The Development and Pilot Testing of the Measurement Tool of Skills Level Development in the Lower Secondary Physics Classroom
The trend in education is not to focus on the knowledge, but on the skills, which are essential for every pupil. There are a lot of various skills; some of them are to be developed primarily in science education. Science education has the common feature—the experiment that can also be used for the pupils’ skills development. The integral part of improving the skill is the measurement of progress and the skill level development. The aim of the paper is to present the development and the pilot testing of a measurement tool for selected skills that is suitable for the lower secondary education (the age of the target group is 10–15). The skills are: making predictions, following directions and working with data tables. We assume the skills are suitable for the lower secondary education, and they can be easily improved in the physics classrooms via hands-on activities and experiments. After selecting the skill, levels of each skill were defined. The level of enhancement was determined according to the literature and our teaching experiences. At first, we analysed the physics textbook from the view of selected skills, so we can assume the skills could be developed in the physics education. Also, teachers had to be trained for such an action. Teachers stated they wanted more activities focused on the skills fostering. However, there is also a need for the feedback and the measurement tool of the efficiency of the teaching method. To test the efficiency of the method, we created the measurement tool that is focused on the selected skills. It has a form of the test for pupils. Several tests of integrated process skills were used as a basis and the inspiration for tasks. The tasks, as well as the whole test, were prepared in a playful and informal way, so the pupils felt comfortable when they were solving the worksheet. The test items have a form of the application of the skills in real life situations. The pilot testing was conducted at the selected lower secondary schools in Slovakia. The results from the pilot testing were used to specify the skill levels more precisely. From the evaluation, we can also see the current level of the skills and determine the prospective norm for following tests of skill development.
This work was supported by the Slovak Research and Development Agency under the contract no. APVV-0715-12 Research on the efficiency of innovative teaching methods in mathematics, physics and informatics education.
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