Developing, revising, and communicating scientific arguments is now recognized as a core scientific practice Driver, Newton, and Osborne, ; Duschl and Osborne, Such efforts have taken many forms. Students designed an investigation to determine which school drinking fountain had the best-tasting water.
The students designed data collection protocols, collected and analyzed their data, and then argued about their findings Rosebery et al. The Knowledge Integration Environment project asked middle school students to examine a common set of evidence to debate competing hypotheses about light propagation. Overall, most students learned the scientific concept that light goes on forever , although those who made better arguments learned more than their peers Bell and Linn, These and other examples e.
Science educators and researchers have long claimed that learning practical laboratory skills is one of the important goals for laboratory experiences and that such skills may be attainable only through such experiences White, ; Woolnough, However, development of practical skills has been measured in research less frequently than mastery of subject matter or scientific reasoning. Such practical outcomes deserve more attention, especially for laboratory experiences that are a critical part of vocational or technical training in some high school programs.
When a primary goal of a program or course is to train students for jobs in laboratory settings, they must have the opportunity to learn to use and read sophisticated instruments and carry out standardized experimental procedures. The critical questions about acquiring these skills through laboratory experiences may not be whether laboratory experiences help students learn them, but how the experiences can be constructed so as to be most effective in teaching such skills.
Some research indicates that typical laboratory experiences specifically focused on learning practical skills can help students progress toward other goals. For example, one study found that students were often deficient in the simple skills needed to successfully carry out typical laboratory activities, such as using instruments to make measurements and collect accurate data Bryce and Robertson, This research suggests that development of practical skills may increase the probability that students will achieve the intended results in laboratory experiences.
Achieving the intended results of a laboratory activity is a necessary, though not sufficient, step toward effectiveness in helping students attain laboratory learning goals. Some research on typical laboratory experiences indicates that girls handle laboratory equipment less frequently than boys, and that this tendency is associated with less interest in science and less self-confidence in science ability among girls Jovanovic and King, It is possible that helping girls to develop instrumentation skills may help them to participate more actively and enhance their interest in learning science.
Studies of integrated instructional units have not examined the extent to which engagement with these units may enhance practical skills in using laboratory materials and equipment. This reflects an instructional emphasis on helping students to learn scientific ideas with real understanding and on developing their skills at investigating scientific phenomena, rather than on particular laboratory techniques, such as taking accurate measurements or manipulating equipment.
There is no evidence to suggest that students do not learn practical skills through integrated instructional units, but to date researchers have not assessed such practical skills. The general public understanding of science is similarly inaccurate. Laboratory experiences are considered the primary mecha-. Research on student understanding of the nature of science provides little evidence of improvement with science instruction Lederman, ; Driver et al. Younger students tend to believe that experiments yield direct answers to questions; during middle and high school, students shift to a vague notion of experiments being tests of ideas.
Only a small number of students appear to leave high school with a notion of science as model-building and experimentation, in an ongoing process of testing and revision Driver et al. The conclusion that most experts draw from these results is that the isolated nature and rote procedural focus of typical laboratory experiences inhibits students from developing robust conceptions of the nature of science. Consequently, some have argued that the nature of science must be an explicit target of instruction Khishfe and Abd-El-Khalick, ; Lederman, Abd-El-Khalick, Bell, and Schwartz, As discussed above, there is reasonable evidence that integrated instructional units help students to learn processes of scientific inquiry.
However, such instructional units do not appear, on their own, to help students develop robust conceptions of the nature of science. Students engaged in the BGuILE science instructional unit showed no gains in understanding the nature of science from their participation, and they seemed not even to see their experience in the unit as necessarily related to professional science Sandoval and Morrison, These findings and others have led to the suggestion that the nature of science must be an explicit target of instruction Lederman et al.
There is evidence from the ThinkerTools science instructional unit that by engaging in reflective self-assessment on their own scientific investiga-. Instead, they saw science as meaningful and explicable. The available research leaves open the question of whether or not these experiences help students to develop an explicit, reflective conceptual framework about the nature of science. Studies of the effect of typical laboratory experiences on student interest are much rarer than those focusing on student achievement or other cognitive outcomes Hofstein and Lunetta, ; White, The number of studies that address interest, attitudes, and other affective outcomes has decreased over the past decade, as researchers have focused almost exclusively on cognitive outcomes Hofstein and Lunetta, Among the few studies available, the evidence is mixed.
