Compilation of top ten interview questions for ‘Science Teachers’.
1. How to Motivate Children or Students in Learning Science?
The essential feature of science is the spirit of enquiry; discovery becomes basis for science teaching. Science teaching must engage the students who are curious and question everything. It is understood from the nature of science that it is not just a body of knowledge but a process to develop knowledge.
Science is a systematic, careful and continuous inquiry through observation and experimentation for verification or validation. Hence, the activities and experiments in the classroom must be designed to nurture and channel curiosity, ask questions, make observations and lead to an open argumentation to draw accurate solutions in a democratic way.
Through science teaching children construct knowledge by engaging in continuous enquiry to satisfy their innate curiosity. Science accepts and recognizes knowledge only after validation, verification through experimentation. Hence, children are to be encouraged to conduct their projects in a systematic and analytical way.
Let us see an instance of how children learn science. One day Ravi and Ramu wanted to fly a kite. They made a kite pasting a few sticks to a piece of paper taken from old newspapers. They tied some thread, went upstairs, observed the direction of the wind, and try to fly it. But it did not fly. They measured and checked the knot is alright before they tried it for the second time.
Even then the kite did not fly. They thought that the tail is too short, so they pasted some more pieces of paper and made it longer. This time the kite went up and up but then it came tumbling down. Now they had a clue. They shortened it a bit and they successfully flew the kite.
When the kite does not fly, they investigated the problem and came out with some assumptions (hypotheses) and consequently with ‘something to do’ to solve the problem. They applied them, validate their assumptions and ultimately solved the problem. This is called the scientific method, the underlying principle of science.
Children by nature keenly observe their surroundings and analyses their experiences from their own angle. At upper primary stage meticulous observation, logical thinking and creative solutions starts blossoming, School should channelize these competencies properly and guide them to learn. Everything in the world around us is bound by some principles and laws.
Children understand these principles and laws hidden in them in their own way, and generalize it in their own style. Pedagogically, we call them process skills. This means they give more importance to the process skills rather than the product skills. Learning science depends a lot on this key factor.
The ways for developing rational thinking among children:
(i) We should be spectic and accept something only when we are convinced that it is logical or has passed the test of experimentation.
(ii) We should have an open mind and should be ready to appreciate other’s point of view, try to convince others or get convinced by them without any ill feeling.
(iii) Accept an idea only when we are sure that it is logically sound. For example, there is a statement appearing on the Hindu Daily as ‘the level of pesticides in soft drinks available in the market’. Before accepting this view uncritically, we can make our students to explore this by considering the following- Identify the ingredients used in the preparation of the soft drinks.
The proportion of the ingredients, the chemical addatives and preservatives used etc. If we do not have the expertise, we can consult the norms of Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) for reliable information on this matter. Then ask the children to collect different soft drinks like cocacola, pepsi, sprite etc., and compare the ingredients with that of BIS norms. We can also verify the scientific literature available on these issues by referring the studies conducted by the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) New Delhi.
Then we can come to a concrete observation with investigation. Studies indicated that pesticides are 24 times higher than (BIS) norms. This will develop rational thinking in the children. Persons possessing scientific temper think rationally and do not fall easy prey to blind belief in superstitions and prejudices.
2. What is the Need and Significance of History of Science in Teaching Science?
Around 600 B.C. Greeks began the age of theoretical science, a science based on logic and reasoning. As the records available in later periods indicate, the Hindus were already familiar with some of the sciences of the Greeks and probably of the Babylonians too. Atreya, Susruta and Charaka in medicine and surgery are the important names in the history of science in India.
There were no further developments in science in India during the later periods till the twentieth century when we can now proudly refer to the great talents of Ramanujam, Raman, Bose, Bhaba, Khorana, Narlekar and many other scientists of international repute.
The Greeks looked into the events of the world with a new interest. They were a prosperous race with enough leisure to think. They considered the mysteries of nature from the philosophical point of view and tried to interpret their observations on the basis of reasoning and logic.
They gave a new trend to thought process and scientific pursuits. The science, which was earlier pursued as a learned craftsmanship and from a utilitarian point of view, now received its theoretical and logical foundations. In the different areas of science they produced brilliant theories and thus theoretical science replaced practical arts of the past.
They accepted slavery and this led to the separation between practical and intellectual aspects of science. Some historians even blame the Greeks for their inaccurate observations and for erecting lofty theories on unsound foundations.
