Research in Science Education

, Volume 23, Issue 1, pp 110–117 | Cite as

“Hands on-minds on”: Introducing openness into senior biology practical work

  • Mavis A. Haigh


This paper outlines some initial findings from research on senior secondary Biology students carrying out open investigations. The study focuses on a group of 98 Form 6 (year 11) students in a large urban co-educational school. Initial findings indicate a mismatch between the students' declared confidence of their ability to plan open investigations in Biology and their demonstrated competence. Other factors germane to the introduction of problem-solving activities of an open nature into senior Biology programmes are discussed as are the implications of these for further research and classroom practice.


Initial Finding Classroom Practice Open Investigation Practical Work Open Nature 
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  2. Jones, A., Simon, S., Black, P., Fairbrother, R., & Watson, J. (1993).Open work in science: Development of investigation in schools. London: Association for Science EducationGoogle Scholar
  3. Ministry of Education. (1992).Science in the national curriculum: Draft. Wellington: Learning Media.Google Scholar
  4. Simon S., Jones, A., Fairbrother, R., Watson, J., & Black, P. (1992).Open work in science: A review of existing practice. Opens Project, London: Kings College, University of LondonGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Australasian Science Education Research Association 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mavis A. Haigh
    • 1
  1. 1.Auckland College of EducationSymonds StNew Zealand

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