Some studies indicate that laboratory experiences lead to more positive attitudes Renner, Abraham, and Birnie, ; Denny and Chennell, Other studies show no relation between laboratory experiences and affect Ato and Wilkinson, ; Freedman, , and still others report laboratory experiences turned students away from science Holden, ; Shepardson and Pizzini, There are, however, two apparent weaknesses in studies of interest and attitude Hofstein and Lunetta, One is that researchers often do not carefully define interest and how it should be measured.
Consequently, it is unclear if students simply reported liking laboratory activities more than other classroom activities, or if laboratory activities engendered more interest in science as a field, or in taking science courses, or something else. When students do not understand the goals of experiments or laboratory investigations, negative consequences for learning occur Schauble et al. In fact, students often do not make important connections between the purpose of a typical laboratory investigation and the design of the experiments.
They do not connect the experiment with what they have done earlier, and they do not note the discrepancies among their own concepts, the concepts of their peers, and those of the science community Champagne et al.
The SLEI, which has been validated cross-nationally, measures five dimensions of the laboratory environment: student cohesiveness, open-endedness, integration, rule clarity, and material environment see Table for a description of each scale. All five dimensions appear to be positively related with student attitudes, although the. Extent to which the laboratory activities emphasize an open-ended, divergent approach to experimentation.
Extent to which laboratory activities are integrated with nonlaboratory and theory classes. Reprinted with permission of Wiley-Liss, Inc. In some populations, there is a negative relation to attitudes Fraser et al. Research using the SLEI indicates that positive student attitudes are particularly strongly associated with cohesiveness the extent to which students know, help, and are supportive of one another and integration the extent to which laboratory activities are integrated with nonlaboratory and theory classes Fraser et al.
When evidence is available, it suggests that students who participate in these units show greater interest in and more positive attitudes toward science. For example, in a study of ThinkerTools, completion of projects was used as a measure of student interest. The rate of submitting completed projects was higher for students in the ThinkerTools curriculum than for those in traditional instruction.
This was true for all grades and ability levels White and. Frederiksen, Students who participated in the CTA curriculum had higher levels of basic engagement active participation in activities and were more likely to focus on learning from the activities than students in the control group Lynch et al. This positive effect on engagement was especially strong among low-income students.
Students who participated in CLP during middle school, when surveyed years later as high school seniors, were more likely to report that science is relevant to their lives than students who did not participate Linn and Hsi, Further research is needed to illuminate which aspects of this instructional unit contribute to increased interest. Teamwork and collaboration appear in research on typical laboratory experiences in two ways. First, working in groups is seen as a way to enhance student learning, usually with reference to literature on cooperative learning or to the importance of providing opportunities for students to discuss their ideas.
Second and more recently, attention has focused on the ability to work in groups as an outcome itself, with laboratory experiences seen as an ideal opportunity to develop these skills. The focus on teamwork as an outcome is usually linked to arguments that this is an essential skill for workers in the 21st century Partnership for 21st Century Skills, There is considerable evidence that collaborative work can help students learn, especially if students with high ability work with students with low ability Webb and Palincsar, Collaboration seems especially helpful to lower ability students, but only when they work with more knowledgeable peers Webb, Nemer, Chizhik, and Sugrue, Building on this research, integrated instructional units engage students in small-group collaboration as a way to encourage them to connect what they know either from their own experiences or from prior instruction to their laboratory experiences.
Often, individual students disagree about prospective answers to the questions under investigation or the best way to approach them, and collaboration encourages students to articulate and explain their reasoning. A number of studies suggest that such collaborative investigation is effective in helping students to learn targeted scientific concepts Coleman, ; Roschelle, Extant research lacks specific assessment of the kinds of collaborative skills that might be learned by individual students through laboratory work. The assumption appears to be that if students collaborate and such collaborations are effective in supporting their conceptual learning, then they are probably learning collaborative skills, too.
The two bodies of research—the earlier research on typical laboratory experiences and the emerging research on integrated instructional units—yield different findings about the effectiveness of laboratory experiences in advancing the goals identified by the committee. In general, the nascent body of research on integrated instructional units offers the promise that laboratory experiences embedded in a larger stream of science instruction can be more effective in advancing these goals than are typical laboratory experiences see Table Research on the effectiveness of typical laboratory experiences is methodologically weak and fragmented.
The limited evidence available suggests that typical laboratory experiences, by themselves, are neither better nor worse than other methods of science instruction for helping students master science subject matter. Studies have demonstrated increases in student mastery of complex topics in physics, chemistry, and biology. Typical laboratory experiences appear, based on the limited research available, to support some aspects of scientific reasoning; however, typical laboratory experiences alone are not sufficient for promoting more sophisticated scientific reasoning abilities, such as asking appropriate questions,.
