Low-cost Science Teaching Equipment, 3

Low-cost Science Teaching Equipment, 3

Report of a Commonwealth Regional Seminar–Workshop, Lae, Papua New Guinea, 19–30 March 1979 You do not have access to this content

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Author(s):
Commonwealth Secretariat
30 Mar 1979
Pages:
124
ISBN:
9781848592926 (PDF)
http://dx.doi.org/10.14217/9781848592926-en

Hide / Show Abstract

Education materials developed during the past two decades have tended to stress student participation and learning by doing. Consequently they require an adequate supply of equipment for effective implementation. Yet, to date, very little progress seems to have been made in school science teaching. One of the major reasons is the non-availability, inadequacy or non-utilisation of equipment.

This is a report of a seminar – the third and final part of a series of such meetings on the teaching of science – concerned with the means of making the knowledge of science available to as many school pupils as possible through the local production of science teaching equipment, keeping the cost as low as possible.
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  • Introduction

    The Commonwealth Secretariat's Education Division has now completed the third seminar-workshop on Low-Cost Science Teaching Equipment conducted in the various regions of the Commonwealth, It is possible therefore to trace certain strands of common experience that have emerged. First, it is clear that the subject is one of general concern to educational authorities in all countries.

  • Background and Arrangements

    Like the earlier meetings, this workshop was organized by the Education Division and funded by the Commonwealth Fund for Technical Co-operation, as part of the Commonwealth Secretariat's efforts to assist member countries to make school science teaching more effective but less costly through the use of locally-made equipment. More specifically, the workshop was held to: consider methods by which school science equipment is most effectively developed and the implications for teacher education of effective teacher participation in innovative strategies of teaching through the use of low-cost science equipment; provide workshop experience in designing, developing and evaluating locally-constructed low-cost science equipment; examine ways of improving Commonwealth co-operation, especially in the field of production and use of school science equipment.

  • Workshop Recommendations
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  • Expand / Collapse Hide / Show all Abstracts Summary of Discussions

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    • Low-Cost Science Teaching Equipment; Training for Production

      Each country reported on the present situation regarding the supply of equipment and chemicals to their schools. Initially, or at some later stage, funds and/or equipment had been obtained through aid programmes but subsequent replacement of items or provision for an expanding system of schools was the responsibility of the countries themselves. This often led to the replacement of the more expensive items (e.g. UNICEF spirit lamps) by cheaper locallymade items (e.g. glass bottles with rag wicks).

    • Summary of Discussions: Low-Cost Science Teaching Equipment: Training for Use

      Although practical work in science was considered to be essential, it was reported that many schools in the South Pacific region did little or no practical work. In some cases this was due to lack of science equipment resulting from a rapid expansion of education systems and a failure to equip new schools adequately. In others it was due to a lack of scientific background among teachers; a lack of training in the use of equipment; a failure to see the relevance of experiments in developing concepts; heavy teaching loads; large class sizes and related problems of discipline; pressure to cover syllabus in which practical work was often not directly included in a student's final assessment; and lack of a laboratory attendant.

    • Summary of Discussions: Commonwealth Co-Operation in Education with Special Reference to Science Education

      The paper presented on the above subject gave an overview of the activities of the Education Division of the Commonwealth Secretariat and its relationship to other bodies. Special emphasis was placed on co-operation in science education between member countries within the South Pacific area.

    • Practical Laboratory Sessions

      The Laboratory sessions were prominent in the workshop – a total of 22½ hours (47%) out of 48 hours being devoted to practical laboratory sessions. These laboratory sessions were organized in four phases; exploration, demonstration and practice, working in groups, and plenary sessions.

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  • Expand / Collapse Hide / Show all Abstracts Summary of Country Reports

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    • Science Education in Schools in Commonwealth South Pacific Countries

      In order to achieve a good exchange of information at the workshop, participating countries from the South Pacific region were asked to provide country papers on science education programmes, including efforts being made to equip schools with suitable apparatus. These country reports were presented by representatives from Australia (Northern Territory), Fiji, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, and Tonga. The Inter-Regional representative from Guyana also provided a similar report.

