About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 4847-4856
Publication year: 2014
ISBN: 978-84-617-0557-3
ISSN: 2340-1117

Conference name: 6th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 7-9 July, 2014
Location: Barcelona, Spain

THE IMPORTANCE OF PRACTICAL ACTIVITIES IN SCHOOL SCIENCE: PERSPECTIVES OF INDEPENDENT SCHOOL TEACHERS IN QATARI SCHOOLS

Z. Said, H. Friesen, H. Al-Azzah

College of the North Atlantic Qatar (QATAR)
This paper explores the way in which practical activities are perceived and carried out in Qatari schools, and identifies existing barriers and enablers for their implementation from the perspectives of science teachers. The study is based on a survey of 179 science teachers from nearly 50 different schools as well as interviews of 36 teachers representing primary, preparatory and secondary schools. The survey consists of 43 statements grouped into seven domains.

Purpose of practical, barriers to effective delivery, time spent on practical, how practical sessions are delivered, how activities are assessed and what percentage weighting is allocated to practical from the total science grade, and what are the enablers that promote effective practical science delivery. Reliability statistical analysis generated a consistency within each of the above constructs with Cronbach's alpha ( ) values between 0.73 and 0.85.

Results and interviews indicate that the dominant delivery procedure depends, mostly, on teachers’ demonstration with about 79% of the respondents indicated that it is their main strategy, coupled with frequent use of ICT and modeling but little emphasis on enquiry based investigation and/or hands-on activities.

The results show that the top barriers to effective delivery, in descending order, are:
Time constraint due to length of curriculum , insufficient technical support (personnel), lack of students’ interest and attitude, lack of teachers’ experience in practical delivery, Assessment and tests’ requirement, and lack of necessary equipment and materials. The results indicate that all these factors are important with little significant difference between their contributions.
Similarly factors promoting effective delivery are equally important with close percentages among responses. They are, as follows, in descending order: Reduce curriculum and allocate more time on practical activities, provide effective training for teachers, enforce strict policy on students’ behavior, cooperation with higher education institutes, recruitment of more skilled lab technicians and teaching assistants, put more emphasis on assessment of practical activities.

Results from both survey and interviews showed that teachers spend about 25% of the time allocated for science classes, on practical; however, assessment weighting percentages are between 10-15% of the overall mark of the subject.
@InProceedings{SAID2014IMP,
author = {Said, Z. and Friesen, H. and Al-Azzah, H.},
title = {THE IMPORTANCE OF PRACTICAL ACTIVITIES IN SCHOOL SCIENCE: PERSPECTIVES OF INDEPENDENT SCHOOL TEACHERS IN QATARI SCHOOLS},
series = {6th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies},
booktitle = {EDULEARN14 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-617-0557-3},
issn = {2340-1117},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Barcelona, Spain},
month = {7-9 July, 2014},
year = {2014},
pages = {4847-4856}}
TY - CONF
AU - Z. Said AU - H. Friesen AU - H. Al-Azzah
TI - THE IMPORTANCE OF PRACTICAL ACTIVITIES IN SCHOOL SCIENCE: PERSPECTIVES OF INDEPENDENT SCHOOL TEACHERS IN QATARI SCHOOLS
SN - 978-84-617-0557-3/2340-1117
PY - 2014
Y1 - 7-9 July, 2014
CI - Barcelona, Spain
JO - 6th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
JA - EDULEARN14 Proceedings
SP - 4847
EP - 4856
ER -
Z. Said, H. Friesen, H. Al-Azzah (2014) THE IMPORTANCE OF PRACTICAL ACTIVITIES IN SCHOOL SCIENCE: PERSPECTIVES OF INDEPENDENT SCHOOL TEACHERS IN QATARI SCHOOLS, EDULEARN14 Proceedings, pp. 4847-4856.
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