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Encouraging Collaborative Learning Environment in Science Classroom

 

 

Encouraging Collaborative Learning Environment in Science Classroom

Rakesh Kumar

Assistant Professor

MV COLLEGE OF EDUCATION,

University of Delhi.

Abstract

With the advent of Constructivism in science education, it became more and more difficult to assume that the teacher is source of all the knowledge that can be poured into the minds of the learners. The idea that the teacher and the learners learn from each other took precedence. The primacy of teacher became limited to designing the teaching learning environment so that appropriate experiences can be provided to the learners. In this context, the learners learn not just from the teachers but from each other too. In a collaborative learning environment full of cooperation, interconnectedness, flexibility that is not presented in the traditional learning environments. The framework needs to be tested on the basis of notional achievements. The present study is based upon the feedback from pre-service teachers who have planned their science lessons in informal learning environments framework. It seeks to find out how much do the pre-service teachers perceive to have encouraged their learners to participate in the collaborative learning environments designed for them. The data collected reveals that the range is 1.60 for which minimum value is .40 and maximum value is 2.00. It shows a very high difference between minimum and maximum value. The mean is 1.2157 which means most of the teachers agree that they encouraged collaborative learning environment and it can also be seen in the graph. Standard deviation is .36590 which indicates that most of the teachers scored between .84 and 1.58. Skewness is -.059 which is moderately negatively skewed i.e. the number of low scorers are more than number of high scorers. We can also see in the graph that the left tail is longer than the right one which indicates negative Skewness. Kurtosis is .832 with standard error .833 which shows that the distribution is slightly leptokurtic. Thus, the teachers seem to perceive that they have been able to encourage collaborative learning environments in their classrooms. The study concludes that informal teaching learning framework and setting has the potential of providing constructivists learning environments for the classroom. In such a way that collaboration and mutual learning can be taken up at the college level.

Key Words: Culture of science, Collaborative Learning Environment, Science Classroom, Pre-service Science Teacher Education

Introduction:

With the advent of Constructivism in science education, it became more and more difficult to assume that the teacher is source of all the knowledge that can be poured into the minds of the learners. The idea that the teacher and the learners learn from each other took precedence. The primacy of teacher became limited to designing the teaching learning environment so that appropriate experiences can be provided to the learners. In this context, the learners learn not just from the teachers but from each other too. Interconnectedness of the teachers and learners and the resource material became important in thus envisaged collaborative learning models. (Brandwein, 2010) talks about iterconnectedness to emphasise that perhaps, the family-school-community, college-university, and cultural ecosystems would contribute to the brilliance of the world if, in their interconnectedness, they would lend their collaborative resources to all young who aspire and are capable of achieving. Then, students who acquire the trained intelligence—in whatever capacity—desiring to enter the sciences prized in the United States would fulfil their powers in the pursuit of excellence. And, as they shaped their own opportunities, they would begin to define their self-concepts as well. They would know, from the beginning, that the massive achievements characterizing scientific research generally result from the works of scientists in all categories: From artisan to novice to eminent scientist (Brandwein, 2010).

(Howe, 2010) advocated the use resources for students, teachers and educational leaders to (a) teach the concept-seeking ways of scientists, (b) help students gain meaning from understanding their world, (c) increase interest in science, (d) become curious, (e) develop investigative and reasoning skills, (f) gain skills in using information from investigations for future research and knowledge building, and (g) nurture the science prone, for instruction that involved a variety of resources and settings. There are many ways to investigate and many places where instruction and investigation should take place, including classrooms; school libraries; school, industrial, and college laboratories; outdoor areas; homes; and other sites.

Why did physicists continue to use the diagrams, often basing entire calculational and pedagogical programs on them, even as the problem for which they were invented faded from view? In part because of visual links with other learned practices, such as Minkowski diagrams. These links were largely shared across local groups and national borders; thanks to decades of systematic training, they had become second nature to generations of physicists long before Feynman began doodling his new diagrams. Thus, whereas much of the diagrams’ pedagogical dispersion highlighted local groups and face-to-face communication, at least some of the diagrams’ dispersion and staying power must be understood in terms of more broadly shared pedagogical resources (Kaiser, 2005).

