Smart Class Room- A new vision in education.

Dr. V.K.Maheshwari, M.A (Socio, Phil) B.Sc. M. Ed, Ph.D.

Former Principal, K.L.D.A.V. (P.G) College, Roorkee, India

The traditional approach of lecture and note taking has lost its effectiveness as the modern day around education grows. In efforts to grow academically it must be considered that differentiated modalities of teaching and learning are necessary to implement deeper levels of growth and conceptual development.

Learning is not how much one can cramp up. It’s rather the knowledge that remains after one forgets what he/she learned in schools. Thus we emphasize on learning the concepts with the help visuals and activities. To keep such view the smart learning was introduced.

The Smart Learning approach provides learners of all ages and walks of life with a framework and a host of Smart Thinking Tools that motivate higher levels of understanding. Through the process learners activate and build background knowledge, process information, transform their learning into a product that shows what they know, and reflect on their learning. Structured talk and assessment as and for learning are carefully woven into the process to build a thoughtful context for learning and to advance the thinking of all learners. Smart Learning realizes the goals of inclusivity and differentiation.

The use of Education technology can bring a huge change in education. Internet and e learning devices can make class room environment extremely amazing. Teaching through computer, internet and multimedia devices will be a common thing in future. Now a day’s different multimedia lessons are available. By using these multimedia lessons teachers may teach the students very easily.

In these day Smart class and smart schools are very interesting dreams for students, teachers and the students. Students are very interested about the smart school and smart class. Several institutes are making their classroom smart and modern. They are working on “Smart School Project”.

Importance of Smart Classes

E-learning and smart classroom aims at developing the students learning ability as the entire chapters become more interesting to study and hence improve the results of the students. The smart classrooms are the new generation educational product which helps students gain more marks and is a step to the future of education. E-learning is a revolutionary product in the field of education.

The Smart classroom learning approach provides learners of all ages and walks of life with a nine-step framework and a host of Smart Thinking Tools that motivate higher levels of understanding. Through the process learners activate and build background knowledge, process information, transform their learning into a product that shows what they know, and reflect on their learning. Structured talk and assessment as and for learning are carefully woven into the process to build a thoughtful context for learning and to advance the thinking of all learners.

A smart classroom can be considered as a virtual classroom. A Smart Classroom duplicates the capabilities found in a real classroom.

A Smart classroom provides:

• Students and teachers use their computers to go to a virtual meeting place instead of a classroom.

• A list of students is recorded.

Lecture:

Teachers can choose from a variety of synchronous technologies including:

• Slide presentation

• Audio and video conferencing

• Application sharing

• Shared whiteboard

Interaction with students: Students can indicate when they want to speak by virtually raising their hand. Teachers can let students speak through audio and video conferencing. Teachers and students can use instant messaging and chat Teachers can present questions to students. Students can work together in groups.

Usage:

• Using e-class is as simple as operating your Television from a remote. As with e-class you get an e-box which needs to be attached with the TV and with the e-box remote you can navigate through the study material loaded on e-class.

• The students have access to the study material with them, so they can plan their studies at their convenience. Revision would never had been so fun earlier as all the have to do is switch on to e-class and sit back and learn using the Audio Video learning.

• With e-class you can study at your own pace, devote more time to your weak points. Studying and revising can be done at once own pace

Characteristics of a Smart Classrooms:

Adaptive learning: Any classroom will always have students of different types of learning abilities in it which often makes it difficult for teachers to make sure that all of them understand the concepts. The modern approach of adaptive learning gives students the freedom to learn at their own pace and in the way they are most comfortable with.

Collaborative learning: Learning through collaboration is one of the most effective forms of learning. Teaching and learning in isolation are very restrictive and hinder progress. Learning in groups enhances the scope of learning and develops critical thinking. Collaborative learning activities include collaborative writing, group projects, joint problem solving, debates and more. Collaborative learning redefines traditional student-teacher relationship in the classroom.

Computing devices: Computers are readily available in modern classrooms, since they are essential tools for 21st century students and replace the utilities of pen and paper. They give teachers the opportunity to enhance their lessons and assist them.

Mutual respect: Teachers and students should always have respect for each other. As now the role of teachers is no longer to be the sage on the stage, students should not forget their value as they will always receive guidance from them. Also, teachers should encourage students to speak with confidence and value their opinions.

Performance-based assessments: Regular performance-based assessments are carried out by teachers through various methods which are not restricted to tests. These can be by conducting quizzes and polls.

Student-centric: In Smart classrooms, teachers play the role of facilitators. They help students think critically. Students discover and master new concepts. Student-centric classroom environments put students’ interests first and are focused on each student’s needs, abilities and learning styles.

Students take responsibility of their learning: As students are encouraged to actively participate in their own learning, they become responsible for their learning.

Students understand and follow the rules and procedures: The learning environment is carefully planned and well-organized. Class rules, procedures, and notices of upcoming activities are posted in convenient places to help students stay on track. Students are constantly encouraged to remind them of their goals and responsibilities. They follow class routines and understand what they are expected to achieve each day and how they are to go about it.

There is innovative working system for teachers and in school management:

An attractive classroom environment is needed for such type smart and innovative activities. Smart school class will be more attractive, innovative, student friendly, healthy and more interesting class. In a smart class it may possible there to arrange “online classes” by internet. Smart class is a platform for e smart class and online IT class.

There is fully multimedia enabled audio-visual classrooms :

Smart Class is a Smart concept for Smart Educators of Smart Schools. “Smart Class” includes Smart Learning Techniques, Smart classroom management, Smart Learning environment and Smart Learning Materials. Internet, projector and other multimedia devices are the main parts of smart classrooms. Smart class is a class of modern age. There is fully multimedia enabled audio-visual classrooms in a smart classroom. It will be quite different than traditional class. In a smart classroom the teacher works as a facilitator in learning.

The upgraded kind of education:

This upgraded kind of education is very interesting for children! it is an innovative idea to change our boring system into a smart and innovative system of teaching-learning activities. Smart School: Smart class is a more fascinating model in the world. In a smart school teachers have to develop the skill of learning from experiences.

Objective of Smart Class Room

The following are some objectives for a Smart Class Room application:

  • To help teachers to meet new challenges and developing students’ abilities and performance.
  • To enables teachers to access multimedia content and information that can be used for teaching students more effectively.  Pedagogically sound and visually rich curriculum resources.
  • To enables teachers to express their views and ensures that every child is understanding the undertaken concept which ultimately affects his achievement.
  • To make possible for the concepts to be understood clearly. To makes abstract concept real.
  • To have interactive and live teaching to elaborate and compare different objects and perceptions towards the particular concepts
  • To designed a module of smart class  which allows a student to visualize the concept much better than static images. Visuals and animations that students will never forget.
  • To move a step towards development where students’ achievement is highlighted.
  • To makes learning an enjoyable experience for students. Activities and games to make learning process easy.
  • To make effective blending of technology with the classroom, and to Inform the teachers of classroom events
  • To instruct simultaneously remote and local students.
  • To improve creative thinking in learning process to visualize the concepts and practices with model and demonstrations.
  • To optimize the use of e-resources wise e-books, e-journals, protocols, lecture notes, documentaries and so on.
  • To customized content as per the school’s scheme of work and to provide facility to update the content.

Principles inherent in Smart class room

The following are the principles for smart classrooms in terms of arrangement and pedagogical configuration which we have established as widely generalizable and which should be considered in order to transform any formal learning space in smart classroom .

Principle of  Adaptability

From the idea that every teacher and every class is different, and that space can be adapted to their needs, the concept of smart classrooms includes the principle of adaptability to the type and needs of teacher and of each student.

Principle of  Connectivity

The concept of connectivity has a twofold character. On one hand it is required that the learning space has a good network connectivity, both local and global, to use to the most the potential of mobile devices. Connectivity should be wireless, and this is fundamental to maximize physical mobility around the space and comfort in using technology. On the other hand, beyond digital connectivity there exists social and informational connectivity. Through networks, students live connected to teachers, friends, family, professionals and to a large number of information sources, both in their immediate surrounding and from distant places.

Principle of Comfort

Under this principle, elements which enable this well-being should be included in the learning space for the various tasks to be done for learning, such as couches, pillows, rugs and carpets, comfortable chairs. A smart classroom is a place arranged to comfortably do various activities –reading, watching videos, playing, listening to music and audios, writing, talking, debating, experimentation, and so on.

Principle of Flexibility of physical arrangement

The arrangement of a smart classroom and its elements is such that it allows agile and easy variations in activities, that is, make it possible to change student grouping, the type of resources being used, use of various types of resources at the same time, ICT and non-ICT, for different students to carry out different tasks, e.g. searching information, discussing, watching a video, etc. The classrooms is supplied with varied furniture elements to achieve flexibility of space arrangement.

Principle of  Multiplicity

This principle refers to smart classrooms having features which enable the use of various types of resources and stimuli. While teaching and learning, the arrangement  enable possibilities for creativity, reasoning, logical thinking, etc., and  be adapted as close as possible to learners’ various needs and learning styles.

Principle of  Order / Organization

This is an important principle, even though it is not easy to design, and attain, sustainable placing, storing, arrangement and rules of use of spaces and resources available. For this reason teachers  carefully consider the order and arrangement of spaces and resources so that these are the most adequate for the learning activities that will take place in their smart classroom.

Principle of  Openness

This principle relates to the false and rooted belief that learning takes place only in the formal space in the traditional classroom, where the teacher presents information and gives a lesson in a transmissive way . Learning takes place beyond the classroom space, both physically and virtually, and therefore activities put forward for smart classrooms should consider these extended learning places and learning times in order to learn beyond the classroom and the class times traditionally assigned.

Principle of Personalization

Smart classrooms allows students and teachers to personalize their environment according to their likes and needs. A space which progressively teacher and students should make their own, personalizing it by means of activities which support and reinforce learning.

Principle of  Safety / Security

Smart classrooms have an arrangement which prevents users from having physical accidents and will also be safe in terms of access to information and communication on the Internet from the classroom. Therefore security systems will be taken into account when conceptualizing and designing smart classrooms.

In sum, the arrangement, structure, methodologies and principles of smart classrooms intend that learning experience be as likely as people’s learning ways, preferences and styles, in a natural way and in a personal space; all this through active participation, experimentation, collaboration, solidarity, rapport, creativity, leadership, and so on.

Main themes in the Smart Classroom concept

Smart Classroom aims at combining entrepreneurial pedagogy, collaborative teaching and the latest technological teaching tools to create a modern and effective education service environment in education setting. There are three main themes in the SMART Classroom concept:

  1. Smart Pedagogy,
  2. Smart Teaching Solutions.
  3. 3.Smart Learning Space

SMART Pedagogy is based on entrepreneurial pedagogy and methodologies. Smart Classroom project aims at fostering the application of these methodologies in institution setting and hereby provide more interactive alternatives to traditional  teaching. This theme of the project results a handbook for teachers on applying fresh teaching methods into practise, tools for teachers’ self-reflection and evaluation and training programme for  teachers.

The second theme of the Smart Classroom concept is called Smart Teaching Solutions and it deals with variety of practical teaching tools and materials for  teachers including teaching games and simulations. Smart Teaching Materials include for example exercises and examples that teachers can apply to their courses.

Smart Teaching Spaces cover both physical and virtual teaching spaces  spaces in the instiution setting. The Smart Teaching Spaces concept defines the essential furniture and technical specifications of ideal physical classrooms and the most important features of virtual learning platforms. Also facilities and fuctions for lecture halls and collaborative teaching spaces will be defined in this package. The Smart Teaching Spaces as a whole brings flexibility to learning and makes the learning ubiquitous.

Google Classroom

Google Classroom is an online application, linked to Google accounts, that allows teachers to set up online “classrooms” for their students. It is an open portal that has simple functionality and helps educators stay organized and paper-free. Teachers only need an aligned G Suite for Education account to use this application. Students enroll into the online class with a specific code. Then, they have the ability to submit assignments, take examinations, and access informational files all through each teacher’s uploaded stream. All classwork and homework is uploaded to classroom, and can be monitored by the teacher as well. Teachers can also track on-time and late student submissions, and divide assignments into categories for more organization. This application keeps every class separate from one another, and keeps all files in one central location for a simplified grading process.

The Layout of Smart Classroom

The Smart Classroom is physically built in a separate room of Pervasive Computing Lab   in which several video cameras, microphone arrays are installed in it to sense human’s gesture, motion and utterance. According to the characteristic of invisibility in pervasive computing environment, it deliberately removed all the computers out of sight. Two wall-sized projector displays are mounted on two vertically crossed walls. According to their purposes, they are called “Media Board” and “Student Board” separately. The Media Board is used for lecturer’s use as a blackboard, on which prepared electronic courseware and lecturers’ annotation are displayed. The Student Board is used for displaying the status and information of remote students, who are part of the class via Internet.

The classroom is divided into two areas, complying with the real world classroom’s model. One is the teaching area, where is close to the two boards and usually dominated by lecturer. The other is the audience area, where is the place for local students. Complying with the philosophy of Natural and Augmented. Natural means obeying real-world model of classroom as much as possible to provide lecturer and students the feeling of reality and familiarity, which leads to the existence of local students. Augmented means trying to extend is the reason for remote student.

Suggested features for Smart Class Room

Smart Class Room must have some of the following features:

• Redecorated interiors

• Enhanced lighting controls

• A gyro wireless mouse to control the computer and projector from anywhere in the classroom

• Switching controls to easily change projector output between the PC, laptop,

document camera, and DVD/VCR

• New projectors

• Laptop plugs so you can bring your own computer and hook it up instantly

• A document camera to show transparencies, papers, or small objects on the projector and even take

Snap shots of them

• A SMART Sympodium that allows you to make electronic notes and images appear

• The Classroom Performance System(CPS) to get real-time answers from your students in class by means of wireless multiple-choice response devices.

Components of Smart Class Room

• Smart Board (6X4)

• Smart LED TV High (Panasonic 42”, 2 USB, Viera connect)

• Short throw Projector (Panasonic PT-VX400)

• Video Conferencing Equipments

• Laptop with Internet connection (with public IP)

• Document Camera/ Visulaizer (12 time optical Zoom and 8 time Digital Zoom)

• Podium (ITC 6236B, 60W amplifier inbulit)

• Video Conferencing – High Definition (Lifesize Express 220) and Screen

Architecture of Smart Classroom at  Library

 

Affordable Components of technology for Smart class Room

With so much new education technology being created at such a rapid pace, teachers can have a hard time deciding what will be beneficial in their classrooms. Even after a specific device or program has been chosen, cost can often be prohibitive in a school environment, making it difficult for smaller districts to access the same advantages of larger ones. To help sort through all of the noise and find the best tools at the lowest price, we look into four of the most budget-friendly pieces of technology that can benefit classrooms:

1) Document cameras

A budget-friendly device that can help to more actively engage students, document cameras allow teachers to display worksheets on a screen or to individual devices much like an old-school lamination projector. Group exercises and quizzes can be displayed with the camera instead of on individual sheets of paper, helping classrooms become more environmentally friendly as well as technologically savvy.

2) SMART boards

Interactive whiteboards, or SMART boards, offer a benefit similar to that of a document camera, but taken up a notch. Presentations are made more robust and given more depth. When a picture or document is displayed on the board, teachers can write on them with an Internet-connected stylus that provides a trove of additional information to the lesson, such as definitions, extra images or accompanying video. Instructors are also able to archive and share any lesson that has used the board, and past lessons can be revisited to reinforce new topics being covered.

3) Cloud-based communication systems

One of the most beneficial aspects of adding technology into a classroom environment is its ability to broaden the scope of what students are exposed to on a daily basis. With Internet communication services like voice-over-IP and Web conferencing, teachers can arrange for virtual field trips to places they wouldn’t be able to take their classes otherwise. Experts in specific topics can give a talk through Skype and students can collaborate with one another on projects online.

4) Tablets and eBooks

Like laptops and smartphones, tablets and e-readers are becoming increasingly popular with students outside of school. Harnessing familiar technology inside the classroom can help to engage students and help them feel more comfortable with the material since it is being presented in a format they are used to. Providing electronic copies of textbooks also allows students to go into the lesson more in depth, as links to additional material can be provided inside the text. Key concept summaries can also be provided at the end of a section, as well as digital flashcards that cover the lesson plan.

All of these devices can help teachers and schools greatly improve learning experiences for their students, but all of the benefits offered by the technology would be for nothing if it can’t be managed effectively and kept secure.

Functionality of Smart Classroom Applications

In this section, we will describe how our Smart Classroom application suite facilitates collaborative learning applications. Our Smart Classroom application suite facilitates different collaborative learning activities of a student, an instructor, and a teaching assistant. The suite also provides different functionalities for communication between the students, the teacher, and the teaching assistant

The functionalities of Smart Classroom Applications are listed below:

i) For a single student

a) The application suite reminds the student of his/her homework and class schedule based on current time and current location.

b) The application module will synchronize the lecture notes between a student’s smart phone and desktop computer before and after class.

ii) For instructor/Teaching Assistant

a) The application suite synchronizes the lecture notes between instructor or teaching assistant smart phone and desktop computer before and after class, since desktop computers have the original lecture notes.

iii) For student-to-student communication

a) The application suite enables students to exchange and share their documents in drawing.

b) It also enables students synchronize drawing document among their smart phone.

iv) For instructor/ Teaching Assistant-to-students communication

a) The application suite distributes teaching material (lecture notes/survey forms/grade sheet/course schedule) from instructor or teaching assistant to all students at proper situations.

b) The instructor can create exams for students and groups by using the application suite.

The instructor can also send exams to the students and groups and collect answers; grade

and send the grade back to the students by using the application suite.

v) For student-to-instructor/Teaching Assistant communication

a) The application suite facilitates students to store their questions or concerns in text format in their smart phone. When the instructor is available (in classroom), the questions are automatically transferred to the instructor smart phone.

b) Students submit their progress report in a similar way by using the application suite. At the end of a class, their reports are submitted to the instructor automatically.

c) Students make appointments with the instructor using their smart phone to send the request to the instructor’s smart phone and get a confirmation using the application suite.

d) Students write answers of the exams and send answers to the instructor using the application suite.

e) Students run and display their homework on the smart phone and project it on the screen with the help of the application suite.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Smart class room

Bringing technology in classrooms has been a topic of debate for the last couple of decades. While many parents, teachers, academicians and policy makers are in favour of the same, others think it is a total disaster. Let’s look into the matter and discuss some of the positives and negatives of bringing technology inside classrooms.

Advantages of Smart class  room

Access to online information: Technology tools allow learners to easily access a rich database of online resources. Teachers can use the wide variety of online information sources such as knowledge databases, online video and news items to reinforce their lessons. Learners can also quickly access the wide range of powerful tools and resources to conduct.

Allow for connectivity in different location: Interactive technology tools allow for connectivity in different locations; making ideal collaboration and distance learning environments. When using technology tools, student show to increase student-to-student collaboration and increase overall participation in the lesson.

Better understanding: It shifts the classroom experience from the sage-on-a-stage approach to a more collaborative environment. With classrooms turning into smart classrooms, students are also getting smarter! Big chunks of paragraphs are being replaced with pie charts, bar graphs and images and the theory “A picture is worth a thousand words” is coming to life.

Bridge the urban/rural divide: The smart classroom creates another opportunity to bridge the urban/rural divide by exposing students to technology in a classroom setting. Also, this classroom may be used in conjunction with our proposal for pre college outreach to allow children and teenagers to experience technology that they may not otherwise be exposed to in a rural, small town setting.

Countless resources for making learning more fun and effective: From apps to organizational platforms to e-textbooks and more, there are many amazing tools that can help .Tools  will help both students and professors alike collaborate, share ideas, stay organized, and more to get the most out of learning.

Can automate a lot of teaches tedious task: There are engagement tools like that can automate grading for you and keep track of student performance. Similarly, tools  can help him streamline grading for writing assignments, discussions, and participation, and answering common student questions, which otherwise can seem daunting due to their objective nature.The class has instant access to information that can supplement their learning experience.

Change the way of imparting knowledge: Overall, incorporating   technology tools   to the classroom environment is likely to change the way teachers impart knowledge to students and at the same time simplify the learning process for students. Students will find it easy to engage with lessons and gain a better understanding of the overall subject concept. It is an ideal tool for any classroom setting. The education field needs technology like this for students, learners, and educators to continue to grow in their field.

Environmentally friendly: Interactive technology tools     are also environmentally friendly. They offer teachers an entirely different way of presenting information to students, which eliminates the need for writing, printing or photocopying. Which, contribute to eliminate wastage from over-utilization of paper and ink.

Enhanced teaching/learning experience: Technology tools provide new ways for teachers to teach, and for student to learn. These tools support a wide variety of learning styles. For instance, visual learners can watch as their tutors use the technology tools   to project visual elements, whereas audio learners can listen and have discussions. On the other hand, the Boards come with touch screen capabilities that allow tactile learners to touch and interact with the board.