Though the Greek science ultimately did not stand the test of time, whatever, scientific theories this wonderful civilization gave to the world, held sway for more than twenty centuries. This period has produced great thinkers whose contributions are responsible for changing the entire course of world civilization of later times.
With the fall of Greek civilization and the death of the philosophers and the scientists of Greece, a dark period prevailed upon the earth. The progress of civilization, as it came to a temporary halt in Europe; almost nothing significant could be added to the practical science that existed and the theoretical scientific ideas of the Greeks during the long stretch of about a thousand years till the end of the middle ages.
The Dark Age continued up to the twelfth and thirteenth centuries and there was almost complete intellectual stagnancy, especially in Europe. But the world was now ready for the transition of a new phase of regeneration eventually leading to the emergence of Renaissance in Europe.
As the ancient science could no longer satisfy the physical and mental needs of the people, they began to rely only on what they actually found rather than what the ancients had written or told. Thus, we find that the fifteenth and the sixteenth centuries heralded the dawn of the new science-the experimental science. The development of printing techniques during the later part of the fifteenth century made all kinds of publications easier and the dissemination of ideas became wider.
The scientist of the period began to verify the scientific ideas handed down by the Greeks and other ancient civilizations. The Italian genius of the fifteenth century, Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519) gave great support to the new approaches to science through his drawings in anatomy and the biological and physical scientific objects.
By the sixteenth century, the world received an intelligible and useful picture of science and nature, and the world in the next three centuries was to see the marvelous advancements in science, shrinking the total knowledge and achievement of all earlier civilizations spread over several million years, into insignificance. The study of science from the seventeenth century onwards is marked by the use of all components of scientific process.
The scientists of this period observed facts, verified them, measured and repeated them before coming to any conclusion, and finally published results of investigations for discussion in the society. The research trend in science became established. There had been a rapid development in all aspects of human living such as agriculture, medicine, engineering, industry, trade and commerce and these in turn demanded still greater developments in science.
The period from the fifteenth to the eighteenth century saw the development of scientific talent, which was instrumental in leading us to our present position of living as a member of a modern scientific society. The scientists of the twentieth century hardly need mentioning as they are too conspicuous in the scientific world and we remember them for our very existence in the modern world. Modern science, characterized by its speed and accuracy has now established its supremacy over all avenues of knowledge.
3. How to Nurture Processing Skills of Science among Students?
Science is about asking questions and finding solutions to them through scientific method and inquiry. Scientists try to find an answer to a question or do an experiment; they use thinking tools called process skills. We use many of the process skills whenever we speak, listen, read, write or think.
For instance Saketh collects seashells on his visit to the beach. He wants to make collections of shells that are alike in some way and looked for shells of different size and shape.
The way he used the process skills is as follows:
He observed the shells and compares their sizes, shapes and colours. He classified the shells into groups based on their size and shapes.
Observe – use the senses to learn about objects and events.
Compare and contrast – identify characteristics of things or events to find out how they are alike and different.
Classify – group or organize objects or events in categories based on specific characteristics.
While we figure out many questions in our everyday experiences, we also use these skills.
If these investigations are conducted properly they not only raise the motivation but also develop interest and curiosity to learn and try things in different ways. While striving to answer they get activity involved in different processes such as observation, discussion, collecting information, manipulation, comparing, classification, improvising, experimentation, critical thinking and logical reasoning etc. thus enabling them to go through the processes of not only ‘hands on’ but ‘minds-on’ as well.
Science process skills refer to the following six actions without any particular order like observation, communication, classification, measurement, inference and prediction. All these basic skills may be used individually or may be integrated for conducting objective investigation and based on the results we may reach to a conclusion.
The teacher has an important role to play in providing children with experiences which can help to nurture the processing skills of science by considering the following points:
1. Children should be given various opportunities to develop the processing skills of science like observation, investigation, conducting simple experiments and interpreting it in their own words.
2. Creating a platform for discussion either in a small group or in the whole class, facilitates divergent thinking in the child which results in considering multiple way of approaching a problem.
3. The teacher by observing the work of the children and by listening to their discussions the teacher can know how the children are using these process skills and can also identify the area in which the child needs improvement. The teacher can encourage and guide them by suggesting alternative ways or methods.
4. For gaining accuracy in acquisition of some skills the child may be exposed to the use of tools and apparatus. E.g. For measurement of different quantities child may be used instruments like balance, vernier calipers, screw gauge, thermometers, graphs etc.
