INCREASING THE RELEVANCE OF SCIENCE EDUCATION – STUDENT PREFERENCES FOR DIFFERENT TYPES OF TEACHING SCENARIOS

TitleINCREASING THE RELEVANCE OF SCIENCE EDUCATION – STUDENT PREFERENCES FOR DIFFERENT TYPES OF TEACHING SCENARIOS
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2003
AuthorsTeppo, M, Rannikmäe, M
JournalJournal of Baltic Science Education
Volume2
Issue2
Start Page49 - 61
Date PublishedMarch/2003
Type of ArticleOriginal article
ISSN1648-3898
Keywordsissue-based teaching, relevance, science education, STL teaching scenarios
Abstract

The goal of this study was to determine which issues were relevant to students and the reasons for this. Issues were presented in the form of scenarios – as a story that leads students into learning science by considering the wider goals of education. Three different categories of scenarios were defined: subject oriented, social issue-based focused on student personal experience and social issue-based, focused on global societal problems. All scenarios were developed by science teachers during a STL training course.

Two hundred and seventy two grade seven to nine students from two schools (suburban town and city) were asked to choose and evaluate the three most interesting scenarios from nine. The results of the study showed gender based differences. Girls were interested in issues that were connected with their health and outlook. Boys liked to study more about the things, which happen in society.

If we use the scenario as a “model” for relevance of science education for students, the following conclusions can be highlighted:

· Boys and girls see the relevance of science education differently and this depends also on age group. It is important to consider gender differences and students age group in designing teaching scenarios for the classroom. For making teaching more relevant for students, teachers should create various types of scenarios. Girls like to study more about things, which are connected with them (with their health and how they look). Boys are more eager to learn about problems that happen in the society (economical and environmental problems);

· Students’ and teacher’s opinions on relevance differ. 1/3 of teacher created scenarios, were irrelevant in the eyes of students. The outcomes show that the most uninteresting scenarios belong to the subject-oriented category (54% of students who answered this question didn’t like the subject oriented scenarios);

· Students free reasoning helps to develop frames for creating relevant scenarios for teaching.

Refereed DesignationRefereed