailed explanations of the
      content in textbooks.

12.   Teachers should try to
      understand what knowledge
      children bring with them into
      the classroom.

13.   Scientific knowledge may
      change. What is regarded as
      true now may be replaced by
      new findings in the future.

14.   Science teaching should
      concentrate on developing
      children's understanding of
      the processes of science and
      on developing their skills in
      science.

15.   Hands-on and minds-on
      experimental investigation is
      an essential process in
      learning and teaching science.


Thank you for your participation.
Table 1 Sample in this study

Level of study of science in schools

Gender   Secondary 3   Secondary 5   Secondary 7   Tertiary   Total

Male         14             4             9           2         29
Female       72             9            35           3        119
Total        86            13            44           5        148

Table 2 Item 2--Science teaching should emphasise teaching the
scientific facts.

                                            Post-test

                                Strongly
                                   agree    Agree    Disagree

Pre-test   Strongly agree             13       10           2
           Agree                      32       57           6
           Disagree                    6       11           9
           Strongly disagree           1
Total                                 52       78          17

                                     Post-test

                                Strongly
                                disagree    Total

Pre-test   Strongly agree                      25
           Agree                               95
           Disagree                    1       27
           Strongly disagree                    1
Total                                  1      148

Table 3 Item 3--Children have their own ideas about how things happen
and this influences their learning of science.

                                            Post-test

                                Strongly
                                   agree    Agree    Disagree

Pre-test   Strongly agree              8       13
           Agree                      22       67          11
           Disagree                    4       10          11
           Strongly disagree                                1
Total                                 34       90          23

                                     Post-test

                                Strongly
                                disagree    Total

Pre-test   Strongly agree                      21
           Agree                              100
           Disagree                    1       26
           Strongly disagree                    1
Total                                  1      148

Table 4 Item 8--Children understand science knowledge, for example the
formation of fog in air, by memorising the facts described in the
textbook.

                                            Post-test

                                Strongly
                                   agree    Agree    Disagree

Pre-test   Strongly agree                                   1
           Agree                       1       13          24
           Disagree                    1       10          57
           Strongly disagree           1        4           9
Total                                  3       27          91

                                     Post-test

                                Strongly
                                disagree    Total

Pre-test   Strongly agree                       1
           Agree                       5       43
           Disagree                   10       78
           Strongly disagree          12       26
Total                                 27      148

Table 5 Item 9--A science teacher should provide children with good
structured sets of notes on each topic, something they can take
away and learn.

                                            Post-test

                                Strongly
                                   agree    Agree    Disagree

Pre-test   Strongly agree              2       12           1
           Agree                       8       67          16
           Disagree                    2       17          17
           Strongly disagree                    1           1
Total                                 12       97          35

                                     Post-test

                                Strongly
                                disagree    Total

Pre-test   Strongly agree              1       16
           Agree                               91
           Disagree                    2       38
           Strongly disagree           1        3
Total                                  4      148

Table 6 Item 10--Children understand science knowledge, for example
the rusting of iron, through doing experimental investigations.

                                            Post-test

                                Strongly
                                   agree    Agree    Disagree

Pre-test   Strongly agree             15       15           3
           Agree                      18       47          10
           Disagree                    5       17          15
           Strongly disagree           1        1
Total                                 39       80          28

                                     Post-test

                                Strongly
                                disagree    Total

Pre-test   Strongly agree                      33
           Agree                               75
           Disagree                            37
           Strongly disagree           1        3
Total                                  1      148

Table 7 Item 11--To help children construct science knowledge, the
teacher must provide them with detailed explanations of the
content in textbooks.

                                            Post-test

                                Strongly
                                   agree    Agree    Disagree

Pre-test   Strongly agree              5        7           2
           Agree                      13       64          19
           Disagree                    1       12          20
           Strongly disagree                                1
Total                                 19       83          42

                                     Post-test

                                Strongly
                                disagree    Total

Pre-test   Strongly agree                      14
           Agree                       1       97
           Disagree                    2       35
           Strongly disagree                    1
Total                                  3      147

Table 8 Item 12--Teachers should try to understand what knowledge
children bring with them into the classroom.

