Objectives of Science Teaching
Learning takes place when there is a change in the learnerís existing ideas, either by adding some
new knowledge or by reorganizing what is already known. There are three useful approaches to constructive
- Teacher demonstrates the unknown event
- Teacher leads discussion and identifies examples drawn from student experiences
- Students conduct the event and discuss the event
Characteristics of constructivist teaching
The Learning Cycle (see page 90)
- Prior awareness of the ideas that students bring to the learning situation
- Clearly defined conceptual goals for learners
- Use of teaching strategies which challenge or develop the initial ideas of students
- Providing learners with opportunities to use the new ideas
- Providing a classroom atmosphere that encourages students to suggest and discuss ideas
- Mentally engage students in the big ideas or concepts of the lesson.
- Access prior knowledge and understandings.
- Whet interest and curiosity.
- Investigate and explore ideas together to establish a common experience base and share prior
- Put forth explanations based on prior knowledge.
- Develop vocabulary.
- Provide experiences to reinforce and strengthen understandings.
- Challenge and extend students' conceptual understanding and skills.
- Transfer and apply understandings of concepts to different situations.
- Make connections to other curriculum areas.
- Encourage students to assess their understandings and abilities and provide opportunities for teachers
to evaluate progress toward achieving educational objectives.
Types of Objectives
There are three types of educational objectives classified according to their focus and outcomes.
Classification of Objectives
- Teacher Centered: Also called Instructional Objectives
- The emphasis of teacher-centered objectives is what the teacher does.
- Learner Centered: Also called Student-Centered Objectives
- Emphasis is on what the student is expected to do.
- Behavioral objectives have explicitly written in them the outcome that the student is expected
to be able to do at the end of the lesson.
Three Domains of Objectives are recognized. Work on these began in the early 1950s with Bloom and
his associates in the area of Educational Psychology.
- Cognitive Domain
The cognitive domain includes the intellectual aspects of learning. Regular classroom learning
is generally in the cognitive domain. Six levels are recognized in the cognitive domain.
- Knowledge: the lowest level of objectives
- Comprehension: understanding more than just what something is
- Application: showing that you can use your knowledge in different situations
- Analysis: being able to take apart a complex problem or situation into its component parts
- Synthesis: being able to structure a result drawing on information from a variety of areas
- Evaluation: being able to make judgments--the highest cognitive level
- Affective Domain
The affective domain concerns itself with feelings and attitudes. Evaluation in the affective
domain requires the teacher to observe the behavior of students asking what they do or say that makes
the teacher think they have a positive attitude or a negative attitude. There are five levels in the
affective domain described as they apply to science related material.
- Receiving: student is aware of the existence of the material and is willing to be involved
- Responding: student is reacting to the material in one of three ways
- Acquiescence: the student does what is asked
- Willingness: the student goes above and beyond what is required
- Satisfaction: the student does science activities for pleasure and enjoyment
- Valuing: student consistently behaves in a way indicating a preference for science
- Organizing: student brings together different values to form a value system
- Characterizing: individual forms a lifestyle based on the value system
- Psychomotor Domain
How to write Objectives for Science Teaching
The psychomotor domain deals with the ability to manipulate physical objects in a science laboratory.
This aspect is the most recent and has undergone several major revisions in the past few decades. A brief
way to look at the psychomotor domain is the three steps below.
- Teacher demonstrates a laboratory method to a student.
- Student practices the method under supervision.
- Student becomes proficient in the method and no longer needs direct, intensive supervision.
Presented here is the "Alternative View of Psychomotor Domain" from Trowbridge, page 97.
- Simple: a level below that of objectives--indicates that the student is ready to learn
- Imitation: student imitates the action demonstrated by the teacher
- Manipulation: student displays skill in following directions as demonstrated
- Precision: accuracy and exactness in performance are important
- Articulation: coordination of various acts to form an appropriate sequence
- Naturalization: student displays a high level of performance
- Have your overall objectives in mind.
- Select the content desired to achieve the objective.
- Write general statements about how the student should perform. Use
appropriate vocabulary that is consistent with the domain and level of the objective.
- Write specific objectives under the general statements.
- Review and evaluate.