Increased exposure and wider access to information: With internet access, students are provided with great exposure as they are given a chance to think and feel outside their bubble. They come in terms with what is happening in the world and perhaps even try to change the wrong.

Technology nowadays is not only widely available but also affordable. From apps to e-textbooks to Wikipedia, no matter how far you go, all you need is the internet and information will be available to you and all other potential readers and learners.

Improved student engagement: Students who hardly raise their hands in class or the back benchers who are usually sleeping, now look forward to learning something new as these modern age tools are more relatable to them. By fostering discussions and surfacing new and out of the box ideas, technology also helps improve the student- teacher bond.

Interact and share: The interactive nature of technology tools   offers learners an opportunity to share and participate in the instructional process. Interactivity provides a platform for students to demonstrate their grasp of the subject through touching, drawing, and writing. Every learner has an opportunity to participate or contribute to the presentation and discussion .

Low-Maintenance: Technology tools are neat and easy to use. There are no hassles cleaning or maintaining whiteboards. The data on the screen can be modified using a specialized highlighting tool or pen. There is no need for using unhygienic chalk or marker pens.

Provide rapid assessment: In addition, the technology tools   provide for rapid assessment whereby learners can receive immediate feedback. Teachers and students are able to identify individual strengths and weaknesses in various subject areas and isolate areas/topics that need more focus or review. Thus smart board helps to increase the involvement of the students in learning.

Provides Flexibility: Interactive technology tools allow many different forms of media – including photos, illustrations, maps, graphs, games, and video, to be displayed. These tools help to expand the nature of content that can be used in learning. In addition,  technology tools makes learning to be more dynamic as the different forms of presenting information are readily available.

Students can learn life skills through technology: Creating presentations, learning to differentiate reliable from unreliable sources on the Internet, maintaining proper online etiquette, and writing emails; these are all vital skills that your students can learn in the classroom and master before graduation.

Technology Integration: Technology tools allows for integration of various technologies in order to improve the learning experience. For instance, it is possible to attach tools such as microscopes, document cameras, cameras or video cameras to a whiteboard to aid in instruction. It is also possible to integrate the interactive learning tools with a wide range of software applications.

Teachers can do more experiment in pedagogy: As an academic professional, teaches learn more about how to effectively design and execute a class guided with technology. Whether it’s a dramatic change such as teaching with a flipped-classroom, or just adopting a single tool for a specific project or term, he will learn something new in modern academia! Being well-versed in technology can also help build his credibility with students, and even with fellow colleagues.

Disadvantages of Smart class room  Technology In Education

A Disconnected Youth

This harmful effect of technology has already come to light in today’s world. People are attached to their screens almost 24/7, which is causing an entirely new set of social issues to pop up. This translates into the school system in a bit of a different way, however. More and more students are experiencing social anxieties when it comes to face to face interactions, but are perfectly fine socializing online.

Can foster more cheating in class and on assignments:

This will happen if the teacher give up hope on adjusting his students’ attitudes and only give them subjective assignments that require no thought or perspective.

Inevitable Cheating

While have an easy access to information may seem like a great thing, it can become a real problem in a test taking environment. Cell phones have made cheating easier than ever. You no longer have to figure out how to write all of the answers down, you can just look them up!

Inappropriate data:

With internet connectivity available 24X7, students are exposed to some sites and links which are inappropriate for them. While colleges can limit the availability of these websites on their network, they cannot control what the student is searching for.t is a bit of expensive job to set up the smart classroom environment. The biggest concern when it comes to the use of technology in schools is how easy pornographic, violent, and other inappropriate materials can be accessed and viewed. This could cause big problems if the material is shared with other students while in the classroom.

Lack of face to face interaction:

With social media platforms, students might have come closer to each other by using various apps and sites but, at the same time, they have gone far from each other when it comes to face to face interaction which is apparently affecting their real life social skills.

Lesson planning can become more labor intensive:

It can seem overwhelming to adapt technology into the classroom. In many ways though, using technology can become as natural to as any daily activity. Allow  time to learn how to use something. Chances are that students will learn it even faster than you since they’ve grown up surrounded by technology.

Possible disconnection of social interaction:

Many people are skeptical of technology and what it does to students’  ability to verbally communicate. If the teacher create assignments in class that use both technological tools as well as oral presentations and collaboration, this will teach students to be dynamic in how they learn and interact with others.

Students do not have equal access to technological resources:

There may be students who do not have iPads or cameras or even the textbooks for class. It will be up to the teacher  to point them in the direction of the library or community resources, or to create assignments that allow them to work in groups and share resources.

The Cyberbullying Trap:

Giving students access to anonymous accounts and endless contact avenues can only lead to trouble. Cyber bullying has become a real and in our face problem among young people today. This harassment has no end, which includes the class room. There is also no way to monitor or discipline students who are involved.

Technology can be a distraction:

One of the major drawbacks of having technology in classrooms is the distraction which comes complimentary with it. With so many tempting social media platforms like snap chat, Instagram, facebook, twitter and tumblr, it’s not hard for the students to divert from what is happening in the class and misuse the opportunity given to them. Attentiveness drops drastically in the classroom when students have their cell phones or other technologies out. The focus shifts from their teacher and education, to whatever they are looking at, playing, or doing on their phones.

The quality of sources  may not be top-notch:

The internet is both a blessing and a curse. The students may need some guidance on identifying proper sources and unreliable sources. Many campuses have writing centers that can help with this.

However, the need of the hour is setting up of guidelines and rules in place, teaching students about online safety and helping them understand what the good sources of information are. Apart from that, trying to restrain personal usage of internet to as less as possible in the classrooms should also be taken care of.

Conclusions:

The Smart classroom  is a one-stop resource for students needing research, technology, or writing help. The usage of this new technology must be encouraged in the current education system. The Smart classroom provide the students as well as teacher to learn through a new techniques and too in a different and interesting manner.

 

 

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Text books- An integral part of any educational system

Dr. V.K.Maheshwari, M.A (Socio, Phil) B.Sc. M. Ed, Ph.D.

Former Principal, K.L.D.A.V. (P.G) College, Roorkee, India


The textbook is one of the important aids in the teaching learning process and has occupied a provital   sole in the education of the school students, the process of education is most of the students in india  and even in abroad can be summed up in one phrase “as is the text book so is the  teaching and learning”, As McKeachie (1994) notes, ”. . . my years of experience in attempting to assess teaching effectiveness have led me to think that the textbook, more than any other element of the course, determines student learning.”

Functions of Science Book

1. Guide: The text book serve as a guide. They become part of the syllabus white framing it. The text books play a pivotal Rolex in rural area where students relay only on text books to the maximum content.

2.  Understanding: A good  text book makes the basic concepts and principles clear by giving suitable examples.

3.  Scientific attitude: It develops scientific attitude in the students. The students looking through the    book should be fascinated to enquire or search or search  the world around them.

4.  Home study: the students can study books at their homes after getting demonstration lesson in the class.

5.  Develop Variety of skills: Science text book provide opportunity to develop a variety of skills. The learner can handle instruments in the laboratory carefully after reading precautions of the experiment.

6.  Speedy revision: Text help the pupils for systematic and speedy revision of the lesson after it has been finished.

7.  Supplement the class work: text books can be used to supplement the science curriculum. Science text books which supplement classroom work are usually recommended as reference books or encyclopedia volumes by teachers ..

8.  Economical: These are economical as texts can be used for a number of years.

9.   Accurate conclusion: Science text books help the classroom discussion to arrive at accurate  conclusion.

10.  Home work: These help the students for doing home work and the preparatory part of assignments.

Use of the Textbooks

  • It is used as a ready source of authoritative information.
  • .  A source of factual material in the preparation of assignments ..
  • To provide motivation by attractive presentation and self testing exercises.
  • A handy source of illustrations of superior teaching value which serve as visual aid for the understanding of facts and principles.
  • To supply stimulating exercises, numerical problems and other devices which would serve as a means of applying the knowledge again.
  • To help the pupils improving the subjects systematic and fixing it in memory.
  • To give the biographical and historical reading material to realize the cultural value ..
Suggestions to Students on How to Use a Textbook

  • Study assigned readings before each class. Be prepared for questions, references to those readings, and other activities building on that material.
  • Take notes in outline form as you read the text, indicate key points with a highlighter, note connections between sections, make lists of questions that come to mind or uncertainties, and pause frequently to summarize the key points of each section or chapter.
  • Compare your lists of questions and your lists of key points with those of others in the class.
  • Bring questions to class or recitation sections and ask the instructor to answer them.
  • Review the text after the class to gain additional perspective.
  • Look in supplemental texts to see how other authors present similar topics, especially if the points seem vague or unclear in the primary text. Remember that often the presentation that introduces new information, concepts, and vocabulary will seem foreign. Another presentation with a slightly different twist may help you see something differently or may confirm that you have identified key points.
  • Review the text before exams and quizzes or periodically throughout the term.
  • Study and review worked examples before attacking the homework problems. Read over questions, exercises, and problems that are not assigned and think about how to answer them. Group questions or problems by the topics they address or the methods required to solve them. Summarize by writing your own problems. Consult worked examples in other texts.

Qualities of a good science text book

1.         The author: A good text book is judged at face , by the author, his qualifications  and experience.

2.         Mechanical features of the textbook.

a)  The print and paper used and the binding of the text book should be   attractive. It should be hard and durable. The printing  should be clear, legible and appropriately spaced.

c)      The book should be well-illustrated with diagrams, sketches and pictures. The subject matter its nature and organization.

d)     The size of the point, the language and experiments discussed should suit the age of the child and standard of the child.

3.       The Subject matter

The subject matter should be developed as for as possible in Psychological sequence.  Care must be taken of the mental growth and interest of pupils.

  • Care should to see that it is related with the other subjects.
  • During treatment of subject matter, numerical examples should find place where necessary.
  • Each chapter should begin with a brief introduction and end with a summary.
  • Each chapter should contain assignments at the end.
  • Each text book should be accompanied by a laboratory manual.
  • Each text-book should contain detailed Table of Contents and an index.
  • Examples in the text book should be given from local environment and from life experience.
  • Heading and sub-headings are given in bold letters.
  • Subject matter should lead to the in calculation of scientific attitudes.
  • The English equivalents of the terms should be always given in brackets.
  • The language of the book should be simple, clear, lucid, scientific and precise.
  • The text book should give suggestions for improving scientific apparatus.
  • The text book should satisfy the objectives of science teaching
  • There should be consistency of the subject-matter

Principles of writing text books.

The UNESCO planning mission has given some principles of writing text books.  They are as follows.

i)         It should be first of all according to the requirements of the syllabus.  It should also help in the improvement of the syllabus.

ii)        The facts, concepts etc should be modern and within the comprehension of the pupils.

iii)       The contents should contain not only the established facts but also the problems which are being researched and thereby arousing the interest in the pupils in these problems.

iv)       It should help in linking up science with life and practice.  The pupils should be equipped with ‘know – how’ utilizing the knowledge in everyday life.

Characteristics of a good  text book:

It is not only the subject matter and flow of language but the mechanical features like the paper the printing etc…also play an important role in the selection of a text book.

The following points should be kept in mind while selecting a text book for science.

1. The authors – this qualification and experience Only that person who has a certain amount of experience of teaching subject should be encourage to write a book because he can only be the better judge of teaching learning process. Certain minimum academic qualification should be prescribed for the author.

2. Mechanical features of the text book:

The quality of the paper should be fine, the printing should be appealing and the binding of the text book should be attractive. The size of the print should be according to the students. The book should contain good illustrations with sketches, diagrams, picture etc… as the Chinese saying goes “one picture is worth a thousand words”.

3. The subject matter – Its nature and organization:

The subject matter should follow the psychological sequence .it should be according to the mental age and interests of the students. Each chapter should start with a brief introduction and end with a summary.The text book should be according to the aims and objectives of science teaching. There should be harmony of the subject matter.

  • Each text book should be accompanied by a laboratory manual or hand book
  • It is better correlated with daily life situations and other subjects too
  • It should cover the whole syllabus
  • Only standard terminology is regional languages should be used
  • Quotations should be in italics
  • Text book should certain headings and sub-headings in bold type
  • The book should also mention teaching aids
  • The book should be reasonably priced
  • The language of the matter should be simple and precise
  • The text book should contain a detailed table of contents and an index
  • There must be a teacher’s guide book for each text – book for the help of the teacher
  • To facilitate learning, some good methods of learning should be suggested
  • Use of community resources should be given due emphasis

The Score- card Method of Evaluating Science text book

Various score cards and check lists have been devised to make the selection of text books as objective as possible. All the major factors considered important in evaluating text books are listed and assigned a certain number of points to establish the relative weight of each.

Vogel’s Criteria of Selection

Another kind of score card, designed to speed up the process of evaluation, is the “spot check” method illustrated by Vogel Louis F known as ‘Vogel’s Spot Check Evaluation Scale.’ Cited in Thurber and Collete (1964), on this score card, each item has been assigned a maximum value of two points. The value of each item under each head is totalled against the part score. The part scores of each head are then counted and the overall value is written against the space for partial score.

VOGEL’S SPOT CHECK TEXT BOOK EVALUATION SALE

Textbook………………………………………………………………….

Author…………………………………………………………………….

Publisher………………………………………………………………….

Copyright year……………………………………………………………

Score……………………………………………………………………..

1.       Qualification of author

(See the title page, preface to text book and preface to  teachers manual)

1.         The author has taught  the subject about which he is writing

2.         The author holds advanced degree in related fields

3.         The author has received assistance form specialists in preparing his manuscript.

4.         The author has tried put his material in classroom situations

5.         The author’s point of view, theory, or philosophy is in harmony with that of my school.

Partial Score……………..

II.        Organization

(See table of contents, the preface, the section headings through one unit, and the end of one chapter)

1.         There is a central theme which correlates the whole textbook.                       (    )

2.         The textbook is organized into units which are based on student

interested and probability of use in everyday life.                               (   )

3.         The organization makes use of topics already taught in my school    (    )

4.         Questions at the end of chapters are graded explicitly in difficulty  (    )

5.         Problems at the end of chapters are graded properly.                          (  )                                                                                            Partial Score……………..

III.      Content

(See table of contents, index and five next pages)

1.         The text book contains all the topics necessary for my course.          (  )

2.         Material from one part of the textbook is cross-referenced

with similar material in another part of the book.                                (  )

3.         The historical development of science is given some place.               (  )

4.         Topics dealing with latest advances of science, such as

atomic energy are included                                                                       (  )

5.         The social significance of science is stressed.                                       (  )

Partial Score……………..

IV.      Presentation of material

(See any five introduction to chapters, or problems)

1.                  The inductive approach is used wherever possible in introducing

a new topic.                                                                                                  ( )

2.                  The problem solving aspect of scientific method is stressed.              (  )

3.                  The author’s style is informal and interesting                                         (  )

4.                  Unfamiliar scientific terms are set in italics or bold face.                    (  )

5.                  Important principles are set in italics or boldface.                                (  )

Partial Score……………..

V.        Accuracy

(Select any five topics in the index and look them up in the text)

1.         All the items I looked up are on the pages indicated in the index.     (  )

2.         The items I looked up are scientifically correct                                                (  )

3.         Technological expressions are avoided                                                   (  )

4.         Personification is avoided                                                                         (  )

5.         No ambiguity is apparent.                                                                          (  )

Partial Score……………..

VI.      Readability

1.         The average number of words per sentence is below 21.                    (  )

2.         Sixty percent of the sentences are simple or compound, as

opposed to complex                                                                                               (  )

3.         There are at least four personal references per 100 words.                 (  )

4.         There is at least one application for each abstract principle               (  )

5.         There are not more than 42 affixes per 100 words.                               (  )

Partial Score……………..

VII.     Adaptability

(See table of contents and any five text pages)

1.         The textbook is satisfactory for slow, average and brilliant students.            (  )

2.         Students with rural and city backgrounds will find the text useful       (  )

3.         The textbook is arranged so that certain section can readily

be omitted.                                                                                                   (  )

4.         The authors treat controversial subjects impartially                              (  )

5.         In general the text fits my particular community needs.                       (  )

Partial Score……………..

VIII    Teaching aids

(See end of chapters, appendix, and teacher’s manual) (  )

1.         Summaries, questions and problems at the ends of chapters

are adequate                                                                                                 (   )

2.         References for teachers and students are annotated.                            (   )

3.         Appendix materials is pertinent and useful                                            (  )       4.         The teacher’s manual is more than an answer book.                                    (   )

5.         An annotated up-to-date film list is provided

Partial Score……………..

IX.      Illustration

(See any 10 illustrations)

1.         The illustrations are relatively modern                                                   (   )

2.         The photographic reproductions are large and clear.                             (   )

3.         The line cuts are well drawn and adequately labeled                           (   )

4.         The figures are tied into the textual material by direct reference.      (   )

5.         The legends under the illustrations are useful learning devices.        (   )

Partial Score……………..

X.        Appearance

(See cover and leaf through the text)

1.         The appearance of the cover is attractive.                                              (   )

2.         The size and shape of the textbook would not be a handicap

to students                                                                                                   (   )

3.         The placement of the illustrations is pleasing.                                       (   )

4.         The design of most pages is open, rather than crowded.                      (   )

5.         The size of the type makes for easy reading.                                          (   )

Partial Score……………..

Advantages of Using Textbooks

Books are a highly portable form of information and can be accessed when, where, and at whatever rate and level of detail the reader desires. Research indicates that, for many people, visual processing (i.e., reading) is faster than auditory processing (i.e., listening to lectures), making textbooks a very effective resource (McKeachie, 1994). Reading can be done slowly, accompanied by extensive note taking, or it can be done rapidly, by skimming and skipping. There are advantages to both styles, and you may find it useful to discuss their merits with your students.

One important aspect of any science class is helping the student to make sense of the mass of information and ideas in a field. This can be done by showing students how to arrange information in a meaningful hierarchy of related major and minor concepts. Well-chosen textbooks help students understand how information and ideas can be organized.

Disadvantages of Using Textbook

Textbooks have several major limitations. Although a well-written book can engage and hold student interest, it is not inherently interactive. However, if students are encouraged to ask questions while they read, seek answers within the text, and identify other sources to explore ideas not contained in the text, they will become active readers and gain the maximum benefit from their textbook. In order to meet the needs of a broad audience, texts are often so thick that they overwhelm students seeking key information. Texts are often forced to rely on historical or dated examples, and they rarely give a sense of the discovery aspects and disorganization of information facing modern researchers.

Conclusion:

Thus the text book is an integral part of any educational system. Even in the advanced countries of any the world, where the techniques of teaching learning have advanced a lot the text book is almost the role determinant of what is taught. That text book should not be used as the only source of instructional materials. It should be used as an aid in teaching.

In the teaching-learning process, the text-book occupies an important place.  There is a saying “As is the text-book, so is the teaching learning”.  A good text-book can even replace class room teaching.  The science text book should climate aiding the pupils in the development of their personalities, in developing open mindedness, developing appreciation and under standing of natural not merely stuffing their minds with facts.

 

 

 

 

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SCIENCE LABORATORY FOR SECONDARY SCHOOLS

Dr. V.K.Maheshwari, M.A (Socio, Phil) B.Sc. M. Ed, Ph.D.

Former Principal, K.L.D.A.V. (P.G) College, Roorkee, India


A major principle of good science facilities planning is to avoid building for a single curricular model. Since continued change in educational trends is inevitable, any plans for science space should allow as much flexibility as possible to avoid the expense and considerable inconvenience of reconfiguring the space later.

Types of Science Rooms

In high school, science rooms are almost always specially designed, separate teaching spaces. As in middle schools, the increasing integration of science curricula makes it even more important to ensure that the school’s facilities do not limit the types of subjects and strategies that can be used. Given sufficient space, flexible furniturearrangements, and appropriate equipment, almost any type of science instruction can be possible in most spaces.

Space Requirements

Class size is an important design factor because it helps determine the amount of space and number of workstations needed. To accommodate current technology needs and teaching practices, a good science room will generally require:

• a minimum of 4 m2 (45 ft2) per student for a stand-alone laboratory, 100 m2 (1,080 ft2) for a class of 24 students
• a minimum of 5 m2 (60 ft2) per student for a combination laboratory/classroom, 134 m2 (1,440 ft2) for a class of 24 students.

An additional space of 1.4 m2 (15 ft2) is needed for each computer station and 1.8 m2 (20 ft2) for a workstation to accommodate a student with disabilities. At least 0.9 m2 (10 ft2) per student is needed for teacher preparation space, equipment storage, and separate chemical storage. Space is also needed for longer-term student projects.

A ceiling height of 3 m (10 ft) is desirable for a science room. This is particularly important for classes in physics, where some investigations may require a high ceiling, and in chemistry, where an investigation may produce clouds of smoke. Using a projection screen that is 1.8 x 2.4 m (6 x 8 ft) won’t work well in a room with a ceiling less than 2.7 m (9 ft) high because tables and desks will block the lower portions of the screen. Under no circumstances should the classroom ceiling be lower than 2.4 m (8 ft).

