CONCEPTUAL FRAMEWORK INTRODUCTION Science is both a body of knowledge that represents current understanding of natural systems and the process whereby that body of knowledge has been established and is being continually extended, refined, and revised.
Science almost revolutionaries human life and proved indispensable for existence of man. According to Okon Enoh, (2008) science is a way of seeking information (process) and also an accumulated knowledge resulting from research (products). Okoro (2013) sees science as a systematic investigation of nature with a view to understudy and harnessing them to serve human needs. Science may be regarded as the body of related courses concerned with knowledge. It consists among other component Chemistry, Physics, Biology, Mathematics, Astronomy, Agriculture.
Among these, chemistry is vigorously described as the queen of science. Realizing the role science plays in achieving self reliance and intellectual development. Chemistry is the central in the drive of global sustainable economic development.
It plays the major roles in food (fertilizers and insecticides), clothing (textile fibers), housing (cement, concrete, steel, bricks), Medicine (drugs), Transportation (fuel, alloy materials). Presently, man is experiencing an era in scientific and technological development that affects his life in one way or the other. Virtually everything we use daily involves science. There are different perspectives for the process of science. If it is viewed from the perspective of science as a process of reasoning about evidence, one sees that logical argumentation and problem-solving skills are important. Certain aspects of meta-cognition are also highlighted, such as the ability to be aware when ones previously held convictions are in conflict with an observation. If it is viewed at science as a process of theory change, one sees that teachers must recognize the role of students prior conceptions about a subject and facilitate the necessary processes of conceptual change and development. Finally, when it is viewed at science as a process of participation in the culture of scientific practice, attention is drawn to the ways in which childrens individual cultural and social backgrounds can create barriers to science participation and learning due to possible conflicts of cultural norms or practices with those of science.
3.1 NATURE OF SCIENCE Science is a multifaceted concept and the best way to understand the nature of science is to scientific literacy. Current science education reform efforts emphasize scientific literacy as the principal goal of science education (American Association for the Advancement of Science, 1989 1993). Reform documents describe scientific literacy as the ability to understand science, to recognize and appreciate the contributions of science, and to be able to use science in decision-making on both everyday and socio-scientific issues.
Science educators have identified three domains of science that are critical to developing scientific literacy. The first one is the body of scientific knowledge. This is the most familiar and concrete domain, and includes the scientific facts, concepts, theories, and laws typically presented in science textbooks. Scientific methods and processes comprise the second domain, which describes the wide variety of methods that scientists use to generate the knowledge contained in the first domain.
Science curricula delve into this domain when they address process skills and scientific methodology. The third domain is far most abstract and least familiar of the three. This domain seeks to describe the nature of the scientific enterprise, and the characteristics of the knowledge it generates. Science educators have promoted a variety of justifications for teaching about the nature of science. For example, Matthews (1997) has arg ued that the nature of science is inherent to many critical issues in science education. Others have related teaching about the nature of science to increased student interest (Lederman, 1999 Meyling, 1997), as well as developing awareness of the impacts of science in society (Driver, Leach, Millar, Scott, 1996). Perhaps the most basic justification for teaching the nature of science is simply to help students develop accurate views of what science is, including the types of questions science can answer, how science differs from other disciplines, and the strengths and limitations of scientific knowledge (Bell, 2008). When describing the nature of science, science educators have converged on a key set of ideas that are viewed as most practical in the school setting and potentially most useful in developing scientific literacy.
These include the following concepts Tentativeness. All scientific knowledge is subject to change in light of new evidence and new ways of thinking even scientific laws change. New ideas in science are often received with a degree of skepticism, especially if they are contrary to well-established scientific concepts. On the other hand, scientific knowledge, once generally accepted, can be robust and durable. Many ideas in science have survived repeated challenges, and have remained largely unchanged for hundreds of years. Thus, it is reasonable to have confidence in scientific knowledge, even while realizing that such knowledge may change in the future.
Empirical evidence. Scientific knowledge relies heavily upon empirical evidence. Empirical refers to both quantitative and qualitative data.
While some scientific concepts are highly theoretical in that they are derived primarily from logic and reasoning, ultimately, all scientific ideas must confirm to observational or experimental data to be considered valid. Observation and inference. Science involves more than the accumulation of countless observations rather, it is derived from a combination of observation and inference. Observation refers to using the five senses to gather information, often augmented with technology.
Inference involves developing explanations from observations and often involves entities that are not directly observable. Scientific laws and theories. In science, a law is a succinct description of relationships or patterns in nature consistently observed in nature. Laws are often expressed in mathematical terms. A scientific theory is a well-supported explanation of natural phenomena.
Thus, theories and laws constitute two distinct types of knowledge. One can never change into the other. On the other hand, they are similar in that they both have substantial supporting evidence and are widely accepted by scientists. Scientific methods. There is no single universal scientific method. Scientists employ a wide variety of approaches to generate scientific knowledge, including observation, inference, experimentation, and even chance discovery.
Creativity Creativity is a source of innovation and inspiration in science. Scientists use creativity and imagination throughout their investigations. Objectivity and subjectivity. Scientists tend to be skeptical and apply self-checking mechanisms such as peer review in order to improve objectivity.
In other words, intuition, personal beliefs, and societal values all play significant roles in the development of scientific knowledge. Thus, subjectivity can never be completely eliminated from the scientific enterprise. 3.2 SCIENCE EDUCATION The overarching aim of science education is to provide learning experiences for students to engage in processes for scientific understanding and the application of science, and to recognize the impacts of scientific and technological developments. These learning experiences will lay the foundation for students to communicate and make informed judgments based on scientific evidence, develop further in science and technology, and become life-long learners in science and technology. Science and technology have become the leading foundation of global development. Both subjects continue to improve the quality of life as new findings, inventions, and creations emerge from the basis of science.