4. How to Develop or Create Problem-Solving Skills among Students?
Problem-solving approach for teaching science is a technique which provides children an opportunity to solve problems quite independently or through guided approach by following some systematic steps. It means that an individual has learned the skills and acquire relevant information necessary to solve problems that are not only curricular but also related to everyday life.
Various skills required for problem solving can be enhanced, where the students can explore the situation, look for alternative procedures, isolate and control the variables, make models, apply reasoning etc., while working on the problem. This creates a sense of achievement on getting success and develops self-confidence.
The following abilities are to be inculcated among the learners:
1. Flexible and divergent thinking.
2. Decision making resulting in self-confidence.
3. Accepting/rejecting the hypothesis.
4. Correlation between various quantities/phenomena.
5. Checking the validity of results.
6. Expressing the tasks in terms of goals.
7. Searching for innovative practices.
8. Creating new challenges for life.
9. Developing positive and cooperative attitude.
To solve problems in science we may follow the following steps. These steps may not need to follow the same sequence but may vary according to the problem and the thinking of the individual. To address this problem the teacher need to emphasize on learning inquiry and process skills of science.
(a) Identification of the problem.
(b) Statement of the problem – clear description
(c) Explanation of the problem – discussion with fellow students (learner-learner interaction) ensuring that they clearly understand what the problem is.
(d) Delimitation of the problem – concentrating on only those parts of the problem which are within the reach of student.
2. Hypotheses- Formulating hypotheses for investigation. They are tentative giving a direction for solving a problem.
3. Experimentation- Testing the hypotheses.
4. Conclusion- Inferring which hypothesis is the best solution of the problem.
Select a topic ‘condensation’. Do not tell the children, what condensation is. Take a glass tumbler; wipe outer and inner surfaces with a dry and clean piece of cloth. Full the glass tumbler with ice cubes. Wait for some time, till some water droplets are visible on the outer surface of the glass.
Ask the children, “From where there water droplets have come” this is the problem.
The children will come out with different hypotheses like:
1. A glass tumbler may have small pores as in some earthen vessels like surahi or gharha. The water has come out through these pores.
2. Water has spilt out from the top of glass tumbler.
3. Air has water vapour. When the vapours touch the cool glass surface, it becomes cool and changes into water droplets.
Then children may do experiment to see which hypothesis is right, like heat water in a kettle, till it boils, and steam comes out. Bring the glass tumbler close to the steam. Steam strikes the outer cold surface of the glass tumbler, becomes cool and change into water.
With the help of this experiment children will find that the third hypothesis is correct and will conclude that water vapour on cooling, condense and change into water drops.
Problem solving skill will enable the students to find out themselves what we could give them as readymade information. The problem should always be solved by the previous knowledge of the students.
5. How do Knowledge and Understanding of Science is Helpful?
Over the course of human history, people have developed many interconnected and validated ideas about the physical, biological, psychological and social sciences. These ideas have enabled successive generations to achieve an increasingly comprehensive and reliable understanding of the human species and its environment.
The means used to develop these ideas are particular ways of observing, thinking, experimenting and validating, Science assumes that the universe is a single system existing in relation with one another. Science understands that everything in the universe is in motion and is subjected to change.
Science is a process of constructing knowledge. The process depend both on making careful observations of phenomena and on inventing theories for making sense out of those observations. Change in knowledge is inevitable because new observations may challenge prevailing theories.
According to Albert Einstein, ‘Science is a refinement of everyday thinking, a belief that becomes evident when one studies the work of scientists in their attempt to construct ideas that explain how nature works.’
It is important for children to acquire the knowledge of science content – concepts and underlying principles as they provide a sound base to explore the unknown and build further knowledge. This can be done by providing children relevant and age appropriate learning opportunities that allow them to undergo experiential learning through exploration and interaction with their environment and construct their knowledge.
To help the children understand the concept that ‘compressed natural gas (CNG) is a popular eco-friendly automobile fuel’. One way is to tell the child that it causes less pollution than petroleum and diesel. Students become aware of less use of petrol/diesel vehicles or use of electric vehicles.
By explaining the usage of CNG for power generation and asking the child to enlist other natural gas and their uses in daily life, can help them to understand this concept better.
Previous experiences of the child are very important as they form the base for construction of knowledge to pay way for developing new ideas. It is the responsibility of the teacher to create a platform and engage the children to have meaningful discussions through questioning and listening and organizing the experiences for the construction of knowledge.