Research on integrated instructional units provides evidence that the laboratory experiences and other forms of instruction they include promote development of several aspects of scientific reasoning, including the ability to ask appropriate questions, design experiments, and draw inferences. In contrast, some studies find that participating in integrated instructional units that are designed specifically with this goal in mind enhances understanding of the nature of science.
Studies conducted to date also suggest that the units are effective in helping diverse groups of students attain these three learning goals. In contrast, the earlier research on typical laboratory experiences indicates that such typical laboratory experiences are neither better nor worse than other forms of science instruction in supporting student mastery of subject matter. Due to a lack of available studies, the committee was unable to draw conclusions about the extent to which either typical laboratory experiences or laboratory experiences incorporated into integrated instructional units might advance the other goals identified at the beginning of this chapter—enhancing understanding of the complexity and ambiguity of empirical work, acquiring practical skills, and developing teamwork skills.
The three bodies of research we have discussed—research on how people learn, research on typical laboratory experiences, and developing research on how students learn in integrated instructional units—yield information that promises to inform the design of more effective laboratory experiences. The committee considers the emerging evidence sufficient to suggest four general principles that can help laboratory experiences achieve the goals outlined above.
It must be stressed, however, that research to date has not described in much detail how these principles can be implemented nor how each principle might relate to each of the educational goals of laboratory experiences. Effective laboratory experiences have clear learning goals that guide the design of the experience. Ideally these goals are clearly communicated to students. Without a clear understanding of the purposes of a laboratory activity, students seem not to get much from it.
Conversely, when the purposes of a laboratory activity are clearly communicated by teachers to students, then students seem capable of understanding them and carrying them out. There seems to be no compelling evidence that particular purposes are more understandable to students than others.
Effective laboratory experiences are thoughtfully sequenced into the flow of classroom science instruction. That is, they are explicitly linked to what has come before and what will come after. A common theme in reviews of laboratory practice in the United States is that laboratory experiences are presented to students as isolated events, unconnected with other aspects of classroom work. In contrast, integrated instructional units embed laboratory experiences with other activities that build on the laboratory experiences and push students to reflect on and better understand these experiences.
The way a particular laboratory experience is integrated into a flow of activities should be guided by the goals of the overall sequence of instruction and of the particular laboratory experience. Research in the learning sciences National Research Council, , strongly implies that conceptual understanding, scientific reasoning, and practical skills are three capabilities that are not mutually exclusive.
An educational program that partitions the teaching and learning of content from the teaching and learning of process is likely to be ineffective in helping students develop scientific reasoning skills and an understanding of science as a way of knowing. The research on integrated instructional units, all of which intertwine exploration of content with process through laboratory experiences, suggests that integration of content and process promotes attainment of several goals identified by the committee.
Laboratory experiences are more likely to be effective when they focus students more on discussing the activities they have done during their laboratory experiences and reflecting on the meaning they can make from them, than on the laboratory activities themselves. Crucially, the focus of laboratory experiences and the surrounding instructional activities should not simply be on confirming presented ideas, but on developing explanations to make sense of patterns of data. Teaching strategies that encourage students to articulate their hypotheses about phenomena prior to experimentation and to then reflect on their ideas after experimentation are demonstrably more successful at supporting student attainment of the goals of mastery of subject matter, developing scientific reasoning, and increasing interest in science and science learning.
At the same time, opportunities for ongoing discussion and reflection could potentially support students in developing teamwork skills. From scales to microscopes, technology in many forms plays an integral role in most high school laboratory experiences. Over the past two decades, personal computers have enabled the development of software specifically designed to help students learn science, and the Internet is an increasingly used tool for science learning and for science itself.
This section examines the role that computer technologies now and may someday play in science learning in relation to laboratory experiences. Other uses, less clearly laboratory experiences in themselves, provide certain features that aid science learning. Researchers and science educators have developed a number of software programs to support science learning in various ways.
In this section, we summarize what we see as the main ways in which computer software can support science learning through providing or augmenting laboratory experiences. Perhaps the most common form of science education software are programs that enable students to interact with carefully crafted models of natural phenomena that are difficult to see and understand in the real world and have proven historically difficult for students to understand.
