Promoting learning that encourages students to learn proactively is a familiar issue in science class research with regard to approaches to evaluating learning corresponding to educational reforms fostering students’ potential and skills. In research in Japan and overseas, this features as one of the pillars of developing potential and skills. In order to improve such learning, it is necessary to integrate content, learning activity and learning evaluation, to stimulate students’ motivation to learn, and to promote proactive and cooperative study, linking this to the development of potential and skills. In addition, it is necessary to verify and refine the implemented teaching methodology and learning evaluation in accordance with curriculum management. Class research on learning activities using mutual evaluation sheets and science classes implemented based on the research were therefore conducted as a learning activity to encourage proactive study. The purpose of learning activities using mutual evaluation sheets is for students to evaluate their responses, as well as those of other students, to questions using fixed evaluation standards. They then review their responses and the results of the evaluation, developing their expressive ability and enhancing their motivation through proactive learning. In this trial, the PDCA cycle (designing, implementing and reviewing learning activities using mutual evaluation sheets) was regarded as a process in science class research. It was suggested that implementing classes with activities using mutual evaluation sheets and science class research could potentially encourage a shift in the teachers’ views of evaluation as well as contributing to the students’ motivation to study, a necessary factor in fostering students’ potential and skills.
This study explores the ideal design of lower secondary school science textbooks relevant to everyday life and society. I focused on the field of physics in third grade science. I found two features in the textbooks. One approach involves a micro perspective in a small-sized unit, whereby the relevance to everyday life and society takes precedence before the scientific ideas are presented. Another approach takes a macro perspective in a medium-sized unit, whereby the problem’s relevance to everyday life and society is introduced at the start of the unit, and then, the scientific ideas related to it are presented and used, and the problem is solved in the conclusion. Both approaches successfully motivate students to learn scientific ideas by using their relevance to everyday life and society as a starting point.
The purpose of this study was to develop design elements of teaching strategies to foster students’ ability to construct an argument with rebuttal and to clarify the effectiveness of their design elements. Design elements are guidelines that connect teaching strategies to science lessons. The lesson was a sixth grade science unit on the properties of aqueous solutions. In order to evaluate whether the students’ ability to construct an argument improved through the lessons that reflected the design elements, two evaluation tasks were given to students: to write an argument on the lesson content, and to write another argument on the lessons already learned. The results of the former showed that most students were able to construct an argument with a rebuttal. Furthermore, the results of the latter showed that students’ arguments included more rebuttals after the lessons than before. These findings indicated that the design elements developed in this study were effective for improving the students’ ability to construct an argument with a rebuttal.
This research aimed to clarify causal factors affecting spatial perception ability relating to lower secondary school students’ understanding of the phases of the moon and Venus. We conducted a questionnaire survey (52 items) of 416 9th grade students, identifying “mathematical schematization”, “involvement in astronomy”, “favorable impression of science study”, “the daily experience of finding one’s bearings”, “logical thinking for solving problems”, and “favorable impression of astronomical study in elementary school” as 6 factors affecting their “spatial perception ability”. Then, the students’ “spatial perception ability” was evaluated quantitatively from 6 perspectives: - “the recognition of shade by bird’s-eye view”, “spherical conception”, “conception of right and left”, “spherical conception of right and left”, “movement of viewpoint from the side”, and “distance conception”. Finally, we constructed a path diagram on 7 variables of “spatial perception ability” and performed a path analysis. We found that students’ “Involvement in astronomy”, “daily experience of finding one’s bearings”, and “favorable impression of astronomical study in elementary school” covary and are situated at the initial stage of a causal model affecting their “spatial perception ability”; we also found that the students’ experience with “spatial perception ability” is affected directly by “logical thinking for solving problems” and “mathematical schematization”, to the same degree. These results revealed that it would be useful for lower secondary students to consider the mechanism of moon phases logically and to visualize how the positional relationship between the sun, the earth, and other celestial bodies affects moon shades in order to develop their spatial perception ability relating to moon phases.
The purpose of this study was to discuss the effectiveness of anatomical exercise by using a type of dog food called “Boiled Chicken Head” in a lower secondary school science class and to analyze the experimental data results with regard to male and female students. In the unit “Body structure and functions of animals” of 2nd grade lower secondary school science class, the following 4 points were clarified after the anatomical exercise and the discussion about its effectiveness. 1. Both male and female students were able to recognize each of the parts of the brain at an acceptable level. 2. After the anatomical exercise, the minds of both male and female students were changed to become more positive toward anatomical exercises. 3. During the anatomical exercise, both male and female students maintained their interest highly. 4. The anatomical exercise did not have any negative influences on the male or female students’ attitudes toward science topics, such as “being interested in nerve system and function” and “respect for life”.
We developed teaching materials in order to clarify experimental results and shorten the time needed for experiments on the oxidation of copper and experiments on the reduction of copper oxide in lower secondary school science class. In this study, when a micro tube was used as the reaction vessel, it was easy for students to observe the state of a reaction. Also, when a mini alcohol burner that we had made was used as a heating appliance, the experimental manipulation was simplified and the time needed was shortened. It became possible for the students to observe a clear metallic luster of copper during the experiment on the reduction of copper oxide through the plastic. In order to verify the effectiveness of teaching materials, we implemented a science class for lower secondary school using the developed teaching materials. In the student’s experimental results, it was found that most of students could clarify the experimental results. Also, every student could play a role, simplify the experimental manipulation, and reduce erroneous operations by leveraging the individual experiment into pair work characteristic of microscale experiments.
One of the two purposes of this study was to execute basic radiation research at Akiyoshido cave, Taishodo cave, and Kagekiyodo cave. The other was to consider the possibilities for teaching materials based on the research results and suggest classes on radiation. After the research, the following two points were clarified. 1. Basically, the interiors of Akiyoshido and Taishodo caves had less radiation than the areas outside the caves. However, it was not clearly stated that the interior of Kagekiyodo cave had less. 2. In Kagekiyodo cave, secondary sediment, with the exception of limestone, was made of lapilli tuff containing radioisotopes. Additionally, limestone did not contain any radioisotope, or an insignificant amount. As a result of the teaching material consideration, we suggest the following classes. Showing the basic radiation research results helps students to understand what kind of radiation tendency each cave has on the inside and the outside. Students can also ponder possible phenomena with regard to the high amount of lapilli tuff radiation and the relatively low amount of limestone radiation amount compared with the background. Additionally, it is possible for students to measure the radiation amounts by themselves on a field trip, and to make an investigation by comparing with the original research results.