6. What are the Aims of Learning Biological Science?
In this era of science and technology the knowledge of science is very essential for all the human beings. All the aspects of human behaviour are governed by the basic knowledge of biology. The food we eat, the cleanliness and sanitation measures we follow, the healthy habits we inculcate, the agricultural methods we utilize, the industrial processes we develop are all based on application of scientific principles.
The subject of science is valued the most for its practical application in the day-to-day life of the human beings. The teaching of science should equip and prepare an individual with certain values, attitudes and skills in science. A science teacher has to realize the aims of science teaching and inculcate the values of science in the pupils.
The science policy resolution of the government of India (1958) stated- “the dominating feature of the contemporary world is the intense cultivation of science on a large scale and its application to meet the country’s requirements.”
Aims of learning science stand out to be environmental awareness and protection of environment in the present context and the hidden aim is always the development of scientific outlook.
The aims develop from the goals of education. An aim tries to achieve something. The aims give rise to objectives. Aims are directive in their function. The objectives are the steps towards achievement of the aims.
The main aims of teaching Biological Science are:
The knowledge of biological science is very essential for any individual. It has a wide application in the real life. The students of science should possess knowledge of scientific facts, principles and processes of nature, the mechanisms of living and non-living, importance of health and sanitation, and protection of the environment.
These things will help the learner to live a healthy and happy life in the society. The knowledge imparted should be appropriated to the age, and the ability of the learner. It would help him to adjust to his immediate environment. It will help the individual to lead a healthy and happy life.
The study of science should stimulate the interest of the students in the subject. Importance of scientific discoveries, recent scientific advances, and information about great scientists should be explained so that the student would understand their importance.
The students should develop an awareness of the tremendous progress made by science and its role in development of technology. The students should understand that the results or products of science arise from scientific processes and the main principle of science is “Learning by doing”.
Students should develop the skills of experimentation, problem solving, hypothesizing, and arriving at the generalizations. They should also develop the skills of drawing the diagrams, sketches of specimens and apparatus. They should be able to organize the science fairs and start the science clubs. They should apply their scientific knowledge to the real situations in the society. The relevant learning experiences should be incorporated into school curriculum.
Biology is the study of nature and the living environment. Human beings are a part of this nature. A biology student should be able to appreciate the importance of the environment the student should understand the need for conserving nature and other living organisms. He should identify the disadvantages of environmental degradation. This aim is fulfilled by relating the teaching of biology with applications and examples from real life situations.
Developing scientific outlook is one of the important objectives of science. Scientific attitude refers to critical observation, inquisitiveness, open- mindedness, truthfulness, unbiased judgment, non-belief in superstition and developing scientific method. Scientific outlook means understanding every process and phenomenon is a cause and effect relation.
The teacher is a guide who makes efforts to inculcate these characteristics through the teaching- learning process of science. These attitudes help and equip the student to face the problems and solve them with confidence and determination at home, school and society. Training in scientific method refers to the procedure of solving the problems through the scientific methodology.
Scientific method is a problem solving method, which look at the problem in cause and effect relation and applies the logical sequence of steps to solve a problem. It requires the skills of analyzing and critical thinking.
The scientific method includes the steps like- identification of a problem, defining a problem, analysis, organization, experimentation, collection of the data, and interpretation of the data, conclusion and generalization. These processes of scientific methodology help in solving problems in a logical sequential manner.
5. Science as a Basis for Career Development:
Scientific knowledge has an important role to play in this modern technological world. There are a number of avenues where the knowledge of science finds an application. The study of science not only gives knowledge but also prepares the students for their higher studies and future vocations.
Knowledge of science forms a basis for further studies. The science teacher should identify the students and their specific skills and talents to provide the required learning experiences, additional training and guide them to pursue further studies in science.
The knowledge of science should prepare an individual to lead a complete life. It should prepare the individual to lead a happy and peaceful life. The student of biology should develop the appropriate attitudes like open- mindedness, appreciation of nature, problem solving skills. These attributes will help an individual to lead a systematic and better life. The knowledge of science makes an individual technically competent to face the challenges of the modern world.
Science education is regarded as one that is true to the child, true to life, and true to science. In the context of NCF-2005, ‘true to the child’ means that the teaching and learning of science should facilitate the child to understand the concepts and able to engage the child in meaningful and joyful learning.
‘True to life’ means the science teaching and learning should be related to the environment of the child which in turn prepare them for the society to work and promote preservation of the environment. ‘True to science’ means the science teaching and learning should convey significant aspects of science at appropriate level and engage the child in the processing skills and validating the scientific knowledge.
