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How TIMSS informs about Learning and Teaching, and Curriculum Development ( The Case for Science Education in HK) Alice S. L. Wong

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Presentation on theme: "How TIMSS informs about Learning and Teaching, and Curriculum Development ( The Case for Science Education in HK) Alice S. L. Wong"— Presentation transcript:

1 How TIMSS informs about Learning and Teaching, and Curriculum Development ( The Case for Science Education in HK) Alice S. L. Wong The University of Hong Kong

2 Outline  HK science performance in TIMSS vs East Asian countries  Turning the TIMSS findings into a series of research and teacher professional development projects  Most recent one: Promoting Assessment for Learning for more effective learning and teaching of science

3 Outline  HK performance in TIMSS vs other East-Asian countries  Turning the TIMSS findings into a series of research and teacher professional development projects  An on going one: Promoting Assessment for Learning for effective learning and teaching of science

4 13th Dec, 2012

5 (first 15 countries) 1 st  2 nd 3 rd 4 th  6 th 7 th 8 th  14 th 9 th Primary 4 A recap

6 (first 15 countries) 1 st 2 nd  4 th 5 th  9 th 8 th Secondary 2 A recap

7 7 Primary 4

8 8

9 HK Primary 4 students are particularly weak in SCIENCE 9 Primary 4

10 Year (Number of countries*) (15) 1995 (17) (25) 2007 (36) 2011 (50) Hong Kong Chinese Taipei Korea, Rep. of Japan Singapore * Only countries satisfying all guidelines are included in the ranking 1 Second International Science Study (SISS) Primary 4

11 Year (Number of countries*) (17) 1995 (25) 1999 (38) 2003 (45) 2007 (48) 2011 (52) Hong Kong Chinese Taipei Korea, Rep. of Japan Singapore * Only countries satisfying all guidelines are included in the ranking 1 Second International Science Study (SISS) Secondary 2

12 Areas that have shown improvement  Scientific Inquiry Controlling variables Fair test Skills in handling apparatus and equipment

13 TIMSS 2007

14 Country%Correct SGP95.6 JPN81.8 KOR90.6 TW80.6 HKG75.3 ENG84.7 US91.4 TUN48.8 INT78.1 Performance of the question of different countries

15 Assessing ability in “reading to learn”/self learning skills

16 Observations from the item statistics Weaker in ‘reading to learn’ as compared with other Asian countries Weak in deducing results from definition of given info Low confidence in answering questions of unfamiliar context.

17 Generic skills – life long learning Weak in ‘reading to learn’ as compared with other Asian countries Weak in deducing results from definition of given info Low confidence in answering questions of unfamiliar contexts.

18 Areas in need for improvement  Integration of knowledge or/and written responses  Reading to learn  Transfer knowledge or skills in handling unfamiliar or real life contexts Most puzzling observation…did not do well in Matter as Particles (taught at S1) Respiration & Photosynthesis (taught at S2) Each about 5 – 6 weeks

19 Teacher Professional Development  Workshop series 1 Drawing teachers’ awareness on students’ learning difficulties by inviting them to reflect on the TIMSS items in which HK students performed less favourably. They were asked to make suggestion on T&L strategies

20 Teacher Professional Development  Workshop series 2 Enhancing assessment skills (Assessment of Learning)

21 Dissemination of the findings  Sharing the proposed teaching strategies through listening to participating teachers in the workshop. Curriculum materials with street credibility – developed by the teachers, for the teachers (Hodson, 2006)

22 Understanding of particle theory

23 Which diagram represents the arrangement of particles in the metal after it has been heated? The diagram represents the arrangement of particles in a metal before it has been heated.

24 Observation Explanation  Heating expands  Common misconception: Size of particles   Both cases below work well for explanation. The lower one works even “better”.

25 Reflecting on the typical demonstration – metal ball through a metal ring/bar inserted into a metal gauge Unexpected outcome of demonstration  Two ‘valid’ explanations: Particles increase in size Space between particles increases Which one can explain the observation?  BOTH!

26 Reflecting on what is missing in the teaching and learning  If students’ theory can also ‘logically’ explain what they observe.  Why would they give it up and take on yours?  In most textbooks, they only say, “particle is very tiny” …So…

27 Data from more countries – What do you notice?

28 Japan, Taiwan and HK – poorer performance! Why?

29  Fish balls in hot pot expand, separate and float  Personal/social/cultural experience reinforce the misconception Hot pot is a popular cuisine in HK, Japan, Taiwan; Observation of expanding fish/meat balls is a familiar experience Possible reinforcement of the misconception

30 Teacher Professional Development  Workshop series 3 Enhancing Assessment for Learning On-site investigation of the learning and teaching Curriculum Unit: Matter as Particles – a topic taught which lasts for about 5-6 weeks Discussed with teachers about some possible ‘missing concepts’ in the curriculum  Ideas about conversation of mass Administer pre-test on the target key concepts for the unit Teachers have a good idea about student prior concepts

31 Conservation of Mass

32

33 Further comments about the measuring error of the electronic balance (1g) may strengthen students’ acceptance of the conclusion that the measured mass before mixing and after mixing remains the same.

34 Conservation of Mass

35 Students perform the experiment  Put both beakers containing the two chemicals on the electronic balance before mixing.  Record the total mass after mixing.

36  Quiz 1 - Q1 Conservation of Mass

37 Answer in the pre-test: less than 300 g Explanations showing good understanding of evaporation

38 Answer in pre-test: more than 300g Explanations showing good understanding of condensation Teacher decided to value students’ good thinking

39 What about the reasoning of metal expansion?  Let’s listen to a typical explanation of their choice (size of particles increases)  Listen carefully to the student’s explanation Solid particles stick together (Voice)

40 Photosynthesis  Teacher guided students to refine their responsesrefine their responses

41 Take home messages:  Listen more to the voices of students  Appreciate what students can understand as well as what they have not yet understood  You will be amazed by the fine reasoning as this one: “Well, as this is a metal…it’s solid.. the particles can’t be separated from each other…particles have to be expanded to maintain its closely packed pattern.”

42 Thank You!

43 Some issues related to drawing of particles  Students may draw 3D diagram on 2D paper Scientists/science educators/experienced teachers have learnt how to draw in a ‘correct manner’ (agreed way in representing certain ideas) – Students need to be taught the conventional (agreed) practice.

44 Some issues related to the use of diagram  Students may draw particles of smaller size in order to fit the same number of particles when the substance changes from liquid to gas state.

45 An alternative implemented in another school

46 An alternative implemented in an other schools  What are these pictures representing?

47  The drawing of a student showing particles in liquid state Particle theory Scientists/science educators/experienced teachers have learnt how to draw in a ‘correct manner’ (agreed way in representing certain ideas) – Students need to be taught the conventional (agreed) practice.


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