Journal Menu
Submit Manuscript via ScholarOne

EURASIA Journal of Mathematics, Science and Technology Education
Volume 13, Issue 6 (June 2017), pp. 2069-2083

DOI: 10.12973/eurasia.2017.01214a

Downloaded 129 times.

Research Article

Published online on May 09, 2017

How to reference this article?

 

The Interest of the Diversity of Perspectives and Methodologies in Evaluating the Science Laboratory Learning Environment

Pedro Membiela & Manuel Vidal

Abstract

The importance of researching the opinions of students and teachers has been pointed out concerning the improvement of teaching and learning in laboratory environments. In this regard, a study of the laboratory environment was carried out from a diversity of perspectives and methodologies. By means of a questionnaire it was learned that the perception of the actual laboratory environment was clearly positive, with clear similarities but also some differences among participants. While the retrospective narrative has helped explain some of these differences, such as a less positive assessment by the teacher of the material environment as regards the large number of students for the limited laboratory space, the students’ assessment is highly homogeneous and does not appear to be influenced by these conditions. The use of a fast and simple quantitative tool has provided the participants’ general outlook, complemented by the qualitative depth of the retrospective account provided by the teacher.

Keywords: participant perspectives, mixed methods, learning environment assessment, science laboratory


References
  1. Abrahams, I., & Millar, R. (2008). Does practical work really work? A study of the effectiveness of practical work as a teaching and learning method in school science. International Journal of Science Education, 30(14), 1945–1969.
  2. Cook, T. D. & Reichart, C. S. (1979). Qualitative and quantitative methods in evaluation research (Vol. 1). Beverly Hills, CA: Sage publications.
  3. Cuseo, J. (2007). The empirical case against large class size: Adverse effects on the teaching, learning, and retention of first-year students. The Journal of Faculty Development, 21(1), 5-21.
  4. Creswell, J. W. (2012). Educational research: planning, conducting, and evaluating quantitative and qualitative research. 4th Ed. Boston, MA: Pearson.
  5. Denzin, N. K. (1989a). Interpretive interactionism. Newbury Park, CA: Sage.
  6. Denzin, N. K. (1989b). The research act. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall.
  7. Denzin, N. K., & Lincoln, Y. S. (1994). Introduction. Entering the Field of Qualitative Research. In N. K. Denzin & Y. S. Lincoln (Eds.), Handbook of Qualitative Research (pp. 1-17). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
  8. Ehrenberg, R. G., Brewer, D. J., Gamoran, A., & Willms, J. D. (2001). Class size and student achievement. Psychological Science in the Public Interest, 2(1), 1–30.
  9. Fielding, N. G., & Fielding, J. L. (1986). Linking data: The articulation of qualitative and quantitative methods in social research. Beverly Hills, CA: Sage.
  10. Firestone, W. A. (1987). Meaning in Method: The Rethoric of Quantitative and Qualitative Research.  Educational Researcher, 16(7), 16-21.
  11. Fisher, D., Harrison, A., Henderson, D., & Hofstein, A. (1998). Laboratory learning environments and practical tasks in senior secondary science classes. Research in Science Education, 28(3), 353–363.
  12. Flick. U. (1992). Triangulation revisited: Strategy of validation or alternative? Journal for the Theory of Social Behavior, 22(2), 175-197.
  13. Fraser, B. J. (1982). Differences between student and teacher perceptions of actual and preferred classroom learning environment. Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, 4, 511-519.
  14. Fraser, B. J. (1986). Classroom Environment. London: Croom Helm.
  15. Fraser, B. J. (1994). Research on classroom and school climate. In D. Gabel (Ed.), Handbook of Research on Science Teaching and Learning (pp. 493-541). New York: MacMillan.
  16. Fraser, B. J. (2007). Classroom learning environments. In S. K. Abell & N. G. Lederman (Eds.), Handbook of research on science education (pp. 103–124). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.
  17. Fraser, B. J. (2014). Classroom learning environments: Historical and Contemporary Perspectives. In S. K. Abell & N. G. Lederman (Eds.), Handbook of research on science education (pp. 104–119). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.
  18. Fraser, B. J., Giddings, G. J. & McRobbie, C. J. (1992). Assessment of the psychosocial environment of university science laboratory classrooms: A cross-national study. Higher Education, 24(4), 431-451.
  19. Fraser, B. J., Giddings, G. J. & McRobbie, C. J. (1995). Evolution and validation of a personal form of an instrument for assessing science laboratory classroom environments. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 32, 399-422.
  20. Fraser, B. J., & McRobbie. C. J. (1995). Science laboratory classroom environments at schools and universities: A cross-national study. Educational Research and Evaluation, 1, 289-317.
  21. Fraser, B. J., McRobbie, C. J. & Giddings, G. J. (1993). Development and cross-national validation of a laboratory classroom environment instrument for senior high school science. Science Education, 77(1), 1-24.