To quote Albert Einstein, the goal of education is to produce independently thinking and acting individuals. The eventual goal of science education is to produce individuals capable of understanding and evaluating information that is, or purports to be, scientific in nature and of making decisions that incorporate that information appropriately and to produce a sufficient number and diversity of skilled and motivated future scientists, engineers, and other science-based professionals. In the modern world, some knowledge of science is essential for everyone.
Science knowledge is important because Science is a significant part of human culture and represents one of the pinnacles of human thinking capacity. It provides a laboratory of common experience for development of language, logic, and problem-solving skills in the classroom. A democracy demands that its citizens make personal and community decisions about issues in which scientific information plays a fundamental role, and they hence need knowledge of science as well as an understanding of scientific methodology. The nation is dependent on the technical and scientific abilities of its citizens for its economic competitiveness and national needs. Aims of Science Education The teaching of science offers students the ability to access a wealth of knowledge and information which will contribute to an overall understanding of how and why things work like they do. Science is able to explain the mechanics and reasons behind the daily functioning of complex systems, which range from the human body to sophisticated modern methods of transport. Children and students are able to use this knowledge to understand new concepts, make well-informed decisions and pursue new interests. Science also helps to provide tactile or visible proof of many facts.
Many students find science extremely inspiring and interesting. Science instills a sense of intrigue and enables students to develop understanding and form questions based both on the knowledge they already have and the insight they wish to gain in the future. Students who excel in science lessons are likely to develop a strong ability to think critically. To summarize science education enables the learner to Develop citizens able to participate fully in economic, political and social choices in technology led environments. Provide appropriate preparations for modern work, innovation and competition. Stimulate intellectual and moral growth to help students develop into rational autonomous individuals. Train specialists in science, research and technology development. The general aims of science education follow directly from the six criteria of validity cognitive, content, process, historical, environmental and ethical.
Know the facts and principles of science and its applications, consistent with the stage of cognitive development Acquire the skills and understand the methods and processes that lead to generation and validation of scientific knowledge Acquire the requisite theoretical knowledge and practical technological skills to enter the world of work Nurture the natural curiosity, aesthetic sense and creativity in science and technology Imbibe the values of honesty, integrity, cooperation, concern for life and preservation of environment Cultivate scientific temper-objectivity, critical thinking and freedom from fear and prejudice. 3.3 SCIENCE IN SCHOOL CURRICULUM The science curriculum in the elementary grades should be designed for all students to develop critical basic knowledge and basic skills, interests, and habits of mind that will lead to productive efforts to learn and understand the subject more deeply in later grades. It is not necessary in these grades to distinguish between those who will eventually become scientists and those who will chiefly use their knowledge of science in making personal and societal choices. A good elementary science program will provide the basis for either path in later life. At the lower primary level, elements of science are integrated across the curriculum.
Students who later work in a field unrelated to the sciences have to have a foundation for understanding their world that allows them to make informed decisions. Knowledge of the methods of observation and experiment in the different branches of Science helps student to develop a logical mind, a critical judgment and a capacity for methodical organization. Science is useful in that it remedies some of the defects of the ordinary school education. It is found to be the most valuable element in the education of those who show special aptitude and it provides discipline of mind. The main aim of science at the primary level is to lay the foundation for building a society, which is culturally scientific and technological, caring, dynamic and progressive. This is to be achieved through providing opportunities for students to acquire sufficient skills, knowledge and values through experiential learning that inculcates the sense of responsibility towards the environment and a high regard of natures creation. Teaching lessons that deal with scientific phenomena can form the foundation for a permanent interest in the sciences. Emphasis is given on the mastery of scientific skills needed to study and understand the world.
Scientific skills refer to process skills and manipulative skills. The aim is to spark the interest of the students in the sciences and prevent them from disliking and rejecting the sciences and possibly scientific professions as the result of negative experiences at school. CONCEPT OF CHEMISTRY EDUCATION Chemistry education is the systematic process of acquiring the fundamental knowledge about the universe. With these indispensable knowledge richly acquired, man can shape and reshape his world for his benefit. Chemistry Education can be seen as the acquisition of knowledge or ideals relevant to chemistry. It is concerned with the impartment of knowledge on properties, components, transformations and interactions of matter.
Chemistry can be used to find solution to problems of everyday activates in science, industry, technology, government, educational sector and economics. Some of the industries that obviously cannot do without chemistry include cosmetics industry, brewery industry, chemical industry, textile industry, food processing and technology industry, forestry, agricultural industry, petroleum, pharmaceutical industry etc. The impact of chemistry on technology involves the process of bringing manufacturing inventories and sculpturing, designing etc.
Technology can be seen as the application of scientific knowledge, skills, work, attitudes, tools and equipment in evaluation of new processes and adoption of these processes to the production of goods and services for the benefit of mankind (Hornby, 2010). Chemistry education plays an important role in enhancing the quality of teaching and research as well as ensuring that students are equipped with good knowledge to produce intensive goods and services to meet human needs for food, health care products and other materials aimed at improving the quality of life. Every single material thing in the universe is a chemical and the ability to understand and manipulate these chemicals is responsible for everything from modern food and drugs to plastics and computers. Chemistry education is needed in the professional development of chemical industries required in the establishment of modern technology and operation of chemical industries. Chemistry education has been identified to be one of the major bedrock for the transformation of our national economy. Hence, the development of the nation is usually measured by the degree and extent of growth brought to it through the enterprise of science education and a gate way to it is chemistry education.
Chemistry education is the vehicle through which chemical knowledge and skill reach the people who are in need of capacities and potentials for development. CHEMISTRY IN SCHOOL CURRICULUM The aims of the Chemistry curriculum for secondary school are to provide students with the knowledge and skills in chemistry and technology and enable them to solve problems and make decisions in everyday life based on scientific attitudes and noble values. Students who have followed the Chemistry curriculum will have a basic foundation in chemistry to enable them to pursue formal and informal further education in science and technology. The curriculum also aims to develop a dynamic and progressive society with a science and technology culture that values nature and works towards the preservation and conservation of the environment. The Chemistry curriculum for secondary school enables students to Acquire knowledge in chemistry and technology in the context of natural phenomena and everyday life experiences. Understand developments in the field of chemistry and technology. Acquire scientific and thinking skills. Apply knowledge and skills in a creative and critical manner to solve problems and make decisions.
