The use of discrepant events as an alternative science teaching strategy in lower secondary classrooms
Date of Award
Master of Education (M. Ed.)
Institute for Educational Development, Karachi
The purpose of the study was to explore the possibilities and limitations of using discrepant events (D.E.) as an alternative teaching strategy in lower secondary classes, in a Government. School. This study highlights the fact that practical work in science teaching needs radical change, if we have to promote greater problem solving initiatives among students. Science is frequently taught through an expository or teacher centered method, with any practical work confined to teacher demonstrations following a procedure given in the practical notebooks. Students work towards pre-determined results following the instructions, and, in lower secondary classes, there is little or no opportunity to use practical work or create activities. This inhibits students thinking and their development of scientific skills. Teachers are in general not aware of new strategies to science teaching. With this in mind, this study explored the use of Discrepant Events as an alternative science teaching strategy to help learners to develop certain science processes like prediction, observation, experimentation, and application. Study results reveal that teachers place a heavy emphasis on rote learning, with students blindly following the procedures directed by the teacher. When student were introduced to the new strategy of discrepancy, they found themselves more confident to apply activities and practical work. There was a noticeable increase in student motivation, enthusiasm, and curiosity in the students' attitude towards science . Students also felt that a change had occurred in their learning environment. The teacher involved in the study also realized that the discrepant events strategy was beneficial to her students and showed her interest in using the approach in her class in the future. It was also found that the introduction of certain process skills and discussions in science classroom provided a valuable opportunity for students to think and reflect upon their own science learning. The use of discrepancies in science was seen to significantly promote cognitive development. In addition, the researcher himself benefited from the study and improved his planning , questioning skills, time management, and learnt how to face challenges of large classrooms, often exceeding fifty students. The study also confirms that discrepancy' is a viable strategy for use in a developing country context like Pakistan.
Muhammad, S. (1998). The use of discrepant events as an alternative science teaching strategy in lower secondary classrooms (Unpublished master's dissertation). Aga Khan University, Karachi, Pakistan.