Teaching Real-Life Science in the Lab of Tomorrow
Abstract:Numerous studies on science teaching have shown that we should revise the way that science is taught in our schools, and promote pedagogical practices based on inquiry-based methods. Inquiry-based science education has proved its efficiency at both primary and secondary levels in increasing students' interest and attainments while at the same time stimulating teacher motivation. This paper presents an innovative way to introduce inquiry based methods in the science classroom using advanced technological applications. The Lab of Tomorrow system consists of a series of tiny, programmable devices that are embedded in clothing, footballs and other items. The system monitors the wearer's running pace, body temperature, heartbeat rate or the acceleration of a ball. This practical information can be translated into examples of science theory, raising interest and motivation among students, and improving the learning process. In this way student everyday activities are becoming a subject of experimentation. They personally experience the procedures involved in an authentic research project and thereby gain a far better understanding of science. This paper describes the systematic procedure that was adapted to monitor students' and teachers' activities while using the Lab of Tomorrow system. Four hundred students from 18 schools in Greece, Germany, Austria and Italy were involved in the study for a period of 8 months (one school year) during their science lessons. Quantitative and qualitative data were collected and analyzed in detail. The analysis of the findings demonstrates that there is significant improvement of the learning outcomes for the students in all cases in both physics and mathematics. Additionally, the outcomes of the extended lesson video study demonstrate that the Lab of Tomorrow system offers a great opportunity for teachers to adopt inquiry based methods in their lessons, and to implement teaching strategies for facilitating learning about scientific inquiry, developing the abilities of inquiry, and understanding scientific concepts and principles.
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: 2011-11-01
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- ADVANCED SCIENCE LETTERS is an international peer-reviewed journal with a very wide-ranging coverage, consolidates research activities in all areas of (1) Physical Sciences, (2) Biological Sciences, (3) Mathematical Sciences, (4) Engineering, (5) Computer and Information Sciences, and (6) Geosciences to publish original short communications, full research papers and timely brief (mini) reviews with authors photo and biography encompassing the basic and applied research and current developments in educational aspects of these scientific areas.
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