Practical Work in School Science: Which Way Now?

Practical Work in School Science: Which Way Now?


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Practical Work in School Science: Which Way Now? by Jerry Wellington, J. J. Wellington

Practical work has been part of science education for just over 100 years and is accepted as an essential and exciting part of understanding this discipline. Although it can be costly and sometimes messy, it simply has to be done if students and teachers are to progress in their understanding. Schools and universities invest millions of pounds in it and the National Curriculum reveres it - but what exactly is going on in classrooms around the country and how are the leading practitioners moving with the times? This book attempts to reflect on the value and purpose of practical work as part of the scientific curriculum. Why are practical exercises so necessary and what do they contribute to the learning process? The chapters examine many issues such as:
* how practical work is perceived by students and teachers
* whether we will move on to the 'virtual lab'
* the limitations of current 'hands-on' work and valuable alternatives to it
* the connections between practical work in science education and 'authentic'science
* what role experimentation plays in current educational practice. Jerry Wellington is Reader in Education at Sheffield University, and has taught science at all academic levels.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780415174930
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Publication date: 10/20/1998
Pages: 312
Product dimensions: 6.25(w) x 9.25(h) x 0.65(d)

Table of Contents

List of illustrationsviii
Part IIntroduction1
1Practical work in science: time for a reappraisal3
2Rhetoric and reality: what practical work in science education is really for16
Part IIPerspectives on practical work in school science33
3The schooling of laboratory science35
4Teaching about the world of science in the laboratory: the influence of students' ideas52
5'If this were played upon a stage ...': school laboratory work as a theatre of representation69
Part IIIThe search for authenticity91
6Is this really what scientists do? Seeking a more authentic science in and beyond the school laboratory93
7Authentic science in schools, to develop personal knowledge109
8Learning about the dimensions of science through authentic tasks126
Part IVLanguage, images, ideas and practical work153
9Science education without a laboratory?156
10Science as conversation: come and see my air pump!174
11'Imaging' or 'Envisionment' in practical work: developing the link between action, thought and image192
Part VFurther ideas on the future of practical work203
12Implicit knowledge and science practical work in schools206
13Experimentation and conceptual understanding in school science: can hypothesis testing play a role?220
14It in practical work: assessing and increasing the value-added237
15Multimedia simulation: a threat to or enhancement of practical work in science education?252
16Virtual science: a practical alternative?271
Further reading285

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