Such programs are able to show conceptual interrelationships and connections between theoretical constructs and natural phenomena through the use of multiple, linked representations. For example, velocity can be linked to acceleration and position in ways that make the interrelationships understandable to students Roschelle, Kaput, and Stroup, Chromosome genetics can be linked to changes in pedigrees and populations Horowitz, Molecular chemical representations can be linked to chemical equations Kozma, Students use the microworld to solve various problems of motion in one or two dimensions, using the com-.
ThinkerTools is but one example of this type of interactive, representational software. Others have been developed to help students reason about motion Roschelle, , electricity Gutwill, Fredericksen, and White, , heat and temperature Linn, Bell, and Hsi, , genetics Horwitz and Christie, , and chemical reactions Kozma, , among others. These programs differ substantially from one another in how they represent their target phenomena, as there are substantial differences in the topics themselves and in the problems that students are known to have in understanding them.
They share, however, a common approach to solving a similar set of problems—how to represent natural phenomena that are otherwise invisible in ways that help students make their own thinking explicit and guide them to normative scientific understanding. For example, students working through the ThinkerTools curriculum always experiment with objects in the real world before they work with the computer tools.
The goals of the laboratory experiences are to provide some experience with the phenomena under study and some initial ideas that can then be explored on the computer. Various types of simulations of phenomena represent another form of technology for science learning. These simulations allow students to explore and observe phenomena that are too expensive, infeasible, or even dangerous to interact with directly. Strictly speaking, a computer simulation is a program that simulates a particular phenomenon by running a computational model whose behavior can sometimes be changed by modifying input parameters to the model.
For example, the GenScope program provides a set of linked representations of genetics and genetics phenomena that would otherwise be unavailable for study to most students Horowitz and Christie, The software represents alleles, chromosomes, family pedigrees, and the like and links representations across levels in ways that enable students to trace inherited traits to specific genetic differences.
The software uses an underlying Mendelian model of genetic inheritance to gov-. As with the representations described above, embedding the use of the software in a carefully thought out curriculum sequence is crucial to supporting student learning Hickey et al. The investigators created a series of structured simulations allowing students to investigate problems of evolution by natural selection.
In the Galapagos finch environment, for example, students can examine a carefully selected set of data from the island of Daphne Major to explain a historical case of natural selection. Studies show that students can learn from the BGuILE environments when these environments are embedded in a well-organized curriculum Sandoval and Reiser, They also show that successful implementation of such technology-supported curricula relies heavily on teachers Tabak, The examples discussed here share a crucial feature.
The representations built into the software and the interface tools provided for learners are intended to help them learn in very specific ways. There are a great number of such tools that have been developed over the last quarter of a century. Many of them have been shown to produce impressive learning gains for students at the secondary level. Besides the ones mentioned, other tools are designed to structure specific scientific reasoning skills, such as prediction Friedler et al.
Rather than thinking of these representations and simulations as a way to replace laboratory experiences, the most successful instructional sequences integrate them with a series of empirical laboratory investigations. Advances in computer technologies have had a tremendous impact on how science is done and on what scientists can study. We found, however, that some innovations in scientific practice, especially uses of the Internet, are beginning to be applied to secondary.
With respect to future laboratory experiences, perhaps the most significant advance in many scientific fields is the aggregation of large, varied data sets into Internet-accessible databases. These databases are most commonly built for specific scientific communities, but some researchers are creating and studying new, learner-centered interfaces to allow access by teachers and schools.
These research projects build on instructional design principles illuminated by the integrated instructional units discussed above. CENS is currently working on ecosystem monitoring, seismology, contaminant flow transport, and marine microbiology. As sensor networks come on line, making data available, science educators at the center are developing middle school curricula that include web-based tools to enable students to explore the same data sets that the professional scientists are exploring Pea, Mills, and Takeuchi, The interfaces professional scientists use to access such databases tend to be too inflexible and technical for students to use successfully Bell, Bounding the space of possible data under consideration, supporting appropriate considerations of theory, and promoting understanding of the norms used in the visualization can help support students in developing a shared understanding of the data.
With such support, students can develop both conceptual understanding and understanding of the data analysis process. Focusing students on causal explanation and argumentation based on the data analysis process can help them move from a descriptive, phenomenological view of science to one that considers theoretical issues of cause Bell, Further research and evaluation of the educational benefit of student interaction with large scientific databases are absolutely necessary.
