How Do Secondary Science Teachers Perceive the Use of Interactive Simulations? The Affordance in Singapore Context
- 45 Downloads
Research has shown that teaching science with a modeling-oriented approach, particularly with interactive simulations, will promote student engagement and understanding. To date, many interactive simulations have been developed and adopted for classroom practices. The purpose of this study was to explore secondary school science teachers’ perceived affordance of interactive simulation as well as their practical experience with simulation implementation in class. Twelve science teachers from seven schools were interviewed individually and the data was triangulated with their teaching plans and student assignments. Their past experiences of simulation implementation revealed that most teachers adopted simulations for demonstration purpose in teacher-led instruction. Their attempts to provide students opportunities to use the simulations to explore alternative modeling by themselves did not seem to work well. There are various reasons for this, such as the shortage of facilities, Internet bandwidth, and technological knowledge. There was also a pressing need for teachers to complete the required syllabus in limited classroom time. The majority of teachers’ future intent to use simulation in class was quite weak, especially with the less proficient students who had some difficulty understanding simulations. Although interactive simulations have great potential to promote students’ understanding in abstract science concepts, overcoming the difficulties of implementation may require other alternatives such as a flipped classroom approach. Future studies can investigate how to design learning activities outside class, to engage students in exploring modeling in simulations.
KeywordsInteractive simulations Technology implementation Science education Modeling-oriented instruction
This study was funded by the Education Research Funding Programme, National Institute of Education (NIE), Nanyang Technological University, Singapore, project number OER 10/15 GWF. The views expressed in this paper are the authors’ and do not necessarily represent the views of NIE. We thank the anonymous reviewers for their input and the support of participating teachers and project collaborator Mr. Wee Loo Kang from the Ministry of Education.
This study was funded by the NIE’s Education Research Funding Programme (project number OER 10/15 GWF).
Compliance with Ethical Standards
All procedures involving human participants were approved by and conducted in accordance with the ethical standards of the Nanyang Technological University Institutional Review Board (NTU/IRB), and consistent with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.
Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.
Conflicts of Interest
The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.
- Brownell, S. E., Kloser, M. J., Fukami, T., & Shavelson, R. (2012). Undergraduate biology lab courses: Comparing the impact of traditionally based “cookbook” and authentic research-based courses on student lab experiences. Journal of College Science Teaching, 41(4), 36–45.Google Scholar
- Campbell, T., & Oh, P. S. (2015). Engaging students in modelling as an epistemic practice of science: An introduction to the special issue of the journal of science education and technology. Journal of Science Education and Technology, 24(2), 125–131. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10956-014-9544-2.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Campbell, T., Longhurst, M. L., Wang, S. K., Hsu, H. Y., & Coster, D. C. (2015). Technologies and reformed-based science instruction: The examination of a professional development model focused on supporting science teaching and learning with technologies. Journal of Science Education and Technology, 24(5), 562–579. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10956-015-9548-6.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Carlsen, D. D., & Andre, T. (1992). Use of a microcomputer simulation and conceptual change text to overcome student preconceptions about electric circuits. Journal of Computer-Based Instruction, 19(4), 105–109.Google Scholar
- Clement, J. (2008). Six levels of organization for curriculum design and teaching. In J. Clement & M. A. Ramirez (Eds.), Model based learning and instruction in science (pp. 255–272). Dordrecht: Springer.Google Scholar
- Creswell, J. W. (2007). Research design: Choosing among five approaches. London: Sage.Google Scholar
- Dori, Y. J., & Barak, M. (2001). Virtual and physical molecular modelling: Fostering model perception and spatial understanding. Educational Technology & Society, 4(1), 61–74.Google Scholar
- Frigg, R., & Hartmann, S. (2017). Models in science. In: E. N. Zalta (ed.), The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (2017 ed.). Spring.Google Scholar
- Goh, K. S. A., Wee, L. K., Yip, K. W., Toh, P. Y. J., & Lye, S. Y. (2013). Addressing learning difficulties in Newtons 1st and 3rd Laws through problem based inquiry using Easy Java Simulation. Paper presented at the the 5th redesign pedagogy, Singapore.Google Scholar
- Guzey, S. S., & Roehrig, G. H. (2009). Teaching science with technology: Case studies of science teachers’ development of technology, pedagogy, and content knowledge. Contemporary Issues in Technology and Teacher Education, 9(1), 25–45.Google Scholar
- Hamdan, N., McKnight, P., McKnight, K., & Arfstrom, K. M. (2013). The flipped learning model: A white paper based on the literature review titled a review of flipped learning. Flipped Learning Network. Retrieved from https://flippedlearning.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/WhitePaper_FlippedLearning.pdf. Accessed 10 Jan 2018.
