The subject of evolution has been newly introduced to high school biology classes in Cambodia as part of a new national curriculum. This study reports on the development of teaching materials for teaching evolution in high school biology classes in Cambodia. These developed teaching materials utilize a duck embryo, which is commonly eaten in Cambodia as pong tia koon. The effectiveness of the developed teaching materials was examined by distributing the materials to Cambodian university students. Our main results are as follows: (1) We can observe the embryonic duck’s development using an incubator; (2) We developed new teaching materials for teaching evolution in Cambodian biology classes; (3) Students who use these teaching materials think that they are interesting and helpful for understanding evolution. Thus, we conclude that the developed teaching materials are very effective for teaching evolution in Cambodia.
Students do not have sufficient ability to define variables, according to research conducted by the Japanese National Institute for Educational Policy Research in 2011. In particular, there is difficulty in ensuring valid practical procedures when planning experiments. In order to solve the problem, teaching methods are required that encourage students to examine the validity of practical procedures by considering variables. There are teaching materials for science process skills; however, the majority of them focus on practical aspects of science process skills and not on cognitive aspects. In addition, even though there are teaching materials oriented towards promoting student’s cognitive processes, indications for teaching each process skill from a cognitive perspective are not given clearly. The aim of this research is to find characteristics of teaching methods for defining variables, which promote cognitive processes. Three different types of teaching materials, oriented towards promoting students’ cognitive processes, were analysed. The findings will contribute to the development of teaching methods that improve students’ experiments, and show that teaching methods can be improved by the following: 1. Helping students to construct a framework that enables them to justify experimental methods by defining variables. 2. Connecting the variables defined with further practical procedures by deciding the types of variables (categorical or continuous variables). 3. Setting steps in teaching methods for defining variables. 4. Setting up situations that stimulate students to consider variables.
The purpose of this study was to investigate trends and patterns in the questions of Lower Secondary School Science Textbooks published by Company A that was approved by the Ministry of Education in 2005. For this purpose, 508 questions were extracted and organized into a text database to analyze the method of questioning, as well as the contents of the questions. The questions were grouped into the following formats: “Short written answer,” “Long written answer,” and “Multiple choice answer.” Their contents were grouped into the following categories: “Scientific terminology,” “Calculations,” “Explanation of natural phenomena,” “Explanation of reasoning,” and “Figures and graphs.” The particular characteristics of the questions were examined, and two conclusions were drawn: (1) The long written answer format and the explanation of reasoning question content appeared less frequently in all questions; (2) Both Field 1 and Field 2 showed similar proportions of the explanation of natural phenomena, explanation of reasoning, and the question content categories of figures and graphs. The outcome of the analysis was compared with the trends and patterns in the questions of Ehime Prefecture’s Upper Secondary School Entrance Examinations. For the comparison, the Lower Secondary School Science Textbooks and Ehime Prefecture’s Upper Secondary School Entrance Examinations were synchronized based on the Japanese course of study. The questions of Ehime Prefecture’s Upper Secondary School Entrance Examination were extracted for this study from the study of Yamaoka (2010). The results show that many questions in Ehime Prefecture’s Upper Secondary School Entrance Examinations were closed questions. There were many “Calculations”, while there were few “Figures and graphs”.
This study developed a program using a scenario workshop, which is one of the participatory technology assessment methods, to make decisions and build consensus through proactive discussions among the students on future energy policy in a science class (STS education) intended to address the relationship between science technology and society. After the program was carried out in class, the results of a questionnaire survey taken before and after the class showed that more students expressed “interest”, “enthusiasm for learning”, and a “sense of participation” in future energy policy. Moreover, the students of each group within the class, as well as each individual student after the class, were able to make decisions about the future energy policy. Therefore, this study suggested that the scenario workshop is practical as a method to make decisions and build consensuses through proactive discussions by students.
The following points are the tasks of science education in Japan regarding the first stage of problem solution, such as “finding tasks by oneself,” “devising the methods of observation and experiment,” etc. It can be considered that these tasks are not for contriving the plans of observation and experiment, but show there are fundamental problems with instructions at the stage of forecasting what observations and examinations are possible before planning them, in other words, the instructions concerning hypothesis formation. This research placed emphasis on abduction, which is a process of inference and said to be important in the heuristic and creative context in science. It also discussed the process of inference, from the extraction of independent variables to the formulation of a hypothesis concerning the Four Question Strategy (4QS), which was developed as the strategy to instruct students on how to develop a hypothesis by themselves. As a result, the study verified that the process of extracting independent variables that influence the dependent variables is, fundamentally, inference by abduction, and that the process whereby these independent variables are reviewed to predict the experiment results and a working hypothesis is established is deduction. Further, by having the inference by abduction advocated by Peirce and having the deductive inference correspond to the process of inference in the process of hypothesis formation using 4QS, instruction in hypothesis formation functions as a key strategy to cultivate the ability of inference.