Face challenges in the scientific and technological world and be willing to contribute towards the development of science and technology. Evaluate science and technology related information wisely and effectively. Practice and internalize scientific attitudes and good moral values. Appreciate the contributions of science and technology towards national development and the well-being of mankind. Realize that scientific discoveries are the result of human endeavor to the best of his or her intellectual and mental capabilities to understand natural phenomena for the betterment of mankind. Be aware of the need to love and care for the environment and play an active role in its preservation and conservation. Content Organization The chemistry curriculum is organized by topics.
Each topic consists of various learning areas, each of which consists of a number of learning objectives. A learning objective has one or more learning outcomes. Learning outcomes are written based on the hierarchy of the cognitive and affective domains. Levels in the cognitive domain are knowledge, understanding, application, analysis, synthesis and evaluation. The inculcation of scientific attitudes and noble values should be integrated into every learning activity.
Teaching and learning strategies in the science curriculum emphasize thoughtful learning. Thoughtful learning is a process that helps students acquire knowledge and master skills that will help them develop their mind to an optimum level. Thoughtful learning can occur through various learning approaches such as inquiry, constructivism, contextual learning, and mastery learning. These learning approaches encompass learning methods such as experiments, discussions, simulations, projects, visits and future studies. Through the use of technology such as television, radio, video, computer and internet, the teaching and learning of science can be made more interesting and effective. Computer simulation and animation are effective tools for the teaching and learning of abstract or difficult science concepts.
Computer simulation and animation can be presented through courseware or web page. The use of technology will enhance the effectiveness of teaching and learning of science besides optimizing the intended learning outcomes. Scientific Skills Scientific skills encompass science process skills and manipulative skills.
Science process skills promote thinking in a critical, creative, analytical and systematic manner. The mastering of science process skills together with scientific attitudes and knowledge will enable the students to think, formulate questions and find out answers systematically. Scientific Attitudes and Noble Values Science learning experiences can be used as a mean to inculcate positive scientific attitudes and noble values in students. The inculcation of scientific attitudes and noble values can be done through proper planning or spontaneously. In this curriculum, the learning objectives for the affective domain are articulated as specific learning outcomes. The specific activities to achieve the learning objectives have also been suggested. Knowledge Content The curriculum content is organized based on the following themes 1. Introduction to Chemistry 2.
Matter Around Us 3. Interactions Between Chemicals 4. Production and Management of Manufactured Chemicals LEARNING DIFFICULTIES IN CHEMISTRY Chemistry is often regarded as a difficult subject. Chemistry topics are generally related to or based on the structure of matter and it proved a difficult subject for many students. Chemistry curricula commonly incorporate many abstract concepts, which are central to further learning in both Chemistry and other sciences. These abstract concepts are important because further chemistry concepts or theories cannot be easily understood if these underpinning concepts are not sufficiently grasped by the students.
The seemingly abstract nature of chemistry along with other content learning difficulties means that chemistry classes require a high level skill set. One of the essential characteristics of Chemistry is the constant interplay between the macroscopic and microscopic levels of thought, and it is this aspect of Chemistry learning that represents a significant challenge to beginners. Over a number of years, many of the above difficulty areas were subjected to systematic study to try to identify the point of difficulty and to seek common factors among the nature of these difficulties. Learning difficulties concluded by many researchers in chemistry are 1. Chemistry subject is seen as unpopular and irrelevant from the student point view. (Kracjik et al., 2001 Osborne and Collins, 2001 Pak, 1997 Sjoberg, 2001).
2. It is assumed as it does not promote higher order cognitive skills (Anderson et al., 1992 Zoller, 1993). 3. Chemistry Education leads to gaps between students wishes and teachers teaching (Hofstein et al., 2000 Yager and Weld, 2000 Holbrook and Rannikmae, 2002). 4.
Since teachers are afraid of Curriculum change and need guidance, advancement is not implemented in Curriculum and it remain unchanged (Aikenhead, 1997 Rannikmae, 2001a). Lack of Relevance The common factor linking all of the above seems to be the lack of relevance of teaching chemistry. Although school chemistry programs set out to develop conceptual understanding in students and an appreciation of the way scientists act as researchers, the relevance of the teaching in providing a useful education is not apparent (Pak, 1997 Champagne et al., 1985 Lederman, 1992 Ryan and Aikenhead, 1992). The emphasis of chemistry curricula on conceptual understanding and appreciating the nature of science tends to be irrelevant for our daily life functions, i.e., relevant to the home, the environment, and most definitely for future science-related changes and developments that might occur in our society. In other words, if students find the science (in this case chemistry) content that they learn relevant to their daily life and to the society in which they operate, there is a good chance that they will develop positive attitudes towards the subject.
In recent years, the content and pedagogy of science education have repeatedly been scrutinized. Many science education researchers attempted to re-orient science education in the direction of meaningful, authentic, relevant, and contextualized chemistry education. Today, there is much support for the idea that one major reason for the decline in interest in science is directly related to the nature and content of the current curricula, regarding both the contents and their pedagogies (Eilks, Marks, Feierabend, 2008 Grber, 2002 Gilbert, 2006 Millar Osborne, 1998).