For safety and flexibility, a rectangular room at least 9 m (30 ft) wide, without alcoves, is recommended. The room should have at least two exits and doorways that accommodate students with physical disabilities.

The Combination Laboratory/Classroom- The combination classroom and laboratory requires a larger room, but it has several advantages over a stand-alone laboratory, including providing maximum instructional options and the most flexible use of space. The combination laboratory/classroom is more in keeping with the best practice recommendations for science instruction where laboratory activities are freely intermingled with classroom instruction.

The two most popular arrangements are:

1. A room with fixed student workstations and a separate section for classroom instruction.
2. A room that has a flexible arrangement, with utilities at the perimeter and movable tables that can form various configurations for laboratory and classroom work.

In all room arrangements, there should be a minimum of 1.2 m (4 ft) between the perimeter counters and the areas for general and group seating, and at least 1.2 m around each grouping of tables. In classroom format, provide a minimum of 2.4 m from the front wall to the first tables. The teacher will then be able to easily move around and have use of a table and equipment.

Installed workstations should always allow an aisle space of at least 1.2 m between the perimeter cabinets and the rows of students.

A popular design for fixed stations is the trifocal utility island (triple table hub), as shown in the diagram. Movable tables are drawn to the three longer sides of these six-sided islands, creating work areas for students who share large, deep sinks that they access from the three narrower sides. Gas, electrical outlets, and computer date wiring can be installed at the three longer sides adjacent to the tables. Each trifacial unit can accommodate three large tables (1220 x 1370 mm [48 x 54 in]) or six small tables (530 x 1370 mm [21 x 54 in]) or (610 x 1370 mm [24 x 54 in]), and thus provide laboratory work space for 12 students.

The tables may be combined and rearranged as necessary to permit activities required in the various disciplines. Tables are available with electrical “pigtails” and outlets that plug into the hub units providing power and data wiring to the far end of the table for computers and other electrical equipment.

Fixed rectangular stations with central sinks can be modified to provide a 1.8 m (6 ft) long work surface, but these sinks are hard to cover because the faucets are in the center of the table. Both types of workstations can be equipped with sockets for apparatus rods, if desired, and outlets for computer network connections. Various storage compartments for supplies and equipment can be installed beneath the counters of these stations.

The classroom portion of the room should be as flexible as possible and provide various arrangements for student seating. Desk and chair combinations, tablet arm chairs, or tables with chairs may be used. The laboratory tables from the trifacial units can be rearranged for the classroom seating, but moving the tables takes some time.

A flexible room arrangement. In the flexible laboratory/classroom, sinks and utilities are located on perimeter counters, and students use movable flat-topped laboratory tables for both classroom and laboratory activities. This design makes the most efficient use of space and renders the room available to a variety of uses. The flexible room is also more easily modified than a laboratory/classroom with fixed workstations or service islands.

Flat-topped tables used as student workstations allow multiple arrangements and combinations for laboratory work and small-group activities that would not be possible with sloping tops.

Two tables, each seating two students on a side, form a workstation when placed together against a counter with the longer table sides perpendicular to the counter. Each group of four students has a sink, a source of heat, such as gas or a hot plate, electric power for equipment and computers, and often, networking connections. The sinks should be installed so that when the tables are drawn up to the counters there is enough space between the

Flexible lab/classroom with computer carts tables for students to easily access the sinks. Gas jets, if used, are between the sinks.

Furnishings

The following describes the needs of a flexible laboratory/classroom with movable tables and perimeter counters, sinks and utilities.

Sinks. Sinks for student investigations should be fairly wide and deep (380 x 380 mm [15 x 15 in]) with swiveling gooseneck faucets that allow students to fill and clean large containers. A good rule of thumb is to provide one sink for four students. Resin sinks are recommended because they resist chemical corrosion.

All sinks should have hot and cold water. This minimizes the need for separate heating facilities in many investigations and improves student hygiene. Schools should be mindful of the maximum temperature for hot water and keep it safely below the scalding point.

It is also an advantage to have a large, deep sink with hot and cold water and adjacent counter space for various purposes such as cleaning large containers.

Work space. For work space, counters 915 mm (36 in.) high and tables 760 mm (30 in.) High are convenient for most students. Countertops should be at least 610 mm (24 in.) deep. A counter depth of 760 mm (30 in.) will provide increased work space. Chairs or stools may be used for seating, but tall stools are not advisable, for safety reasons.

Counter tops should be made of resin or a similar chemical-resistant material. They must be caulked using clear silicone between the back splash and the wall and along any other joints. Standard back splashes are 100 mm (4 in.) high. They should also run along the counter beside any tall cabinets, all fume hoods, and other surfaces that interrupt or are set into the counte rtop. Near water sources, always, always use one-piece countertops with backsplashes and no seams.

Flat-topped, movable tables 610 mm (24 in.) wide, 1370 mm (54 in.) long, and 760 mm (30 in.) high can be used for both classroom and laboratory work and may be pushed together to form larger surfaces. The tables should be large enough so two students can sit on one side. Allow at least 200 mm (8 in.) between the bottom of the table and the chair seat. Each student needs a knee space 610 mm wide or as close to it as possible. Most 1220 mm (48 in,) long resin-topped utility tables have knee space only 915 mm (36 in.) wide – not wide enough for two – because the legs at each end reduce the amount of space under the table.

These tables should have tops made of resin or a similar material and equipped with sockets for apparatus rods.

For durability, the best choice is an oak-framed utility table with a resin top. The connection between the leg and table frame is critical for the durability of these other-wise sturdy tables In the strongest design, a bolt passing through the plate and leg is held in place with a nut and washer. Since these tables will be subject to a lot of abuse, the strongest table is worth the extra expense.

Many teachers prefer to use a movable table because they feel that a fixed table at the front of the room separates them from the students and interferes with students’ access to the board. A mobile teacher’s table can have base cabinets, drawers, knee space, and its own water, gas and electrical service.

For safety reasons, workstations for chemistry classes and specialized chemistry laboratories should be at standing height and all stools and chairs should be removed. Biology classes require seating for microscope work.

Physics teachers need a clear work surface at least 1.8 m long for equipment such as air tracks. Many standard designs for science casework should be specified as needed.

Physics teachers aso like long, flat tables with apparatus rods clamped to the edges or fitted into sockets recessed into the top. C-clamp apparatus rods have limited clamp depth and can be used only with tabletops no more than 30 mm (1 ½ in.) thick. Fixed rod sockets should be specified only in cases where they are essential, because they limit flexibility and interrupt the smooth surface of a tabletop making it difficult for students to take notes.

Storage. It is desirable to provide base cabinets and countertops along at least two walls for storage and additional work space. High-quality cabinets, such as those made of marine-grade plywood with plastic laminate fronts, should be a priority. Avoid particleboard assembly for casework because this material is affected by moisture.

Every room needs several types of base cabinets. Consider units with drawers of various sizes, drawer and door units with adjustable shelves, and tote-tray cabinets that allow the teacher to store all items for a class or activity in one bin. Tote-tray cabinets are also useful for storing student laboratory kits that can be brought out at laboratory time and make-up work.

Wall cabinets are typically either 305 mm (12 in.) or 380 mm (15 in.) deep, and should be mounted about 460 mm (18 in.) above the countertop. Bookshelves should be at least 255 mm (10 in.) deep and adjustable to different heights.

Cabinets of various heights and depths are needed for specialized storage of items such as rock and mineral samples for Earth science; a skeleton on a rolling stand, microscopes, and glassware for biology and life science, and stands for aquariums, terrariums, and plants. Physical science makes extensive use of materials and equipment of varying sizes, types and weights.

Display space. Chalkboards, marker boards, and tack boards are hung at roughtly counter height. Dry erase marker boards are often used in place of chalkboards because chalk dust can be harmful to computers and people. However, there is also concern about the toxicity of the permanent markers and manufacturers’ information should be studied. Sliding, multiple-panel

Sliding panel markerboards with shelving behind boards can be used to extend a marker board without requiring more wall space.

The instructional focus area may support a variety of presentation formats, including video, laser disc, slides, projected microscope images, and overhead projection. Since a movable teacher’s demonstration table is frequently used, controls, including light dimmers, can be installed in a wall panel easily accessible to the teacher.

Provisions should be made for suspending objects from the ceiling. Tracks with sliding hooks can replace the standard “T-bar” grid of pipes and provide a variety of places for hanging various teaching aids and models. The suspension system for this grid must be much stronger than the typical ceiling grid. A less sophisticated solution is to suspend several 25 mm (1 in.) diameter steel pipes beneath the ceiling using standard pipe clamps, and then to tie or clamp the items to these pipes. The pipes must be suspended from a suitable structure, such as joists from the floor above. The hooks should have at least a 23 kg (50 lb.) Capacity, and each pipe should hold at least 90 kg (200 lb). It is advisable to over-design the suspension system.

Utilities.- Classrooms will need plenty of duplex electrical outlets carrying standard household current on separate circuits to avoid overload, all with ground-fault interrupters (GFIs) for safety. Analyze the equipment that will be used to determine if any higher voltages are needed. DC power can be provided by small cells, not automotive storage batteries, or by portable units that plug into AC outlets and are protected by circuit breakers.

To ensure future flexibility for the science program, all classrooms should have wiring with multiple outlets for voice, video, and data network connections. Many schools are using fiberoptic cable for long hallway runs, but most still use copper wire in classrooms. Two-way voice communication between every classroom and the office is essential.

Science rooms need power and data lines at each student workstation. It is never safe to run wires or conduits across a classroom floor to provide power to workstations or equipment in the center of the room.

Do not use the old tombstone-type floor outlets that are fixed and stick up above the floor because these are tripping hazards and greatly reduce the flexibility of the room. Also avoid floor outlets flush with the floor or hinged brass cover plates that can break off easily, exposing the outlet to dirt and spills.

Extra care should be taken to investigate the pros and cons with respect to safety of each alternative, especially the floor boxes, and to ensure that everyone, including the custodial staff, is informed of procedures for the safe use of the floor boxes.

Gas is used less often than in the past because it is expensive and requires particular caution and diligence. It is primarily used in chemistry. If the science program requires its use, gas should be installed at the perimeter, near the sinks. When gas is provided by a central system, an emergency shut-off valve, activated by pushing a highly visible button, is needed. A central control valve that enables the teacher to shut off the gas in the room is useful.

Emergency shut-off controls for water, electrical service, and gas should be near the teacher’s station, not far from the door, and not easily accessible to students.

Distilled water is used almost daily in high school science, and most schools build in their own still system. Remember to provide storage space for these units in a preparation or storage room.

Fume hoods are used in certain physical science, chemistry, and life science classes and are required in laboratories where hazardous or vaporous chemicals are used. Either a trifacial fume hood or two fume hoods are needed for advanced chemistry classes.

Computers

The use of computers in high school science classrooms is growing. A class of 24 students will need at least six computer docking stations with connection points to the school’s and the district’s computer network.

The location of computer stations depends on the nature of the classroom. Computers should be stationed as far away from chalkboards and sources of water as possible. Desktop computers are often mounted on rolling carts that can be docked at wall stations or moved to any part of the room.

When planning space for the computer carts next to the various table configurations, allow space for the length of the cart, seating at the cart, and clear passage behind the seating. The depth of the docking space should be roughly 1.5 m (5 ft), to accommodate the cart and allow 0.9 m (3 ft) or more of clearance for a seated student. The aisle behind the seated student should be at least 1.5 m wide, to allow free movement behind the cart.

If computers are to be installed at permanent locations, provide counter space no higher than 810 mm (32 in), with knee space beneath. If the power outlet is beneath the counter or a tower unit is being used, leave a 50 mm (2 in,) diameter hole with a rubber grommet in the counter top for the wire connections. Do not mount computers near sinks for two reasons: the most obvious reason is that computers can be damaged by water. The other is that standard counter tops are too high for comfortable computer use.

In response to continued reductions in the prices of laptop computers, many schools are moving toward their use, installing the appropriate wiring and connecting them to the network. The laptops can be locked in the storage room for security and recharging and to avoid the risk of accidental exposure to water or chemicals during laboratory investigations. These laptops will need network cards recognized by the school’s file server. The room would also benefit from having a high-speed printer for reproducing student reports using the laptops.

Laboratory safety

Laboratory safety is the key to reducing injury and illness.  There are many exposures in the laboratory that pose a hazard to your health and you may have never considered them as a hazard before.  It is important to have proper training so you, as the employee, are aware of the potential dangers that may threaten your health or life.

Working in a laboratory can be an exciting experience.  It can also pose many threats and hazards that a traditional classroom does not.  That is why it is important to know your surroundings.  Know where the exits to your room are. There may be more than one exit which could be critical in the case of an emergency.

It is also recommended to be aware of the fire extinguishers in location to your laboratory.  In order to fight a fire one must undergo the proper training. In the event of a fire, the first response is to evacuate the area and notify the fire department!  Any campus phone will initially direct calls to the ISU Police Dept. and from there the fire dept. will be dispatched.  Know where the fire alarm is in proximity to your laboratory.

Know What Hazards are Present in  Lab

Chemicals can pose a significant hazard. They should be limited to the use under a properly working fume hood.  Chemicals can release hazardous vapors which not only harm the environment, but they can be a major health threat. They must be handled carefully and disposed of properly.

When a chemical is in the laboratory, the hazards of that chemical must be communicated to you.  According to Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), a Chemical Hygiene Plan (CHP) is required to relay information regarding procedures, equipment, PPE, and work practices that are capable of protecting employees from health hazards.

Your supervisor is in charge of providing the information contained in the CHP to you.

Suggested guidelines for Lab Safety

The following guidelines have been established to minimize the hazards in a laboratory setting.  It is important to take responsibility for your actions and to keep in mind that irresponsible acts could have lasting future effects.

Personal Habits

  Do not eat, drink, smoke, chew gum or apply cosmetics, or remove/insert contact lenses while in the laboratory

  Do not store food or beverages in the lab or in chemical refrigerator

  Do not mouth pipette

  Wash hands before leaving laboratory or after handling contaminated material

Chemical Hygiene

Methods and observations used to detect the presence or release of chemicals will be specific to your lab.

A good indication of the presence of a chemical is to rely on your senses.

Some chemicals can only be handled under certain conditions.  It is important to use proper handling procedures and practices as advised.

The emergency procedures for chemical accidents is to first evacuate the area and then notify your supervisor, ISU campus police and EHS office if necessary.

Labeling

It is important to know as much about a chemical as possible.  The most dangerous substance is the one that has no label.  Communicating information is essential in the science field.

MSDS

In addition to labeling in a laboratory, the next most important type of communication regarding hazards is the MSDS.  This is the acronym for Material Safety Data Sheet.  This will communicate the information necessary regarding hazards associated with chemicals and also biological agents.

The MSDS to every chemical in your lab must be available to you.  It may be in a notebook in your labor available over the internet.  Make sure you find the location of the MSDSs in your room.

When to use PPE

Chemical usage poses a variety of hazards.  They can be flammable, corrosive, even toxic just to name a few.  Taking all precautions to avoid physical and/or health problems  is the number one goal.  You can never be too cautious!

Proper Use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

Knowing how to properly use PPE can be the key to adequate protection.  Not only do you want to make sure it is the proper size for you, but also make sure you are wearing it properly.  If it is too big or too small, it is not right for you! Let your supervisor know if you need a different size.

Safty against “Sharp”

A sharp is defined as any instrument, tool, or item that has rigid, acute edges, protuberances or corners capable of cutting, piercing, ripping or puncturing such as syringes, blades, and broken glass.  Items that have the potential for shattering or breaking are also considered sharps

When using a sharp there is a risk of being cut by the object and possible infection occurring depending on what the sharp was used for.  If hypodermic needles are used, special precautions must be taken to reduce the risk of a needlestick.  After use of the needle do not recap, place directly in the sharp container.

All sharps must be placed into a rigid, puncture and leak-resistant container that is also impervious to moisture.  The sharps container must be labeled either with “Biohazard” or “Infectious Waste”. Do not over fill the sharps container.

When the sharps container is full it must be collected by the EHS office.  A waste pick-up form can be completed and a collection can be scheduled.

Signs and Labeling

Chemical labeling has been briefly touched on earlier One must remember that if any chemical is transferred to a secondary container, this container must be labeled.  If the chemical will be used by the end of the work shift, then labeling is not necessary.  Good science practices would encourage you to label all containers.

Signs

Labs which use recombinant DNA and infectious agents must have a sign posted on the outside of the door.  Before someone enters the lab, they will have the information they need to protect themselves.  Always read the signs carefully so you know what precautions to take.

Biological Safety Cabinet

The biological safety cabinet (BSC) is used as a containment for infectious agents.  The BSC has a HEPA filter in the exhaust system to protect the environment and yourself.

Decontamination

Decontamination is the removal or neutralization of toxic agents or the use of physical or chemical means to remove, inactivate, or destroy living organisms. This includes both sterilization and disinfection.

Decontamination is the responsibility of all laboratory workers.  Failure to decontaminate can result in exposure to infectious agents which can cause great illness.  Most decontamination can be done by chemicals.  This technique is used only when autoclaving is not possible. Continue on to see what would be best for your lab.

Chemicals

There are a variety of chemicals that can be used as an effective method of decontamination.  Depending on the agent being used, the method to use may vary along with the contact time.  For most organisms, a 1:100 chlorine solution for 10-30 minutes is adequate.  The Biosafety Manual has a list of sterilizers/ disinfectants that can be used.

Autoclave

The autoclave is the most effective method to use for decontamination purposes. As a general rule of thumb, autoclave all materials that are considered infectious agent, recombinant DNA, or resemble components of this nature.  When in doubt, AUTOCLAVE!  If a material is not capable of autoclave because of its size, material, or it is stationary, then rely on chemical disinfectant as a second option.

Spills and Accidents

Spills and accidents can pose a serious health and safety threat.  When a spill occurs, an aerosol can be created which can make the material several times more potent.  The best measure to take in order to protect yourself is to be prepared.  There should be standard operating procedures for this type of situation in your lab.

Being able to recognize the hazards, mitigate the spill, and notifying response authorities can be your best defense.  The first response to a spill should be to evacuate the immediate area until the scope of the hazard has been addressed. Seek medical attention if necessary.  Allow sufficient time for the aerosol to settle before considering entering the room.  If you are responsible for clean up, proper training shall be addressed.

When a spill occurs, it must be reported. Report to your supervisor all spills.  If medical attention is needed, it is suggested to go to Student Health Services.  All injuries that are a result of a spill must be reported to EHS.

Waste Management

  Hazardous and biohazardous waste has special guidelines for proper disposal.  It is important to properly dispose of waste to ensure human and environmental health.  EPA regulates the waste that is generated at ISU.

  Waste can be classified as either hazardous or biohazardous.  Let’s take a closer look at the differences.

  Hazardous Waste- This is a waste which contains the characteristics of being any of the following:

  A biohazardous waste is any waste that is considered infectious and/or because of its biological nature it can cause physical or health hazards in humans, animals, plants or the environment.  This includes recombinant DNA and other genetically altered organisms and agents.

Proper Disposal

Waste that is considered biohazardous can be disposed of in regular trash once it has been rendered non-infectious.  If a biohazard labeled bag is used, make sure it is either placed in a secondary bag or a completely new bag that is not red.  Hazardous waste must be disposed of through the Environmental Health & Safety office.

 

 

 

 

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SCIENCE- Nature and Methodology

Dr. V.K.Maheshwari, M.A (Socio, Phil) B.Sc. M. Ed, Ph.D.

Former Principal, K.L.D.A.V. (P.G) College, Roorkee, India


The word `Science ` is derived from the Latin word termed as “Scientia” which has the meaning ` to Know `. Science can be defined in a number of ways.

Science has been defined as a body of knowledge obtained by scientists. The body of knowledge includes facts, concepts, theories and laws that are subjected to rigorous testing. Scientific information is constantly modified, rearrange and reoriented in the light of recent developments.

According to the Columbia dictionary “Science is an accumulated & systematized learning, in general usage restricted to natural phenomenon.”

According to ‘Science Manpower Project’, “Science is a cumulative and endless series of empirical observation which result in the formation of concepts & theories, with both concepts & theories being subject of modification in the light of further empirical observation. Science is both a body of knowledge & the process of acquiring & refining knowledge.”

According to Griggs, “In the literal sense science means the pursuit of knowledge but it has a wider connotation for our purpose, and can be said to mean a knowledge of nature in the widest possible form.”

THE CHARACTERISTICS OF SCIENCE

Six Criteria of Science: Consistent, Observable, Natural, Predictable, Testable, and Tentative.

1. Consistency: The results of repeated observations and/or experiments concerning a naturally occurring  phenomenon are reasonably the same when performed and repeated by competent investigators.

2. Observability: Evidence of the occurrence of the event, can be observed and explained. The observations are limited to the basic human senses or to extensions of the senses by such things as electron microscopes etc.

3. Natural: A natural cause  must be used to explain why or how the naturally occurring event happens. Scientists may not use supernatural explanations as to why or how naturally occurring events happen because reference to the supernatural is outside of the realm of science.

