V. Županec1, T. Pribićević1, T. Miljanović1, B. Radulović2

1University of Novi Sad, Faculty of Sciences, Department of Biology and Ecology (SERBIA)
2University of Novi Sad, Faculty of Sciences, Department of Physics (SERBIA)
Hands-on activity enriched instruction in Science implies actively engaged pupils. These activities are closely related to the understanding of important scientific conceptions. Elementary school teachers can use these activities to enrich teaching of many different science topics in the elementary school curriculum. In order to examine the contribution of hands-on activity enriched instruction to improving the learning and achievement of pupils in Biology in elementary school, as well as achieving the long-term memory, there was conducted a research which results are presented in this paper. In this paper, we have analyzed the comparative effectiveness of hands-on activity enriched instruction and traditional instruction on the achievements of the seventh grade pupils in Biology. The sample of the study consisted of 102 pupils who were 13 years old, and who attended two primary schools in Subotica, Republic of Serbia. A total of 50 pupils from the experimental group learned Biology content (the sense of the human sight, and the sense of the human hearing) by using hands-on activity enriched instruction. The remaining 52 pupils from the control group learned the same content by traditional instruction. All instruments (the pre-test, the post-test and the retest) contained the questions from three different cognitive domains: knowing, applying and reasoning. The pre-test aimed at group equalization, while the post-test was conducted in order to examine the pupils’ achievement in Biology after applying different instructions to both groups of pupils. The third test, the retest, was identical to the post-test, and it was conducted 60 days after the post-test in order to determine the sustainability of the knowledge gained during the research in both groups of pupils. The mean score and standard deviation on the pretext, the post-test, and the retest, were determined for both groups by using the SPSS 14.0 software program. In order to determine the relationship between two variables, the following methods were used: Hi square test, t-test and ANOVA with Post Hoc test. Our findings indicate that hands-on activity enriched instruction leads to an increase in the quality and durability of pupils' knowledge in all three cognitive domains in comparison to the traditional instruction. Therefore, it is concluded that hands-on activities involving the application of simple experiments, practical activities of pupils in Biology teaching, represent a highly effective teaching instruction.