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ERIC Number: EJ886169
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008
Pages: 13
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 26
ISSN: ISSN-1094-3277
Science Laboratory Experiences of High School Students across One State in the U.S.: Descriptive Research from the Classroom
Campbell, Todd; Bohn, Chad
Science Educator, v17 n1 p36-48 Spr 2008
The National Research Council's (NRC, 2005) publication "America's Lab Report: Investigations in High School Science" provided the impetus for this study. In the NRC report, the experiences of high school students nationally are described along with recommendations for improving and supporting these experiences. Since the NRC report was published and this research project was initiated, science laboratory experiences for students have received still greater prominence in the U.S. as leaders of the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) testified to the U.S. House of Representatives Subcommittee on Research and Science Education. This research was initiated and conducted in Utah where science education leaders have expressed a commitment to science laboratory experiences aligned to those articulated by leading science organizations. Utah is not unique in its interest in science laboratory experiences for students. Most other states nationally, as well as most nations globally, have long been proponents of science laboratory experiences. While the NRC's (2005) report provides important information about science laboratory experiences occurring in schools nationally and guidance for improving these experiences, the review of the research evidence for synthesizing this report was drawn from the following three strands: (1) cognitive research; (2) research into stand alone labs; and (3) research projects sequencing laboratory experiences within the science instructional unit. Very few research projects have been undertaken on a large scale spanning a significant geographic area to provide an account of the actual experiences of high school students. The science education leaders of Utah recognized the limited amount of data available to describe the actual experiences of high school students, and more specifically, the lack of data available in Utah that could be used to plan supportive initiatives for ensuring the quality of these experiences. This research sought to address this deficiency by employing both quantitative and qualitative methods to illuminate students' experiences in science laboratories, as well as the perceived needs of teachers facilitating them. Just as Utah science education leaders saw this research as the initial step in the process of helping committed science teachers continually improve laboratory experiences, it can also serve to focus and direct other states and nations in appraising and improving their own students' experiences. (Contains 3 tables and 1 figure.)
National Science Education Leadership Association. P.O. Box 99381, Raleigh, NC 27624-9381. Tel: 919-848-8171; Fax: 919-848-0496; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: High Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Utah