4. Predictability: The natural cause  of the naturally occurring event can be used to make specific predictions. Each prediction can be tested to determine if the prediction is true of false.

5. Testability: The natural cause  of the naturally occurring event must be testable through the processes of science, controlled experimentation being only one of these. Reference to supernatural events or causes are not relevant tests.

6. Tentativeness: Scientific theories are subject to revision and correction, even to the point of the theory being proven wrong. Scientific theories have been modified and will continue to be modified to consistently explain observations of naturally occurring events.

Basis of Science

Science share certain basic beliefs and attitudes about what they do and how they view their work.

The World Is Understandable

Science presumes that the things and events in the universe occur in consistent patterns that are comprehensible through careful, systematic study. Scientists believe that through the use of the intellect, and with the aid of instruments that extend the senses, people can discover patterns in all of nature.

Science also assumes that the universe is, as its name implies, a vast single system in which the basic rules are everywhere the same.

Scientific Ideas Are Subject To Change

Science is a process for producing knowledge. The process depends both on making careful observations of phenomena and on inventing theories for making sense out of those observations. Change in knowledge is inevitable because new observations may challenge prevailing theories.

Scientific Knowledge Is Durable

Although scientists reject the notion of attaining absolute truth and accept some uncertainty as part of nature, most scientific knowledge is durable. The modification of ideas, rather than their outright rejection, is the norm in science, as powerful constructs tend to survive and grow more precise and to become widely accepted

Science Cannot Provide Complete Answers to all  matters

There are many matters that cannot usefully be examined in a scientific way. There are, for instance, beliefs that—by their very nature—cannot be proved or disproved (such as the existence of supernatural powers and beings, or the true purposes of life).

SCIENTIFIC INQUIRY

Fundamentally, the various scientific disciplines are alike in their reliance on evidence, the use of hypothesis and theories, the kinds of logic used, and much more.

Scientific inquiry is not easily described apart from the context of particular investigations. There simply is no fixed set of steps that scientists always follow, no one path that leads them unerringly to scientific knowledge.

Science Demands Evidence

Sooner or later, the validity of scientific claims is settled by referring to observations of phenomena. Hence, scientists concentrate on getting accurate data. Such evidence is obtained by observations and measurements taken in situations that range from natural settings (such as a forest) to completely contrived ones (such as the laboratory

Science Is a Blend of Logic and Imagination

The use of logic and the close examination of evidence are necessary but not usually sufficient for the advancement of science. Scientific concepts do not emerge automatically from data or from any amount of analysis alone. Inventing hypotheses or theories to imagine how the world works and then figuring out how they can be put to the test of reality is as creative as writing poetry, composing music, or designing skyscrapers.

Science Explains and Predicts

The essence of science is validation by observation. But it is not enough for scientific theories to fit only the observations that are already known. Theories should also fit additional observations that were not used in formulating the theories in the first place; that is, theories should have predictive power. Demonstrating the predictive power of a theory does not necessarily require the prediction of events in the future. The predictions may be about evidence from the past that has not yet been found or studied.

Scientists Try to Identify and Avoid Bias

When faced with a claim that something is true, scientists respond by asking what evidence supports it. But scientific evidence can be biased in how the data are interpreted, in the recording or reporting of the data, or even in the choice of what data to consider in the first place. Scientists’ nationality, sex, ethnic origin, age, political convictions, and so on may incline them to look for or emphasize one or another kind of evidence or interpretation.

Bias attributable to the investigator, the sample, the method, or the instrument may not be completely avoidable in every instance, but scientists want to know the possible sources of bias and how bias is likely to influence evidence. Scientists want, and are expected, to be as alert to possible bias in their own work as in that of other scientists, although such objectivity is not always achieved.

Science is not Authoritarian

It is appropriate in science, as elsewhere, to turn to knowledgeable sources of information and opinion, usually people who specialize in relevant disciplines. But esteemed authorities have been wrong many times in the history of science. In the long run, no scientist, however famous or highly placed, is empowered to decide for other scientists what is true, for none are believed by other scientists to have special access to the truth. There are no pre-established conclusions that scientists must reach on the basis of their investigations. When someone comes up with a new or improved version that explains more phenomena or answers more important questions than the previous version, the new one eventually takes its place.

Domains of science

Science as an enterprise has individual, social, and institutional dimensions. Scientific activity is one of the main features of the contemporary world and, perhaps more than any other, distinguishes our times from earlier centuries.

Science Is a Complex Social Activity

Scientific work involves many individuals doing many different kinds of work and goes on to some degree in all nations of the world. Men and women of all ethnic and national backgrounds participate in science and its applications.

As a social activity, science inevitably reflects social values and viewpoints.

The direction of scientific research is affected by informal influences within the culture of science itself, such as prevailing opinion on what questions are most interesting or what methods of investigation are most likely to be fruitful.

Science goes on in many different settings. Scientists are employed by universities, hospitals, business and industry, government, independent research organizations, and scientific associations.

Science Is Organized Into Content Disciplines and Is Conducted in Various Institutions

Organizationally, science can be thought of as the collection of all of the different scientific fields, or content disciplines. From anthropology through zoology, there are dozens of such disciplines. They differ from one another in many ways, including history, phenomena studied, techniques and language used, and kinds of outcomes desired. With respect to purpose and philosophy, however, all are equally scientific and together make up the same scientific endeavor

Universities, industry, and government are also part of the structure of the scientific endeavor. Universities, are also particularly committed to educating successive generations of scientists, mathematicians, and engineers. Industries and businesses usually emphasize research directed to practical ends, but many also sponsor research that has no immediately obvious applications, partly on the premise that it will be applied fruitfully in the long run

There Are Generally Accepted Ethical Principles in the Conduct of Science

Most scientists conduct themselves according to the ethical norms of science. The strongly held traditions of accurate recordkeeping, openness, and replication, buttressed by the critical review of one’s work by peers, serve to keep the vast majority of scientists well within the bounds of ethical professional behavior. Sometimes, however, the pressure to get credit for being the first to publish an idea or observation leads some scientists to withhold information or even to falsify their findings. Such a violation of the very nature of science impedes science. When discovered, it is strongly condemned by the scientific community and the agencies that fund research.

The Nature of Science

The nature of science is a multifaceted concept that defies simple definition. It includes aspects of history, sociology, and philosophy of science, and has variously been defined as science epistemology, the characteristics of scientific knowledge, and science as a way of knowing.

The “Nature of Science” consists of those seldom-taught but very important features of working science, e.g., its realm and limits, its levels of uncertainty, its biases, its social aspects, and the reasons for its reliability. Popular ignorance of these features of science has lead to many misuses, misrepresentations and abuses of science.

Science has its limits; it cannot be used to solve any kind of problem. Science can only address natural phenomena (not supernatural phenomena, as such), and only natural explanations can be used in science. Supernatural or magical explanations cannot be definitively or reliably tested . Natural explanations are testable (open to being disproved) by being shown not to consistently follow the rules of nature. The fact that the most highly credible concepts in science today have survived such critical testing attests to the practical reliability of scientific knowledge and the processes of science that created that knowledge.

Problems that require subjective, political, religious, ethical or esthetic judgment are generally beyond the power of science. Science can be used to shed light on such issues, but it seldom provides any final answers.

Scientific knowledge is inherently uncertain. What we know in science is only with a relative level of confidence – a particular degree of probability. Many ideas in science have been extensively tested and found to be highly reliable, as close to a fact as an idea can be. Others are merely speculative hunches, awaiting suitable testing to measure their respective probabilities.

Science can be done poorly, and it can be misused. There are many variations of medical quackery, false advertising and other types of “pseudoscience,” where unconfirmed claims are presented as “scientific fact” to “prove” a flood of discredited assertions about a whole range of seemingly mysterious phenomena.

Science is a very social process. It is done by people working together collaboratively. Its procedures, results and analyses must be shared with the scientific community, and the public, through conferences and peer-reviewed publications. These communications are critically assessed by the science community, where errors, oversights and fraud can be exposed, while confirmation and consilience can be achieved to strengthen its findings. Being done by people, science is also subject to any of the biases that its workers have, but its openness to critical science community oversight tends to expose those biases when they have been allowed to creep in.

Relating the Nature of Science Education and Methods of Teaching

Science is a body of knowledge developed through the process of investigation that is combined with thoughtful reflections guided by critical thinking skills. In its more restricted contemporary sense, science refers to a system of acquiring knowledge based on scientific method and to the organized body of knowledge gained through such research. Science and science literacy requires acquiring knowledge about the natural world and understanding its application in society, or in other words, the nature of science. An understanding of the nature of science is an important part of science literacy. The nature of science has four basic themes or dimensions:

1. Science as a body of knowledge,

2. Science as a way of thinking,

3. Science as a way of investigating and

4. Science with its interaction with technology and society

Science is not only hands-on; it is ‘minds-on’ as well. When hands are on, the students are allowed to perform science as they construct meaning and acquire understanding. Similarly minds are on with the activities which focus on core concepts, allowing students to develop thinking processes and encouraging them to question and seek answers, enhance their knowledge and thereby help to acquire an understanding of the physical universe in which they live (NCISE, 1991 and NCTM,.

Reasons for teaching the nature of science

Here are some compelling reasons.

The curriculum requires it

Accurately conveying the nature of science is common to most science education curricula worldwide. There is a clear message that understanding the nature of science is crucial for effective science teaching, for valuable science learning and for responsible participation in society.

Research supports it

Research shows that students often have significant misconceptions about science. Students’ views about science have been picked up from what they learn via popular media as well as from classroom experiences. Science is often misrepresented in the media, and classroom teaching can overemphasize what we know rather than how we know it. Consequently, many students see science as a boring enterprise – the tedious accumulation of facts about the world.

Therefore, we need to include the nature of science in planning and teaching. We want our students to gain an understanding of the nature of science so that they can see how science is  connected to their real world. Science education research over recent decades has also shown that teaching about the nature of science:

  • Enhances students’ understanding of science content
  • Increases students’ interest
  • Helps show the human side of science.

Reasons for the individual

We live in an increasingly scientific and technological society in which many personal decisions involve scientific understanding.

The relevancy of scientific knowledge is based on

  • how reliable the knowledge is
  • how the knowledge was generated
  • the limits of the knowledge
  • how much confidence we can have in that knowledge.

To be able to make use of science in their daily lives, students need to have an understanding of the nature of science.

Reasons for society

A fundamental reason for teaching about the nature of science is to help our students to think for themselves and reach their own explanations and conclusions in ways that consider the scientific dimensions of socio scientific issues.

The cultural argument

The modern world would not be modern at all without science. Science is deeply woven into our daily lives. The ability to think with a scientific point of view helps students to appreciate science as a major element of contemporary culture in the same way that they can appreciate art or music as cultural achievements.

The Scientific Method:

The method or procedure which the scientists use in the pursuit of science may be termed as scientific method. Basically scientific method is a problem solving method. In other words it is a method of solving problem scientifically and systematically. This is the one of the important contributions of science and students should be taught and well trained in the method of attacking a problem.

Scientific method is a body of techniques for investigating phenomena and acquiring new knowledge, as well as for correcting and integrating previous knowledge. It is based on observable, empirical, measurable evidence, and subject to laws of reasoning.

Steps of scientific method:

1. Sensing the problem : The teacher should provide situations in which the students feel the needs of asking some questions. The teacher may also put such questions which require reflective thinking and reasoning. the teacher should take into consideration the interest of the students, the availability of the material on the problem and its utility to the students in promoting reflective thinking ant training in the method.

The problem fit in to the school curriculum and should appeal to the majority of students in the class. This will foster group work which makes for greater reflective thinking.

2. Defining the problem :  Soon after the problem is noticed students are to be encouraged to define the problem. The problem has to be defined in a concise, definite and clear language.

There should be a keywords in the statement of the problem, which may help in better understanding the problem. The teacher should help the student in stating the problem. The students may be asked to write down the statement of the problem and read it in the class for discussion. The most appropriate statement should be accepted.

3. Analyzing the problem : Immediately the problem has been defined, the problem has to be analyzed in bits. The keywords help in finding out the required information. Here the general concepts are divided into the specific concepts. In this stage teacher becomes a guide.

4. Collecting the data : The information about the analyzed concepts are to be collected. the teacher suggests references on the problem. It is good opportunity for the teacher to guide the students in developing a verity of skills and techniques. The teacher calls upon the students to use devices such as experiments, textbooks, models, pictures, fieldtrips etc. which require special technique and skill.

5. Interpretation of the data : Here both the teacher and student should work together for the manipulation of data collected. this stage involves reflective thinking. the teacher must guide children in arranging the information in a logical and sequential order.

6. Formulation of Hypothesis: Hypothesis is an intellectual guess or a tentative solution expected to the problem. Here in this step the teacher must encourage the students to guess the probable solution for the problem defined and analyzed. there is no restriction to formulate the number of  hypothesis.

7. Testing the Hypothesis : Out of many hypothesis formed, few appears to be most appropriate for the solution formation. such hypothesis have to be selected and tested through experimentation. This testing must go till the satisfactory results are obtained by rejecting others. the generalized idea must be applicable and accepted by all in similar conditions.

8. Generalization  : The generalization can be made by arranging a set of experiments, which also show the same conclusion already reached at. usually in science the generalization are written in the form of a theory, law, statement, formulae, derivation etc.

9. Application: The students should apply the generalization to their daily life.. Here children are to be trained to apply the learnt scientific knowledge in the class room to the new situations of the similar condition.

10. Conclusion: It involves a definite and set procedure of attacking the problem, finding out its solution, inductively and testing the adequacy of generalization by deductive approach.

Process Skills in Science teaching

Observing - using the senses to gather information about objects and events; more precisely, taking information about all things around, using the senses as appropriate and safe; identifying similarities and differences; noticing details and sequences; ordering observations

Classifying – grouping or ordering objects or events into categories based on properties or criteria. There are several different methods of classification such as serial ordering, binary classification and multistage classification.

Measuring - using both standard and non-standard measures/estimates to describe the dimensions of an object or event. A measurement statement contains two parts, number to tell him how much or how many, and a name for the unit to tell him how much of what.

Using spatial relationships – identifying shape and movement. It is also important because the position of an object or the occurrence of a phenomenon (event) can only be observed, measured or predicted if we know time. Accurate measurement of time is important to conducting scientific investigations.

Communicating - using the written and spoken word, graphs, drawings, diagrams, or tables to transmit information and ideas to others. Sometimes, arbitrary scales are considered to use when instruments are not available.

Predicting –making educated guesses about the outcomes of future events.

Predictions are based on both what students observed, and also their past experiences and the mental models they have built up from those experiences. So, predictions are not just guesses. Sometimes, they must be based on observations and measurements of space time relationships recognition of trends and patterns.

Inferring – suggesting explanations or making interpretations for an event after they have been observed or measured using critical thinking and scientific principles.

Formulating hypotheses - making educated guesses based on evidence that can be tested. A hypothesis links two variables in a measurable relationship and is based on some kinds of observable, reliable and repeatable evidence.

Experimenting - investigating, manipulating variables and testing to determine a result. It involves planning, designing, carrying out an investigation, and evaluating the result of the investigation. Example: The entire process of conducting the experiment on the effect of the length of the vibrating string, on the loudness of the sound.

To be effective instruction, teachers need to understand how children develop intellectually and learn. Thus, learning theories developed by psychologists have broad implications for what should be taught, how it should be taught, and the sequence in which it should be taught.

Training in scientific method

Student of science get training in the use of scientific method by performing experiments themselves in the laboratory; and by observing experimental demonstrations arranged by the teacher for them. The scientific method involves:

• The appreciation of the existence of a problems and a desire to solve it.

• The accumulation of the facts and data which are pertinent to the problem.

• The formation of hypothesis as partial explanations, their testing and their acceptance and rejection.

• Logical interpretation of the data supported by adequate valid experience.

As a result of science education, the student should habitually and skillfully employ sound thinking habits, in meeting problem situations in the daily life. He should be able to adopt following steps in solving a problem in any sphere of his life.

Many teachers accepts it as an important contribution of science. It involves reflective thinking, reasoning and results from the achievements of certain abilities, skills and attitudes.

Critical Appraisal

The following considerations about the nature of  scientific method should be evaluated.

The scientific method imposes operational limitation on science. It does not help us to make aesthetic or value judgment. For example, frequency of the colour of paintings may be determined but there is no scientific method to label the paintings of two artists as great or not so great. . Besides intuition, informed guesswork, creativity, an eye for an unusual occurrence, all play significant role in developing new theories, and thereby in the progress of science.

Scientific method is not a prescribed pathway for making discoveries in science. Very rarely the method has remained a key to a discovery in science. It is the attitude of inquiry, investigation and experimentation rather than following a set steps of a particular method that leads to discoveries and advancement in science.

People keep floating all kinds of theories. Often they couch their arguments in scientific terms. This confuses a large number of people, and hoodwinks them, but we should remember that a theory is valid only if it passes the test of experimentation, otherwise it may just be a matter of faith. The theory of evolution advanced by creationists is not based on scientific argument and is not consistent with scientific method; it is based entirely on faith.

Sometimes a theory may suggest a new experiment; at other times an experiment may suggest a new theoretical model. Scientists do not always go through all the steps of the method and not necessarily in the order we have outlined above. Investigation in science often involves repeated action on any one or all steps of   the scientific method in any order. Many important and path breaking discoveries in science have been made by trial and error, experimentation and accidental observations

The validity of a hypothesis depends solely on the experimental test and not on the prestige, stature, faith, nationality or any other attribute of the personality of the person who proposes the hypothesis. There is no authority in science that tells you what you can criticise and what you cannot criticise. In this sense, science is a highly objective discipline.

A scientific method with its linear steps makes us feel that science is a ‘closed box approach’ of thinking. However, in practice science is more about thinking ‘out of the box’. There is tremendous scope of creativity in science. Many times in science, an idea or a solution to a vexing problem (a problem that causes lots of discussion) or an interpretation of observation appear to arise out of creativity and imagination. Following scientific method does not ensure that a discovery can be made. However, the skills learnt in making observation, analysis, hypothesis, prediction from a hypothesis and its testing by experimentation help us in developing scientific attitude.

All of us will benefit immensely if we imbibe the spirit of scientific method in our personal lives. The scientific method tells us to be honest in reporting our observations or experimental results, keep an open mind and be ready to accept other points of view if our own view is proved wrong. These values form what is called the scientific temper or scientific attitude, or rational thinking. The adoption of these values is very important for an individual as well as for a society to get rid of superstition and prejudice. In fact, it will make the world a much better place to live if individuals and societies often examine their beliefs and prejudices in the light of the modern scientific knowledge and try to get rid of those beliefs and prejudices which are not in consonance with this knowledge.

Scientific method is a logical approach to problem-solving and repeating or replicating other scientist’s work. We should be sceptic and accept something only when we are convinced that it is logical or has passed the test of experimentation.  We should keep our ears, eyes and minds open. We should be ready to appreciate others’ point of view. We should try to convince others or get convinced by them without rancour and ill feeling.

Accept an idea only when we are sure that it is logically sound. If you do not have the expertise, you could consult experts or reliable scientific literature on this matter. The point is that we should not accept anything uncritically without investigation/verification/convincing argument in its favour. Persons possessing scientific temper think rationally and do not fall easy prey to superstition and prejudice

According to the Radhakrishnan Commission (1948-49),

“The most important and urgent reform needed in education is to transform it, to endeavor to relate it to the life, needs and aspirations of the people and thereby make it the powerful instrument of social, economic and cultural transformation necessary for the realization of the national goals. For this purpose, education should be developed so as to increase productivity, achieve social and national integration, accelerate the process of modernization and cultivate social, moral and spiritual values.”

If we can understand well this message and can convey to the growing generation about the significance of it then the development of science and technology and acquisition of the proper education is not far away from us in the country.

 

 

 

 

 

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The Project Work in Context of Teaching

Dr. V.K.Maheshwari, M.A (Socio, Phil) B.Sc. M. Ed, Ph.D.

Former Principal, K.L.D.A.V. (P.G) College, Roorkee, India


A project is a good way to provide extra, stimulating work for the science-centered child who can stay well ahead of the class in his formal science study and is ready for new opportunities. The project must be so safe that the child working by himself is in no danger. It must be on a level at which success is probable. Even the most ambitious and hard-working child can undertake too much, with the strong probability that frustration will soon end the project.

Project work is a wonderful tool to make pupils imbibe the concepts. The student will choose a topic for the project under the guidance of a teacher. The topic so chosen gives scope for fieldwork, to study in the library and to collect and interpret the data. Thoroughness, diligence, discipline, analytical and presentation skills – all these will be put to test in the process. And such a grind makes the student an expert and spurs him to probe further.

