Despite “waxing and waning of the moon” having being deleted from the elementary school science curriculum in1998, now it has again become a part of the current curriculum for the sixth grade. This program is designed for learning the principle of the Moon’s waxing and waning from the viewpoint of earth, while the program for 9th grade covers the one from the larger perspective of the universe. However, a number of previous studies point to the difficulty of both teaching and learning of the theory, as well as instructors’ lack of knowledge. This research examines the reason for the problems mentioned above by analyzing the content of current elementary school science textbooks. The result indicates the difficulty of ensuring consistency between the observation of the moon as viewed from the earth and the model experiment, which is considered to derive from an insufficient theoretical explanation of both the position and distance between the moon and the sun as viewed from the earth as well as the waxing and waning of the moon. Thus, we developed and tested an instruction method which logically explains the waxing and waning of the moon and an intellectual machine as supplement material, by the use of which elementary student could comfortably understand the theory.
This is a thesis on the effects of teachers’ guidance on “Students’ Research Programs”. I examined how measurement training affects the method of students’ research. This training was given to students through teachers’ instructions while they were doing experiments in class. These students were in the first year of junior high school, in which there are many research activities. In the training, students were given three simple research themes and experimental materials. Students presented the results of an experiment that was done in groups of four. Due to their training, more than 60 percent of the students did some kind of measurement in their “summer vacation independent research”. This percentage is much higher than that of other grades at any time. It was found that more students than ever used their ingenuity in measuring and it was also found that their experimental methods were more diversified. Two months after the report was submitted, a survey of students’ attitudes towards scientific experiments and research was conducted. The survey shows that the students who received this training have higher interests in scientific study compared to the students who didn’t receive the training.
The purpose of this study is to investigate the problem-solving abilities of university students in the elementary school teacher-training course. For this purpose, we compared fifth- to sixth-graders with first-year university students. For the comparison, we developed a test of problem-solving abilities: to make a hypothesis, to devise an experimental method, and to make an outcome prediction. After comparing the results from 301 fifth- to sixth-graders with those from 388 first-year university students, we found that the problem-solving abilities of fifth-sixth graders are higher than those of the first-year university students.
The objective of this study is to examine the connection between science and mathematics at upper secondary level in Zambia. Fifty-one students in Grade 12, whose academic performance was average among upper secondary schools in Zambia, were chosen for this study. Eleven keywords related to the topic of function were chosen from students’ science and mathematics textbooks. Then, students were asked to create a conceptual map, based on the connections they make among the chosen keywords. The results show that students tend to formulate the fundamental conceptual structure based on each subject’s topic. A strong connection between the concepts of “load and extension” and “direct proportion” was identified, as well as between the concepts of “motion with uniform acceleration” and “graphs”. Based on the pattern of links identified, students were classified into three groups: those able to establish connections among subjects, those unable to connect proportion-related concepts with “load and extension”, and those unable to establish connections within concepts belonging to the same subject. Especially, students of the last two groups had difficulty connecting the concepts of “load and extension” and “direct proportion”. For those students, teaching about Hooke’s law and how to find commonalities seems to be needed.
This paper crystallizes four perspectives on content construction and instructional approach of the “Nature of Science” in U.S. science classes through analyses of American middle school science textbooks. (1) The content constitution of the “Nature of Science” in science textbooks is introduced as an independent unit. (2) There are six contents of the “Nature of Science” in U.S. middle school science textbooks. (3) The instructional approach of the “Nature of Science” in the U.S. science textbooks is to foster the students’ ability to distinguish among various science skills, after having understood each individual skill. (4) Instructional materials to understand the “Distinction between Observation and Inference” are stories of real scientists’ activities and scenes from everyday life.