The ‘position paper on Teaching of Science, 2006’ suggested the following aims of science education.
The science education should enable the learner to:
1. Know the facts and principles of science and its application, consistent with the stage of cognitive development.
2. Acquire the skills and understand the methods and processes that lead to generation and validation of scientific knowledge.
3. Develop a historical and development that perspective of science to enable them to view science as a social enterprise.
4. Relate to the environment (natural environment, artifacts and people), local as well as global and appreciate the issues at the interface of science, technology and society.
5. Acquire the requisite theoretical knowledge and practical technological skills to enter the world of work.
6. Nurture the natural curiosity, aesthetic sense and creativity in science and technology.
7. Imbibe the value of honesty, integrity, cooperation, concern for life and preservation of environment.
8. Cultivate ‘Scientific temper’ – objective, critical thinking and freedom from fear and prejudice.
7. How to Nurture Natural Curiosity, Creativity and Aesthetic Sense among Students?
Nurturing the Natural Curiosity:
Let us consider the conservation that happened in a classroom between the teacher and the students in learning the concept “Air is everywhere”.
“Air is everywhere” is a statement that every school child learns. Students may know the earth’s atmosphere consists of several gases, and that there is no air on the moon, they might be happy that they know science. But look at the conversation that happened.
Teacher- Is there air in this glass.
Student- Yes! (In chorus)
The teacher was not satisfied with the unused general statement ‘air is everywhere’. She asked the students to apply the idea in a simple situation, and found unexpectedly, that they had formed some ‘alternative conceptions’.
Teacher- Now I turn the glass upside down. Is there still air in it?
(Some students say ‘yes’, others say’ ‘no’, still others are undecided)
Student 1- The air came out of the glass!
Student 2- There was no air in the glass. In previous class the teacher put an empty glass over a burning candle and the candle went out.
The students had performed an activity, which remained vivid two years later, but some of them at least had taken away an incorrect conclusion from it.
After some explanation the teacher went on posing question to the students. Like is there air in this closed cupboard? Is there air in the soil? In water? Inside the body? Inside our bones? Each of these questions brought up new ideas and presented an opportunity to reflect upon and try to get answers. This lesson was also a message to the class. Do not accept statements without evidence. Question. You may not find all the answers but you will learn more.
Thus curiosity led to questions in the minds of the children like, why? what? and how? When students ask such questions, the teacher should not discourage them; instead facilitate them to find answers using scientific principles.
Aristotle had made a statement ‘All men by nature desire to know’. Children are curious by nature. Curiosity can be generated in the child by taking them to science centre, working on science projects, reading scientific literature, encouraging them to participate in science exhibition and science quiz.
“Creativity is an activity resulting in new products of a definite social value.” – Torrance (1962)
Science is the product of creative thinking by scientists over a period of time. Children tend to be naturally creative, but their creativity is dampened as a result of our authoritarian and lops sided system of education. Creativity involves ‘originality’ and a person who exhibit unique and original performance over a period of time can be called a ‘creative person’.
According to James Drover, “producing an essentially new product, constructive (somewhat wider) use of imagination, where a new combination of ideas or images are constructed (strictly when it is self-initiated rather than initiated) also of thoughts synthesis, where the mental product is not a mere summation.”
The process of creativity involves the recognition of a problem or the encounter, the classification and assessment of different components of the problem, delineation, manipulation and linkage of ideas to solve the problem or reveration and refinement of the ideas or confirmation and summation. The process of creativity involves two distinct methods of thinking, convergent and divergent.
In convergent method thinking emphasis is given to activities that are directed towards a correct answer. Divergent method of thinking, on the contrary, emphasizes divergent of ideas. Divergent thinking opens thought by providing a multiplicity of ideas. Both convergent and divergent thinking complementary to each other.
Creativity cannot be taught but can be developed in children by providing situations and demand imagination, originality and problem solving method of teaching is very helpful to developing creativity in children.
1. Provide an intellectual atmosphere in the class that allows and stimulates creativity. Open-ended experiments and activities are extremely helpful in developing creativity provide situational-science experiences to the children every day. These are brief situations which may arise from the daily experiences of children in the science classroom or laboratory or field at home.
2. Provide Atmosphere of the Free Expression- An atmosphere for free expression of ideas by the students is very essential in the development of creative thinking in children. The authoritarian approach of the teacher in the classroom destroys the very germ of creativity. Creativity flourishes in an atmosphere where thinking processes are automatic, swift, and spontaneous.