A curriculum that is broad based, that encourages original work and independent thinking and that which puts a premium on going beyond the curriculum to explore the vast ocean of knowledge would enable the children to excel in whatever they do. And that is the purpose of education

For the children it is an avenue of exhibiting their creative skills. It also provides variety to the mundane school homework and daily routine. Project Work as an instructional approach offers an opportunity to create innovative learning environments. It affords students with working in teams, engaging in meaningful activities such as problem-solving, analyzing, evaluating, collaborating, reporting and presenting over a significant period of time, in order to create a product, realistic and relevant to the learners. Project Work creates a logical link to content based instruction, now a major goal of education. Teachers’ conceptions of teaching and learning are the key factors for the effective project work.

Project Work- Salient Features

The salient features of Project work are as follows:

1. No limits are set to the eventual scope of the subject being studied.

2. There is always an element of research in a project. This research usually arises from a desire to inquire more deeply into facts which have been observed or acquired previously.

3. Many or all the conventional subjects may be put to use in order that the subject matter can be adequately studied.

4. The teaching time required to complete projects, is usually measured in weeks.

Characteristic 0f projects:

  • A project is a real life activity, a project is an activity in a natural setting, a project is an activity in a social setting, a project is a cooperative activity,
  • A project is a whole hearted activity, a project is an activity which results in concrete and positive success a project is a purposeful activity,,
  • A project is a problem centered activity, a project is an activity which provides an integrated view of a subject, a project is an activity through which a solution of a problem is found out by the pupils themselves,
  • A project is a new way of teaching the child to live, a project seeks to encourage individuals to understand life in its unity, a project provides a lot of freedom to the child.

A good project has the following qualities:

1. A project has its proper aims and objectives,

2. A project is useful and applicable and related to the lives of the students outside the school,

3. It incorporates the vocational interest of the students,

4. It is to be completed in time,

5. The learning experiences in a project are applicable,

6. The knowledge gained from the project encourages further knowledge,

7. The students remain cooperative in a group project,

8. Before starting the project work, environmental and seasonal factors are keptin mind,

9. The project is designed in such a way that the students keep themselves active both physically and mentally and

10. The work of a project is not imposed on the students. They are free to work according to their own interest, ability and attitudes.

Project Work-Significance in Teaching Learning Process

The project method and the project work are presented as a distinguishing feature of the activity and core pattern of curriculum. This view arose as a reaction against the traditional methods of teaching, which creates monotony, laziness and kills not only the interest but also ignores the natural instinct of the students in general. The project work helps to achieve the various outcomes of science teaching and thus the teaching-learning takes place in broad framework of network. It involves-

1. Non-verbal learning in Science: Many a learning science is kinesthetic, i.e., they come to the students through the muscles.

2. Value of tangible experience in Science: Many aspects of learning tend to be abstract. In Sciences, the students often have an opportunity to see something happen, unfold and develop. They can explore with the materials and exert a measure of control over their experiences.

3. Development of critical judgment: It entails evaluation. This is an essential factor in a student’s developing maturity.

4. Value of working with others: The students have an opportunity to share their ideas and to broaden their perspective when they work with others. Project work stimulates the interest in science and helps in developing personality traits like persistence, self-confidence, cooperation, leadership, emotional stability and problem-solving ability. It is a compound method, which can lead to effective teaching and learning.

The importance of project work is manifold in the context of teaching learning, especially at higher secondary level. It helps in:

  • Achieving motivation to learn, increasing fun in learning.
  • Arousing interest and stimulating curiosity, developing functional understanding.
  • Increasing learning, reading readiness, developing heuristic attitude .
  • Introducing the students to the ‘world of work’, increasing skill proficiency, increasing creativity.
  • Logical development, assessing learning outcome, enhancing research mentality.
  • Promoting independent thinking, increasing decision making based on experience.
  • Training in ‘scientific method’, developing scientific aptitude and scientific attitude.

The values and purposes of encouraging project work in learning are to:

  • As has been demonstrated time and again, the students choose their own projects, integrate knowledge as the need arises and thus motivation and learning follow naturally.
  • Develop individual skills in cooperation and social interaction. Develop student skills in writing, communication, and higher-level thinking and doing.
  • Foster student engagement, independent learning, and thinking skills. Optimize personal meaning of the learning to each student by considering, valuing, and accommodating individual interests, learning styles, learning capacities, and life experiences.
  • Provide opportunity `for students to become intrinsically motivated to learn because they are working on topics of personal meaning, with outcomes and even time lines that are relatively open ended.
  • Provide opportunity for each student to become especially knowledgeable and experienced in one area of subject content or in one process skill, thus adding to the student’s knowledge and experience base and sense of importance and self-worth.
  • Provide opportunity for students to make decisions about their own learning and to develop their skills in managing time and materials. Provide opportunity for students to make some sort of a real contribution.

Project Work-Steps

How to select the projects is a crucial step. Preferably those projects ought to be attempted, in which there is a reasonable chance of success. And they ought to be of the type which can be completed within the stipulated time. An attempt should be made to find projects that include everyone throughout the work.

Before taking up any activity in the school, the authorities must make sure whether the project is within the comprehension of the group concerned and a practical one? Will it be interesting to students and encourage initiative and originality? Will it enlarge students’ horizon and develop responsibility? Will it help to develop cooperation with schoolmates and teachers?

In collaboration with the teacher, students select a topic for the project.  The students are allowed to choose whether they will work alone, in pairs, or in small groups. If they choose to work in groups, job descriptions for each member of the group should be delineated. For project work, groups of four or less students are usually preferred to groups of more than four. Even if the project is one the whole class is pursuing, the project may be broken down into parts with individuals of small groups of students undertaking independent study of these parts.

The students are promoted to sharing. The students are insisted that they share both the progress and the results of their study with the rest of the class. The amount of time allowed for this sharing will depend upon many variables. Careful planning and steady guidance are essential for teaching through project work for both students and the teacher. The students with the guidance from the teacher decide what project to do and how to do it.

The steps in the implementation of a project work

The various steps in the implementation of a project work in any school organization are:

Providing a situation (by the teacher),- Problems are ought to be according to the interest of the students.

Selection and objectives (i.e., selecting with appropriate objectives, where the teacher works as a guide to help the student/s for selection),-  The teacher provides a situation in which some problems are focused. These selection of a project with appropriate and clear objectives is very important. It is the centre round which a project moves. Therefore, the teacher helps the student in selecting the project in order to achieve the aims and objectives. The project should be a definite need to the students. In case of a wrong selection, the teacher helps the students to select another project clarifying the reasons for the change.

Planning (by the student/s),- Planning is a scheme for accomplishing a purpose or a scheme drawn up beforehand or a scheme of arrangement. It is also a very important step. Good planning leads to better results. With the cooperation of the teacher the students draw out a blue-print of the given project. The teacher encourages his students to give their suggestions. The resources which are available with the students should be considered. Through discussion different alternatives should be suggested to make a good plan. The suggestions of all the students should be critically examined and properly utilized.

Executing the plan (by the student/s),- Execution is the longest step and requires more time. The whole project is completed through the cooperative efforts of all the students. According to the interest and ability of the students, the activities of the whole project are equally divided among the students. The teacher provides proper guidance to the students in the process of execution of the project work, so that desired objectives could be achieved. The students keep themselves busy in collecting, organizing, tabulating, interpreting and analyzing the data.

Recording (by the student/s) – At the recording stage, all activities concerned with the project work are maintained. The students note down all the details of the different steps. Planning of the whole project is recorded for future reference and guidance.

Evaluating (by the students and by the teacher)- The students and the teacher make evaluation of the whole work when it is completed during all the steps. The students review their work. They learn a number of lessons from the committed mistakes in the various steps of a project. The students make self-criticism on their own work. It is a valuable form of training. The students  see whether the desired objectives have been achieved or not. The success of a project depends on the achievement of desired aims and objectives made by the students before executing the project work. It is submitted to the teacher for the final evaluation.

Project Work – Types

The project may be as simple as an investigation into a class problem, with a short, oral report, either to the class or to the teacher. It may be the construction of a model that will help explain or illustrate a class activity. Whatever the project is, the initiative is of the child’s. The value of the project increases as the student delves more deeply in his research. The teacher acts as guide and merely refers the student to the appropriate school and community resources.

A project may be either an individual or class planned undertaking designed to compile information, collect objects, construct materials, or create something. As group enterprise, a project might consist of such real-life experiences as purchasing and preparing food for a class luncheon or creating a class newspaper. As an individual learning opportunity, projects might involve painting a mural, writing a story, making clothing or collecting and mounting different plant or animal specimens.

Knowledge is applied instrumentally to assist in the completion of the following main types of projects:

A. Practical tasks such as the construction of a useful article—“to embody some idea or plan in external form;”

B. Appreciation of an aesthetic experience-“to enjoy some experience,”

C. Problem Solving-“to solve some problem” and

D. Mastery of a skill or knowledge—to obtain some action or degree of skill or knowledge.

Kilpatrick. William, H., (1871-1965) mentions four types of projects:

(i) The Producer type,

(ii) The Consumer type,

(iii) The Problem type, and

(iv) The Drill type.

In addition to this there are five main types of science projects. It’s easier to choose a project idea once it is determined what sort of a project is interesting.

1- The experiment or investigation is the most common type of project, where the scientific method is used to propose and test a hypothesis. After acceptance or rejection of the hypothesis, conclusions are drawn about what had been observed.

2-The demonstration usually involves re-testing an experiment that already has been done by someone else. Ideas can be obtained for this type of project from books and on the internet.

3-In the research project, information is collected about a topic and the findings are presented. For example, a research project can be an excellent project if the data is used to answer a question.

4-The model type of project involves building a model to illustrate a concept or principle. It can be an incredible high school or college project by building a model of a new design or a prototype for an invention. In its best form, a project with a model illustrates a new concept.

5-The collection project often displays a collection to illustrate the understanding of a concept or topic

Project Work–Advantages

The following laws of learning lead the merits of the Project Work:

A. Laws of Readiness: The students get ready to learn through motivation. The project method provides the situation to make the students ready to work.

B. Law of Exercise: The students learn through practice to make learning more effective and permanent. The project method provides opportunities of ‘learning by doing’ to the students.

C. The Law of Effect: According to this law if learning is effective and permanent, it leads to satisfaction and happiness. The students get pleasure when they manipulate their own activities.

On the basis of these laws of learning stated above, the merits of the project work are:

  • Meaningful and purposeful activities provide practical and permanent learning which is quiet related with the daily life of the student. The students get opportunities to be aware of themselves with the real life problems,
  • It promotes the habits of thinking for community welfare among the students, It develops the power of tolerance among students. It develops a sense of cooperation,
  • It transforms the students to become the resource person as they collect different information regarding their project work,
  • It inculcates democratic learning because the students select, plan and execute a project themselves. It promotes the students to understand the dignity of labor and respect for all types of work,
  • It initiates the habits of constructive and creative thinking.  It enhances the power of interaction among the students.  It helps students to solve other related problems based on the same project,
  • It provides freedom to the students as they work with their self-chosen projects. It solves the problem of indiscipline as they are all busy,
  • The students get joy and take pride in their finished product.  It is a playful and natural way of learning. It encourages the students become self-dependent to complete their work,
  • An added advantage of the project work, besides learning, is that these various activities afford enjoyment, relaxation, satisfaction and recreation to the student community. These activities bring in activeness in the entire school environment.

Project Work-As a Means of Individualized Instruction

An element of flexibility should be provided in the instructional programs of Science for the school children. Project work is an ideal way to build the necessary flexibility. Such work challenges the individual or a small group to think independently and to make decisions.

If the project is undertaken by a small group, individuals learn to cooperate and to work together. This in itself is no mean feat. The teachers must work with small groups in such a way that certain individuals do not continuously dominate the work of the group as a whole.

A science project is an investigation. It involves good research techniques at the child’s level of maturity and development. In fact, the child may not be discovering something new for humanity, but, to the child to whom the items of information are unknown, there may be a pressing need for discovery and enlightenment. The element of personal discovery which is always involved in such instances is as unique, creative, as it would be if the phenomenon were happening for the first time in the history of human race.

It is through “research projects,” that an opportunity is given for the individual to pull ideas together, to make associations among ideas, and to bring to bear all the resources at his disposal in the acquisition of knowledge. Such work provides an excellent opportunity for the individual to be involved in situations that require maximum thinking.

Project work undertaken by individuals or small groups encourages children to be creative and to answer their own questions. One project often leads to another.

Project Work –The Role of a Teacher

Although the teacher may not appear to occupy the center of attention in some aspects of the problem method, yet the teacher is an important cog in the machinery of project work. The tendency is to individualism in problem solution. Whatever the direct approach, the degree to which the teacher himself is a master of problem solving will bear a somewhat direct relation to the effectiveness of his direction of others in this process. Therefore, the role of a teacher in teaching involving project work is given as under–

  • Asking the students to identify and select the problem/topic, Discussing the basic idea of the project,
  • Providing students with a simple chart showing types of data and possible ways of analyzing them,
  • Asking the students to collect and record the data. Keeping a mental record of the progress of the student/s,
  • Acting as a mentor, monitor, adviser, assist, facilitator, Providing extra help for struggling groups and encourage between group’s interaction, dialogue and sharing of ideas,
  • Discussing the protocol of presentation and criteria that will be used for evaluating project reports,
  • Providing the students with a template/format for report writing and discuss rules of scientific writing.

In nutshell it can be said that a  teacher who has the ability to see problems clearly, the power to analyze with a keen discernment, and the facility to synthesize and draw conclusions with an uncanny accuracy, will be a rare help to the students in their mastery of the difficult technique of problem attack. Guidance in problem solving is in reality training in “how to study,” and, it might be added, in “how to think.”

 

 

 

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Language Laboratory

Dr. V.K.Maheshwari, M.A (Socio, Phil) B.Sc. M. Ed, Ph.D.

Former Principal, K.L.D.A.V. (P.G) College, Roorkee, India


Good communication skills are indispensable for the success of any professional. If one wants to reach out to people, he has to speak their language. The English language, in particular, has become essential in the lives of young people who aspire to advance their careers anywhere in the world. English language learning has therefore become a must for any Indian student today.

Language learning is quite different from learning any other subject. It is not limited to writing an examination paper and getting marks or award. The four skills: listening, speaking, reading, writing have to be put into practice since having the ability to communicate well is the central purpose in learning any language. Communication entails the student’s capability to listen attentively to the exact meaning and to respond with appropriate words and with clear pronunciation.

There are several components necessary to master a language. It is not just about being able to read and understand certain words. It also entails mastery of the spoken language. There are language learners who learn how to read and write fast. However, if they are asked to talk, they could barely pronounce the words right. This is true especially in learning the English language. This is the reason why  language laboratories are essential.

In the current digital age, we are all connected regardless of the geographic distance. Advancement in technology has metaphorically brought the world into our living room in the form of TV or internet which allow us to watch events happening in other countries or talk to friends and family living in another continents via internet. As a result, we are exposed to different languages, cultures and traditions of people from all over the world. As we live in multilingual and multicultural world, language lab can greatly help students to learn language of their choice, as it will allow students to learn at their own pace. They can record and assess their performance to make sure that they are paying attention to all aspects of phonetics.

The language lab provides access to native-speakers via audio-video aids so that they learn correctly. Given large number of students pursue higher studies outside their home country; language lab would help them in studying the language of the country where they are planning to pursue their higher education.. As strong communication skills are essential in almost all of the professional careers, language lab can help in acquiring this important skill.

Language Laboratory

The language laboratory is an audio or audio-visual installation used as an aid in modern language teaching. They can be found, amongst other places, in schools, universities and academies.

According to American Heritage Dictionary , language laboratory is: “A room designed for learning foreign languages and equipped with tape recorders, videocassette recorders, or computers connected to monitoring devices enabling the instructor to listen and speak to the students individually or as a group”.

Actually language laboratories are environments designed to enhance foreign language learners’ skills. Generally equipped with analog and digital hardware, and software (tape recorders, videocassette recorders, or computers), they provide practices in listening comprehension, speaking (listen and repeat), with the goal to reinforce the grammar, vocabulary and functions (grammatical structures) presented in class.

Characteristics of a good Language Laboratory

There are different features of language lab, which make the students to have interactive session. Few are summarized here.

Attention : Attention on subject is increased resulting in better retention of the concepts. As the language lab allows the student to listen to the program stimulus individually, each individual student’s attention is focused on the program material being studied, ultimately increasing the attention span of the student and teaching the student to listen and analyze the content of the lesson.

Acoustics: It provides equal opportunity to all the students to hear the instructor irrespective of place where they are seated. There will be less miscommunication because of direct nature of the sound transmission. The language lab provides all students no matter where they are seated in the room with equal opportunity to hear the instructor and to be heard by the instructor. None of the lesson material is misheard due to the direct nature of the sound transmission   Each student can listen to the lesson material at a level set by themselves for their own comfort.

Building Student Experience: Students can build on their existing experiences and gain further knowledge of computers while learning in the computer language lab. Practicing with systems, software and new applications enhances exportable skills. The more experience students have with computer technology, the more successful they will be in the “real world”.

Developing Listening skills : Listening skills are an essential element in becoming linguistically fluent. The language lab helps students develop good listening skills and aids the process of communication.. Furthermore, it develops the listening and communication skills, since they hear correct pronunciation through their headphones.

Excitement: Students become excited when using learning lab systems. The student’s attention is heightened and the boredom of repetitive learning is lifted. Learner will show more enthusiasm and excitement in learning lesson because of learning lab system.

Efficiency: The teacher can monitor individual students (and talk to them) much more efficiently than in a regular classroom. Usually in a regular classroom all other students stop speaking when the teacher communicates with an individual student. In a lab they will continue working without interruption.

Appropriate use of time: The language lab makes most efficient use of time, improving the teacher/student time ratio and allowing the instructor to maximize the use of time in a given lesson. Efficient use of time and learning efficiency is much more than usual classroom learning.

Improve discipline: The instructor can improve the discipline of the class by privately conversing with individual students who are being objectionable. By utilizing a system of seat management, any equipment faults or acts of minor vandalism can be reported by the next student entering the booth. If not reported by the student, they become the target of the investigation when the next student enters the booth. Students have great difficulty talking to each other when wearing headsets.

Individualization: Labs provide the capability for dividing the class into several groups. These groups can be listening to different programs on varying subject matter and at different levels of interactivity. This set up fosters more interactive session between students and teacher.

Internet access: The new generation of multimedia systems allows the students to be connected to the World Wide Web and to be able to access information on a global basis.

Native speaker/ Different voice: The lab provides the students with a variety of model voices rather than just the voice of the teacher (who is often not a native speaker). All modern systems have a Model Voice feature allowing a native speaker to converse and be used as a model voice subject for the rest of the class.

Overcoming shyness: Lab systems tend to make students more anonymous. Language labs motivate students to talk freely and lose the shyness when talking in front of their friends.

Oral testing: Oral test features allow instructors to test students with a question or stimulus and only record the student’s answer. Instructors can then play back the recorded answers at a later time for grading, without having to listen to the questions.

Privacy: It also provides the privacy that encourages the shy students to speak without any hesitation. In addition instructor can speak to individual or group of students in privacy without interrupting rest of class. The headset/microphone provides students with a psychological privacy that promotes their speaking ability. It reduces the inhibitions felt in normal classroom situations.

Provide feedback: The instructor can easily generate records of attendance, grading and oral responses to true/false or multiple choice taped tests. An automated record keeping process can save much time. . The student’s progress can also be monitored regularly so that teacher can provide feedback based on individual pace and ability.

Record/Comparing: The students have the ability to record their own voices along with the master stimulus. Each student can be working interactively on different segments within the same program or be working with completely different program material.

Role playing exercises: Using the random pairing/random grouping feature that all advanced modern learning systems incorporate, instructors can generate a variety of exercises structured around role-playing. Students can be paired or grouped together in small numbers and hold conversational practice with each other.

Self-pacing: The students may work through the lesson material at a pace suited to their ability. The lab is for them a personal tutor. Thus allowing the classroom as student-centered approach. The students can access digitally stored programs, exercises and tests that can be completed at their own pace and at a time they decide is appropriate.

Teacher monitoring: Since the teacher is not concentrating on producing the next question or drill, he/she can concentrate more on the student responses. The instructor has more time to produce materials and oversee class activities due to the automatically, rather than manually, controlled instructor console features. Teacher can look after each student, which is not possible in case of the regular classroom. In a lab instructor can communicate with many students by pressing a mouse key in order to talk with students

Varity: The language lab provides variety from regular classroom situations. The teacher’s role is changed and the students are more active for longer periods of time. The use of visual stimulus coupled with selective audio materials increases the attention span of the students. The language lab brings variety in teaching learning process instead of boring verbal centered teaching.

The Basic aims of the language Laboratory

Many of you may have already used a language lab as a student or perhaps as a teacher however you will see that the language lab has changed for the better. The opportunities and learning potential that a new Language lab can offer is vast however you may be pleased to hear that some things stay the same.

