Asia-Pacific Forum on Science Learning and Teaching, Volume 8, Issue 2, Article 3 (Dec., 2007)

Effect of the usage of laboratory method in primary school education for the achievement of the students' learning

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Technology brings competition together with this century in which information and communication with a high speed. The winning way of this competition is to train the individuals better. In order to have successful individuals with good education, the share of the developed countries for education is standing in the first rank (Gezer et al., 1999). In Bahar et al. 2006 in all teaching programs developed related with science lessons in general meaning within last 30 years; it is seen that many points such as thinking students as inside learning process both mentally and physically in active, giving opportunities for the students to try, hypothesize and test, searching theoretical information instead of quoting them directly, presenting learning facility by means of interrogation based activities, gaining understandings relating to technology, society and environment become appear. They arrived the result that the experiments and other practical studies which will be made in the class or laboratory are significantly important in the realization of all these points and in providing of meaningful learning. The most important feature of science in which it differs from other sciences; is providing opportunity for experiment, investigation, asking of the student by minding the survey, establishing hypothesis, developing their researching skills and interpreting the results (Odubunni and Balagun, 1991). Together with the science education, besides bringing information to the students, supporting the development of their scientific thinking skills and submitting solutions to the daily problems are planned (Kaptan, 1999). It eases the material usage in education, perception and learning. It inspires and brings dynamism to the classroom. It shortens the time in learning, compacts knowledge and helps permanence. It provides the students to participate in the subject, arouses reading and searching interest. It carries the cases, actualities and facts which are impossible to bring them in the class with their real faces (Aslan and Doğdu, 1993). The students are active when they are making experiments and they live the experiment with everything. Therefore, during an experiment, dynamism is seen in the classroom. Laboratory method which provides the activeness of the student, carries great value in terms of education. The most valid learning methods are learning by living and performing, preparing experiments and investigating (İvgen, 1997). Today in which science and technology are developing with a rattling rate, science education is performed with different techniques and methods. Inside these methods, one of the most efficient ones is the laboratory method (Lawson, 1995). Although there are several discussions on it, laboratory and applied studies have an important and central role on the science education and lots of scientific study results also support this thesis (Erten, 2000). Laboratory provides the students to participate in the activities related with science and to learn the scientific method. Laboratory for students is a place where new information is developed by sighting, developing ideas and interpreting the data (Adey, Shayer and Yates, 1995). Laboratory applications are the complementary part and the focus point of science education (Serin, 2002). Thus, in all the schools, developing and using the science laboratories matter a lot. However it is stated that today, in most of the primary schools in our country, there are no laboratories and although there are laboratories in some schools, they are not used sufficiently (Erdemir et al. 1999). Some of the investigation results show that some of the science teachers do not give importance to the laboratories and so they do not want to have their lessons in the laboratories. Together, most of the teachers who do not like laboratories are the people who did not gain laboratory habit in the universities or the people who do not have any laboratories in their schools (Şahin, 2001).

Purpose of the Research

The purpose of this research is to investigate the effect of teaching the “Reproduction, Growth and Development in Living Things” Unit in the 6th class of the primary schools by using the laboratory method on the success of the student. Also another purpose is to compare the traditional science teaching method with the laboratory method.The spesific questions of the study were

  1. What is the success effect of traditional lesson teaching method on the students’ unit named “reproduction, growth and development in living things”?
  2. What is the success effect of laboratory method on the students’ unit named “reproduction, growth and development in living things”?
  3. Is there a difference between traditional science teaching method and laboratory method in processing of the unit “reproduction, growth and development in living things”?


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