3. Never laugh at students’ ideas or conclusions even if they are wrong. Always give some positive reinforcement. Always encourage new ideas and show your happiness and appreciation when a child comes up with a new idea. Permit children to carry out and complete their experiments and assignments in their own way.
4. Provide Proper Physical Environment- In order to encourage creativity in science programmes adequate physical facilities should be provided. Science classroom should have scientific atmosphere. There should be enough space and materials to work with. The child should be encouraged to design and improvise the basic equipment’s themselves.
There should also be a ‘live corner’ where the students can display an aquarium or terrarium and can do experiments. Efforts should be made to provide adequate physical facilities to the students for exploring, manipulating, discovering, inventing, problem solving and verifying the ideas.
A discussion on saving forest – ‘ Recycling of paper’ was going on in class VIII. Teacher posed a thought provoking question to the whole class ‘what would happen if there is no paper used in our daily life? Students come up with a number of answers- some relevant, some not so relevant. Teacher asked one of the students to write all the answers on the blackboard without labelling it as right or wrong.
Some of the responses were:
‘We may not get the newspapers, letters or printed information.
“There would be no book and they are replaced by tablets’,
‘There would be no written homework given’,
‘No written examination only on-line exams’,
‘Save our nature from harmful chemicals’,
‘We can prevent deforestation’ etc.
The teacher discussed all the probable answers and asked the students to collect more information related to the question and justify their answers through the group project.
The teacher plays an important role for nurturing creativity in learners. From pedagogical perspective of Biological science, inquiry and activity oriented, process based teaching learning can facilitate in nurturing creativity.
Aesthetic sense with the creation and appreciation of beauty that gives happiness, harmony, order and pattern are some of the criteria which define beauty. A scientist is in search of harmony. In science the harmonious character of nature is visible in existence and its laws and theories gives scope of universality since science is a body of knowledge acquired through the application of the scientific process. This knowledge at several stages has some order and harmony and universal acceptability. Therefore studying science nurtures aesthetic sense among children.
For nurturing aesthetic sense through science teaching and learning, the teacher may encourage students to consider the following steps:
1. Explain the importance of each and every organ present in the human body and appreciate its function all through the life. E.g. Human kidney though very small in size, never takes rest and filters the blood in human body. It also takes up the duty if one kidney fails to function without any rest. Whereas the dialysis machine though very big in size purifies the blood by working for only few hours and takes rest.
2. Observe keenly while doing any work. For example, by observing the flowers, their colour and different shapes, appreciate the wonders of the nature.
3. One should be conscious of one’s inner being.
4. Learn to be generous. One should develop the sense of sacrifice and self-righteousness.
Scientific laws and principles are applied in our day to day activity. All that we do i.e. the way we are balanced, on the earth, our eating habits, the physiological process in the body, the things we use daily are worked with scientific principles. It is the responsibility of the science teacher to identify and explain the concept, and facilitate the child to appreciate the principle.
8. What are the Steps of Pedagogical Analysis?
Pedagogy is the ways and means provided to utilize by a teacher for managing his task of teaching as smoothly and effectively as possible by involving his least efforts for drawing the maximum possible better teaching outcomes.
Analysis is the process of breaking a thing into its smaller parts, elements or constituents. Analysis of all aspects of teaching by involving least efforts for drawing the maximum possible better outcomes.
Pedagogical analysis includes different instructional questions such as how to achieve predetermined educational objectives, which teaching processes should be used and how they should be used, and which teaching techniques are necessary for successful instruction.
Shulman has specified a comprehensive map of the process of teaching which comprises the four groups of activities or processes.
1. Teacher’s thinking process regarding content knowledge.
2. Teacher’s activities (skills for teaching specific subject).
3. Teacher’s subject enrichment.
4. Considerations about “pupil” and “pupils thinking process” in terms of subject knowledge.
Shulman’s map guided many researches in the disciplines of music, science, computer science etc. related to these aspects. These researches have contributed to the development of most of the steps of pedagogical analysis.
Following are the steps of pedagogical analysis:
1. Goal Awareness:
Learning becomes more effective when the learner is aware of the goal of each learning experience. The teachers do verify whether goals are achieved time to time and it also helps the pupils understand the significant learning experiences. Moreover they realize their utility in achieving the basic goal of the teaching content.
For this, the teaching skill “Set induction” is significant. An appropriate use of this skill not only clarifies the goal of the teaching content but also the goals of every teaching-learning activity. Similarly every learning material should specify the goal/purpose of every activity it recommends.
