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How TIMSS informs about Learning and Teaching, and Curriculum Development ( The Case for Science Education in HK). Alice S. L. Wong ( aslwong@ hku.hk ) The University of Hong Kong. Outline. HK science performance in TIMSS vs East Asian countries

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slide1

How TIMSS informs about Learning and Teaching,and Curriculum Development(The Case for Science Education in HK)

Alice S. L. Wong (aslwong@hku.hk)

The University of Hong Kong

outline
Outline
  • HK science performance in TIMSS vs East Asian countries
  • Turning the TIMSS findings into a series of research and teacher professional development projects
  • Most recent one: Promoting Assessment for Learning for more effective learning and teaching of science
outline1
Outline
  • HK performance in TIMSS vs other East-Asian countries
  • Turning the TIMSS findings into a series of research and teacher professional development projects
  • An on going one: Promoting Assessment for Learning for effective learning and teaching of science
slide4

13th Dec, 2012

Media tend to report extremely Good or Bad news

s cience achievement

A recap

Primary 4

(first 15 countries)

1st  2nd

3rd

4th  6th

7th

9th

8th  14th

Science Achievement
science achievement

A recap

Secondary 2

(first 15 countries)

1st

2nd  4th

5th 9th

8th

Science Achievement
hong kong

Primary 4

HK Primary 4 students are particularly weak in SCIENCE

Hong Kong
trends of science performance rank

Primary 4

Trends of Science Performance (Rank)

* Only countries satisfying all guidelines are included in the ranking

1 Second International Science Study (SISS)

trends of science performance rank1

Secondary 2

Trends of Science Performance (Rank)

* Only countries satisfying all guidelines are included in the ranking

1 Second International Science Study (SISS)

areas that have shown improvement
Areas that have shown improvement
  • Scientific Inquiry
    • Controlling variables
    • Fair test
    • Skills in handling apparatus and equipment
slide13

TIMSS

2007

observations from the item statistics
Observations from the item statistics
  • Weaker in ‘reading to learn’ as compared with other Asian countries
  • Weak in deducing results from definition of given info
  • Low confidence in answering questions of unfamiliar context.
generic skills life long learning
Generic skills – life long learning
  • Weak in ‘reading to learn’ as compared with other Asian countries
  • Weak in deducing results from definition of given info
  • Low confidence in answering questions of unfamiliar contexts.
areas in need for improvement
Areas in need for improvement
  • Integration of knowledge or/and written responses
  • Reading to learn
  • Transfer knowledge or skills in handling unfamiliar or real life contexts

Most puzzling observation…did not do well in

    • Matter as Particles (taught at S1)
    • Respiration & Photosynthesis (taught at S2)
    • Each about 5 – 6 weeks
teacher professional development
Teacher Professional Development
  • Workshop series 1
    • Drawing teachers’ awareness on students’ learning difficulties by inviting them to reflect on the TIMSS items in which HK students performed less favourably. They were asked to make suggestion on T&L strategies
teacher professional development1
Teacher Professional Development
  • Workshop series 2
    • Enhancing assessment skills

(Assessment of Learning)

dissemination of the findings
Dissemination of the findings
  • Sharing the proposed teaching strategies through listening to participating teachers in the workshop.

Curriculum materials with street credibility – developed by the teachers, for the teachers (Hodson, 2006)

slide23

The diagram represents the arrangement of particles in a metal before it has been heated.

Which diagram represents the arrangement of particles in the metal after it has been heated?

observation explanation
Observation Explanation
  • Heating expands
  • Common misconception: Size of particles
  • Both cases below work well for explanation. The lower one works even “better”.
slide25
Reflecting on the typical demonstration – metal ball through a metal ring/bar inserted into a metal gauge

Unexpected outcome of demonstration

  • Two ‘valid’ explanations:
    • Particles increase in size
    • Space between particles increases
    • Which one can explain the observation?
  • BOTH!
reflecting on what is missing in the teaching and learning
Reflecting on what is missing in the teaching and learning
  • If students’ theory can also ‘logically’ explain what they observe.
  • Why would they give it up and take on yours?
  • In most textbooks, they only say, “particle is very tiny”

…So…

possible reinforcement of the misconception
Possible reinforcement of the misconception
  • Fish balls in hot pot expand, separate and float
  • Personal/social/cultural experience reinforce the misconception
    • Hot pot is a popular cuisine in HK, Japan, Taiwan;
    • Observation of expanding fish/meat balls is a familiar experience
teacher professional development2
Teacher Professional Development
  • Workshop series 3
    • Enhancing Assessment for Learning
    • On-site investigation of the learning and teaching
    • Curriculum Unit: Matter as Particles – a topic taught which lasts for about 5-6 weeks
    • Discussed with teachers about some possible ‘missing concepts’ in the curriculum
      • Ideas about conversation of mass
    • Administer pre-test on the target key concepts for the unit
    • Teachers have a good idea about student prior concepts
students perform the experiment
Students perform the experiment
  • Put both beakers containing the two chemicals on the electronic balance before mixing.
  • Record the total mass after mixing.
slide36

Answer in the pre-test: less than 300 g

Explanations showing good understanding of evaporation

slide37

Answer in pre-test: more than 300g

Explanations showing good understanding of condensation

Teacher decided to value students’ good thinking

what about the reasoning of metal expansion
What about the reasoning of metal expansion?
  • Let’s listen to a typical explanation of their choice (size of particles increases)
  • Listen carefully to the student’s explanation

Solid particles stick together (Voice)

photosynthesis
Photosynthesis
  • Teacher guided students to refine their responses
take home messages
Take home messages:
  • Listen more to the voices of students
  • Appreciate what students can understand as well as what they have not yet understood
  • You will be amazed by the fine reasoning as this one:

“Well, as this is a metal…it’s solid.. the particles can’t be separated from each other…particles have to be expanded to maintain its closely packed pattern.”

some issues related to drawing of particles
Some issues related to drawing of particles
  • Students may draw 3D diagram on 2D paper

Scientists/science educators/experienced teachers have learnt how to draw in a ‘correct manner’ (agreed way in representing certain ideas) – Students need to be taught the conventional (agreed) practice.

some issues related to the use of diagram
Some issues related to the use of diagram
  • Students may draw particles of smaller size in order to fit the same number of particles when the substance changes from liquid to gas state.
an alternative implemented in an other schools
An alternative implemented in an other schools
  • What are these pictures representing?
particle theory
Particle theory
  • The drawing of a student showing particles in liquid state

Scientists/science educators/experienced teachers have learnt how to draw in a ‘correct manner’ (agreed way in representing certain ideas) – Students need to be taught the conventional (agreed) practice.