Istanbul Technical University (TURKEY)
About this paper:
Appears in: EDULEARN09 Proceedings
Publication year: 2009
Page: 5976
ISBN: 978-84-612-9801-3
ISSN: 2340-1117
Conference name: 1st International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 6-8 July, 2009
Location: Barcelona ,Spain
During the past three decades, geosciences educators have been working to construct several different approaches to geology education for developing new science curricula for all students in the new global era. The purpose of this study was to explore the priorities geosciences teachers regarding future directions for the field of science education at the elementary, middle, and high-school levels.
A survey was conducted to determine the perceptions of seven literature-based approaches to science education among 120 teachers. A total of 120 teachers, of mixed ability and gender from the same city in north-west Turkey were involved in the study.
Based on topic areas that have been major emphases of science education research, we identified the following seven curricular emphases and/or instructional approaches in science education: Conceptual Change, Educational Technology, Family Involvement Approaches, Informal Teaching and Learning, Integration (Interdisciplinary) Approaches, Internet-Based Teaching & Learning, Multicultural Issues.
Results indicated that the 'Integration' approach was the top choice, followed by a choice emphasizing 'Conceptual Change.' Years of teaching were not significantly related to participants' perceived importance of each approach, but national origin was related. Among the participants rated two approaches - Education Technology and Internet Based Teaching & Learning. For the other five approaches respondents' opinions were not significantly different.
The Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) was utilized for statistical analyses. Descriptive statistics were used to answer research questions, cross-tabulation was considered as the best method to determine the relationship between variables because the importance of each curricular approach and teaching experience are ordinal scales.
While the author recognises that the small, self-selected sample is a limitation of the study, some important points can be made about the results. First, it is clear that there is a significant agreement about approaches to science education among some geosciences teachers. Teachers in geoscience education believed that 'Integration Approaches' are the most important for this new century's curriculum, and integration seems appropriate for all three school levels. Second, teaching experience does not seem to be related to these expert teachers' choice of approaches. Third, comparison of the seven approaches indicated that geoscience teachers favored all seven approaches. Finally, overall, the results can also provide preliminary guidance in geoscience curriculum planning and instructional materials development to meet respective national priorities and at the same time foster global science literacy.