Discrepancy: An innovative strategy for promoting studies’ learning in science

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Education (M. Ed.)


Institute for Educational Development, Karachi


This study explores the use of Discrepant Event, as an innovative strategy for science teaching. The Discrepant Event is an event that is contrary to the expectations of the learner. This intuition- offending activity raises questions in the minds of the learners and creates a need to know. Through this strategy a teacher can create an atmosphere of inquiry in the science classroom. This study was conducted in three phases: Pre-intervention, Intervention and Post-Intervention. In the Pre- intervention stage I assessed the current knowledge, skills and attitude of six students of class VI, with the help of a semi-structured interview. In the Intervention phase I taught science to the sixth class of a private boys school, using the Discrepant Event as a teaching strategy, while introducing selective process skills like prediction, observation and explanation. In the Post-intervention stage I assessed progress in three areas: conceptual understanding, skills development and attitudinal change in the six boys. During the Intervention stage I had two roles, that of a teacher and a researcher. I found this aspect of my study, particularly challenging. Data were collected from different sources and different methods to ensure better reliability. Data analysis was done in two ways: analysis in the field and analysis after the field work. I found that the students who previously did not have a very clear idea of common science concepts like air occupies space' and air exerts pressure' had a better and deeper understanding of these concepts because of the teaching conducted with the help of selected Discrepant Events. I found Discrepant Event a very useful and motivating strategy. However, it was time-consuming and difficult to implement. I had difficulty in developing events suited to the learning needs of the students. Students became proficient in their skills of observations, prediction and explanation, but the development of these skills was very context-bound and I could not ascertain whether they would be transferable to other situations. However, repetition seemed to help in developing the observation skills. I also found that through discrepancy a teacher can identify students' alternative ideas about science concepts. Discrepant Events not only made classes interesting and student-centered but were also useful for developing an understanding of science concepts.

This document is available in the relevant AKU library