A CHECKLIST FOR TEACHING SCIENCE SUBJECTS EFFECTIVELY IN NIGERIAN SECONDARY SCHOOLS

MASON COLLEGE SCIENCE TEACHER SUBMITS A  SUMMARY REPORT   FROM A SEMINAR  LECTURE TITLED “EFFECTIVE METHODS OF TEACHING SCIENCE” GIVEN BY MR.ATOKARA DANIEL (A GUEST SPEAKER FROM GHANA)

INTRODUCTION

He defined effective method of teaching science as the art of teaching science such that students will be able to get the content of the teaching, and the teaching will in turn reflect on students’ behavior.He defined science as a way of explaining the universe in which we live in. He also stated that science is a body of knowledge and a process of acquiring knowledge.

The fundamental knowledge in scientific principles by “Marvin Druger” were given as;

(1)Science might be taught in an integrative manner.
(2)Changes in the science teacher preparation. That is the teacher should adopt different teaching formats, this will serve as a challenge to the students.
(3)Focus on students’ motivation.
(4)An active student involvement in the learning process. In this case the teacher is expected to carry the students along as he teaches.

He then highlighted the various methodologies of teaching science effectively coupled with relevant check lists. He explained that the importance of the checklists is to guide the teacher on his presentations.

METHODOLOGY OF TEACHING SCIENCE SUBJECTS EFFECTIVELY:

a.Use Of Chalkboard:

-This is to illustrate, outline or underscore ideas in written or graphic forms.In using the chalkboard facts that cannot be picked by students during the teacher’s explanation might be seen more clearly by students

-Relevant checklist applicable to the Chalkboard were given as follows…The teacher must;

-Say what he/she has to say before writing them on the board.
-Use keywords or concepts.
-Be aware of the organization of ideas on the board.
-Erase the board before writing a new concept, idea or diagram.
-Write legibly and large enough to be easily read.

b.Demonstration

-He said this can be used to teach concepts or skills directly or to prepare students for laboratory work, he further explained that this will also provide the students opportunity to see a phenomenon or event that they otherwise would not have observed.

– Relevant checklist applicable to demonstration.He said that the teacher must;

-Be sure that the students can see and hear clearly.
-Do the demonstration on his own before trying it in front of students.
-Take all necessary precautionary/safety measures,for example making sure all windows are opened.
-Plan his demonstration so that it clearly shows the intended concepts or skills.

c.Field Trip

-The speaker described a field trip as a unique learning experience which cannot be accomplished in classrooms.

-Checklist include…The teacher must;

-Take the trip first before going with the students.
-Prepare the students for the trip by determining their objectives and general expectations.
-Make proper transportation arrangements.
-Confirm prior arrangements for admission.
-Obtain permission slips from parents or guardians
-Arrange for additional adult colleagues of opposite gender to come along.

d.Laboratory

-He said that the laboratory gives the students unique experiences on the actual use of equipment and materials as they resolve problems and develop knowledge,skills and values related to effective science teaching and learning.

-Checklist include…The teacher must;

-Select a laboratory that best illustrates his objectives.
-Make necessary changes in the physical arrangement of the laboratory.
-Be sure that materials needed for the practicals are available and functional.
-Give clear, succinct directions including safety precautions,how to handle equipments, where to obtain materials,assignment of groups and also expectations of conduct and reporting.

e.Laboratory Report

-He stated that this will formalize the students’ laboratory experience and make connections between prior and present knowledge.

-Checklist include…The teacher must;

-Involve students in report writing.
-Outline expectation in terms of length, format and thoroughness.
-Review the students report.

f.Interactive Whiteboards and Other Classroom Multimedia Devices (Devices)

-He said these will present information in an interesting and efficient manner.

-Checklist: The teacher must;

-Preview the Devices (hardware and software) before showing/using them to/in the class
-Decide where the Devices can best fit in the instructional sequence
-Outline some introductory remarks.
-Ensure that  students concentrate on knowing how devices work and in knowing why they are relevant.
-At times pause Devices and have brief discussions where necessary, but not to be done too repeatedly.
-Conduct a discussion after the Devices come to an end.
-Entertain questions from students and make connections between content in Devices and the students’ previous knowledge and relevance for future topics.

g.Lecture

-This is used to present a large body of information.

-Checklist:  The teacher should;

-Be sure that the lecture is organized, use an outline and make it available before or during the lecture.
-Supplement lectures with slides and/or charts to illustrate concepts and ideas.
-Monitor students’ attention and relate previous knowledge with the present one to widen students understanding.
-Talk clearly and in a manner that clarifies key points and facilitate note taking.

h.Questioning:

-This stimulates thinking more effectively by  2-way communication between the teacher and students

-Checklist: The teacher must;

-Use a variety of questions to test if the students have actually gained from the teaching.
-Outline answer expectation in terms of length, format and thoroughness.
-Provide time for students to think about answers or questions to ask.
-Use questions that require thinking at different levels for instance recall, comprehension, application, analysis and evaluation.

Good luck.

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