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Key Points: Laboratories were introduced in the late 1800s. Educators do not agree on the goals of HS Science Laboratories or their roles in the HS Science Curriculum Laboratories are defined as: Experiences that provide opportunities for sts to interact directly with the material world using tools, data collection techniques, models and theories of Science.
CHARGE TO THE COMMITTEE (NSF) National Science Foundation provide grants for for activities such as: Laboratory Improvement and Provision of Instrumentation as part of the Comprehensive Program to enhance quality of Mathematics, Science, Engineering and Technology Instruction (NSF) National Science Foundation nominates a commitee to review the status and the future directions for the role of HS Science laboratories in promoting the Teaching and Learning of Science for all students.
Scope of the Study Researchers presented evidence of student learning following exposure to seuqences of instruction that included laboratory experiences Others provided data on how various technologies contribute to student learning in laboratories.
Current Lab Experiences Chapter 4
Overview Laboratory experiences have unique features that pose a challenge to effective instruction. On average, high school students enrolled in science classes participate in laboratory experiences for one class period each week; however, students in schools with higher concentrations of non-Asian minorities spend less time in laboratory experiences than students in schools with fewer non-Asian minorities. Most high school students participate in typical laboratory experiences that are isolated from the flow of science instruction and do not follow the other design principles outlined by the committee.
Unique features that pose a challenge to effective instruction • Labs are ambiguous, complex, and messy • vs. readings, lectures, problems = simplified • Labs have LOTS of variables. • Labs can be frustrating if they contradict desire outcomes.
Quantity of Lab Instruction The more science courses offered, the more time in the lab. The higher the population of non-Asian minorities, the less time in the lab.
The good news More students are taking more science! Still, labs are typically once a week experiences. And, technology use is not a majority. Um, so it’s not that great news ,I guess.
Science Courses Whites and Asians take more science courses. AP offerings vary. More non-Asian minorities means less APs. Again, more non-Asian minorities means less lab time.
Quality lab experiences • Designed with clear outcomes in mind • Sequenced into the flow of classroom science instruction • Designed to integrate learning of science content and process • Incorporated for ongoing student reflection and discussion.
Quality lab experiences should • Pose a research question, • Use laboratory tools and procedures, • Make observations, gather, and analyze data, • Verify, test, or evaluate explanatory models (including verifying known scientific theories and laws), • Formulate alternative hypotheses, • Design investigations, and • Build or revise explanatory models.
Dos and Don’ts Do have students work to create their own lab experiences. Don’t follow the cookbook mentality. (Procedures) Don’t let boys dominate the girls!