The characteristics of the relevance issue are rather complicated and subjective. Van Aalsvoort (2004) defined four subcategories of relevance within the context of science education (Holbrook Rannikmae, 2007) Personal relevance education by making connections to pupils lives. Professional relevance education offering pupils a picture of possible professions that they might pursue in the future. Social relevance education clarifying the purpose of science in human and social issues, and Personal/social relevance education helping pupils become responsible citizens in the future. Many of students that do elect to continue to study the subject (chemistry), experience lack of relevance in it and seem to view it in an instrumental way, rather than because it is worthwhile in itself Gilbert(2006). In addition, he claimed that context-based chemistry curricula have the potential to address those challenges in chemistry education. Overload of the subject matter and presentation of isolated facts In many countries, school science curricula are described as being overloaded with content that exclusively emphasizes the inner content structure of the related academic discipline (Grber, 2002). This often leads to curricula characterized by isolated facts detached from their scientific origins (De Vos, Bulte, Pilot, 2002), and containing low levels of orientation towards relevant issues taken from students everyday life or for societal concerns (Holbrook, 2005).
As a result, student fail to make connections between the different facts and concepts presented and their practical applications, thereby missing the big picture of science and never developing confidence in its relevance. Clearly, all these have potential to influence their attitudes and interests. The curriculum overload (in chemistry) could be reduced by selecting focal events that are relevant for the students and those parts of that are needed for students to grasp the meaning of the chemistry involved in these focal events. Inadequate emphasis regarding selection and depth of topics taught Generally the working memory space of a human is limited in capacity. This limited shared space is a link between what has to be held in conscious memory, and the processing activities required to handle it, transform it, manipulate it, and get it ready for storage in long-term memory (Baddeley, 1999). When students are faced with learning situations where there is too much to handle in the limited working space, they have difficulty selecting the important information from the other less important information (Johnstone Letton, 1991). Faced with new and often conceptually complex material, the Chemistry student needs to develop skills to organize the ideas so that the working space is not overloaded.
Without the organizing structures available to the experienced teacher, the student frequently has to resort to rote learning, which does not guarantee understanding. To solve this type of problem, Johnstone (1999) has argued that teachers have to look more closely at what is known about human learning and also look at the nature of the discipline of Chemistry and its intellectual structure in an effort to harmonize them. The ability to develop strategies to cope with information overload depends heavily on the conceptual framework already established in the long-term memory. Working space cannot be expanded but it can be used more efficiently. However, this depends upon some recognizable conceptual framework that enables student to draw on old material only. Miller (1956) suggested the idea of chunking (the ability to use some strategy to bring together several items into one meaningful unit, thus reducing working space demands). Curriculum Content Chemical knowledge is learned at three levels sub-microscopic,macroscopic and symbolic, and the link between these levels should be explicitly taught.
Also, the interactions and distinctions between them are important characteristics of Chemistry learning and necessary for achievement in comprehending its concepts. According to Johnstone (1984, 1991) the nature of chemistry concepts and the way the concepts are represented (macroscopic, microscopic, or representational) makes Chemistry difficult to learn. Therefore, if students possess difficulties at one of the levels, it may influence the other.
Thus, determining and overcoming these difficulties should be our primary goals. Gabel (1993) found that kind of additional instruction is effective in helping students make connections between the three levels on which Chemistry can be both taught and understood. Sawrey (1990) found that students rarely thought about the phenomenon itself but they searched in their minds until they came upon something that fitted the conditions of the problem. Language and Communication Language has been shown to be another contributor to information overload (Johnstone, 1984). Language problems include unfamiliar or misleading vocabulary, familiar vocabulary which changes its meaning as it moves into chemistry (Cassels Johnstone, 1985). Difficulties students have with Chemistry may not necessarily be related to the subject matter itself but to the way of talking about it, Gabel (1999).
Words, which were understandable in normal English usage, changed their meaning (sometimes quite subtly) when transferred into, or out of, a science situation. For example, the word volatile was assumed by students to mean unstable, explosive or flammable. Its scientific meaning of easily vaporized was unknown. The reason for the confusion was that volatile, applied to a person, does imply instability or excitability and this meaning was naturally carried over into the science context with consequent confusion. Learning involves the interaction of the information that the learner receives through his sensory system and the information that they already have in their long-term memory and the cognitive processes may be considered to involve the interaction of the components of memory Working memory and long-term memory, White (1977). This enables the learner to recognize and organize the incoming information and make sense of it. Unfamiliar or confusing words and constructions many come into conflict during the organizational process.
Thus Language is also one of the learning difficulties for a student during learning science. Teachers Lack of Knowledge regarding students prior understanding of Concepts Various studies indicate that students difficulties in learning Science concepts may be due to the teachers lack of knowledge regarding students prior understanding of concepts. The process of learning Chemistry will involve the modification or alteration of previously held ideas and this is a natural process. It is individual in nature and there is no way by which the teacher has the time or capacity to approach each learner on an individual basis. However, in practice, if concepts are developed with care, building on the language and thought forms already present, while allowing concepts to be approached from several directions, the learner will be enabled to develop ideas more meaningfully. In addition, learners need the opportunity to play with ideas, share ideas, verbalize concepts so that, in a natural step-wise fashion concepts steadily move forward on a secure base. This will allow alternative conceptions to be modified in an acceptable way. Nonetheless, misconceptions will always occur, even among those highly experienced in Chemistry, Bodner (1991) and We can teach-and teach well-without having students learn, Bodner (1986).
3.7 MOTIVATING STUDENTS TO LEARN CHEMISTRY There are several factors to motivate students to learn science interestingly. Among all factors controlling the success of learning and teaching the most important factor is motivation. It is very difficult for a genius teacher to teach when their students do not all have the motivation to seek to understand. However, the difficulty of a topic, as perceived by students, will also be a major factor in their ability and willingness to learn it. So it is the responsibility of a teacher to employ some methods to motivate student and to retain their attention throughout the session consistently. Improve the Image of Science The public image of science is rather negative. But generally it is viewed as a difficult subject.
In order to changes societys view, teachers can portray what science has done thus far, by relating the subject back to something that interests them. For example teacher can conduct fun experiments or use hands-on apps. Act as a Positive Role Model When students see a teacher who is passionate, knowledgeable, and enthusiastic about science, it will resonate with them.