                                            Post-test

                                Strongly
                                   agree    Agree    Disagree

Pre-test   Strongly agree             38       25
           Agree                      24       56           1
           Disagree                             2           1
           Strongly disagree
Total                                 62       83           2

                                     Post-test

                                Strongly
                                disagree    Total

Pre-test   Strongly agree              1       64
           Agree                               81
           Disagree                             3
           Strongly disagree
Total                                  1      148

Table 9 Item 15--Hands-on and minds-on experimental investigation is
an essential process in learning and teaching science.

                                            Post-test

                                Strongly
                                   agree    Agree    Disagree

Pre-test   Strongly agree             25       15           1
           Agree                      34       65
           Disagree                    1        4           2
           Strongly disagree           1
Total                                 61       84           3

                                     Post-test

                                Strongly
                                disagree    Total

Pre-test   Strongly agree                      41
           Agree                               99
           Disagree                             7
           Strongly disagree                    1
Total                                         148

Table 10 Frequency counts for the reasons of using EIA in future
teaching

Reasons for using EIA in future teaching of sciencein GS     Frequency

Children feel interested and the experiments motivate to
learn science.                                                   81

Active participation leads to effective knowledge
construction.                                                    76

Experiments are manageable and can be conducted in primary
classroom.                                                       34

EIA develops thinking or inquiry skills, stimulates
investigation.                                                   15

Table 11 Constraining factors for using EIA in teaching primary science

Factors                                                       Frequency

Resources for conducting experiments                              59

Time for teaching the subject (Conducting experiments is
time cosuming.)                                                   44

School policy, headmaster's/headmistress's or teachers'
objections/opinions                                               32

Class environment such as class size, space for experiments       29

Pupils' acceptance of or opinions on inquiry approach             25

Safety/Management of experiments                                  17

Lesson arrangement                                                13

Content of the science topics/Nature of experiments               12

Pupils' discipline/behaviour                                       8

Pupils' ability                                                    8

Preparation time for lessons/experiments                           5

Parents' opinions/objection                                        4

Teachers' competence/ability                                       2


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* It may require general cleanup to meet Wikipedia's quality standards.

Please help [ improve the article] or discuss these issues on the talk page.
This article is about the thesis in academia.
. Monash University Facilities in are diverse and vary in services offered. Information on residential sevices at Monash University, including on-campus (MRS managed) and off-campus, can be found at [2] Student organisations , Clayton, Victoria Clayton is a suburb in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. Its Local Government Area is the City of Monash. Overview
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  • ISSN 1442-679X
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 Education Research Association, Fremantle, Western Australia “Fremantle” redirects here. For other uses, see Fremantle (disambiguation).
Fremantle is a port city in Western Australia, located 19 kilometres (12 mi) 
.

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Ma, Hon Hon abbr (= honourable, honorary) → en títulos  Suen is a Senior Lecturer senior lecturer
n. Chiefly British
A university teacher, especially one ranking next below a reader.
 in the Science Department of the Hong Kong Institute of Education, 10 Lo Ping Road, Tai Po
''For the district in Hong Kong, see Tai Po District.
''For the new town in Hong Kong, see Tai Po New Town.
Tai Po (Traditional Chinese: 大埔 
, New Territories, Hong Kong. E-mail: hsma@ied.edu See .edu.

(networking) edu - ("education") The top-level domain for educational establishments in the USA (and some other countries). E.g. "mit.edu". The UK equivalent is "ac.uk".
.hk
COPYRIGHT 2004 Australian Council for Educational Research
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2004, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Author:Ma, Hon Suen
Publication:Australian Journal of Education
Geographic Code:8AUST
Date:Aug 1, 2004
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