The basic aims of the language lab are the same as they ever were and they are;

v  To improve listening skills – classroom and individual with high quality audio

v  To improve speaking skills – individual, paired, groups

v  To present and demonstrate language skills – both screen and voice in seconds

v  To monitor and guide students – discrete monitoring and intervention as required

v  To Increase the number of students taking languages

v  To attract more boys to study languages

v  To significantly improve the Speaking Test results obtained

v  To encourage peer-assessment and parental involvement

The general Layout of Language Laboratory

We live in a multilingual as well as in a multicultural world, which is getting smaller to the size of a village as a result of the expansion of science and technology. The language laboratory was established to help one to use technology efficiently to communicate. It has a considerable role in improving listening skill by obtaining a sensibility to the sounds and rhythm of a language

Wilson and Thayalan (2007) highlighted some of the features language laboratory are given below:

  • A tool designed for teaching any language.
  • Effective communicative training programmes for the general public, private and corporate sectors, junior and senior level officers can be given through the lab.
  • Efficient teaching programs of communication for the students.
  • Experts are able to use the language laboratory for creating and editing technical resources for teaching language.
  • General documentation, software documentation and all forms of technical documentation can be done.
  • It helps students to be familiar with the different aspects of the language like pronunciation, accent, stress and all other aspects of the phonetics of a language.
  • Online lessons and oral examinations can be carried out through the language laboratory .
  • Web-content creation, the setting up of in-house news magazines, corporate publicity and identity, and teaching materials can be generated through the language laboratory.

Considering the above referred features the general lay-out must provide the following:

The layout of language laboratories formed from a teacher’s console and students’ booths. The teacher’s console has the managing functions and the student booth equipped with facilities that permit him/her to receive the recorded lessons and to listen to them. The focal features of a language lab are the following:

Evaluate :Students can listen to their pronunciation and do a review evaluation to measure their advancement as well as evaluate their language with that of the teacher.

Listen: Absorbing language skills faultlessly by listening to the normal pronunciation.

Monitor & Guide :The teacher can supervise each student separately without disturbing other students and direct him/her directly.

Record : Through a direct comparison of the learners’ voice with the teacher’s one, all ambiguous aspects of the spoken language can be picked up easily.

Respond : Repeating the lessons and having them evaluated by the teacher.

The Features of a Teacher’s Console

A console is the desk like part of an organ that contains the keyboard, stops, and a central control panel for a mechanical, electrical, or electronic system, in other words, a console is a keyboard or a panel for keys of an electronic or mechanical equipment.

Teacher’s console is a desk like part in the language laboratory which is endowed with a broadcasting system that is utilized to control the teacher and students’ talks, it makes the communication between the teacher and a precise student, individually possible with just a button blow, in addition to a headphone, and a microphone. In some laboratories the teacher’s console is provided with a computer which can be used for supervising students’ work and activities.

The teacher console acts as a control board enables the teacher to:

ü  Enables the teacher to interact with students in private without disturbing others.

ü  Encourage the students separately, as well.

ü  Gives the role of the moderator of the group discussions.

ü  Giving instructions to individual student with personalized attention

ü  Listen to the student’s voice independently.

ü  Permits the teacher to include a wide range of language learning materials and activities

ü  Prevent actions at a selected student’s booth for giving instructions.

ü  Provide options for listening to the native speakers

ü  Supervise the activities of students while they practice the lessons.

Features of Student’s Booth (console)

Booths are small semi-private enclosed spaces where learners seat to receive and listen to the lesson directed by the teacher. In general, there are ten to twenty booths in a language laboratory. In a language laboratory each student has: earphone ,a microphone, a booth and a tape recorder. Students’ booths enables the student to:

v  All the contemporary activities in the student console could be paused if the teacher tries to communicate with students, and could be sustained after teacher finishes the communication.

v  Private Interaction would be possible because every students is connected to the teacher separately. Allows the students to speak and being corrected at the same time in the language lab’s time session

v  Self-evaluating, a student could assess his/her pronunciation by recording his/her voice and comparing it with that of the natives (Language Lab Software).

v  Students can listen, repeat and compare the repeated lessons any number of times using student console. Repeat the lesson determined by the teacher, record, and replay, can be part of a group discussion .Repeats what he hears in pauses. Ready to play back the recording of his own repetition in alternation with the native model

v  Enables them to self – evaluate themselves.Listen to pre-recorded material spoken by native voices,Listen to the native speaker’s records and pronunciations.

v  Students can look for the help of teacher by sending him a call using the call teacher facility. Permits to recite simultaneously and receive correction in the laboratory period”. Transport or carry pre-recorded lessons from the teacher’s console

v  Students can receive and listen to the determined lesson. Repeats what he hears in pauses. Ready to play back the recording of his own repetition in alternation with the native model

Procedure of the Use of Language Laboratories

A language laboratory can be utilized for teaching or learning through a teacher’s console. The functions of a teacher’s console are staying in control, reinforcing learning, teaching with software that is approachable, and ensuring the best learning results.

a. Staying in Control:

Staying in control includes various activities, like monitoring students’ work and activities; locking cursors and keyboards to focus attention on a given task; shutting down, logging off, or restarting student computer sets; etc.

b. Reinforcing Learning:

Teachers can use communication tools that are familiar for their students, such as text messaging or chatting. They can also communicate with them in an engaging way by creating more opportunities to interact in the target language. Learners can reinforce their language in various activities. They can revise pronunciation, grammar, vocabulary, sentence structures, and conversations.

c. Teaching with Software that is approachable:

Approachable software is one with which teachers will be perfectly at ease in their teaching activities. It is used as the interfaces which are easy to use and activity-driven. No specialized Instructional technology skills are needed for this interface.

d. Ensuring the Best Learning Result:

The best learning result can be reinforced by the existence of language learning software. The language learning software gives learners access to resources for independent or supplemental learning and study. This unique learning-on-demand feature creates additional learning opportunities and reinforces classroom activities. It is possible to carry out tests, practice tests, and get results in individualized manners.

Steps for Improving Listening in the Language Laboratory

There are six stages that can  improve students’ listening skills in the language   laboratory:

a. Understanding the Setting: After the first listening, students should be able to understand the location of the recording. Thinking about the setting encourages students to go on to guess about the contents of what the speakers are intending to say or will say.

b. Pre-teaching Unfamiliar Words: Teachers may choose to introduce the setting before the students listen. This provides an opportunity to introduce and explain the sort of language that might be heard in that setting. This language is listed on the board and students listen and mark what they actually hear.

c. Focusing on Listening: the teacher should line up a number of Listening tasks before the students listen so it gives them a reason for listening and focus their attention on.

d. Comprehending: Each student has a different level of comprehension from another student. The teacher gives students a number of questions equally to groups of students after listening, students share their answers for comprehension.

e. Analyzing: After students have understood the general idea and some important details of a recording, they can analyze it in more details and examine the way in which the speakers have expressed their ideas.

f. Giving Graded Listening Tasks: Teachers often teach listening by ranking comprehension from understanding generally to identifying specific information. They   can also grade the listening tasks from easy to more difficult by the forms of the questions. They use and evaluate them based on the kind of production by the learners in the form of writing or speaking.

Model of the Language Laboratory Lesson Suggested by Dwyer, T. P

In his book Teaching and Learning Dwyer(2010) stated: Lessons in the laboratory must be planned in such a way that the overall objective of the lesson is to bring about a transfer of any mechanical skill taught in the laboratory to a functional context reflecting the way the student has to use that skill outside the classroom in real life.

According to him the model lesson proposed can be drawn up in this way:

a. Input: teacher’s demonstration of the skill to be learnt in a communicative situation (done away from the laboratory booths).

b. Practice: modeling practice of the specific skill(listening in our case), Self- practice by the students, following a given model, Performance monitored by the teacher (done in the laboratory booths)

c. Application: students’ demonstration in a communicative situation of the skill learnt (listening in our case), open dialogues, group work, role play. The teacher acts as adviser, offering encouragement.

Kinds of Language Laboratories

The language laboratory assists educators in delivering foreign language instruction, and has been through many developmental stages over the years.

Few kinds of laboratories are being focused on here

Traditional/Conventional laboratory.

This is the earliest form of language laboratory developed. It makes use of a recorder and cassette tapes to help language learners. The tape usually contains texts or stories read aloud by a native language speaker. There are also listening and speaking exercises that follow in each chapter. . The teacher plays back the tape and the learners listen to it and learn the material

Here, the teacher’s console is located in front of the array of booths, Distribution switches enable the teacher to determine which students will hear which source.

Lingua Phone Laboratory

A lingua-phone laboratory is like conventional laboratory, with a little modernization . The students are given a headphones to listen to the audiocassettes that are played back. As regards to the conventional laboratory, the distractions in this laboratory are less so there is certain amount of clarity in listening There is also a modernized lingua phone laboratory available today, which uses an electronic device that works as a cassette player with all the features of a normal cassette player on the left side, and as a repeater on the right side that helps one to record one’s voice and replay it for comparison.

Computer Assisted Language Laboratory (CALL)

There are two brands of this laboratory: Computer Assisted Language Laboratory (CALL) and Web Assisted Language Laboratory (WALL).

The first one that is CALL uses the computer to teach language. Computer Assisted Language Laboratory. This is one of the most modern speech laboratories available today. The entire course module is already stored in the computer.  The language course resources are already downloaded on the computer and are presented to students according to the features available in the system.

The development of CALL has been gradual, and this development has been categorized into three distinct phases: Behavioristic CALL, Communicative CALL and Integrative CALL . They can also practice different types of exercises to avoid boredom. Most of all, they can listen to different speakers when practicing the language. In fact, they can also learn grammar and other language skills with this modern laboratory. Though the development of CALL has been gradual, its acceptance has come slowly and unevenly.

Compared with CALL, WALL is almost the same as CALL with one difference that is, in WALL system, computers are connected to the internet. In WALL, the teacher as well as students can browse any resources from the internet during the teaching learning process. (Wilson, & Thayalan, 2007). There are many and different other kinds of language laboratories like The Dial Access Lab, Mobile Lab, Wireless Lab…etc.

Mobile Lab:

This is basically a console on wheels with storage spaces for headsets. It is best used within a single building where it can be moved from one room to another.While the advantage of the mobile lab is that any classroom may be turned into a lab, the drawback is that the equipment is heavy and hampers free movement. It requires time and energy to set up.

The Dial Access Lab:

needs more spaces than the Conventional Lab. It also needs more technicians at any given time. It is basically a broadcast operation. Depending on the size of operation, any number of students can access a particular tape at any given time. Usually, a number of rooms are used to provide space for the different programs mounted; video and /or computer interface may be added again, depending on the size of the operation, The student needs a minimum of equipment, namely, an activated headset, a dial or touch-tone selector, and controls for a remote selector.

Wireless Lab:

The wires connecting the sources to student headsets are replaced by radio transmission in a wireless laboratory. The console contains a small transmitter that serves this purpose. Monitoring and intercom are NOT possible with this lab. It combines well with the Mobile Lab, though the important functions of monitoring and intercom are forfeited.

Remote Controlled Lab

This arrangement enables students to control specific tape decks located elsewhere at remote locations. The actual equipment installation is similar to that of a conventional laboratory room. The electronics are relatively more complex, though. Here, the student can; start, stop, backtrack, and rewind at will, without actually including combinations e.g. Listen,Respond, and Record.

Both library operations are available. The student is freed from handling tapes. Maintenance problems are reduced as students cannot damage tape decks. Semi-automatic operation of the lab, without much supervision, is possible. Remote decks may be permanently loaded with the current tape enabling students to go to certain booths and immediately work in library mode.

Advantages of Language Lab

Using a language lab has many benefits:

Gets into deeper side of language -This application gets into deeper side of language rather than covering its outer layer, which are mostly seen in the year old teaching practices. The practical sessions provide the chance for understanding the clear concept regarding right pronunciation, different accent and other aspects of language learning too.

The language lab is available in many standards-The language lab is available in many standards which can be used for teaching the people in different sectors. The language lab does provide additional assistance like producing documents, editing, creating documents for teaching, students’ reference etc.

Language labs allow for diversity in the classroom-Language laboratories provide teacher attention to students, especially in the case of schools with different levels because as interactive courses, language labs are tailored to the individual needs of students.

A language lab is practical-Language labs provide practice in an entertaining and interactive way to acquire the 4 main language skills: listening, speaking, reading, and writing. Students learn more comprehensively through a language lab.

Students learn much faster in the language lab-Language labs’ interactive courses help students learn much faster than in a regular classroom setting. The methodology of the classroom language network uses a progressive model to promote natural learning, where students learn the different concepts of language in an intuitive way.

The teacher takes on a more important role in the language lab- The structure of the language lab courses also facilitate the work teacher puts in when preparing lessons and allows them to prepare them in less time and with a greater volume of interactive resources.

Labs foster communication in the classroom-Language labs also encourage communication student-teacher as well as student-student with activities and exercises essential to oral communication and the understanding of the language.

Learning the language without a time constraint.-It gives different and rare experience for the user to hear the English Language distinctly and precisely. While using the language lab the students get the advantage of listening and learning the language without a time constraint.

Assess and improve the speech in English through the self help features.- This features include model pronunciation of words, also the students can use it in record and playback mode that counterpart the user in self assessment. The best part of the laboratory is that it gives the users the freedom to learn the language according to their convenience without an instructor.

Allows learners to pronounce certain words correctly- It allows learners to pronounce certain words correctly. Small details like accent, stress and blending of words can also be corrected. Kids and adults suffering from speech disorders can also use the laboratory to minimize the problems.

Auditory Oriented:- The direct sound transmission gives step by step guidance from the teacher to the heads of the students with crystal clear clarity.  The Lab software is more attention enthralling for the students, where they are engaged with individual systems.

Comprehensive quickly: -The Lab increases the pace of comprehension as students coaching is purely based on the level of study. The Lab regulates the language through the different thoughts created in the mind of the students.

Effective learning, Focus Veracity- By using text, audio and video can easily be integrated with  actuality in every day situations. The lab provides to learn the foreign language practice in a focused setting that eliminates the feelings of self-consciousness.

Have the self evaluation:

The students can do a periodical self evaluation to measure the progress as well as evaluate his/her language with that of the expert. The students can record their own voice and play back the recordings, interact with the each other and the teacher, and store the results. The automated learning environment removes one’s fear and creates a happy learning situation.

Listening skills are primary in becoming fluent.- Even Level II language labs (the simplest type of system) help develop listening skills, allowing the students to focus on the spoken word and therefore enhancing their ability to repeat and understand the spoken language.

Provide Individualistic Learning -The ability of each student to speak at the same time and yet be audibly isolated from each other allows efficient use of time and a higher degree of practice and learning.

Disadvantages of Language Laboratory

Although of the various advantages of the language laboratory, it has also a few disadvantages or let us say difficulties, which are related to the high cost, it needs skilled instructors, and it makes unsuccessful instruction in some cases.

  • The language lab requires a high cost to be built in the university and to be kept on going. It is very expensive to set up the language lab and country like India there is no lab syllabus and usually language classes are conducted as theory.
  • The language lab would not let the teaching-learning process be effective if there are some troubles with the technology of it. Worse even, it becomes useless when the electricity is off.
  • The language laboratory needs an qualified teacher to be able to activate all the technology provided in it.
  • Has to employ technicians who would keep the equipment in the language laboratory always in a high-quality conditions.
  • As the teacher listens to students randomly the response can be unorganized and ineffective as there are many students to attend to.
  • The teacher should be well trained in executing the language lab effectively. Given the nature of teaching, a language teacher may need an assistant in taking care of the technological part while teacher attends to the instructional components.

Conclusion

The language laboratory is a very helpful tool for practicing and assessing one’s speech in any language. It provides a facility which allows the student to listen to model pronunciation, repeat and record the same, listen to their performance and compare with the model, and do self-assessment. Since the language laboratory gives every learner of any language freedom to learn at their own pace, it is flexible and does not necessarily require a teacher all the time. At the same time, it is possible for teachers to provide assistance individually and collectively. The language laboratory allows every participant his or her privacy to speak and listen.

References

Barson, J. & Debski, R. (1996), Calling Back CALL. Honolulu: University of Hawaii.

Richards, J. (2001), Approaches and Methods in Language Teaching. Cambridge: CUP.

“Bharathiar University Plans Syllabus Revision”, The Hindu. Coimbatore: p.4., 11/9/06.

“Colleges should have Language Laboratory on Campus”, The Hindu. Coimbatore: p.4., 25/9/06.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The Concept of Evaluation

Dr. V.K.Maheshwari, M.A (Socio, Phil) B.Sc. M. Ed, Ph.D.

Former Principal, K.L.D.A.V. (P.G) College, Roorkee, India

The terms measurement and evaluation assessment are sometimes used interchangeably; The  word  ‘evaluation’  is  often  confused with assessment, testing and measurement.  Testing is only a technique to collect evidence regarding pupil behaviour. Measurement on the other hand, is limited to quantitative description of  the student  behaviour.  Evaluation is  a  more  comprehensive term  which includes  testing  and  measurement and  also qualitative description of  the  student  behaviour. It also  includes  value judgment regarding the  worth  or  desirability of  the behaviour measured  or  assessed.

Considering the importance of this relationship, Gronlund   has  indicated this relationship  in the following equation:

Measurement  = quantitative description of pupils (measurement) + value judgment

Evaluation = qualitative description of pupils (non-measurement) + value judgment

Thus,  evaluation  may  not be  based  on measurement  alone  but  it  goes beyond  the simple quantitative score.

Thus Evaluation is a concept that has emerged as a prominent process of assessing, testing and measuring. Its main objective is Qualitative Improvement. Evaluation is a process of making value judgements over a level of performance or achievement. Making value judgements in Evaluation process presupposes the set of objectives. Evaluation is the process of determining the extent to which the objectives are achieved. Concerned not only with the appraisal of achievement, but also with its improvement.Evaluation is continuous and dynamic. Evaluation helps in forming the following decisions

Definition of Evaluation

Tyler  defined evaluation as “a systematic process of determining the extent to which educational objectives are achieved  by  pupils”. This definition indicates that evaluation is a systematic process, and  it  omits tile casual, informal or uncontrolled observation of the pupils. The definition also implies that objectives of education  has to be  identified in  advance. Without  predetermined  objectives,  it is  not possible to judge the progress, growth and development of students.

Crombach  defined evaluation as “the collection and use of information to make decisions about an educational programme”.

Wheeler  defined evaluation as a more general judgement of the outcome of a programme, which involves the use of observations, various tests, questionnaires, interviews, etc.  His emphasis was on the processes of educational evaluation.

Thus Evaluation can be conceptualised in the following manner:

1) Evaluation is an act or a process that allows one to make a judgment about the desirability or value of a measure.

2) Evaluation is a process of delineating, obtaining and providing useful information for judging decision alternatives

3) The word evaluation refers to the act or process of determining the value of something.

Accordingly evaluation is  providing information for decision making. Thus   evaluation  is  a systematic  process  of  collecting evidence  about  students’  achievement in  both cognitive and non-cognitive areas of  learning on the basis of which judgments are formed and decisions are made.

Evaluation in teaching and Learning

Evaluation is an integral part of any teaching and learning programme. Whenever a question is asked and answered evaluation takes place. Thus, both teaching and evaluation overlap and merge into each other. In fact, it is not possible to have teaching and learning without evaluation.

Both teaching and evaluation are based on the instructional objectives which provide direction to them. Instructional objectives are those desirable behaviours which are to be developed in students. It is for achieving the instructional objectives that instruction is provided and it is to see whether the instructional objectives have been achieved and to what extent, that the evaluation is made. The interrelationship of objectives, instructional process or the learning experience and evaluatiot in a programme of teaching can be expressed more clearly through the following diagram:

The above diagram illustrates that the three components of teaching and learning constitute an integrated network in which each component depends on the other. . Thus, through evaluation, the teacher not only assesses as to how far the student has achieved the objectives of teaching but also judges the effectiveness of the learning experiences, methodologies, means and the materials used for achieving those objectives.

Purpose of Evaluation in Education

Evaluation  serves    numerous  purposes  in  education, Some  of  the important  purposes are to grade, rank, classify,  compare  and promote the  students, It is  also used for certifying the completion of a course, selection of students for admission or scholarship, and for predicting their future success in different endeavours.

The sole purpose  of  evaluation    has been to bring about  quality improvement  in  education which  it  does  by providing  feedback regarding students’ learning, classroom teaching,  effectiveness  of curriculum  and  course content, It  also helps bring about all round  development of the students’ personality when  it is  used for developing their non-cognitive capacities.

Characteristics of a Good Evaluation Programme

The meaning, types and purpose of evaluation lead us to arrive at the following characteristics of a good evaluation programme in educational institutions.

Evaluation is a Dynamic Process

Evaluation is based on learning experiences, it also provides evidence about the effectiveness of that learning experience. Thus, evaluation keeps validating the whole teaching-learning process through regular feedback. Thus evaluation programme brings in dynamism and leads to continuous improvement in the entire educational process.