(Heidi & Andrew) linked mediating conceptual change with what scientists do. “Certain interventions, in particular those involving an explanation of what scientists expected to happen and why, were very effective in mediating conceptual change when encountering counterintuitive evidence. With particular scaffolds, children made observations independent of theory, and they changed their beliefs based on observed evidence” (Novak & Duschl, 1993). This also support the experiencing of science has discussed in earlier sections. (Taber, 2003) reviewed many researches to support the role of metacognition of addressing alternative frameworks metaphors are needed to be specifically built for the teachers so that these are not formed. “Given time and suitable instruction, learners can often manage to develop and improve their mental models so that they bring them closer to the curriculum targets. However, this can be a slow process” (Taber, 2003).

It has often seemed that the ideal science lesson is one in which pupils are actively engaged in bench work for a lot of their time. We expect to see them busily wiring a circuit with different numbers of bulbs, washing inks across absorbent paper, timing the fall of little parachutes, or soaking wrinkled raisins to see them swell. As teachers we have taken a pride in organizing such events, because the pupils handle real materials and we believe that they ‘learn by doing’ rather than just by being told. We have seen ourselves as ‘managers of learning’ rather than as didactic dispensers of information. It seems quite odd therefore to question the system, particularly as I do not wish to imply that hands-on experience is not important. Nevertheless, there is a problem. Practical work seems to offer many opportunities for interpretive activity, as we can say: ‘What is going on here? What do you think is happening? Write down what happened.’ Unfortunately, that kind of invitation places the pupil not in the reasonable role of interpreting what someone is trying to say, but in the more difficult role of interpreting nature. It is a tall order, when thoughtful minds have struggled for decades over the same phenomena! No wonder the experience sometimes fails to boost the self-esteem of the learners, and their confidence in the value of their own ideas (Sutton, 1993)!

Need and Significance:

In the extended notion of collaborative learning environments, the community and community resources can play a vital role. We all understand that the world is not made up of unrelated disciplines like physics, chemistry, economics, history, political science etc. the use of community resources can help the building up the interdisciplinary dimension of science learning by placing it into a context that is a part of the learner's life. This has the potential of assisting the learners in dissolving boundaries of the discipline. The teacher can develop interdisciplinary themes of learning along with the learners. Community resources like museums, natural sites and centres, garden and zoos, aquaria are some of the examples. Some of the unconventional community resources may be a fabric store, a neighbourhood factory, an automobile repair workshop, and electrical or electronic repair workshop etc. thus the absence of science museum should not be considered as a limitation for using community resource.

In order to bring community resources inside the classroom teacher can invite guest speakers to demonstrate and engage the learners in these fields of expertise. The success of this type of engagement of guest speakers in science class depends upon some of the following factors. The teacher has to discuss with the guest in advance the age appropriateness of the demonstration and engagement. Thus multiple interactions of the teacher with the guest can help both the learners and the guest. The interaction of the teacher with the learners both before and after the presentation of the guest speaker develops the context in which the learners view the presentation. If the guest is able to meet the learners more than once it can enhance the learning experience. In order to be curriculum specific the teacher should identify aims and objectives of inviting the guest speaker in terms of the curriculum.

(Dhume, Pattanshetti, Kamble, & Prasad, 2012) indicates that teachers' reflection on their practices might result in increased awareness of their own practices, shared planning and evaluation of the teaching-learning-learning process created an appropriate context for teachers' professional learning.   The study argues that teachers need personal experience with the use of information and communication technologies if the use of information and communication technologies if they are to make them an essential component of the learning environment. (Peters & Kitsantas, 2009) contends that the culture of science is passed down from generation to generation through science classes. If each generation receives the idea that science is a body of knowledge and has no access to the nature of science, knowledge about how science generates and verifies knowledge will no longer be part of the public’s understanding of science. Education has a responsibility to teach learners how to think like a scientist in order to continue to be progressive, critical thinkers in our technological future. The idea of being a critical thinker in the progressive future is not a utilitarian one, but is integrated with the development of the human being while culture of science is being practiced.

In a collaborative learning environment full of cooperation, interconnectedness, flexibility that is not presented in the traditional learning environments. The framework needs to be tested on the basis of notional achievements. The present study is based upon the feedback from pre-service teachers who have planned their science lessons in informal learning environments framework. It seeks to find out how much do the pre-service teachers perceive to have encouraged their learners to participate in the collaborative learning environments designed for them.

  Research Methodology
   Research Questions and Objective

The following question is the focus:

How do science teachers perceive their natural dispositions towards encouraging collaborative learning environment as a part of the teaching-learning processes?