This helps in verifying it pupil have clearly understood the interrelationship in the activity they perform. Apart from mentioning goal of an activity, the activity sequence should also be stated. Because it helps to promote pupil to think logically and reach specific level of knowledge.
Goal awareness should go hand in hand with pupil curiosity for learning material one the other hand the teacher must make the pupil curious of content knowledge he will teach such a curiosity promotes mental preparedness to undertake learning. The teacher should also clarify the important units and focus points.
The teacher should be aware of content related ideas already existing with pupils. That is he should know their previous knowledge about the unit, their ways of thinking about it and the skills they possess. All such considerations are helpful in deciding the teaching strategies.
Teacher should have an idea about pupil’s general understanding regarding the content. When the teachers integrate all these into his teaching, the pupil fined it meaningful and endearing. Sometimes, there are misunderstandings about content knowledge.
The teachers can take a cognizance of those misunderstandings and set them aside. Moreover, pupil might have some ideas that might create abstraction in the acquition of new content knowledge. When the teachers are aware of such obstacles, he can prepare himself to overcome them during the actual teaching performance.
Pupil participation is very important in the teaching-learning experience. Pupil need to get opportunities to express their opinions, explanation and interpretations that they learn the cause and effect relationship underlying many of their experiences. Pupil should be made to participate in the actual learning process through questioning, activities, discussion etc. This step considers “where?” and “how?” of pupil participation in the learning process.
Teaching performance should not be tiresome. Learner should be attentive throughout the period. Learner should be given opportunity to express and get clarification of the concept and make others understand the concepts.
The teacher should provide general suggestions to pupils. For example, when the teacher states “Fish cannot live out of water”, he should ask pupils “What makes fish remain alive in water?” and “why can it not live out of water?” Teacher should give freedom to the learner express to the opinions. Such a practice promotes their understanding and also inculcates the value of freedom. Teacher should develop the scientific inquiry (cause-effect relationship) in the learner.
The teacher teaches many new ideas, concepts and facts. There is a need to give evidence and support to whatever the teacher teaches. The content knowledge that is difficult for the pupil to understand should be supported by examples and facts. The support, evidence and examples promote quick understanding.
The layout and presentation of the content knowledge should be found reasonable evidence based on facts. For example, the roots support the trees because the root penetrate deep into the soil and hold the soil firmly. To clarify this teacher can show tree outside the class. Analogies, illustration can also be used for clarifying the difficult concepts.
Sometimes a concept can be explained in the context of another concept or a concept is better understood when other related concepts, are explained e.g- When the teacher explains the importance of food he should explain the relationship between nutritious food and good health as well as explain about malnutrition.
Students interpret the teaching content according to their comprehension ability. Therefore the teacher needs to activate students thinking process to help them to interpret the content knowledge and also check time to time whether the interpretations are correct. The student should be actively involved the teaching learning process.
Therefore the teacher needs to take steps to make student become active in their thinking process. Activities such as problem- solving activities, concept mapping, brain storming sessions, planning project based on scientific inquiry, field experience etc., can be planned based on the content of teaching to provoke thought processes.
To know whether the teaching learning goals and objectives are achieved or not evaluation is carried at regular intervals. The teacher should have opportunities to verify if their teaching is preceded in right direction.
There are 3 ways:
1. The teacher can ask questions that verify objective related progress and that help to check if the objective is achieved or not.
2. The teacher can ask comprehension question on each point of the content after it has been taught.
3. The teacher can ask question to verify if the students can apply the knowledge taught to them.
Such questions and activities are useful for ascertaining the level of understanding and the knowledge the pupil have acquired.
Teacher need to provide pupil with safe and supportive classroom environment that facilitates active participation and engagement of all students.
This step recommends the teaching activities for interpreting teaching content, values and core areas of curriculum, for connecting teaching contents with creativity of life practices, and for creating joyful and conducive atmosphere in the classroom for learning to take place.
The complementary, supportive, collaborative, reflective and prosperous environment promotes learning. Therefore the teaching performance needs to be pleasant and interesting for the learners.
There are numerous methods to do so:
1. Integrating Art and Drama and simulating situations into Pedagogy.
2. Correlation among subjects enriches learning environment.
3. Classroom learning integrated with daily life learning process become more interesting.
4. Building relationship among students in collaborative field learning providing an environment of learning in bio-social environment.