Evaluation is a Cooperative  process

, The teacher alone cannot gel all the evidence required about student’s growth. To collect evidence regarding social relationships, emotional behaviour, initiative, scientific attitudes, social attitudes, likes and dislikes, etc. collaboration ofthe student peers, parents, other teachers and all those who watch him/her grow and develop is necessary.

Evaluation is an Objective-oriented Process

. It is for the achievement of the instructional objectives that the instruction is given. evaluation is made  to confirm whether the instructional objectives have been achieved and to what extent.    The selection of evaluation techniques and tools is also based on the objectives to be evaluated.

Evaluation is a Continuous Process

Continuous evaluation is, therefore, essential for getting reliable evidence about student’s growth and development.

Evaluation is a Comprehensive Process

Aa good evaluation programme should evaluate both the cognitive and non-cognitive aspects of learner growth. Apart from evaluating all possible objectives, comprehensive evaluation involves the use of multiple tools and techniques to procure information on different aspects of personality growth.

Evaluation is a Decision Making Process

At every step of the teaching-learning process evaluation is a must . Before the instruction is started, it is necessary to determine the entering behaviour of students to decide the strategies, learning material and even appropriate objectives of teaching. Evaluation helps the teachers to make judgments and take decisions at different stages in a pupil’s educational career.

Principles of Evaluation

As Evaluation is a means to an end, not an end in itself. There  are  certain  principles which may  provide direction to the process of evaluation  and may also serve as the criteria for  adopting a  particular device or technique  of  evaluation to yield the desired positive results.

1.  Determining and Clarifying’ What’ aspect of the Evaluation

. The classroom teacher or evaluator should always be perfectly clear in bis mind about what he is aiming to achieve i.e. what to evaluate and how to evaluate

2.  Selection of Appropriate Evaluation Techniques

There  are  a  number  of  evaluation techniques.  Out of  them  one  technique  is appropriate in some cases which may  not  be so in  others. Therefore,  the  evaluator needs  to  select the one which serves  his/her  purpose best.

3. Determining Comprehensiveness of Evaluation  Programmes

It means to. assess pupils’ progress in all areas. Educational evaluation, apart from testing knowledge , should also bring about student’s originality and his ability to use the ideas, and his ability to think and apply the knowledge and skills already achieved.

4. For Comprehensive Evaluation  Combining  a  variety  of  Evaluation  Techniques be adopted

Therefore, to  make  evaluation comprehensive, different  types  of  evaluation procedures should be  adopted depending on their suitability . Moreover,  use  of a  variety  of  techniques provides  an evaluator  sufficient evidences of different aspects of pupil achievement on different objectives, because more the evidence better the evaluation.

5. Treat Evaluation as a Means to an End, not an End in itself

In  the teaching-learning process, evaluation should be done with  a purpose, and not  for  the sake of evaluation only. Administering  a  test,  scoring  the  scripts and   collecting the data  without  making  any  use  of  this information  for  the  pupils  is  a   waste  of effort

Functions of Evaluation :

1) Diagnosis:

(a)   To locate and identify the weaknesses and strength in learning on the part of a learner.

(b)   To pinpoint areas where remedial measures may be desirable.

2) Modification:

To provide a basis for a modification of the curriculum, syllabus or courses.

3) Prediction:

To bring out the inherent capabilities of a student, such as proper attitudes,  habits, manipulative skills, appreciation and understanding in addition to conventional acquisition of knowledge.

4) Selection:

To select suitable persons ofr a particular course or career.

5) Motivation:

To motivate pupils towards better attainment and growth.

6) Teaching :

a)      To improve instruction.

b)      To ascertain how far could learning objective be achieved;

c)      To provide the empirical evidences about the effectiveness of teaching strategies, tactics and aids.

7) Guidance :

a)      To assist a person in decision making about a course or subjects within a course and careers;

b)      To enable a learner to know his pace of learning;

c)      To make provision for guiding the growth of individual pupils;

d)      To provide a basis for the introduction of experiences to meet the needs of individuals and groups of pupils.

8) Testing:

a)      To test the efficiency of teachers in providing learning experience and the effectiveness of instruction and of classroom activates;

b)      To help in developing a comprehensive criterion test.

9) Grading:

To assign rank or grade to the learners of a give group. ( Example : The unit test)

10) Feedback:

To give reinforcement and feedback to teachers and learners.

 

 

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Concept of Entering behavior and Terminal behavior

Dr. V.K.Maheshwari, M.A (Socio, Phil) B.Sc. M. Ed, Ph.D.

Former Principal, K.L.D.A.V. (P.G) College, Roorkee, India


Learner behaviour comprises collective activities displayed by the learner. Learner behaviour is different at the point in time they begin to participate in the teaching-learning process, it varies during the process and finally, at the end of the process. For our purpose, we are concerned with entry and terminal beaviour, which are assessed by the teacher .

The  Entering behavior

Entering behavior describes the student level before the instruction begins. It refers to what the student has previously learned, his intellectual ability and development, his motivational state, and certain social and cultural determinants of his learning ability. Entering behavior is a more precise term than its usual alternatives—human ability, individual differences, and readiness. This precision may come at the price of seeing the student as less complex, less able, and less experienced than he may in fact be.

Schools tend to define entering behavior in terms of the traditions curriculum rather than in terms of student ability, experience, and interest. A student with the more abstractive ability and interest of the mathematician, therefore, may be viewed as having a higher level entering behavior than that of a student whose major interest and ability are in creating the visual, geometric forms of modern painting and sculpture.

Entry behaviour includes the prerequisite knowledge, attitudes or skills which the student already possesses that are relevant to the learning task or subject matter and that you may require students to demonstrate before beginning your module. This includes previous education and experience that the student brings to the new learningcontext. The ultimate goal of the module being to advance the student from where he is (entry behaviour) to where you would like him to be (having mastered the learning objectives or terminal behaviour).

There are many potential influences on student behaviour, and many factors should be considered before determining the  entering behaviour . These include:

  • biophysical factors, such as medical conditions or disabilities
  • psychological factors, including emotional trauma or lack of social skills
  • behavioural/social factors, including where a student’s problem behaviour has been learned through reinforcement, consequences or adaptation to social practices. For example, a student with a learning difficulty repeatedly misbehaves knowing that he/she will be removed from the class and this will avoid his/her learning difficulty being exposed.
  • historical community factors, including for Koorie students whose family member/s had difficult, sometimes traumatic, experiences of school and government agencies
  • cultural factors, for example dalit community
  • environmental factors, for example the level of classroom noise or classroom seating arrangements
  • classroom organisation issues, such as inconsistent routines, inadequate materials or obliviousness to cultural differences

The Terminal behavior

in modem education one often hears of the concept terminal behavior this is a term supplied from the field of psychology which reflects the belief that the measure of any successful educational activity is the degree to which the students behavior is modified to what extent does he do or  do things he did not or could not before the lessons were presented

Desired final behavior being shaped by a training or learning process, and which the trainee or learner is to demonstrate at the end of the process.

Describing terminal behavior has two purposes. First, the teacher has a means for assessing the adequacy of the performance and for determining the need for further instruction. The teacher at a given point in time may not desire that the students for completely able to identify and use the concept. The prior description of the students’ expected performance  clearly indicates to the teacher and to the students the degree of adequacy the students are to attain at a particular time. Second, the students have a way of assessing their own performance and of determining when their learning is complete. The students’ self-assessments then become a way of generation their own reinforcement.

A three components learning objective format consists of the terminal behavior, the conditions and the standard. Terminal behavior describes what the learner should be able to do in order to demonstrate that s(he) achieve the objective. The terminal behavior is any performance that can be observed or recorded. Terminal behaviour should be expressed using action verbs. If the behavioral component is missing it is difficult to measure whether the student has achieved an instructional goal. The terminal behavior should describe different cognitive processes – remembering, understanding, applying, problem solving etc, that leads to the different level of accomplishment.

The standard property of learning objective formulation describes the minimal accepted level of performance at the end of the instruction. The standard is a kind of proof that a learner is achieved at the objective. The type of standard selected depends on the specificity of the terminal behaviour. It could be occurrence of behaviour, time, speed, accuracy, reference, consequences, etc.

Terminal behavior usually refers to something very specific-for example the teacher may say “I want to see everyone reading quietly for the next five minutes”-and includes what can be termed the “form and frequency of a desired response” (Ormrod & Rice, 2003, p. 71). In the earlier example of students lining up, the teacher’s desired terminal behavior may be something similar to “I want all of my students to quietly line up within one minute of my first asking them to do so.”

Terminal behavior can be quite difficult to achieve. If, at the beginning of the school year, the class typically took ten minutes or more to line up, getting to the terminal behavior can be quite a feat. The operant conditioning theory keeps this in mind and recommends the use of shaping to gradually achieve the terminal behavior. Shaping is especially useful when an individual’s baseline behavior is very low. In the process of developing the desired terminal behavior plan, the teacher should develop a set of reference points that show that the student is progressing towards the terminal behavior. Instead of focusing on the terminal behavior, the teacher should reinforce each successive benchmark. Once behavior at one level comes “naturally” or without reinforcement, the teacher should start reinforcing at the levels that bring the student closer to the terminal behavior  In the example of lining up, the teacher may begin by first reinforcing how students behave in the line, and later focus on reducing the amount of time it takes students to respond to the request to line up.

Describing terminal behavior has two purposes. First, the teacher has a means for assessing the adequacy of the performance and for determining the need for further instruction. The teacher at a given point in time may not desire that the students for completely able to identify and use the concept. In the beginning, for example, the teacher may be quite satisfied to have the students recognize direct objects only in simple English sentences. Later, he may want the students to recognize direct objects in compound sentences in both dependent and independent clauses. Still later he may want the students to use direct objects in various sentence contexts. The prior description of the students’ expected performance  clearly indicates to the teacher and to the students the degree of adequacy the students are to attain at a particular time. Second, the students have a way of assessing their own performance and of determining when their learning is complete. The students’ self-assessments then become a way of generation their own reinforcement.

To conclude it can be said that More simply, entering behavior describes the present status of the student’s knowledge and skill in reference to a future status the teacher wants him to attain. Entering behavior, therefore, is where the instruction must always begin. Terminal behavior is where the instruction concludes.. This way the teaching can be described as getting the student from where he is to where we would like him to be- as moving from entering to terminal behavior. Together descriptions of entering and terminal behavior define the limits of instructional responsibility for each degree of teaching.

Entry behaviour includes the prerequisite knowledge, attitudes or skills which the student already possesses that are relevant to the learning task or subject matter and that you may require students to demonstrate before beginning your module. This includes previous education and experience that the student brings to the new learning context. The ultimate purpose is  to advance the student from where he is (entry behaviour) to where you would like him to be (having mastered the learning objectives or terminal behaviour).

Entry behaviour comprises the activities/responses of the learners prior to the teaching-learning process. The prior knowledge of learners, their interests, attitudes, abilities, etc make up the entry behaviour of students. Terminal behaviour comprises the activities/responses displayed by learners after the completion of the teaching-learning process. Thus the change in behaviour after the teaching-learning process will make up the terminal behaviour.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Phases of Teaching

 

Dr. V.K.Maheshwari, M.A (Socio, Phil) B.Sc. M. Ed, Ph.D.

Former Principal, K.L.D.A.V. (P.G) College, Roorkee, India

Teaching can be considered as the art of assisting another to learn  by providing the information and  appropriate situations, conditions or activities .It is an intimate contact between a more mature personality and a less mature one which is designed to further the education of later. The process by which one person helps other in the achievement of knowledge, skill and aptitudes.

The activities in teaching carry special importance. Its main cause is that through these activities, the pupils get much assistance in learning. In other words, the learning experiences are acquired in a natural way through these activities. It should be remembered that these activities are different in the different phases of teaching.

Phases of Teaching

Teaching is a complex task. For performing this task, a systematic planning is needed.            Teaching is to be considered in terms of various steps and the different steps constituting the process are called the phases of teaching.

The teaching can be divided into three phases:

Pre-active phase of teaching

In the pre-active phase of teaching, the planning of teaching is carried over. This phase includes all those activities which a teacher performs before class-room teaching or before entering the class- room.

Pre-teaching consists essentially of the planning of a lesson. The planning of lesson needs to be  seen  in  broader  terms,  not merely  the designing  of  a  lesson  plan. Planning  includes identifying the  objectives to be  achieved in terms  of  students  learning,  the  strategies and methods  to  be  adopted,  use  of  teaching aids  and  so  on.

It is the planning phase of instructional act. The foundation of this phase is set through the establishment of some kind of goals or objectives, and discovering ways and means to achieve those objectives.

Planning is done for taking decision about the following aspects-

  • Selection of the content to be taught
  • Organization of the content
  • Justification of the principles and maxims of teaching to be used
  • Selection  of the appropriate of methods of teaching
  • Decision about the preparation and usage of  evaluation tools.

Suggested activities in the Pre-active phase of teaching-

1-Determining goals and objectives:

First of all, the teacher determines the teaching objectives which are then defined in the form of behavioural changes. Thus, he ascertains the teaching objectives and what changes he requires in the pupils by achieving those objectives. These objectives are of two types—

A- In the form of entering behaviours of the pupils.

B- In the form of terminal behaviours of the pupils.

It is remarkable that these objectives are determined according to the psychology of the pupils and needs of the school and the society.

2.      Selection of the content to be taught: After fixing the teaching objectives, the teacher makes decisions about that content which is to be presented before the pupils and as a result he wants to bring the changes in their behaviours. This decision is taken by the teacher by considering the following points-

  • Level need and importance of the curriculum proposed by the teacher for the students.
  • The expected terminal behaviour of the student .Why the pupils need it to learn.
  • Selection of appropriate instrument and methods the teacher
  • Use to evaluate the knowledge related to the content.

3.       Sequencing the elements of content for presentation: After making selections regarding the contents to be presented to the students, the teacher arranges the elements of content in a logical and psychological manner, so that this arrangement of content may assist in transfer of learning.

4.        Selection about the instructional methodology: After sequencing the contents, the teacher makes decisions regarding the proper methods and strategies by keeping in view the contents , entering behaviour  and the level of the students.

5.      How and when of teaching strategies: Decision-making regarding the teaching methods and strategies for presenting the sequenced contents to the students is not sufficient. So the teacher  should also  decide how and when he will make use of the previously selected method and strategy during the class-room teaching.

-Inter-active Phase of Teaching

The second  phase includes  the execution  of  the plan,  where  learning experiences are provided to  students through suitable modes.

As instruction is the complex process by which learners are provided with a deliberately designed environment to interact with, keeping in focus pre-specified objective of bringing about specific desirable changes. Whether instruction  goes  in  a  classroom,  laboratory,  outdoors or  library, this environment is specifically designed by  a  teacher so that students interact with  certain specific environmental stimuli, like  natural  components (outdoor),  information from  books, certain equipment (laboratory) etc.

Learning is directed in pre-determined directions to achieve certain pre-specific goals. This does not, however, mean that, in the pre-determined environment no learning other than what a teacher has decided upon as instructional objectives does not take place. The variety of experiences that students go through with a teacher, among them- selves provide learning opportunities.

All those activities which are performed by a teacher after entering in a class are clubbed (to combine together) under inter-active phase of teaching. Generally these activities are concerned with the presentation and delivery of the content in a class. The teacher provides pupil verbal stimulation of various kinds, makes explanations, ask questions, listen to the student’s response and provide guidance.

The teacher provides pupils verbal stimulation of various kinds, makes explanations, asks questions, listens to students’ responses and provides guidance.

The following activities are suggested for the  inclusion in the inter-active phase of teaching-

1. Sizing up of the class: As the teacher enters the classroom, first of all he perceives the size of the class. He throws his eyes on all the pupils of the class in a few moments. He comes to know the pupils who can help him in his teaching and the pupils who can create a problem for him as a result of this perception.

In the same way, the students can feel the personality of the teacher . Hence, at this stage, the teacher should look like a teacher. He should exhibit of course in a veiled manner all those characteristic which are supposed to be present in a good teacher. In nut-shell the teacher should appears as an   efficient and impressive personality.

2.      Knowing the learners: After having a feeling of class-size, the teacher makes efforts to know how much the new comers or pupils have previous knowledge. He tries to know the abilities, Interests and attitudes and academic background of learners.

The teacher starts teaching activities after diagnosing, by questioning regarding action and reaction: two types of activities are involved here in the teaching-

a.       Initiation,

b.      Response.

Both these activities are known as verbal interaction. Both these activities occur between the teacher and the students. In other words, when a teacher performs some activities, the student  reacts  or when students perform some activities, the teacher reacts  .This way the inter-action in the teaching take place.

The teachers performs the following activities in order to analyze the nature of verbal and non-verbal inter-action of teaching activities-

a.       Selection and presentation of stimuli.

b.      Feedback and reinforcement.

c.       Deployment of strategies.

a.       Selection and presentation of stimuli: The motive or new knowledge is a process of teaching. It can be verbal or non-verbal. The teacher should be aware of the motive which would prove effective and which would not be so for a particular teaching situation.

The teacher should select the appropriate stimulus as soon as the situation arises and an effort should be made to control the undesired activities to create the situation and for desired activities.

After selecting the stimuli, the teacher should present them before the students. The teacher should present that form of the stimulus which can motivate the students for learning. During such presentation of stimuli, the teacher should keep in mind the form context and order of the stimuli.

b.      Feedback and reinforcement: Feedback or reinforcement is that condition which increases the possibility for accepting a particular response in future. In other words those conditions which increase the possibility of occurrence of a particular response are termed as feedback or reinforcement. These conditions may be of two types which are as follows-

•         Positive reinforcement: These are the conditions which increase the possibility of recurrence of desired behavior or response.

•         Negative response: These are the conditions in which the possibility of recurrence of the undesired behavior or response is decreased, such as punishment or reprimanding etc.

Reinforcement is used for three purposes. These are –

•         For strengthening the response.

•         For changing the response, and

•         Modifying or correcting the response.

c.       Deployment of strategies: The teaching activities are directly related to the learning conditions. Therefore, at the time of interaction the teacher produces such activities and conditions by the reinforcement strategies which effect the activities of the pupils.

The development of the teaching strategies turns the pupil-teacher interaction impressive. From the very moment, the teacher starts the teaching task and till the movement, the teacher starts the teaching task and till the movement that task goes on, the verbal and non-verbal behaviours of the pupils are controlled by the reinforcement strategies and cooperates in presenting the contents in an impressive way.

In the deployment of the teaching strategies, three areas should be considered. These are –

•         Presentation of subject-matter,

•         Levels of learning.

•         Level or context of learners, their background, needs, motivation, attitudes and cooperation.

In the interactive stage, these activities are carried on not only by the teacher, but also carried on by the students. The students also feel about the teacher and diagnose his personality as a teacher. In order to be impressed themselves and to improve the teaching, they deploy the various strategies by selecting the different stimuli.

Operations at the interactive phase

We can present the activities of the interaction through the following chart-

Teacher                                                                                        Student

P———D——–A                                                                   P———D——–A

(Perceptual)(Diagnostic)(Achievement)                         (Perceptual)(Diagnostic)(Achievement)

This second phase of teaching is concerned with the implementation and carrying out what has been planned or decided at the planning stage. It is the stage for actual teaching.

Major operations in the interactive phase are-

1) Perception-

Interaction process demands an appropriate perception on the part of teacher as well as the students. When a teacher enters the class, his first activity is concerned with a perception of classroom climate. He tries to weigh himself, his abilities for teaching against the class group. Similarly students also tries to have perception of the abilities, behaviour and personality characteristics of the teacher.

2) Diagnosis-

A teacher tries to access the achievement level of his students with regards to their abilities, interest and aptitude. The teacher can asks several questions  to know  how far students know about the topic.

3) Reaction Process-

Under this stage teacher observes the students that how they response to the teacher’s questions. The student has to learn the proper way of reacting and responding to the various stimuli and teaching techniques presented to it. This phase is responsible for establishing appropriate verbal and non verbal class room interaction between teacher and pupils.

Post-active Phase of Teaching

Post-teaching phase,  , is the one that involves teacher’s activities such as analysing evaluation results to determine students’ learning, especially their problems in understanding specific areas, to reflect on the teaching by self, and to decide on the necessary changes to be brought in the system in the next instructional period.

The Post-active phase concerns with the evaluation activities. This can be done in number of ways including tests or quizzes or by observing student’s reaction of questions, comments, structures and unstructured situations.

In this phase, as the teaching task sums up, the teacher asks the questions from the pupils, verbally or in written form, to measure the behaviours of the pupils so that their achievements may be evaluated correctly.

Therefore, evaluation aspect includes all those activities which can evaluate the achievements of the pupils and attainment of the objectives. Without evaluation teaching is an incomplete process. It is related with both teaching and learning. The following activities are suggested in the post-active of teaching-

1.      Defining the exact dimensions of the changes caused by teaching.

2.      Selecting appropriate testing devices and techniques.

3.       Changing the strategies in terms of evidences gathered.

Defining the exact dimensions of the changes caused by teaching: At the end of the teaching,the teacher defines the exact dimensions of changes in the behaviours as a result of teaching, this is termed as criterion behaviour. For this the teacher compares the actual behavioural changes in the students with their expected behavioural changes. If he observes the desired behavioural changes in the maximum numbers of pupils, he concludes that his teaching strategies and tactics worked effectively with the help of which teaching objectives have been achieved.