The study has focused on the following objective:

“Exploring teaching learning contexts in science classrooms, with special reference to encouraging collaborative learning environment as a part of the teaching-learning processes”.

 Methodology, sample and tools:

Methodology:

Reflections on his own experiences in the area of science education and review of related literature the researcher in developing some understanding in the area of developing teaching-learning processes in science. These also resulted in some questions that needed further probing. In order to probe those questions, the researcher developed a comprehensive tool to explore various issues concerned with the teaching-learning processes in the science classrooms. This tool was used for understanding the science classrooms of 38 pre-service science teachers. 8 of these science teachers did not respond and as a result, feedback was received from 30 pre-service science classrooms. Feedback responses from 592 lessons delivered by these 30 pre-service science teachers were analysed in this study. The study also contributed towards giving the science teachers. Some feedback on the interpretations and reflections done by the participants. Two days were dedicated for reflections and discussions, and the days were devoted for resolving any problems faced by the teachers in the process of analysis and reflection.

Sample

Total 38 Pre-Service Science teachers participated from two B.Ed. colleges each from University of Delhi and GGSIP University, Delhi. This ensured participation of total 18 schools in which above Pre-Service teachers had their School Life Experience Program. These teachers had diverse graduation and post-graduation subjects. First College had 8 participants and second college had 30 participant Teachers. Of these 38 participants twelve were males and 26 were females. From this group fourteen teachers were teaching class sixth, eleven were teaching class seventh, nine were teaching class eight and four were teaching class ninth. Out of total 38 Pre-Service teachers, code numbers 1.01 to code number 1.30 were given to 30 Pre-service teachers from Guru Ram Dass College of Education and 8 Pre-Service teachers from Maharishi Valmiki College of Education received code numbers 2.01 to code number 2.08. Clearly, the sample is not a random sample but a purposive one. Although no deliberate attempt was made for the sample to be homogeneous or representative, it got addressed in the process to some extent. The science teachers belonged to different socio-economic backgrounds. The science learners’ belonged to different sorts of school settings. These types of schools included all boys’ school, all girls’ schools, government, government aided and public schools. Therefore, we can say that different socio-economic backgrounds and diversity in teaching-learning settings has been represented largely in the sample.

Tools for data collection

In the present study questionnaire prepared by the researcher was used along with observations and unstructured interviews were used to enrich the data. The questionnaire was designed in the form of self- appraisal consisting of both open ended and close ended questions that can be analysed quantitatively and qualitatively both. The questionnaire design for the purpose was collected by school teachers, feel experts, and colleagues in the teacher education institutions. Some issues related to the vagueness of language formatting style, etc. were resolved in the process. This increased the authenticity of the questionnaire.

Analysis of Data

The schedule of self-assessment response, actually contained 26 items, and also had the choice of answering in terms of disagree, agree, and strongly agree. These three categories of choices are further given the marks of zero, one and two respectively. These responses in the form of marks of zero, one and two were provided as the feedback to the science teachers from the analysis. Also these responses were then collected on the Microsoft Excel sheet for the duration of overall school time interaction program of all the participating pre-service science teachers. Thus the average score of one specific teacher was obtained. And the average scores of these 30 teachers were entered in separate Excel sheet for further analysis of their responses on the items in the questionnaire. Graphs in the form of histogram and probability curve were plotted and analysed for providing pictorial ideas of the feedbacks from the learners. The descriptive which been calculated are Max, Min, Mean, Std. Deviation, Range, Kurtosis and Skewness.

 Findings

Table 1 shows the average scores of various teachers on the feedback schedule relevant to the Item “Encouraged collaborative learning environment “of the teaching-learning discourse in cost of Teachers' Self-Assessment. The analysis, explanation and appropriate graphical descriptions had been made in the mentioned discussions using the data from the Table 1. Table 2 describes the properties of unclear variables in the above table.