Connect Science to Students Everyday Life Teacher can develop student interest in science by enhancing their natural curiosity and connecting science to their daily lives. An essential element to turning students on to science is to show them how its used in their daily lives.A teacher should use their classroom to explore and to understand how this subject matter touches more in their day-to-day activities than they think. When students do science they are more apt to be excited about it. Expose Students to New Opportunities Along the same exploration track, teacher can create contests that encourage their students to use science to generate a design that may peak their interest.
For example, when most students love playing on their smart phones and tablets teacher can challenge their classroom to create an app that they may use every day. Teacher could even turn this into a friendly, group competition. This opportunity may be just for motivation to keep their students interested in a Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics field. Incorporate Technology It can be quite difficult to get students to be interested in science when the teachers only resource is a textbook. Sites likeHYPERLINK http//www.donorschoose.org/Donors Choosecreated a platform for teachers to request funding for supplementary classroom technology. Teacher can request science stations, iPads, and computers to promote education and get students captivated.
Create a threat-free environment. When student are afraid of consequences of their action, they may not come forward to learn anything interestingly especially in science subject. When teachers create a safe, supportive environment for students, affirming their belief in a students abilities rather than laying out the consequences of not doing things, students are much more likely to get and stay motivated to do their work.
Allow students to work together. While all students will jump at the chance to work in groups, many will find it fun to try to solve problems, do experiments, and work on projects with other students. The social interaction can get them excited about things in the classroom and students can motivate one another to reach a goal.
Teachers need to ensure that groups are balanced and fair, so that some students arent doing more work than others. Make things fun. Not all class work needs to be a game or a good time, but students who see school as a place where they can have fun will be more motivated to pay attention and do the work thats required of them than those who regard it as a chore.
Adding fun activities into a school day can help students who struggle to stay engaged and make the classroom a much friendlier place for all students. 3.8 The instructional support in teaching Chemistry at School level 3.8.1 Whole class viewing systems A different approach to bringing ICT into the laboratory or science classroom is to install a whole class viewing system for electronic resources. The advantages of this approach are ICT can be used as an everyday, integral part of learning, The teacher led style of teaching is one with which most teachers are familiar and comfortable, It is a very effective solution to the problem of bringing ICT into a laboratory where overall space is limited or where existing bench space is needed for practical work, It is more cost effective than the use of class sets of laptop computers.
3.8.2 Data projectors The single biggest impact on the use of ICT in science areas is brought about by the installation of a Liquid Crystal Display (LCD) projector, permanently fixed to the ceiling and wired to appropriate sockets placed near some form of permanent screen. This arrangement significantly lowers the threshold of difficulty teachers face in using ICT in support of science and thereby significantly increases the likelihood of real progress in this area. When choosing a projector the luminosity and sound are important. For most rooms a projector of at least 1000 and preferably 1200 ANSI lumens is needed so that the image can be easily seen without blacking out windows.
The loud speakers in some projectors are fairly basic and may not do justice to the sound track of videos. It may be better to make connections to external loud speakers that are fixed to the wall. This is best included as part of the initial installation process. The projector system can be linked to a PC dedicated to this purpose or it can provide a plug in facility for a laptop computer. In some schools and colleges, each teacher is loaned a laptop which becomes used as a lesson folder. This arrangement does seem to drive forward whole staff ICT progress and promotes the sharing of expertise and ideas. Connecting the system to the school network expands the usefulness of the arrangement. 3.
8.3 Use of video with a projection system LCD projectors can readily be switched to video mode, which allows existing video resources to be viewed at an increased image size. Some schools have a VCR device permanently wired into the projector system which further reduces barriers to its use and facilitates sophisticated multi-media presentations using a single, permanently fixed viewing system. 3.
8.4 Use of cameras with a projection system The video input to a projector will also accept a signal from a range of cameras including flexible neck video cameras, camcorders, digital cameras and webcams. The application of these devices in the context of science is covered later in this report. A simple camera will permit whole class viewing of any text, image or 3-D object, including students written work, books, pictures and microscope images. It can act just like an overhead projector (OHP) except that there is no need to create a transparency first. Hardware devices such as these can be added once the main projection infrastructure is in place. 3.8.
5 Data logging sensors Data logging is the collection of data over a period of time, and is something often used in scientific experiments. Data logging systems typically monitor a process using sensors linked to a computer. Most data logging can be done automatically under computer control. All data loggers work with special software that enables gathered data to be stored, retrieved and displayed. Most of the graph plotting facilities has features that allow students to interact with the data and graphs, sometimes in a very powerful and sophisticated manner.
These features include Ability to change the parameters of the graph including axes, scales, limits and labels, Measuring facilities to provide accurate data about specific points, the difference between points, areas under graphs, slopes of lines, and statistical data such as means, maximum and minimum readings, Zoom facility to look closely at the fine detail of graphs, Ability to superimpose several graphs on the same axes, The potential to draw secondary graphs derived from original data, Opportunity to annotate graphs or data to draw attention to features of particular interest, Ability to print tables or graphs, to save them and to export them to other electronic packages. Data logger usually needs to be connected to a sensor in order to gather data. The range and usefulness of sensors has been much improved in recent years. Biologists are able to monitor heart rate, heart beat and lung expansion with specially designed sensors. Chemists can now use a colorimeter sensor, sensors for measuring the concentration of selected ions and pressure sensors to monitor the amount of gas produced during reactions. Many experiments in physics, particularly those that involve very rapid changes, have always lent themselves to data logging, and there is now an extensive array of devices to measure all manner of variables.
3.8.6 Screens and ordinary whiteboards There are several alternative ways of viewing the images from a LCD projector. The simplest method is to use an ordinary screen or whiteboard, which may often be already in place when the projector is installed. This low cost option is effective and trouble free. A white board has the advantage over a projector screen in that the image can be annotated using ordinary white board pens.