Selecting appropriate testing devices and techniques: The teacher selects those testing devices and techniques to compare the actual behavioural changes with the desired behavioural change which are reliable and valid and which can evaluate the cognitive and non-cognitive aspects of the pupils. Therefore, criterion tests are more preferred than the performance tests.

Changing the strategies in terms of evidences gathered: While, by using the reliable and valid testing devices, the teacher gets the knowledge regarding the performances of pupils and attainment of objectives on one hand, and on the other hand he also gets clarity regarding his instruction, teaching strategies and tactics. He also comes to know about the required modification in the teaching strategies and situations along with the drawbacks of his teaching in order to achieve the teaching objectives. In this way, through evaluation, the teaching activities are diagnosed and these can be made effective by necessary modifications and changes in them.

Teaching is viewed as a comprehensive process, and there has been a tremendous change in the way  of understanding teaching and a teacher’s roles. Teaching is conceptualized as an active interactive process that goes on between the consciously designed environment and  the student, (where teachers may  or  may  not  be present), with a definite purpose. It includes all the activities organized by a teacher to bring about learning, be it inside or outside a classroom, with or without the presence of the teacher.

4.5 -  Teaching Unit based on Phases of teaching

Morrison, the foremost educationist who propounded the basic concept of teaching unit, concentrated on actual change in the behavior of the learner. Rejecting the notion that learning referred only to the acquisition of subject matter, the unit was the procedure used for the teaching of an adaptation based on a stimulus-response psychology.

Steps of a Teaching Unit

1.   Pre-active phase or introductory phase. New knowledge is linked with the previous knowledge so as to develop appreciative mass of the students by teaching units. These units help in motivating students. They provide awareness of teaching objectives to learners.

2.   Inter-active phase. With the help of nits, appropriate learning experience is provided to perform certain activities to facilitate student-learning.

3.   Post-active phase. The teaching units help in evaluating learning objectives in terms of student’s performance. It also provides feed-back to teaching learning process.

Elements of a Teaching Unit

1. Overview. Objectives of teaching unit are formulated on the basis of level of student i.e. their previous knowledge, age, intelligence, interest and social, cultural and personal need; and nature of the subject-matter.

2. Inventory or Back-ground. Previous knowledge of students is explored. Their motivational state and level of aspiration are also explored by asking some question or giving a pre-test.

3. Presentation. Every element of teaching unit provides new learning situations or experiences to learners. They are presented in a logical sequence which helps in more retainable learning.   Lecture, discussion, demonstration or any teaching strategy supplemented with teaching aids and question – answer technique encourage student’s participation.

4. Motivation. It is an important factor for facilitating learning. It is also known as leading phase of learning. It involves several techniques, use of audio-visual aids etc.

5. Summarization. Induction-deduction approach (i.e. whole to part teaching) is utilized for comprehension of the unit. The elements of teaching-units are summarized   at the end of presentation.

6. Drilling and Review. Drilling or practice of elements of a unit is must. The student learns better and retains longer if the drill is organized or review is done. Drilling and reviewing is done orally.

7. Organization. Assignments are given to students to organize their learning experiences according to their own ability.

8. Evaluation. Evaluation is done by short answer questions orally to ascertain how far the teacher could achieve real learning outcomes by presenting teaching units.

Basic Principles of Unit Method

  1. .Principle of Interest and Purpose. In order to achieve the objectives of the unit the teacher creates interest in the pupils. This brings the desired changes in their behavior.
  2. Principle of Unit. The process of acquiring knowledge, the teacher presents the content of a unit before the pupils giving supremacy to the unity of ‘Wholeness’.
  3. Principle of Child’ Supremacy. The activities of the pupils are emphasized in the entire teaching while assigning the special importance to the needs and basic instincts of the pupils.
  4. Principle of Organization. In order to provide complete knowledge to the pupils, various teaching materials should be used and organized.
  5. Principle of Dynamism. All the teaching units should be dynamic. Dynamism is the key to teaching. The teacher should apply the principle of dynamism according to the need. It makes the scope of each unit wider and pupils acquire it easily.
  6. Principle of Recitation. From psychological point of view, recitation marks the new knowledge in the minds of pupils. Hence, recitation by the pupils is encouraged in unit-method.

Elements of Teaching Unit

Division of Content. The entire subject-matter is divided into smaller units. By concentrating on them pupils understand these smaller units easily.

Giving Practical Shape to Teaching Process. After understanding the smaller units of the subject matter they are given practical shape.

Overview. The teacher determines the objectives of the teaching unit in such a way that the needs of the pupils are fulfilled and they are so much motivated that they may acquire new knowledge with interest. After introduction the teacher states the aim so that the pupils get aware of the scope of teaching units.

Previous Knowledge. The get aware of the previous knowledge of the pupils for their knowledge, the teacher asks questions from the pupils so that after relating the previous knowledge to the new knowledge is may decide the point to start.

The elements of the contents The elements of the contents are presented in a logical order. The lessons is developed with the cooperation of the pupils .Question answer method is used. If the pupils fail to answer the questions the teacher interprets the elements himself.

Motivation. As every activity of the teaching unit is performed for learning, the teacher should motivate the pupils at intervals so that they may continuously show interest in the teaching and get ready to learn.

Summarize. It enables the teacher to give the summarized form of the lesson.

Drill and Recapitulation. These techniques are important to minimize forgetting in learning. The pupils may retain the learning experiences for longer duration.

Organization. To provide proper provision for organizing the acquired experiences, the teacher assigns home work to the pupil which helps them in organizing the acquired Knowledge.

Evaluation. There is a provision of evaluation the knowledge acquired by the pupils which makes them aware of the limit of acquisition of the objective. Oral questions or oral and written tests are used for this purpose.

Suggested Administration of Teaching Unit

Pre-active phase or introductory phase- New knowledge is linked with the previous knowledge so as to develop appreciative mass of the students by teaching units. These units help in motivating students. They provide awareness of teaching objectives to learners. The pupils are made clear about the teaching objectives to make them curious to gain new knowledge

Inter-active phase/ Presentation Phase- With the help of units, appropriate learning experience are provided to perform certain activities to facilitate student-learning. Learning experiences are provided to the pupils while presenting the contents

Post-active phase/ Evaluation Phase- The teaching units help in evaluating learning objectives in terms of student’s performance. It also provides feed-back to teaching learning process. Pupils repeat the acquired experiences while interpreting them.

Morrison identified a five-step instructional pattern. Morrison’s general pattern for the instructional process (his plan or method) involves the following sequential steps:

(1) Pretest,

(2) Teaching,

(3) Testing the result of instruction,

(4) Changing the instruction procedure, and

(5) Teaching and testing again until the unit has been completely mastered by the student.

On the basis of the above referred pattern the following steps can be developed;

Steps Related with what aspect- Morrison analyzed the school curriculum into units of five types: Science Appreciation, Practical art, Language arts, and Pure-practice. He firmly believes that instruction would vary among the different types of units, On the basis of this analysis; a teacher gets an opportunity to study the content deeply. It cultivate a feeling of self confidence in him .This analysis ensures continuity of teaching.

Steps Related with Why aspect- Teaching objectives are those central points around which the whole teaching process revolves. Thus it is essential that the teacher identify and analyze them in consideration with learning experience and entering behavior of students.

Steps Related with How aspect-Learning is a continuous process of acquiring experiences, through which the predetermined objectives can be achieved. It is related with active aspect of teaching. Determinations of instructional methodology including strategies are come under this step.

Steps related with how much aspect- This is the final and most important step of a teaching unit. Feedback regarding quality of instruction is given in this step. .

Every teaching unit has its own structure. The structure of a unit is based on the nature of the subject-matter and the teaching objective. A teaching unit marks the contents, the subject-matter and methods of presentation.

As objectives provide the base for the determination of teaching objectives, so objectives should be kept in mind while analyzing the content. In reality, the whole content should be divided as per the objectives. It depends on the fact that how much time a teacher has, for the realization of the pre set objectives. However in day to day teaching it is not possible to analyze/ divide the whole content at one time. Thus the total content at the disposal of the teacher is divided in the form of small topics. After that required time period is determined for the realization of the objectives.

In order to inculcate more objectivity in this process a two dimensional blue print chart should be prepared. In this blue print the objective should be placed on one side and necessary time periods are on other side. This two dimensional blue print can be analyzed as per the daily, weekly, fortnightly or monthly basis.

 

S. No Teaching Topics Cognitive Domain Affective

Domain

Psycho-motor
Domain
Expected Periods Duration
—- Knowledge Receiving Impulsion
—- Understanding Responding Manipulation
—- Application Valuing Control
—— Analysis Conceptualization Coordination
—— Synthesis Organization Naturalization
—— Evaluation Characterization Habit formation

 

 

After the time periods, the topics of the contents are specified. It enables a teacher to foresee the contents to be given to students, and they have to be sequenced so that their inherent mutual relationship can be preserved.

Next, the content is analyzed in terms of objectives and desirable behavioral changes. Content should be analyzed in the form of following teaching points-

 

Contents related with objectives of Cognitive Domain

Objectives Teaching Points Related to-
Knowledge
  • Knowledge of Terms
  • Knowledge of Concepts
  • Knowledge of Principles
  • Knowledge of processes
  • Knowledge of relationships
Comprehension
  • Translation
  • Interpretation
  • Extrapolation
Application
  • Generalization
  • Diagnosis
  • Use in new situation
Analysis
  • Analysis of Elements
  • Analysis of Relationship
  • Analysis of organizational  principles
Synthesis
  • Production of unique
  • Communication
  • Production of proposed set of  operation

 

Thus if at the time of determining teaching units, desirable behavioral changes are kept in view and the content is divided into small topics, then attention should be given to the entering behavior of the students and the time to be taken. If these points are kept in view there is every possibility that a teacher will be successful in his teaching.

Advantages

  • Habit of Healthy Study. In helps in the habit of healthy study. This makes them self-learners.
  • Interesting. The interest of the pupils is emphasized. Easy acquisition of teaching objectives is preferred.
  • Child Centered Method. The capacities and needs of the pupils are considered supreme.
  • Psychological Method. Based on Gestalt psychology. This method gives importance the ‘whole’ instead of part.
  • Development of social values. An important method of group teaching, the unit method helps in developing social values in the pupils.
  • Organized learning. Learning occur in an organized from. Consequently, it becomes the permanent part of the brain.
  • Encouragement to Expression of Ideas. A child centered method encourages the development of social values as well as the capacity of express ideas.
  • Use of Appropriate Teaching Aids. The knowledge is imparted with the help of appropriate aid. This enables them to learn how to apply properly the teaching aid.

Limitations

  • End of Originality. While using unit method; pupils are to restrict themselves. This finishes the originality of the teaching and learning.
  • Waste of Time. The pupils are provided with organized and detailed knowledge. This wastes the time.
  • Limited Scope. Due to the detailed Knowledge provided to the pupils, this unit –method has very limited scope.
  • Mechanical Method of teaching. The freedom of the teacher is delimited so much that he fails to present his thoughts before the pupils. The learning becomes lifeless, boring and mechanical in such a situation.
  • Possibility of Gaining Less Knowledge- It is possible that the pupils acquire sufficient knowledge in some subjects and insufficient knowledge in others.

Teaching Unit is a core, a back-bone a key concept or pivot of lesson planning. It concerns with the subject-matter, content and teaching strategies. The content is analyzed into units. These units are complete in it. These are arranged logically which work psychologically in effective and permanent learning. These units can be taught independently and can be measured independently these teaching units help to decide the teaching strategies, teaching tactics and audio-visual aids. These units provide basis for liking new knowledge with the previous knowledge of student’s Units help in relating teaching with learning

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Science Clubs at School

Dr. V.K.Maheshwari, M.A (Socio, Phil) B.Sc. M. Ed, Ph.D.

Former Principal, K.L.D.A.V. (P.G) College, Roorkee, India


Non-formal mode of education is an organized activity  which can be modified in a number of forms and methods depending on the requirements of the learner. Our classroom teaching does not provide opportunity for self expression, constructive activities and independent enquiry.  No time is assigned for practical work.  All these lead to the need for an organization providing an outlet for the pent up emotions of children and for pooling their energies. An organization which caters for the in calculation of scientific attitude and genuine interest in science and also can supplement the work of the classroom and give the syllabus a practical dimension may be called a science club.

It is a fact that we can learn and remember things better if we do it and practice rather than just read them. This basic principle is involved in the formation of organization called “Science Clubs” meant for ‘learning by doing’.

Children have the tendency to make things, break things and handle things on their own but the conventional system of education does not allow them to do so. Self-expression, independent research, constructive activities, etc., are some of the opportunities provided by the science clubs. In the classrooms, the students work formally and restrict themselves to the school curriculum. Whereas in science clubs, there are no restrictions and the students can work on their own ideas with full freedom.

Science clubs channelize the energies of students and make use of their skills and talents, which satisfy their instincts and urges and helps in their overall personality development. Science clubs work in association with classroom instruction of science subjects. Therefore we can define science club as “an organization, which helps in the development of scientific attitude, and develop genuine interest in science and scientific activities, supplements the work of the classroom and the laboratory and parts the syllabus on a practical bias

Science Club  bridge in-school and out-of-school learning and foster the development of skills, such as experimentation, critical thinking, and problem solving. By giving our members a supportive environment to explore science, we are also building more confident learners and educators.

Some concepts can not taught either in the classroom or in the laboratory, for such concepts science club provide better opportunities In science teaching process laboratory is considered as heart of science, curriculum where as science club is considered as the blood of it.

The Aims and Objectives of a Science club

The aims and objectives of a science club may outline as below.

To provide proper incentive and inspiration for the pursuit of scientific knowledge in rigorous way by broadening their scientific outlook. To make the students understand the values of time and to help them in the proper utilization to their hours.

  • To provide opportunities for bringing school close to the society and to acquaint the people with the services and contribution of the science in their life.
  • To develop among the student the spirit and attitude of healthy competition for the individual and social cause.  To help the students in imbibing The habit of self-reliance, self-dependence and love for manual work
  • To inculcate scientific attitude. To provide opportunity for the development of the constructive, explorative & inventive faculties of the students. To develop training in scientific method of problem solving
  • To develop students, inters and participation in the practical application of the    knowledge related to different branches of science. To grate interest in scientific facts and events related to one’s surroundings.
  • To develop interest in scientific hobbies. To encourage individual and group activities. To stimulate active participation and initiative among students in the learning process.
  • To develop the creativity and encourage the habit of exploration.To widen the outlook of students, apply the knowledge in life situations.
  • To provide opportunity for the development of the constructive, explorative and inventive faculties of the students.
  • To create interest in latest inventions and discoveries of science in various fields and to get acquainted with the life history and contributions of great scientists.
  • To develop students, interest and participation in the practical application of the knowledge related to different branches of sciences.

Organization of Science Club

A properly organized science club will be a valuable aid to teaching science and also a means of motivating the children for learning science. The successful working of the club depends on the persons who organize it and also on the interest and enthusiasm of students. Though science club is run by the students for the students, the science teacher is the pivot of all activities.

To begin with, the science teacher can explain the importance and benefits of organizing science club and can arouse enthusiasm among students. This discussion may be followed by business meeting in which office beares are chosen. Every science club should have its own constitution. They should be a general body and an executive body.

The suggested office bearer should be:

  1. The senior science teacher may be the Sponcer.
  2. The principal/Headmaster of the school may be Patron
  3. The resources of the school should be made available to the club.
  4. An elective executive committee formed from the club members/students.
  5. Executive committee: Chairmen, Secretory, Joint Secretory, Treasurer, Librarian, Store keeper, Publicity in charge, Class representative.
  6. A nominal membership fee should be charged from every member.
  7. Other resources should be tapped by the club.
  8. The members of the club should be encouraged to extended the activities of the culb in their locality.

The duties of office bearers should be

  • Patron : To extended all the facilities to the club for its effective working.
  • Sponcer: To look after, Guide, Lead.
  • Chairperson: To prescribe over the function of the club and over the meetings of the executive committee.
  • Secretory: To maintain the minutes of the meetings of the club.
  • Join Secretory: To assist the secretory.
  • Treasurer: To collect subscriptions and maintain the accounts.
  • Librarian: To issue and receive book, maintain catalogue.
  • Store Keeper: To keep record and equipment of the club
  • Publicity in charge: To publish the activities of the club in and outside the school.

There should be regular meetings, discussions, planning, feedback etc. The responsibility of the taking initiative in the establishment of a science club in the school and then for its effective organization essentially lists.

Preliminary Considerations:

1-      After performing the above mentioned tasks the teacher should call a formal meeting of the science teacher should call a formal meeting of the science students.  In this meeting the proposal and scheme concerning the organization of Science club in the school should be discussed.  The aims and objectives of this club are to be placed before the students and constitution of the club is chalked out and the membership drive is launched.

2.     With the active cooperation of the head of the institution, the he should make efforts to arrange for the finances to establish the science club.  While some amount may be taken from the finances of the institution and collected from the students in the form of membership fee etc.

3.        The department of NCERT, State Government or any voluntary agency may also be approached for providing assistance in the project.

Suggested  functioning  of Science club:

Every office bearer and member of the club should work whole heartedly in a team spirit for the smooth and effective running of the programs and activities of the club . Usually the following  activities may be undertaken in a science club:

v  Arranging  lectures of the subject experts  on the subject of the scientific interest

v  Arranging cleanliness and health weeks in the institution

v  Arranging excursions and short trios for the members to places of scientific interest.

v  Creating in the school healthy environment for carrying out scientific studies and activities.

v  Decorating the walls of the classroom, library and laboratory with scientific and activities.

v  Organizing school services in the field of health and sanitation

v  Preparing certain things of common use like soaps, writing ink,  phenyl, etc

v  Publishing science magazine and news bulletin of scientific events.

Suggested duties of office bearers

Duties of the Secretary-

  • To take responsibility of the conducting the programmes and activities of the club.
  • To take charges of all correspondence related with the club activities.
  • To frame the programmes of the meeting and keep proper record or the proceeding of the meetings of the club.
  • To invite the outside expert and guest speaker etc., in the club and attend them properly.

Duties of the Publicity Officer-

  • To publicize the activities of the club in the school and outside the school through posters and writing in the magazines, newspapers and scientific journals.
  • To keep a record of all important scientific activities, achievements and programmes of the club.

Duties of the Treasure-

  • To prepare budged of the club and present the statement of the account .
  • To keep the proper account of the income and expenditure of the club.
  • To collect subscriptions from the members.

Suggested Science Club Activities

Through activities of a science club, learning of science becomes joyful.  The science club caters to freedom for expression, where as the classroom atmosphere leads to conformity and repression.  While activity participating in a science club students organize thought and translate these in to action and thereby develop a zealous enthusiasm to strive for the cause of scientific enterprise.

The club  should be in contact with scientists and other nearby scientific institutions who could visit the schools to speak to learners about exciting topics and show them some “science in action”. This could also be an opportunity for learners to ask about careers in science.

The club could organise for its members (and other interested learners) to meet for talk sessions where current scientific topics could be discussed. This session could be used to talk about ideas that might help solve some of the world’s many problems. With a little more initiative, real scientists and university students could be invited to sit in at these sessions.

The most exciting part of such a club is the opportunity to meet people from other schools. If neighbouring schools were encouraged to form similar clubs, then these clubs could communicate with each other and form some joint organisation with representatives from each school. This larger group could then organise much bigger projects such as regional science expo’s and other interesting inter-school events.

This is an easy-to-organise event that would be fun as well as intellectually challenging. The club could find interesting mathematics or science problems that lie within the capability of the targeted learners and offer small prizes to those who can solve them. Depending on the level of difficulty, there could also be prizes for group entries.

Many learners may exhibit great interest in a certain aspect of science but lack the motivation to pursue it. By providing some incentive for them (e.g. obtaining partners from industry who may also be interested in a certain topic) the club will facilitate and encourage these learners to research topics that they find interesting.

Conducting visual programmes of  scientific interest . Improvising and preparing hand-made apparatus. Collecting. Preparation of soaps, ink ,candle matches, toys, bleaching powder, nail polish, chalk etc. Mounting and preserving the specimens.

Rendering school services in health and sanitation through managing a first aid squad. Helping the community by way of demonstration on health and hygiene, improvement of agriculture, eradication of superstitious belief etc.

Publishing school science magazine.Preparing science albums, Preparing still/Working models on science topics .Maintaining a bulletin board  for displaying science news .Conducting essay competition on scientific problems.

Arranging science discussions, debate, essay writing, Conducting workshops Conducting science quiz competitions,   etc.Arranging the science excursions and visits. Arranging science exhibitions , Film shows and science fairs.Organizing lectures, debates, seminars, symposia etc.

Celebrating the science days . Celebrating birth days of eminent scientist

 

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