  22. George, D. & Mallery, P. (2003). SPSS for Windows step by step: A simple study guide and reference. Boston, MA: Allyn y Bacon.
  23. Hodson, D. (1991). Practical work in science: time for a reappraisal. Studies in Science Education, 19, 175-184.
  24. Hodson, D. (1993). Re-thinking old ways: Towards a more critical approach to practical work in school science. Studies in Science Education, 22(1), 85–142.
  25. Hofstein, A. (2004). The laboratory in chemistry education: thirty years of experience with developments, implementation and evaluation. Chemistry Education Research and Practice, 5, 247-264.
  26. Hofstein, A., & Lazarowitz, R. (1986). A comparison of the actual and preferred classroom learning environment in biology and chemistry as perceived by high school students. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 23, 189-199.
  27. Hofstein, A. & Lunetta, V. N. (1982). The role of the laboratory in science teaching: neglected aspects of research. Review of Educational Research, 52, 201-217.
  28. Hofstein, A., & Lunetta, V. N. (2004). The laboratory in science education: Foundations for the twenty-first century. Science Education, 88, 28-54.
  29. Hofstein, A., & Mamlok-Naaman, R. (2007). The laboratory in science education: the state of the art. Chemistry Education Research and Practice, 8(2), 105-107.
  30. Hornsby D. J., & Osman, R. (2014). Massification in Higher Education: Large Classes and Student Learning. Higher Education, 67(6), 711-719.
  31. Hornsby, D. J., Osman, R., & De Matos, J. (2013). Teaching large classes: Interdisciplinary perspectives for quality tertiary education. Stellenbosch: SUN Media.
  32. Howe, K. R. (1988). Against the quantitative-qualitative incompatibility thesis or dogmas die hard. Educational Researcher, 17, 10–16.
  33. Kijkosol, D. (2005). Teacher-student interactions and laboratory learning environments in biology classes in Thailand. (Doctoral dissertation, Curtin University of Technology, Perth,). Retrieved from http://espace.library.curtin.edu.au
  34. Lazarowitz, R. & Tamir, P. (1994). Research on using laboratory instruction in science. In D. L. Gabel (Ed.), Handbook of research on science teaching and learning (pp. 94-130). New York: Macmillan.
  35. Lewin, K. (1936). Principles of topological psychology. New York: McGraw-Hill.
  36. Lunetta, V. N. (1998). The school science laboratory: Historical perspectives and centers for contemporary teaching. In B. J. Fraser & K. G. Tobin (Eds.), International handbook of science education. Dordrecht: Kluwer.
  37. Lunetta, V. N., Hofstein, A., & Clough, M. P. (2007). Learning and teaching in the school science laboratory: An analysis of research, theory, and practice. In S. K. Abell and N. G. Lederman (Eds.), Handbook of research on science education (pp. 393–441) Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.
  38. Martin-Dunlop, C. S., & Fraser, B. J. (2012). Using a learning environment perspective in evaluating an innovative science course for prospective elementary teachers. In B. J. Fraser, K. Tobin & C. McRobbie (Eds.), Second Edition of the International Handbook of Science Education (pp. 1305-1318). New York: Springer.
  39. Moos, R. H. (1974). The social climate scales: An overview. Palo Alto, CA: Consulting Psychologists Press.
  40. Moos, R. H. (1979). Evaluating educational environments. San Francisco: Jossey Bass.
  41. Moos, R. H. & Trickett, E. J. (1987). Classroom Environment Scale manual. Palo Alto, CA: Consulting Psychologists Press.
  42. Mulryan-Kyne, C. (2010). Teaching large classes at college and university level: Challenges and opportunities. Teaching in Higher Education, 15(2), 175–185.
  43. Osborne, J. (1993). Alternatives to practical work. School Science Review, 75(271), 117–123.
  44. Raviv, A., Raviv, A., & Reisel, E. (1990). Teacher and students: Two different perspectives? Measuring social climate in the classroom. American Educational Research Journal, 27, 141-157.
  45. Smith, D. L. & Fraser, B. J. (1980). Towards a confluence of quantitative and qualitative approaches to curriculum evaluation. Journal of Curriculum Studies, 12, 367-370.
  46. Suárez, M., Pías, R., Membiela, P. & Dapía, D. (1998). Classroom Environment in the Implementation of a Innovative Curriculum Project in Science Education. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 35(6), 655-672.
  47. Tobin, K. G. (1990). Research on science laboratory activities. In pursuit of better questions and answers to improve learning. School Science and Mathematics, 90, 403–418.
  48. Walberg, H. J., & Anderson, G. J. (1968). The achievement-creativity dimension of classroom climate. Journal of Creative Behavior, 2, 281-291.
  49. Wellington, J. (1998). Practical work in science. Time for a reappraisal. In J. Wellington (Ed.), Practical work in school science: Which way now? (pp. 3–15). London: Routledge.
  50. Wubbels, Th., Berkelmans, M., & Hooumayer, H. (1991). Interpersonal teacher behavior in the classroom. In B. J. Fraser & H. J. Walberg (Eds.), Educational environments: Evaluation, antecedents and consequences (pp. 141-160). Oxford: Pergamon Press.