Modern projectors are equipped with remote control devices that include a narrow infra-red beam, a zoom facility and the ability to act as a mouse for computer software. This means that the teacher and students can manipulate and place emphasis on images at some distance from the screen. 3.8.7 Interactive whiteboards There is a range of interactive whiteboards available commercially that is connected to the computer and projector, and allows the image to be controlled from the board itself.
Some boards are operated by finger pressure or the use of dummy pens, while others make use of an electronic pen specially dedicated to the system. The boards behave exactly like a computer screen, using the finger or pen instead of a mouse. Most boards also have specially designed software that allows images on the board to be annotated and saved, and permits rapid and very useful movement between current and previous screen images. Some manufacturers have developed notepads that link to the whiteboards, so that students can contribute to what is on the main board from their seat in class.
The Mimio device is one example of a low cost piece of equipment that can be linked to a laptop and an ordinary, non-interactive whiteboard. It can be used to save what is written on the board to the computer for later use. The mouse pen also makes the board interactive when an image is projected onto it from an LCD projector. 3.8.
8 Plasma screens Plasma screens are large, flat surfaces that permit the viewing of big images without distortion. They can be free standing or wall mounted and, because they are quite thin, fit into limited spaces. They are connected to an LCD projector and a computer, but they are not interactive. They are currently quite expensive. 3.8.
9 Scan converters Scan converters are a low cost alternative technology for whole class teaching using ICT. A signal from a laptop or PC is fed through the device and into one or several TV monitors. In this way the system allows any image that can be viewed on a computer to be seen by a class on a TV. The advantage of the system is that it is inexpensive to buy, and may make use of equipment that is already in the school or college.
The disadvantage is that the size of the image is limited by the size of the TV monitor, and the system is not interactive. 3.9 METHODS OF TEACHING CHEMISTRY In recent years there has been growing interest in the use of ICT to support whole class teaching and learning to complement ICT based activities for individual students. This has led to greater emphasis on the role of the teacher and recognition of the need for training to help them learn operational skills to use new equipment and software and application skills to manage learning effectively using new technologies. The benefits of ICT in science There is considerable research evidence that learners are more highly motivated when their learning is supported by ICT.
Students are more engaged in activities they show increased interest and demonstrate a longer attention span. ICT can provide access to a huge range of resources that are of high quality and relevant to scientific learning. In some cases the resources fill gaps where there are no good conventional alternatives in other cases they complement existing resources. In some cases ICT resources are less good than conventional alternatives and do not add to learning.
The multi-media resources available enable visualization and manipulation of complex models, three dimensional images and movement to enhance understanding of scientific ideas. ICT widens the range of material that can be used in teaching and learning to include text, still and moving images and sound, and increases the variety of ways that the material can be used for whole class and individual learning. This means that a teacher can go some way to meeting the needs of students with different learning styles. ICT also allows teachers with different teaching styles to modify materials and the way they are used in different and effective ways.
ICT can improve the quality of data available to students. Information gleaned from the internet can be more up to date, and data obtained from loggers can include more frequent and more accurate experimental readings. Computers also allow repetitive tasks to be carried out quickly and accurately so that more student time can be spent on thinking about the scientific data that has been generated. Many ICT tasks do not require the use of a specific classroom or laboratory.
They can, therefore, extend learning beyond the teaching space and class contact time, and place the use of ICT at the heart of the learning process rather than as an additional peripheral experience. An activity, started in one classroom, can be continued in a different room later in the day or at home in the evening. ICT provides opportunities for teachers to be creative in their teaching and in student learning. 3.
9.1 Simulation Simulations offer an opportunity to students working through a process so as to develop their own understanding of how it works or how to apply it to a different context. Simulations designed with cognitive load theory in mind allow students to develop their understanding of increasingly complex scenarios in a step-wise manner.
According to Rosenthal and Sanger (2013) students who watched a simple animation were better able to understand the content. Simulated teaching is the technique of learning and training, which develops the ability in an individual regarding problem solving behavior. It has been defined as a role playing strongly in which learner performs the role in an artificially created environment. Advantagesof Simulation Teaching Simulation allows trainees to purposely undertake high-risk activities or procedural tasks within a safe environment without dangerous implications.
Learners dont have to wait for a real situation to come up in order to learn. Simulation can improve trainees skills and allow them to learn from error. Learners are able to gain a greater understanding about the consequences of their actions and the need to reduce any errors. Simulation offers trainee participation. Rather than sitting through a training lecture, trainees can practice what they have learnt and quickly learn from any mistakes without serious implications.
Learners address hands-on and thinking skills, including knowledge-in-action, procedures, decision-making, and effective communication. Many games enable players to embody different characters thus helping to breed attitudes of tolerance and understanding. Simulation provide a safe artificial environment within which learners with low self-esteem may feel more inclined to explore, investigate and express themselves. Simulated learning can be set up at appropriate times and locations, and repeated as often as necessary. Simulation learning can be customized to suite beginners, intermediates and experts to hone their skills as to speak .
Feedback can be given to learners immediately and allow them to understand exactly what went wrong and how they can improve. Simulation is best suited to analyze complex and large practical problems when it is not possible to solve them through a mathematical method. Simulation is flexible, hence changes in the system variables can be made to select the best solution among the various alternatives .In simulation, the experiments are carried out with the model without disturbing the system. Simulation provides a valuable link between activities within the classroom and life outside school. Such a connection will help to make students to have better understanding to see the world in different perspective. Simulation help teacher to connect the teaching material to the students real world and encourage the students to make a relation between the knowledge that they have already had with the application in their life as a member of society.
It is similar to the real life experience the problems that students will be found in the real life can be stimulated. So, the students try to solve the problem and make a decision from among alternatives to achieve a particular object. Simulation can be used to teach content that it is very difficult to teach in the classroom.