 

Table 1 - Individual average score of different respondents on the item: Encouraged collaborative learning environment

table_1 

 

Table 2 - Properties of undefined variables in the Table 1

 table2

 

Figure 3 - Individual average score of different respondents on the item ‘Encouraged collaborative learning environment’

 figure_1

Figure 4 - Grouped average score of different respondents on the item ‘Encouraged collaborative learning environment’

 

figure_2


 

Mean: 1.2157

Standard Deviation: .365

Range of 1 Standard Deviation: (.84 - 1.58)

Skewness: -.059

Kurtosis: .832

 Analysis and Interpretation:

The range is 1.60 for which minimum value is .40 and maximum value is 2.00. It shows a very high difference between minimum and maximum value. The mean is 1.2157 which means most of the teachers agree that they encouraged collaborative learning environment and it can also be seen in the graph. Standard deviation is .36590 which indicates that most of the teachers scored between .84 and 1.58. Skewness is -.059 which is moderately negatively skewed i.e. the number of low scorers are more than number of high scorers. We can also see in the graph that the left tail is longer than the right one which indicates negative Skewness. Kurtosis is .832 with standard error .833 which shows that the distribution is slightly leptokurtic.

Conclusion:

The teachers seem to perceive that they have been able to encourage collaborative learning environments in their classrooms. The study concludes that informal teaching learning framework and setting has the potential of providing constructivists learning environments for the classroom. In such a way that collaboration and mutual learning can be taken up at the college level.

References:

  • Brown, A. (1987). Metacognition, executive control, self-regulation, and other more mysterious mechanisms. (F. E. W. and R. H. Kluwe, Ed.)Metacognition, Motivation and Understanding. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
  • Heidi, A., & Andrew, W. (n.d.). Richard Alan Duschl, Schweingruber, Shouse (Eds.). National Academies Press. National Research Council US Committee on Science Eighth Council US Board on Science Education.
  • McComas, W. F., Clough, M. P., & Almazroa, H. (1998). A review of the role and character of the nature of science in science education. In W. F. McComas (Ed.), The nature of science in science education: Rationales and strategies (pp. 3–39). Dordrecht: Kluwer.
  • Novak, J., & Duschl, R. A. (1993). Diagnosing students’ conceptions using portfolio teaching strategies: The case of flotation and buoyancy. Ithaca, New York: Cornell University (distributed electronically).
  • Peters, E. E., & Kitsantas, A. (2009). Self‐regulation of student epistemic thinking in science: The role of metacognitive prompts. Educational Psychology, 30(1), 27–52. doi:10.1080/01443410903353294
  • Taber, K. S. (2003). Responding to alternative conceptions in the classroom. School Science Review, 84(2), 99–108.
  • Zimmerman, B. J. (1998). Developing self-fulfilling cycles of academic regulation: An analysis of exemplary instructional models. In D. H. Schunk (Ed.), Self-regulated learning: From teaching to self-reflective practice (pp. pp. 1–19). New York, NY: The Guildford Press.

 

 

 

A Study of Value of Education: Role of Teacher

A Study of Value of Education: Role of Teacher

Dr. Rajnish Pandey
Associate Professor, I/CHOD
Department of Education
Modern Institute of Education
Dhalwala, Rishikesh
Uttarakhand

Abstract

‘Value of education’ is the key word used in practicing life course such as; politics, socio-economic status, culture; ethics, moral, spiritual and religions. Education having high stake in value development has contributed immensely towards its promotion. The values influence the life patterns of the highly enthusiastic and motivated youths intermittently who act as per their varying needs, aspiration and the missions of life. The institutions and the family can inculcate the useful values in youths where they are groomed physically, emotionally, and intelligently. The new set of minds has to be conceptually enriched and prepared to understand the very basics and relevance of values education. The students of these days are more pragmatic to achieve their purported value goals.

Values can be developed, cultivated, imitated and borrowed. It can be taught and learnt too. Students have to be prepared to practice the human, eternal and spiritual values established by the community and the parents. The responsibility and accountability lie with the parents also to instill the family and community values in their wards. For the purpose, the parents have to create cohesive environment in the family free from tension to enable the new generation imitate manners, habit, and feeling pity for the poor and marginalized groups.

Several types of values can be practiced, developed, and taught like individual, social, national, and productive. The learners are the valued human resources and thus need to be promoted for them and the nation. The role of a teacher in imparting value education is very crucial. The authority have to decide as what type of value education with what contents and curriculum should be taught; separately or with regular courses.

The teachers are required to evolve suitable method, strategy and skills to cultivate the choice values. The tendency works round that the teachers in the schools should teach the value education to the students with the designed contents and curriculum. They should not prove as hurdles in teaching and learning value education. They forget that it is their secret duty to share the responsibility of value education when the children are spending more time with them. However, the teachers and the parents should be involved in the construction of value education curriculum. The role thus of the trio-students; teachers and the parents must be charted out seeing the demands of the time and needs.