    • Evaluation of the Seminar/Workshop

      Evaluation is looked upon in different ways by different people. But basically, evaluation of educational programmes is undertaken to clarify issues. Alkin (1970) refers to evaluation as the process by which relevant data are collected and transformed into information for decision making. Because evaluation normally implies use of systematic processes of data collection, it has also been referred to as ‘objective reporting’.

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  • Expand / Collapse Hide / Show all Abstracts Lead Papers

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    • Training for the Production of Low-Cost Science Teaching Equipment

      The increasing interest shown throughout the developing world in new science curricula and the local production of school science teaching equipment indicates a healthy desire to make the teaching of science more relevant to local environments and national needs. The interest displayed by Commonwealth member countries in establishing centres for the production of school science equipment can be seen in the extent of the participation in the seminars and other activities on low-cost production of science teaching equipment sponsored by the Commonwealth Secretariat (1, 2) and UNESCO (3) respectively.

    • Lead Papers: Low-Cost Science Teaching Equipment: Training for Use

      One of the problems in present-day education is that most educators and laymen cannot visualize, and therefore cannot explain, what is happening during science lessons in our schools. If you ask any science educator (not a science teacher) or a science education officer to describe accurately the kind of science education taking place in schools, you are likely to be given a list of textbooks in use and a copy of the science syllabus. If you then enquire about science equipment, you may well be offered an inventory list and very vague generalities about the extent and style of its use.

    • Lead Papers: Commonwealth Co-Operation in Education with Special Reference to Science Education

      This paper gives an overview of the educational programme of the Education Division of the Commonwealth Secretariat, and indicates areas in which co-operation can be further promoted, especially in science education in member countries of the South Pacific region. These areas can be described as: the collection and dissemination of information; the organization of conferences/seminars; the organization and support of training courses; the promotion and support of professional Commonwealth associations; and collaboration with other inter-regional or international organizations. Apart from the regular Secretariat budget, most of these activities are financed through the Commonwealth Fund for Technical Co-operation (CFTC).

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  • Expand / Collapse Hide / Show all Abstracts Addresses

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    • Address By Mr. M. Tigilai Acting Vice-Chancellor, University of Technology, Lae

      Firstly on behalf of the University, I would like to welcome you all into the Campus. I hope that you will have time to look around the Campus and also in the Departments to see what facilities we have here.

    • Address By H.E. Mr. Donald Middleton British High Commissioner to Papua New Guinea

      This paper gives an overview of the educational programme of the Education Division of the Commonwealth Secretariat, and indicates areas in which co-operation can be further promoted, especially in science education in member countries of the South Pacific region. These areas can be described as: the collection and dissemination of information; the organization of conferences/seminars; the organization and support of training courses; the promotion and support of professional Commonwealth associations; and collaboration with other inter-regional or international organizations. Apart from the regular Secretariat budget, most of these activities are financed through the Commonwealth Fund for Technical Co-operation (CFTC).

    • Address By Mr. Rex. E.O. Akpofure Director, Education Division, Commonwealth Secretariat

      Mr. Vice-Chancellor, your Excellency, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen. It is my privilege today, in responding to the Opening Address, to bring you on behalf of the Commonwealth Secretary-General H.E. Mr. Shridath Ramphal greetings and good wishes from the Commonwealth Secretariat. This workshop and our presence here so far from London are a concrete expression of the practical concern of our Commonwealth for the development of our member states - spread, as we are, right across the globe. It represents our belief in the value of interaction and mutual co-operation by countries which include the wealthiest and the poorest, the highest and the lowest populations ranging from 600 million to only a few thousand and from the most developed and advanced to the merely developing.

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