Simulation offers different technique from the others it can deliver all kind of issues which cannot be limited by time perspectives. The power of simulations is to transpose the normal classroom into an authentic setting where skills can be evaluated under more realistic conditions. It prepares students to be able to face the complexity in the real world. Simulation is engaging and motivating approach to students. It gets them involved and holds their attention longer. Children usually learn and retain more knowledge using role play. Students actually engage in the learning process rather than passive receiver of knowledge. Children learn the most from play when they have skilled teachers who are well-trained in understanding how play contributes to learning.
Disadvantages of Simulation Method Simulation does not generate optimal solutions. No real consequences for mistakes may result in students underperforming and not being fully engaged in the training, thus producing inaccurate result. It may take a long time to develop a good simulation model. To simulate something a thorough understanding is needed and an awareness of all the factors involved, without this a simulation cannot be created. In certain cases simulation models can be very expensive. Simulators can be very expensive and require constant updates and maintenance. The decision-maker must provide all information about the constraints and conditions for examination, as simulation does not give the answers by itself. Simulation is not always able to completely re-create real-life situations .
So not every situation can be included. The results and feedback are only as effective as the actual training provided. Staff needs to be trained on how to use the software and/or hardware and this takes up time and costs money.
The results of the simulation may not be readily available after the simulation has started an event that may occur instantaneously in the real world may actually take hours to mimic in a simulated environment. While this technique can dramatically reduce the simulation time, it may also give its users a false sense of security regarding the accuracy of the simulation results. If the level of abstraction is too high, then it may be impossible to actually build the device physically due to the lack of sufficiently detailed information within the design. The tools and technologies that would be suitable for a simulation exercise strongly depend on the situation or scenario that is being simulated. As the goal is to model the real-world as closely as possible it may be necessary to have specialist equipment and spaces available, but many situations may not require anything other than the software and other tools that students are already using.
Where students are using standard software packages as part of the simulation,HYPERLINK https//blogs.shu.ac.uk/shutel/2011/04/06/what-is-a-screencast/ t _blank o What is a screencastscreen recording softwareprovides a mechanism to capture the details of how they approached the scenario. These recordings could be submitted by the student as part of an assessment or used as the basis for reflection on their particular approach prior to re-running the simulated scenario.
Many simulations provide students with instant feedback, which helps them, recognize what concepts they may have missed or which they understood. The use of tablets also allows students to keep a notebook of their work and submit a weekly or monthly report of their scores. One such application is called CloudOn which allows students to attach graphs to their submitted work. Another application, uPad, allows students to write on the tablet, just as if they were using pen and paper. This is extremely helpful in situations involving chemistry as well as math where tablets have yet to add many symbols of the periodic table or chemical equations.
3.9.2 Virtual experiments 3.9.
2.1 Virtual Lab Virtual laboratories have emerged in secondary schools. With the virtual laboratories, students gain access to much information that textbooks cannot produce. These virtual laboratories have created a cheaper alternative while still allowing the student to participate in performing experiments. Websites such as ChemTeacher, Chemical Education Digital Library, and Virtual ChemLab are a few of the virtual laboratories that give students in secondary education an insight on experiments .Virtual labs allow students to connect chemical experiments to situations in the real world. Virtual labs also allow students to experience hundreds of different labs and do not limit the student to the very few physical labs they would experience otherwise. In addition, these virtual labs allow teachers more opportunities to expound on material and concepts they otherwise would not have access to.
The virtual labs are not just a click through tutorial. Students must actively participate in making critical thinking decisions such as what laboratory tools and chemicals to use and why. The virtual labs also grab students attention with the flawless graphics, color, and animated pictures. The amount of information that is gathered from visiting these websites is infinite. 3.9.
2.2 Virtual classroom A Virtual classroom is an asynchronous-based online learning environment that delivers course materials to learners and provides collaboration and interaction using an asynchronous-based forum as the main platform to support the learners independent study. In a physical classroom there is physical contact between the students and the instructor. This makes it easy for the instructor to enforce rules that are intended for effective classroom management. This physical contact is elusive in a virtual classroom and yet effective classroom management is desired. Virtual classroom is useful to the students for revision exercise as a backup for physical classroom contact. Several online tools are used in the implementation of a virtual classroom. Some of these tools include online calendars, online help guides, online assessments books, examinations, emails, instant messages, chat rooms, discussion boards and file transfers.
Virtual classroom facilitates active learning with the provision of enabling environment consisting of the learning tools, learning materials, and opportunities for contextual discussion. It takes learning beyond the level of reading learning material provided in the virtual classroom but also active interaction with the instructor. A virtual classroom not only makes course materials available to the learners, but also provides a live, contextual and interactive environment for them. General Presentation Delivery Power Points, general documents converted to Flash Player format Screen Sharing entire desktop, application or window, with remote control capabilities Webcam multiple speeds, ability to stream VoIP adjustable broadcast quality to suit connection Text Chat send to all or selected individuals Whiteboard various colors /fonts/transparency levels, drag and drop, undo, document overlay capabilities File Upload/Download selected from computer or Breeze content repository Polling with presenter access to individual responses Attendee List including status indicator (fine,slower, etc) Web Launcher launches all users to the same URL Notepad to summarize and provide instructions Limitations include no human teacher expression and explanation, most of existing learning materials are combinations of text and graphics, lack of oral presentation by the instructor, no synchronization and match between course materials and their explanations, and lack of contextual understanding as well as just in time feedback and interactions. 3.9.
2.3 Virtual Reality Many of the limitations of classic multimedia can be surpassed with the use of Virtual Reality technology. Virtual reality incorporates characteristics that lend it significant potential immersion, presence, direct engagement (user involvement), immediate visual feedback, autonomy and interactivity. These characteristics, along with supporting of three-dimensional modeling, make it almost ideal for specific types of applications.
