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postgraduate thesis: Implementation of problem-based learning in junior secondary science curriculum

TitleImplementation of problem-based learning in junior secondary science curriculum
Authors
Issue Date2012
PublisherThe University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong)
Citation
Wong, K. [黃健行]. (2012). Implementation of problem-based learning in junior secondary science curriculum. (Thesis). University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.5353/th_b4852152
AbstractRecent curriculum reforms in Hong Kong emphasize learning how to learn, inquiry, collaboration, and similar capabilities. Problem-based learning (PBL) seems an appropriate approach for addressing these new requirements. However, little is known about the use of PBL in secondary (middle) schools, particularly in East-Asian countries in which Confucian-heritage values influence learning approaches. Therefore, the goal of this research was to provide a systematic account of an attempt to implement PBL in Form 1 (Grade 7) Integrated Science classes. The study investigated the teachers’ pedagogical actions, the aspects of the PBL environment that helped to motivate students in science learning, their pattern of discourse for science development and the possible differences of their learning outcomes compared with PBL and conventional learning conditions. A quasi-experimental and mixed-method approach was employed to gather data from two experimental classes (n = 62) and two control classes (n = 63). Data sources included field notes of classroom observations, audio recordings of students working in small groups on their PBL problems, interviews with teachers and students, and science tests administered immediately prior to each instructional unit (pre-test), at the conclusion of each unit (post-test), and before the school term ended (delayed post-test). The study has five main findings: (1) PBL teachers used different strategies to help students who were new to PBL to adapt to the new pedagogical practice, to facilitate group confrontation, and to help students become self-directed learners. (2) Choice, challenge, control and collaboration seem to have motivated students’ learning in the PBL classrooms. (3) Disagreements about the problem situations stimulated task-related cognitive activity and resulted in academic progress. (4) Students’ questions during collaboration facilitated learning by directing their’ inquiry and expanding their thinking. (5) Science test results show that the PBL group performed at least as well as the traditional learning group in knowledge acquisition, and that PBL helped the high achievers to retain information better than their peers in the traditional learning group. The study provides valuable information that shows how PBL can work in secondary school science classrooms. Implications for future research on PBL, and its practice in secondary school science, are also outlined.
DegreeDoctor of Philosophy
SubjectScience - Study and teaching (Secondary) - China - Hong Kong
Problem-bassed learning - China - Hong Kong
Dept/ProgramEducation
Persistent Identifierhttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/193087

 

DC FieldValueLanguage
dc.contributor.authorWong, Kin-hang-
dc.contributor.author黃健行-
dc.date.accessioned2013-12-14T10:12:23Z-
dc.date.available2013-12-14T10:12:23Z-
dc.date.issued2012-
dc.identifier.citationWong, K. [黃健行]. (2012). Implementation of problem-based learning in junior secondary science curriculum. (Thesis). University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.5353/th_b4852152-
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/193087-
dc.description.abstractRecent curriculum reforms in Hong Kong emphasize learning how to learn, inquiry, collaboration, and similar capabilities. Problem-based learning (PBL) seems an appropriate approach for addressing these new requirements. However, little is known about the use of PBL in secondary (middle) schools, particularly in East-Asian countries in which Confucian-heritage values influence learning approaches. Therefore, the goal of this research was to provide a systematic account of an attempt to implement PBL in Form 1 (Grade 7) Integrated Science classes. The study investigated the teachers’ pedagogical actions, the aspects of the PBL environment that helped to motivate students in science learning, their pattern of discourse for science development and the possible differences of their learning outcomes compared with PBL and conventional learning conditions. A quasi-experimental and mixed-method approach was employed to gather data from two experimental classes (n = 62) and two control classes (n = 63). Data sources included field notes of classroom observations, audio recordings of students working in small groups on their PBL problems, interviews with teachers and students, and science tests administered immediately prior to each instructional unit (pre-test), at the conclusion of each unit (post-test), and before the school term ended (delayed post-test). The study has five main findings: (1) PBL teachers used different strategies to help students who were new to PBL to adapt to the new pedagogical practice, to facilitate group confrontation, and to help students become self-directed learners. (2) Choice, challenge, control and collaboration seem to have motivated students’ learning in the PBL classrooms. (3) Disagreements about the problem situations stimulated task-related cognitive activity and resulted in academic progress. (4) Students’ questions during collaboration facilitated learning by directing their’ inquiry and expanding their thinking. (5) Science test results show that the PBL group performed at least as well as the traditional learning group in knowledge acquisition, and that PBL helped the high achievers to retain information better than their peers in the traditional learning group. The study provides valuable information that shows how PBL can work in secondary school science classrooms. Implications for future research on PBL, and its practice in secondary school science, are also outlined.-
dc.languageeng-
dc.publisherThe University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong)-
dc.relation.ispartofHKU Theses Online (HKUTO)-
dc.rightsThe author retains all proprietary rights, (such as patent rights) and the right to use in future works.-
dc.rightsCreative Commons: Attribution 3.0 Hong Kong License-
dc.subject.lcshScience - Study and teaching (Secondary) - China - Hong Kong-
dc.subject.lcshProblem-bassed learning - China - Hong Kong-
dc.titleImplementation of problem-based learning in junior secondary science curriculum-
dc.typePG_Thesis-
dc.identifier.hkulb4852152-
dc.description.thesisnameDoctor of Philosophy-
dc.description.thesislevelDoctoral-
dc.description.thesisdisciplineEducation-
dc.description.naturepublished_or_final_version-
dc.identifier.doi10.5353/th_b4852152-
dc.date.hkucongregation2012-

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