9. How can We Write Learning Objectives on The Selected Topics at Upper Primary, Secondary and Higher Secondary Stages?
Learning objectives for upper primary, secondary and higher secondary stages are illustrated selecting the lesson ‘discover the life style of the wild- biodiversity’ from upper primary level. The learning objectives for secondary stage are illustrated by taking the lessons ‘biodiversity’ and ‘cell its structure and functioning’. The higher secondary stage learning objectives are illustrated by taking the lesson management of natural sources.
At upper primary stage, the learners are encouraged to learn the principles of biological sciences through observation and concrete examples relating to their everyday life experiences. They are engaged in simple activities, models and projects. At the secondary stage, abstractions and quantitative reasoning occupy a more central place then at the upper primary level.
Therefore the learner can be introduced to the abstract concepts of biological sciences by involving them in systematic experimentation. At the higher secondary stage emphasis is given on the rigour and depth of science, involving problem solving ability and critical thinking which results in gaining conceptual clarity, where the student constructs and assimilates the experiences in a meaningful manner.
Therefore, while writing learning objectives, the depth, breadth and complexities of concepts and the suitability of learning experiences have to be considered according to the cognitive level of the learner at different stages of learning.
1. Understand about the life style of different animals.
2. Differentiate between spender’s web and the birds nest.
3. List out the materials used by birds in building the nest.
4. Write the similarities and differences in the living style of birds and animals.
5. Prepare a scrap book of photos on birds’ nests.
6. Draw the picture of any bird or animal and coloring it.
7. Tabulate the different animals/birds living in this place with respect to its shelter and the material used to build it.
8. Value the slogan ‘Right to Live’ and will love the birds and animals and strive to protect them.
1. Understand biodiversity and its components.
2. Analyse the information collected through field observations.
3. Draw the flow diagram of the components present in the field after observation.
4. Appreciate the differences among various organisms in the biodiversity.
5. Understand biodiversity, show sympathy towards other things and valuing them.
1. Understand the nucleus and its parts.
2. Acquire the experimental skills to observe the nucleus in the cell.
3. Draw the structure of the nucleus and labeling its parts.
4. To appreciate the functions of the nucleus in the cell.
1. Understand our resources like forest, wild life, water, coal, and petroleum need to be utilized in a sustainable manner.
2. Apply the maxim of ‘Reduce, Revise and Recycle’ is their lives for reducing pressure on the environment.
3. Explain the measures to be taken are management of forest resources.
4. Identify the need to use the natural resources in a judicious way.
5. Suggest ways in order to be environmental friendly is their homes.
6. Suggest ways in the school to make it environmentally friendly.
10. How to Develop Learning Objectives in Constructivist Perspective?
In traditional approach, we identified the learning objectives in advance and lesson were planned irrespective of the learning situations and learner’s needs. This is not acceptable in constructivist perspective.
In this approach, remembering, understanding, analyzing, applying etc. cannot be visualized, different from one another as no knowledge is possible until and unless there is understanding on part of the learner. In other words, a concept cannot be divided into different levels of learning; it has to be an integral whole.
Beginning of lesson planning is probably most difficult times to create specific detailed learning objectives well in advance. The beginning is also difficult time to know what understanding will emerge during the transaction of the lesson. During the teaching learning process the teacher can add some objectives if she finds that some more objectives are needed to address the learners needs. The teacher can change the objectives accordingly than changing the design.
1. Learning is a divergent process that occurs through various exposures and not necessarily through a common, singular exposure predicted by the teacher.
2. Learning is thus a multidimensional process and it should centre on certain understanding key concepts.
3. In constructivist perspective, learning objectives are contextual in nature. Teaching learning can be organized around certain broad and integrated key concepts.
4. Experience is perhaps the most important step in the process of discovery of science through which each learner can be made to feel, reflect and arrive at ideas.
5. During teaching-learning process teacher may frequently ask the students to ‘think-pair-share’.
6. Teaching learning experiences can be designed starting from their questions. Teacher need to have deep understanding of the concepts on the topic being transacted to anticipate learner’s questions and keep the interaction focused towards construction of knowledge of the learners on the concerned topic.
7. Teacher has to recognize that in ‘learner-centred learning situations, curriculum, ‘evolves’ and is not ‘predesigned’ for providing possible support in the process of construction of knowledge.
Every subsequent learning situation cumulatively provides better insight to the teacher in discovering learner’s needs and identifying varied support for learning. In this sense teacher is a participant in learner’s effort at evolving learning experiences.