Currently the term “standard electrode potentials” and the detailed descriptions about electrochemical systems appear in all chemistry textbooks for upper secondary school. Half of in-service teachers did not learn this concept when they were upper secondary school students and university students, so they need suitable teaching materials to teach this content. Therefore, we investigated the descriptions of electrochemical systems in chemistry textbooks for upper secondary school from 1955, and have developed appropriate electrochemical systems and experiments. This paper suggests an experiment using electrolysis of nickel (II) ion solutions. The hand-made electrolysis device is made of a PET-bottle, a plastic syringe, a nickel rod, and a nickel plate. We can measure the amount of gas and metal produced by that device, revealing that the dominant reaction in competing reactions of electrolysis is dependent on the concentration of nickel ion and pH. The best conditions for nickel plating are determined through the use of this system.
The purpose of this paper is consideration about the transformation and development in the group about “Life” as obtained from the school-based subject “Bioscience” (2 units). This subject of study has been taught to pupils with an aim to teaching knowledge and skills effectively by the method of lecture from the teacher. Therefore, it was difficult to respond to problem groups, such as in the case of reproductive medicine, in which students asked about a view of life or a sense of ethics, because it becomes trans-science, that is, “questions which can be asked of science and yet which cannot be answered by science.” and it is deeply concerned with history and culture. So, with the school-based subject “Bioscience”, a narrative approach of the evolutionary history was carried out, various experiments and training were undertaken, and a collaboration study with a specialist as well as an theme-based lectures were made. Analysis of the responses to questions regarding reproductive medicine showed that collaboration study with a specialist and theme-based lectures are significant to students’ cultivation of their view of life and the development of their analytical skills.
This study is a practical study to teach changes in the states of matter by the particle concept at a junior high school. The concept map was applied for conceptual understanding in this study. First of all, changes in the states of matter was shown as a simple concept map constructed from three conceptual labels of solid, liquid and gas. As this map corresponds with the students’ experience, it is called an “experience-level map”. Then, each label for solid, liquid and gas was decompressed as three sub-maps, showing the internal structure and movement of the particle for each state. After the experiment, these three sub-maps were connected to each other with new linking words in agreement with the students, and shown as a “theoretical-level map”. Finally, the whole concept map was constructed as a combined map of the experience and theoretical levels. The commitment toward the particle concept by a certain amount of the students decreased after the experiment because the observed phenomena were much different from the particle movement. However, their commitment toward the concept of particle movement got stronger when the whole map was constructed. The students could make sense of the whole map. This showed that the commitment toward the theoretical system depended on the reasonability of the theoretical explanation rather than the experiment. In this study, the students could understand the explanation of the particle concept on the whole map. As the experience-level map was the mirror image of the students’ experience, they could judge the particle concept on the theoretical-level map through the experience-level map. As a result, most students obtained the pragmatic understanding that scientific knowledge is a convenient tool for interpreting nature, and also got the holistic understanding that individual knowledge does not necessarily reflect on their experience, but they could understand the network of the knowledge as a system of explanation by using the concept map at the end of the learning unit.
The aim of this study is to devise a method of teaching chemistry and experimental teaching materials to develop “metacognition during an experiment” in upper secondary school students and to verify the effect of this method through teaching practice. In order to achieve this, a teaching method is devised whereby students are first encouraged to conduct monitoring through their own experience, then, via use of the experimental teaching material, to recognize the need for students to reflect on their own learning, and then to conduct immediate monitoring based on their cognitions and experience in the next experiment. A “synthetic experiment with ethyl acetate” was also used as an experiment for embodying this teaching method, after which a lesson about aliphatic organic compounds containing oxygen atoms was taught to a class of 71 third-grade upper secondary school students so as to verify the effect of the teaching method. Based on the students’ writings on questionnaires and worksheets in this experiment, we conclude that our teaching method can contribute to develop students’ own monitoring skills, which are part of their metacognition, during the experiment, whereby they understand the experimental methods and reflect on their own cognitions and experience.
In this study, intended for elementary school upper-grade students, to perform classification of trends of experience and awareness of the phenomena that typify causal relations in daily life, with clarification of the actual, are considered as primary examples of teaching methods suitable for typified groups. At first, multidimensional scaling was used for analysis based on the non-similarity degree data between variables (question items) which used the square Euclidean distance as an index. Next, non-hierarchical cluster analysis was performed on the basis of the non-similar degree data between the individual (subjects) who used the square Euclidean distance as an index. Each obtained cluster was then reflected on 2 dimensional space. As a result, by the tendency of experience and awareness toward the phenomena that typify causal relations in the elementary school upper grades, four groups (“the lower group of experience and awareness”, “the medium group of insufficient experience”, “the medium group of insufficient awareness”, and “the upper group of experience and awareness”) were revealed. Furthermore, it was possible to consider which examples of teaching methods were suitable for those four groups.