The paper examines not only the role of students, teachers and parents in depth separately or together but their involvement to the extent possible in promoting value education related to the societal, ideals, moral, materialistic, esthetics, peace, non-violence, tradition, and the life patterns. The educational values require realistic objectives and contents to be taught imparted, developed and inculcated in the students by using flexible method and strategy so as they could lead a quality and value based life.

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A Study On Awareness And Usage Of Digital Information Sources And Services By P.G Students Of Kuvempu University

A Study On Awareness And Usage Of Digital Information Sources And Services By P.G Students Of Kuvempu University

Dr. Jagannath K. Dange
Assistant Professor
Department of P.G. Studies and Research in Education, JnanaSahyadri
Kuvempu University, Shankaraghatta.Shimoga-Karnataka.India
Girish T
Research scholar
Department of P.G. Studies and Research in Education, JnanaSahyadri
Savitha M
Librarian
Bangalore City College, Bangalore, Karnataka
Sushma N. Jogan
Junior Research Fellow
Gulbarga University, Gulbarga, Karnataka
Veenakumari C
Research scholar
Department of P.G. Studies and Research in Education, JnanaSahyadri

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to examine the awareness and usage of digital information sources and services, sample of 150 post graduation students. The main objectives were to study level of awareness and usage of digital information sources and services, Gender and faculty. The sample was selected purposive. Out of 150 students-75 were boys and 75 were girls. Out of these 150 students- 50 were from arts faculty, 50 from science and 50 from education faculty. The questionnaire was administered for collecting data from the students and mean, t-test and ANOVA statistical techniques were used for analysis of data. It was found that there is significant difference between previous and final year students of digital information sources awareness, digital information services awareness, and digital information sources usage. There is significant difference between arts, science and education P.G students’ digital information sources awareness, digital information services awareness, digital information sources usage and digital information services usage. But there is no significant difference between   previous and final year students’ digital information services usage, digital information sources awareness.  There is no significant difference between digital information sources usage, digital information services awareness, and digital information services usages of male and female P.G students.

Key words- Digital Information Sources, Digital Information Services, Digital Information Awareness, Digital Information Usage, Faculty, Gender and Post Graduate Students,

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A Study On Awareness And Usage Of Digital Information Sources And Services By P.G Students Of Kuvempu University

A Study On Awareness And Usage Of Digital Information Sources And Services By P.G Students Of Kuvempu University

Dr. Jagannath K. Dange
Assistant Professor
Department of P.G. Studies and Research in Education, JnanaSahyadri
Kuvempu University, Shankaraghatta.Shimoga-Karnataka.India
Girish T
Research scholar
Department of P.G. Studies and Research in Education, JnanaSahyadri
Savitha M
Librarian
Bangalore City College, Bangalore, Karnataka
Sushma N. Jogan
Junior Research Fellow
Gulbarga University, Gulbarga, Karnataka
Veenakumari C
Research scholar
Department of P.G. Studies and Research in Education, JnanaSahyadri

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to examine the awareness and usage of digital information sources and services, sample of 150 post graduation students. The main objectives were to study level of awareness and usage of digital information sources and services, Gender and faculty. The sample was selected purposive. Out of 150 students-75 were boys and 75 were girls. Out of these 150 students- 50 were from arts faculty, 50 from science and 50 from education faculty. The questionnaire was administered for collecting data from the students and mean, t-test and ANOVA statistical techniques were used for analysis of data. It was found that there is significant difference between previous and final year students of digital information sources awareness, digital information services awareness, and digital information sources usage. There is significant difference between arts, science and education P.G students’ digital information sources awareness, digital information services awareness, digital information sources usage and digital information services usage. But there is no significant difference between   previous and final year students’ digital information services usage, digital information sources awareness.  There is no significant difference between digital information sources usage, digital information services awareness, and digital information services usages of male and female P.G students.

Key words- Digital Information Sources, Digital Information Services, Digital Information Awareness, Digital Information Usage, Faculty, Gender and Post Graduate Students,

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Dr. Brinda Bazeley Kharbirymbai
Assitant Professor (Senior)
Department of Education, NEHU-Shillong.

Introduction

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