Learning Of Science In The Uk Education Essay

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I want to talk about learning. But not the lifeless, sterile, futile, quickly forgotten stuff that is crammed in to the mind of the poor helpless individual tied into his seat by ironclad bonds of conformity! I am talking about LEARNING - the insatiable curiosity that drives the adolescent boy to absorb everything he can see or hear or read about gasoline engines in order to improve the efficiency and speed of his 'cruiser'. I am talking about the student who says, "I am discovering, drawing in from the outside, and making that which is drawn in a real part of me." I am talking about any learning in which the experience of the learner progresses along this line: "No, no, that's not what I want"; "Wait! This is closer to what I am interested in, what I need"; "Ah, here it is! Now I'm grasping and comprehending what I need and what I want to know!" Carl Rogers 1983: 18-19

Salters` approach is mentioned with context based learning of science in UK. This is due to the fact that Salters` institute for industrial chemistry develops chemistry teaching material by using context based teaching. "According to Campbell et al. (1994), the view of the Salter's approach may be generalized as: "The most important single factor influencing learning is the active engagement of the learner with the material." In 1800; the anxiety of lower high school achievement, no parallelism between high school education and the vocation and no standard of students' performance lead US educational reform. As a part of reform US society started to ask the following questions: What is the role of teacher; What is the nature of teaching and learning; What is the mission of school in a democracy? They found the answer of these questions in the contextual teaching and learning. contextual teaching and learning in US defined as the view of learning and teaching which helps teachers related subject matter content to real world situation and encourage learner to make link between knowledge and its applications to their lives as family members, citizens, learners and workers.

Contextual teaching and learning strategies

stress problem-solving;

identify the require for teaching and learning to occur in a variety of contexts such as home, community, and work sites;

teach students to check and direct their own learning so they become self-regulated learners;

anchor teaching in students diverse life-contexts;

uses teams or interdependent group structures to encourage students to learn from each other and together; and

Employ authentic assessment."

"The above definition of Contextual Teaching and Learning is developed by The Ohio State University College of Education and Bowling Green State University through funding support from the U.S. Department of Education Office of Vocational and Adult Education and the National School to Work Office."

(http://www.phy.cuhk.edu.hk/contextual/approach/tem/brief_e.html . One of the main problems in education as Rogers mentioned deep or full learning. Constructivism, behaviorism and other education theories actually search effective learning. In my opinion under the certain conditions, people can talk about effective learning. At this point; learning by living or more generally learning with context play vital role. According to Whiteleg and Parry context based learning means that the environment of students, teachers and institution in terms of social and cultural aspects. In terms of physics the MEB test book defines context based learning such that: context, person recognizing ability of events, phenomena and technology which is using; with physics. In this manner the learning changes into abstract to simple. Because of the fact that school information about physics and daily life experience relations barely reflected into the physics curriculum, students ask questions about physics why we are learning such things or do we apply this information into daily life. At the past students cannot find the answer of these questions and their interest and success in physics getting decrease. Context based learning are considers daily life events or technologies which students familiar with. Then find relations between context and physics. By this manner learning can get better. Context based learning generally applied with constructivist approach. What is more; context based learning support with short stories.

I assume that one of the most important specifications of physics teacher should love his/ her profession. Without loving his/her profession, the lessons are not meaningful; the students do not enjoy, and not learn deeply the topics or the concepts. There are several factors, which effects teachers love of their profession. In terms of me using every day phenomena while explaining or discussing physics topics make me happy and I assume that using context in physics attract students' attention more that classical lecturing. Taking students attention is crucial, in terms of effective learning. As a result of this procedure, when I see students enthusiasm and shining of their eyes; that is really they want to learn new things so I also concentrated and want to teaching physics. By using every day events, I love my proficient more than just classical lecturing. For Helen, context based learning not only enjoyable for students but also enjoyable for teachers. She enjoys teaching by using it for the reason that she likes observing students participation to lesson in that method.

There are some disadvantages of context based learning. To start with all branches of science are not suitable for contextual learning. Some branches are more abstract than the other. Secondly for concrete branches, like medicine, physics; no all of the subject are suitable for contextual teaching; in terms of my point of view. Thirdly introducing an application of a scientific principle after teaching the theory may not work for all learners. In order to understand the application, learners have to sufficient motivation to learn theory that is by not learning theory, students not understand the application ( Whiteleg and Parry 1999). Fourthly teacher can face with some irrelevant questions. At this time teachers should control coming questions, and if questions about real life start to become unrelated, teachers should go back their topic immediately. And let students ask about relevant questions. Otherwise teacher cannot teach physics. Fifthly for Helen (Fry, 2001), although she enjoy context based, there are not enough source to use. For other methods; there are lots of sources but for context based learning have not. This leads teacher to junction. They choose developing their source; which is require time and valuable effort, or they choose using other; prepared sources.

Choosing context is another important aspect of this approach. Since using this approach mainly the reason of the fact that increasing students motivation and attention to the lesson; choosing context is important to attract students attention and motivation. From the SSME 518 lecture, we know that student's characteristic is important aspect in terms of what we are going to teach. Similarly choosing context by considering students' characteristic is crucial. The context can be different for students in different characteristics. For example the context of physics may affect from gender, region, interest and country.


Working Titles

Main physics content areas

Listening to a concert in a modern concert hall

Physics, Jazz and Pop

oscillations, shm, waves, ideal gases, communications

Safe transportation of people and goods

Physics on the Move

statics, dynamics, energy, kinematics, Newton's laws, forces

Rock climbing, springboard diving and scuba diving

Physics for Sport

statics, dynamics, forces, vectors, oscillations, shm, ideal gases, energy, structure and properties of solids, bulk properties

Making a meal

Physics for Food

thermal physics, electromagnetism, geometrical optics, energy, electricity, structure and properties of solids

Space exploration

Physics for Spare

quantum phenomena, gravitational fields, light, nuclear processes, geometrical optics, radioactivity

Development and use of mobile phone

Physics of Field

electromagnetism, electric and gravitational fields, electricity, circular motion

Life on Earth for a sustainable future

Physics in the Environment

quantum phenomena, thermal physics, electricity, fission and fusion

How fast a river? How large a pipette do I need

Physics of Flow

fluid flow, electricity, electromagnetismTable 1

Table 1 shows; context and physics content areas ( Whitelegg and Keynes, 1996)

As it is shown from the table 1, most of the physics high schools subjects can be teach by using context. Physics teaching become valuable and more attractive by mentioning everyday life. Thanks to god; physics is one of the most suitable branches for contextual based learning. Since technological and simple machines, nature of earth; like water circle, and other branches of science are closely relevant to the physics. Although mathematics is very important for science and learners, applications or everyday examples of mathematics are very few compared to the physics so teaching physics is not similar to teaching mathematics. Just giving formulas related to topics and then expecting learners to solve abstract problems, are old fashion strategy of education. As Carl Roger and US educational research mentioned above in order to provide deep learning and motivation contextual teaching is crucial.

To sum up, context based learning has some advantages and disadvantages. However, advantages are much more then disadvantages. More over; those disadvantages that were mentioned can be solved by teachers' attention. If teachers can be careful while choosing contexts or using those contexts, then problem related to documents will reduce and this methods developed quickly. The advantages that were mentioned were so important for education. Engagement, Motivation, Education level, quality and students creativity can be improved thanks to concept based learning.