The aim of the study is to develop an instructional method to improve the representational functions and students’ abilities of thinking and expressing in science classes. Childrens’ representation in science learning includes some modes and levels (enactive, iconic and symbolic). To improve the abilities of thinking and expressing, children need to make connections between these modes of representation. In this study, firstly, we propose a new representational network model considering the level of dimensions which are able to visualize the childrens’ thinking processes involved in solving a problem. Secondly, we develop an instructional method to attain a high-order level of operating representation. The result is that children are able to think and express autonomously through teachers’ providing strategies for promoting meaningful encoding, that is, imagery, organization, schema activation and elaboration accordingly. Children’s critical thinking skills, decision-making and expression are developed simultaneously.
The aim of this study was to clarify the relationship between consciousness of science and the type of interests in science and technology of children and their parents who participated in the Youngsters’ Science Festival 2011-2013 in Kochi held in November or December of 2011 to 2013. One question asked which presentations among the 38 presentations at the festival they found most interesting or beneficial or taught them something new, with up to three choices allowed. Participants who were good at science (based on high grades in science subjects) chose a greater number of presentations they found interesting or beneficial than those who were not good at science. Compared to participants that prefer science, a greater ratio of participants that did not prefer science chose a chemistry-related presentation as one that taught them something new, and as one that was interesting for them among the 37 to 39 presentations. Moreover, compared to participants that are not or were not good at science, a greater ratio of participants who are or were good at science chose physics-related and technology-related presentations as one that taught them something new. These results suggest that children that like science may be more interested in physics- and technology related fields, while those that do not especially like science may still be interested in chemistry-related fields.
To infer points to consider for redesigning the teacher-training program, 32 participants at the University of the Ryukyus who wished to earn lower secondary school science teacher certification took a science examination (60-point full marks), which was the 2014 Okinawa prefectural upper secondary school entrance examination. Their answers were analyzed. The respective average mark and correct answer rate were 41.1 points and 69.0%. Mann–Whitney U tests found no significant difference in average marks according to college difference, gender, or hometown. Medium positive correlation was found between the participants and lower secondary school students preparing for the examination with regard to the percentage of correct answers, which suggests that “questions that were difficult for the students were also difficult for the study participants”. Academic development of teachers is necessary to improve the academic achievement of students. Most questions that all low-scoring students solved wrong and those which were answered correctly by the study participants less frequently than the upper secondary school preparatory students were questions designed to evaluate knowledge and understanding. For three questions evaluating analytical thinking, decision-making, and expression, the participants’ percentages of correct answers were much smaller than the estimated percentages of correct answers. Three questions were left unanswered by four or more participants: one evaluated knowledge understanding to answer using Kanji; the others were questions that evaluated participants’ skill in using numerical calculations in the Earth Science area. Related to this result, seven participants commented “Science learning of the past relied on memorization, mainly to prepare for exams”. Because many of them had learned with reliance on memorization, the fixing of knowledge was weak. Knowledge had been learned by rote without understanding scientific phenomena or how to solve problems logically.
The main purpose of this study was to investigate how well pre-service elementary teachers in Japan recognize the observable time and position of the Moon as seen from the Earth during the night, by using the questionnaires to ask about 7 phases of the Moon (crescent, first quarter, waxing gibbous, full Moon, waning gibbous, last quarter and old crescent). The following results were obtained: (1) About 5 percent of the pre-service teachers had scientifically correct understanding of the observable time and position of full Moon as seen from the Earth during the night. None of the pre-service teachers had scientifically correct understanding of the other phases of the Moon. (2) The pre-service teachers had several misconceptions related to the observable time and position of the Moon as seen from the Earth.