ERIC Number: ED396909
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1996-Apr
Observation in Science Classes: Students' Beliefs about Its Nature and Purpose.
Haslam, Filocha; Gunstone, Richard
The purpose of this investigation was to explore the ideas and beliefs of high school science students (n=37) about the processes of observation in their learning of science, and how these students approached the task of observing during their science experiments. Findings include: many students saw observation as a teacher-directed process; observation was often seen to have a contextual dependency; when groups of students undertake laboratory experiments, the size of the student group is a significant variable impacting on students' approaches; many students undertaking high levels of intellectual engagement reported during observing; three problems commonly intruded on students' approaches to observing were the teacher, the specific experiment, and other students; students had no word to describe inferences and poor conceptions of inference; student time off task in laboratory work was common, conscious, and seen as justified; and the commonly reported gender differences in participation in laboratory work were observed. Includes interview protocol. Contains 12 references. (MKR)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers; Tests/Questionnaires
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the National Association for Research in Science Teaching (69th, St. Louis, MO, April, 1996).