ERIC Number: ED351189
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1991-Nov
Reference Count: N/A
Teaching SciencePlus: An Observational Survey of Science Teaching in New Brunswick and Novia Scotia, Grades 7, 8 and 9.
After several years of curriculum writing workshops and field-testing of draft materials, involving approximately 150 teachers, the SciencePlus program was implemented in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick between 1986 and 1991. SciencePlus programs provide a shift from an overwhelming emphasis on fact-recall testing to a predominate emphasis on testing for understanding of concepts and ideas. The SciencePlus program has been associated with a doubling of the frequency of hands-on practical activities. The paper describes the observational research carried out during the 1990-91 school year in grade 7, 8 and 9 science classrooms in New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. Sixty-three teachers from 25 randomly selected classrooms were observed on an unannounced drop-in basis for 165 lessons. During only 12.7 percent of the observed class time was whole class non-interactive teaching taking place, which was a decrease from the 35 percent level found in 1977. Students were found to be engaged in hands-on explorations during more than one-quarter of the lessons observed. Demonstrations were equally frequent and were usually conducted as part of a heuristic strategy, with extensive student input and guidance. Seventy-two percent of the class time was used for meaningful learning. The following improvements are needed: (1) greater use of cooperative learning; (2) a uniformly high rate of occurrence of hands-on, minds-on learning; (3) more student-initiated learning; and (4) more attention to science, technology, and society and the nature of science. (PR)
Descriptors: Cooperative Learning, Discussion (Teaching Technique), Educational Research, Educational Strategies, Foreign Countries, Junior High Schools, Lesson Observation Criteria, Science Education, Science Instruction, Time Factors (Learning)
Atlantic Science Curriculum Project, The University of New Brunswick, Fredericton, New Brunswick, E3B 6A3 Canada ($5 Canadian).
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: New Brunswick Dept. of Education, Fredericton (Canada).
Authoring Institution: Atlantic Science Curriculum Project, Fredericton (New Brunswick).
Identifiers: Hands on Science Activities; New Brunswick; Nova Scotia; SciencePlus