- Khan, S. (2008). What if scenarios for testing student models in chemistry. In J. Clement & M. A. Ramirez (Eds.), Model based learning and instruction in science (pp. 139–150). Dordrecht: Springer.Google Scholar
- Lehrer, R., & Schauble, L. (2006). Cultivating Model-Based Reasoning in Science Education. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
- McLoughlin, C., & Lee, M. J. (2010). Personalised and self regulated learning in the web 2.0 era: International exemplars of innovative pedagogy using social software. Australasian Journal of Educational Technology, 26(1), 1–16. https://doi.org/10.14742/ajet.1100.
- Merriam, S. B. (1998). Qualitative Research and Case Study Applications in Education. Revised and Expanded from" Case Study Research in Education.": ERIC.Google Scholar
- Miles, M. B., & Huberman, A. M. (1994). Qualitative data analysis: A sourcebook. Beverly Hills: Sage Publications.Google Scholar
- National Research Council. (2012). A Framework for K-12 Science Education: Practices, Crosscutting Concepts, and Core Ideas. Committee on a conceptual framework for new K-12 science education standards. Board on science education, division of behavioral and social sciences and education. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.Google Scholar
- NGSS Lead States. (2013). Next generation science standards: For states, by states. Washington, DC: The National Academy Press.Google Scholar
- Schwarz, C. V., Reiser, B. J., Davis, E. A., Kenyon, L., Achér, A., Fortus, D., Shwartz, Y., Hug, B., & Krajcik, J. (2009). Developing a learning progression for scientific modelling: Making scientific modelling accessible and meaningful for learners. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 46(6), 632–654.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Stewart, J., Cartier, J. L., & Passmore, C. M. (2005). Developing understanding through model-based inquiry. In M. S. Donovan & J. D Bransford (Eds.), How students learn: science in the classroom (pp. 515–565). Washington, DC: National Academies Press.Google Scholar
- Wee, L. K., & Mak, W. K. (2009). Leveraging on Easy Java Simulation tool and open source computer simulation library to create interactive digital media for mass customization of high school physics curriculum. Paper presented at the the 3rd redesigning pedagogy international conference, Singapore.Google Scholar
- Wee, L. K. L., Lim, A. P., Goh, K. S. A., LyeYE, S. Y., Lee, T. L., Xu, W., … Lim, E.-P. (2012). Computer Models Design for Teaching and Learning using Easy Java Simulation. Paper presented at the the world conference on physics education, İstanbul, Turkey.Google Scholar
- Wozney, L., Venkatesh, V., & Abrami, P. C. (2006). Implementing computer technologies: Teachers' perceptions and practices. Journal of Technology and Teacher Education, 14(1), 173.Google Scholar
- Yerdelen-Damar, S., Boz, Y., & Aydın-Günbatar, S. (2017). Mediated effects of technology competencies and experiences on relations among attitudes towards technology use, technology ownership, and self efficacy about technological pedagogical content knowledge. Journal of Science Education and Technology, 26(4), 394–405.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Yin, R. K. (2013). Case study research: design and methods. Thousand Oaks: Sage.Google Scholar