Still, the development of such efforts will certainly expand over time, and, as they change notions of what it means to conduct scientific experiments, they are also likely to change what it means to conduct a school laboratory. The committee identified a number of science learning goals that have been attributed to laboratory experiences. Our review of the evidence on attainment of these goals revealed a recent shift in research, reflecting some movement in laboratory instruction.
Historically, laboratory experiences have been disconnected from the flow of classroom science lessons. We refer to these separate laboratory experiences as typical laboratory experiences. Reflecting this separation, researchers often engaged students in one or two. Some studies compared the outcomes of these separate laboratory experiences with the outcomes of other forms of science instruction, such as lectures or discussions.
Over the past 10 years, researchers studying laboratory education have shifted their focus. Students are engaged in framing research questions, making observations, designing and executing experiments, gathering and analyzing data, and constructing scientific arguments and explanations. The two bodies of research on typical laboratory experiences and integrated instructional units, including laboratory experiences, yield different findings about the effectiveness of laboratory experiences in advancing the science learning goals identified by the committee. The earlier research on typical laboratory experiences is weak and fragmented, making it difficult to draw precise conclusions.
The weight of the evidence from research focused on the goals of developing scientific reasoning and enhancing student interest in science showed slight improvements in both after students participated in typical laboratory experiences. Research focused on the goal of student mastery of subject matter indicates that typical laboratory experiences are no more or less effective than other forms of science instruction such as reading, lectures, or discussion.
Integrated instructional units also appear to be effective in helping diverse groups of students progress toward these three learning goals. A major limitation of the research on integrated instructional units, however, is that most of the units have been used in small numbers of science classrooms. Only a few studies have addressed the challenge of implementing—and studying the effectiveness of—integrated instructional units on a wide scale. Due to a lack of available studies, the committee was unable to draw conclusions about the extent to which either typical laboratory experiences or integrated instructional units might advance the other goals identified at the beginning of this chapter—enhancing understanding of the complexity.
Further research is needed to clarify how laboratory experiences might be designed to promote attainment of these goals. The committee considers the evidence sufficient to identify four general principles that can help laboratory experiences achieve the learning goals we have outlined. Laboratory experiences are more likely to achieve their intended learning goals if 1 they are designed with clear learning outcomes in mind, 2 they are thoughtfully sequenced into the flow of classroom science instruction, 3 they are designed to integrate learning of science content with learning about the processes of science, and 4 they incorporate ongoing student reflection and discussion.
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Unlike the other goals, which coincide with the goals of science education more broadly and may be advanced through lectures, reading, or other forms of science instruction, laboratory experiences may be the only way to advance the goal of helping students understand the complexity and ambiguity of empirical work. Ideally these goals are clearly communicated to students. Design an experiment. The earlier research on typical laboratory experiences is weak and fragmented, making it difficult to draw precise conclusions. Learning scientific reasoning skills in microcomputer-based laboratories. Save your snacking for the office, not the lab.
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Download Physical Science Labs Projects You Can Do Today Lab Safety And Scientific Method Book 1 free pdf, Download. Physical Science Labs Projects. Popular ebook you must read is Physical Science Labs Projects You Can Do Today Lab Safety And Scientific Method Book 1. I am sure you will like the Physical.
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Gobert, J. The laws and regulations that FDA is responsible for enforcing, and to which food manufacturers must adhere, often necessitate measuring and analyzing food products, food packaging materials, or the environments in which foods are grown, packed, or processed. These measurements and analyses are used to:. These methods may be utilized by other public health agencies, laboratories, and the food industry as well.
There are times when FDA needs to test a product for a particular contaminant but a validated method to test for the contaminant in that product has not been established. When FDA does this it typically publishes the new method in a peer-reviewed journal so interested parties understand how FDA conducted its analysis and other researchers can use and adapt the method. It involves applying established scientific principles and methods to better understand factors that impact food safety and nutrition. The specific issue FDA seeks to address may vary but inevitably FDA must: identify the variables believed to impact a particular public health concern; gather information about those variables using validated research methods; perform analyses to determine the impact of the variables; and assimilate the information so it can be used by FDA and others to help achieve positive public health outcomes.
The findings from these efforts are invaluable in maximizing the effectiveness of food safety practices and improving the labeling and nutrition information provided to consumers. In the case of whole genome sequencing of foodborne pathogens, FDA and its public health partners have been building GenomeTrakr , which includes a global network of laboratories and a publicly accessible reference database of genomic information and geographic information from foodborne pathogen isolates. Public health officials and industry members can use the database to speed investigations of foodborne illness outbreaks and food contamination events, ultimately reducing illnesses and deaths.
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