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ERIC Number: ED351189
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1991-Nov
Pages: 48
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Teaching SciencePlus: An Observational Survey of Science Teaching in New Brunswick and Novia Scotia, Grades 7, 8 and 9.
McFadden, Charles
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)
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
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: New Brunswick Dept. of Education, Fredericton (Canada).
Authoring Institution: Atlantic Science Curriculum Project, Fredericton (New Brunswick).
Identifiers - Location: Canada