27 SES 09 A, Learning in Natural and Social Sciences
In the 21st century, everything is changing so fast that sometimes following developments in science and technology is very hard. As with everything else, this rapid alteration comes up with changes in people’s features, which are necessary to be a successful employee, responsible citizen, and intellectual person. Recently, people not only be qualified for today but also for tomorrow (Boltz & Swartz, 1997). To prepare people for these changing conditions, some vital reforms are needed in educational(Garvin & Ramsier, 2003). Literature indicted that science curriculum has been lacked necessary applications. Learners are not able to connect science and daily-life due to the loaded curriculum (Wang & Owen, 1994). Hence, daily-life applications of science should be more included in the programs (Gilbert, Bultep, & Pilot, 2011)
In schools, traditional teaching methods in which teachers lecture with no or little participation of the learners are used generally. Teachers generally do not have a tendency to relate subject matter to daily-life examples. In the light of cognitive science research results, it is obvious that traditional classrooms are one of the reasons that causes of learners’ failure. Therefore, educational reform that requires modification of the curriculum, instruction, and assessment are necessary (Weinbaum & Roger, 1995). In this respect, instruction should be enriched with the use of Contextual Learning, Problem-based Learning, and Situated Learning approaches. Additionally, those approaches can be used simultaneously. Berns and Erickson (2001) stated that problem-based learning, cooperative learning, project-based learning and work-based learning are only some of these approaches whose utility catalyzes the fruitfulness of Contextual Learning.
Learners’ interest in learning science has been decreasing in all around the world. Similarly, their attitude toward science has a tendency to be negative. To alter this negative situation, we think that incorporating daily-life in science classroom may be useful. In the literature, many studies have indicated the positive effects of the integrating daily-life applications on both science achievement and attitude toward science (e.g. Garvin & Ramsier, 2003; Ingram, 2003). Furthermore, Kocak and Onen’s (2012) study revealed that integrating daily-life into chemistry course increased students’ achievement, attitude towards chemistry and motivation significantly.
In this quantitative survey study, we focused on a) identifying to what extend high school students (grade 9-12) relate what they have learned in chemistry course with daily-life phenomena, b) the correlation between learners’ daily life test score and attitude towards daily-life chemistry c) the difference between the grades (grade 9-12) regarding the achievement in explaining daily-life phenomena.
Ay, S. (2008). High school students’ chemical explanations of everyday phenomena and the effect of their chemistry knowledge on level of explanation. Unpublished master thesis, Marmara University, Istanbul. Berns, R. G. & Erickson, P. M. (2001). Contextual Teaching and Learning: Preparing Students for the New Economy. The Highlight Zone Research @ Work. 5, 1- 8. Bolt, L. & Swartz, N. (1997). Contextual Curriculum: Getting More Meaning From Education. New Directions For Community Colleges, 97, 81- 88. Frankel, J.R. & Wallen, N.E. (2006). How to Design and Evaluate Research in Education. (6th ed.) The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. Garvin, M. R. & Ramsier, R. D. (2003). Experiential Learning at the university Level: A US case study. Education and Training, 5, 280- 285. Gilbert, J. K., Bulteb, A. M., & Pilot. A. (2011). Concept development and transfer in context-based science education. International Journal of Science Education. 33(6), 817-837. Ingram, S. J. (2003). The Effects of Contextual Learning Instruction on Science Achievement of Male and Female Tenth Grade Students. Dissertation Abstracts International, 64 (09), 3238. (UMI No. 3106426) Kocak, C. & Onen, A.S. (2012). Evaluation of chemistry topics within daily life concept. Hacettepe University Journal of Education, 42, 262-273. Wang, C. & Qwens, T. (1994). A multiple Approach to Evaluating Applied Academics. In Annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association, (New Orleans, April 4-8, 1994) Weinbaum, A. & Roger, A. M. (1995). Contextual Learning: A critical Aspect of School-to-Work Transition Programs, Washington, DC: Academy for Educational Development. (ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. ED381666)
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