A Comparison of Science Learning Skills in the Teacher-centered Approach and Inquiry-based Science Fieldwork: Primary School Students' Perceptions

Mirjam Ndaimehafo Asilevi, Sirpa Kärkkäinen, Kari Sormunen, Sari Havu-Nuutinen
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Abstract


This paper describes and compares primary school students' perceptions of science learning skills in a teacher-centered approach (TCA) and in inquiry-based science fieldwork (IBSF). This comparison was prompted by primary school students' perceptions of science learning skills, which has recently gained momentum, and the Namibian primary schools' recent curriculum shift from TCA to IBSF. The study utilized quantitative cross-sectional data (n = 237) collected from two primary schools in the Oshana region of Namibia. The data were gathered via an online survey and were analyzed using descriptive statistics. The Mann–Whitney U test was used to compare the TCA and IBSF groups. The results revealed that the students had positive to fairly positive perceptions of science learning skills in IBSF and very negative to negative perceptions of science learning skills in TCA, with the difference between the two perceptions being statistically significant. This may indicate that Namibian primary school students find it hard to develop science learning skills under TCA. Therefore, the current study provided evidence for the need to focus more on supporting students' science learning skills, particularly problem-solving, communication and teamwork skills. This implies that the IBSF teaching approach, which allows students to become aware of the importance of science learning skills, must be adopted in Namibian primary schools. The paper also discusses the benefits of IBSF of science learning skills in students.

Keywords


Perceptions, Learning skills, Science education, Primary school students, Teaching approaches

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References


Asilevi, M.N., Kärkkäinen, S., Sormunen, K., & Havu-Nuutinen, S. (2024). A comparison of science learning skills in the teacher-centered approach and inquiry-based science fieldwork: Primary school students' perceptions. International Journal of Education in Mathematics, Science, and Technology (IJEMST), 12(1), 1-19. https://doi.org/10.46328/ijemst.3146




DOI: https://doi.org/10.46328/ijemst.3146

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International Journal of Education in Mathematics, Science and Technology (IJEMST) 
 
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Editors: Mack Shelley & Ismail Sahin

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