In virtual reality the user is no longer treated as an external viewer. They are actually a part of the system, an autonomous presence in the virtual world. They are free to navigate around the virtual environment, move in three dimensions, interact with objects, look behind or under them and examine the world from different viewpoints, which is not possible in classic two-dimensional multimedia. Media integration is even higher than in desktop multimedia, with the use of three-dimensional audio and haptic feedback. Moreover, virtual reality allows the simulation of dangerous or expensive environments.
It also allows the creation of synthetic worlds, which gives a whole new perspective for the development of various kinds of applications. These features of virtual reality technology fit very well to educational applications. The three-dimensional representation model is an important feature. 3.9.
3 Molecular modelling and chemical structure drawing packages Molecular modelling and chemical structure drawing packages were originally designed for use in chemical and biological research. They have moved through several versions and become much more powerful, sophisticated and complex. While the up to date versions are very expensive, the older versions, which contain all the features required in schools and colleges, have been made freely available for download from the commercial web site. Molecular modelling and structure drawing packages allow ideas and concepts that may have been introduced using physical molecular models to be explored further, beyond the constraints of the classroom. Molecular modelling packages such as RasMol, Chime and Web Lab Viewer, and chemical drawing packages such as ChemDraw and ISIS Draw, are particularly useful in Advanced level courses in chemistry and biology. These packages can be downloaded free from the appropriate internet site. The site can be found by putting the name of the package into a search engine and following instructions on the web site to download the programme onto a computer.
There are huge numbers of molecules available on the internet that can be viewed and manipulated using a molecular modelling package. 3.9.
4 Applets The internet is a rich source of animated images, called applets or small applications, which are programmes designed to run in a web page. For Simulations of experiments which are difficult to carry out in the laboratory, such the effect of changing the value of gravity on a spring and experiments that take a long time to set up or require expensive equipment the applet simulation can generate results very quickly, and so allow students to spend most of their time thinking about the data rather than gathering it. Animated and three dimensional images can often provide easier access to concepts such as the electric motor, which may be very hard to grasp when described by text and a series of two dimensional diagrams in a book. Concepts such as the effect of mutation, or predator-prey relationships, that involve long timescales can also be illustrated very easily.
3.9.5 Three – Dimensional Visualization Impressive technologies have been developed to allow features of three-dimensional visualization to use in science teaching. There are specific, ready-made Java files to support 3D imaging, so that 3D Java applets are on the increase. The other main tool for 3D on the internet is VRML, or virtual reality modelling language.
The Virtual Reality Modeling Language is a file format for describing interactive 3D objects and worlds. VRML is designed to be used on the Internet, intranets, and local client systems. VRML is also intended to be a universal interchange format for integrated 3D graphics and multimedia. VRML is capable of representing static and animated dynamic 3D and multimedia objects with hyperlinks to other media such as text, sounds, movies, and images.
VRML browsers, as well as authoring tools for the creation of VRML files, are widely available for many different platforms. VRML files can be viewed in a web browser if a 3D plugin such as Cosmo Player is installed. VRML gives the user the ability not just to look from outside at objects, but to enter their 3D world. Three-dimensional visualization is yet another strong benefit of VR, as might be useful in CAD classes, mechanical engineering applications, and for viewing atomic crystal structures.
3.9.6 Freeware There are many other excellent examples of freeware available from the internet that will support and enrich science teaching. There are for example, many versions of the periodic table. One way of finding out about these resources is to go to a shareware site such as www.zdnet.
com/downloads/ and to look under the relevant categories. Alternatively, it is possible to search using search engines using keywords such as science freeware to see what emerges. 3.9.7 Publishing work on the web A number of science teachers place information on their institution web site. In some cases this consists of support material for students following particular courses, and in other cases it is interesting enrichment material. A particularly interesting use of the web is for students to publish and showcase their own work. 3.
9.8 Internet video There are many excellent video clips available on the internet. Some common types include .mpg, .
mov and .ram files. The streaming of video so that it can be viewed directly from the web site is becoming more viable as connection speeds to the internet increase. Alternatively, video clips can be saved to a local machine or network.
Video clips do use up a lot of memory, but the cost of writable CDs has fallen in recent years which makes them a viable option for saving video, since each CD can store several hundred short video clips. Some internet search engines, such as Alta Vista and Google, allow the user to search specifically for video clips. 3.9.9 Test construction software Hot Potato (http//web.uvic.ca/hrd/halfbaked/) is one example of test construction software. It is a package that is free to education and which enables a range of types of test to be constructed. It is easy to use and some of its facilities, such as feedback to multiple-choice question responses, are very useful and allow teachers to provide a graded range of responses to students answers. 3.9.10 Mind Mapping There is a number of inexpensive mind mapping programmes available commercially (a search engine can be used to search the internet for information about mind mapping software). These pieces of software allow a web diagram to be built up in which ideas and information relevant to a particular topic are linked together. Typically, major headings are linked to branches with related headings, which may in turn be linked to further sets of branches containing increasing detail. 3.9.11 Database A database is a collection of information that is organized so that it can easily be accessed, managed and updated. A chemical database is a database specifically designed to store chemical information. This information is about chemical and crystal structure, spectra, reaction and syntheses and thermo physical data. Types of chemical databases are Chemical structures Literature database Crystallographic database NMR spectra database Reaction database Thermo physical database Y, dXiJ(x(I_TS1EZBmU/xYy5g/GMGeD3Vqq8K)fw9xrxwrTZaGy8IjbRcXIu3KGnD1NIBsRuKV.ELM2fiVvlu8zH(W )6-rCSj id DAIqbJx6kASht(QpmcaSlXP1Mh9MVdDAaVBfJP8AVf 6Q DocumentThisDocument/H00000000 NameProject HelpContextID0 VersionCompatible32393222000 CMG5351BC68E06CE06CE06CE06C DPB7B799440BD41BD41BD GCA3A14CB875B975B98A Host Extender Info H000000013832D640-CF90-11CF-8E43-00A0C911005AVBEH00000000 H00000002000209F2-0000-0000-C000-000000000046Word8.0H00000000