Exploring the efficacy of specially designed hands-on activities to develop conceptual understanding of air in grade VI science students
Date of Award
Master of Education (M. Ed.)
Professional Development Centre, Karachi
Hands-on activities make vibrant connections between abstract concepts and material examples in the science classroom. Therefore, this study aimed to explore the efficacy of specially designed hands-on activities to develop conceptual understanding of properties of air in science. A qualitative research design was employed to investigate the research question. Six students of grade VI from a Bright Future School (Pseudonym), a private school in Hunza participated in this study, among which three were girls and three boys. Pre and post- test were undertaken to explore students understanding about properties of air before and after teaching through hands-on activities. Moreover, five activities were designed and implemented to develop conceptual understanding of students about four properties of air such as air exists everywhere, air occupies space, air has weight, and air exerts pressure. More specifically, I was interested in examining how the designed hands-on activities act as an effective pedagogical tool in the science classroom. Findings of the study revealed that students who had weak and partial understanding in pre-test developed better and deep understanding in the post-test. It was also found that each activity designed and implemented can indeed offer distinct benefits in developing in-depth understanding, removing alternative conceptions along with promoting student active engagement and interest in valuable ways. The study also indicates that teacher plays a pivotal role in developing and effective implementation of hands-on activities. The activity work best, if the teacher has a deep understanding of the instruction, plays the role of facilitator and be able to use multiple methods of assessment to assess the effectiveness of the activity while teaching and learning science. The results of the study also bring valuable insights into how teacher successfully develop and implement hands-on activities effectively in the science classroom. For instance, it was difficult for me to develop and implement hands-on activities successfully without pedagogical knowledge and support from the supervisor. Thus, it brings implications for science educators and teachers that teachers should provide opportunities and encourage participating professional development programs and calls for the change in teaching and learning processes in a science classroom in the context of Hunza-GB.
Bano, S. (2016). Exploring the efficacy of specially designed hands-on activities to develop conceptual understanding of air in grade VI science students (Unpublished master's dissertation). Aga Khan University, Karachi, Pakistan.