EMSE 3230-5230

Science Methods

Objectives of Science Teaching

Constructivist 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 science teaching.

  1. Teacher demonstrates the unknown event
  2. Teacher leads discussion and identifies examples drawn from student experiences
  3. Students conduct the event and discuss the event

Characteristics of constructivist teaching

The Learning Cycle (see page 90)
Investigate and explore ideas together to establish a common experience base and share prior understandings.
Encourage students to assess their understandings and abilities and provide opportunities for teachers to evaluate progress toward achieving educational objectives.

Educational Objectives

Types of Objectives

There are three types of educational objectives classified according to their focus and outcomes.

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.
Classification of Objectives

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.

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.

Psychomotor Domain

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.

  1. Teacher demonstrates a laboratory method to a student.
  2. Student practices the method under supervision.
  3. 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.

How to write Objectives for Science Teaching
  1. Have your overall objectives in mind.
  2. Select the content desired to achieve the objective.
  3. Write general statements about how the student should perform.  Use appropriate vocabulary that is consistent with the domain and level of the objective.
  4. Write specific objectives under the general statements.
  5. Review and evaluate.