Integrated science in the junior secondary school in Sri Lanka ...

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<ul><li><p>E X P E R I M E N T S A N D I N N O V A T I O N S IN E D U C A T I O N </p><p>This series is published in English, in French and in Spanish </p><p>Titles in this series: </p><p>1. The T E V E C case </p><p>2. The school readiness project </p><p>3. Innovation in reading in Britain </p><p>4 . Understanding change in education: </p><p>an introduction </p><p>5. Changes in secondary education and their </p><p>implications for continuing education in Canada </p><p>6. A community school in Yugoslavia </p><p>7. The basic secondary school in the countryside: </p><p>an educational innovation in Cuba </p><p>8. The case of Cameroon: IPAR and the reform of </p><p>secondary education </p><p>* 9. Educational innovation in Singapore </p><p>"10 . Educational innovation in Iran </p><p>"11 . Educational innovation in India </p><p>"12 . Educational innovation in the Republic of Korea </p><p>"13. Educational innovation in Indonesia </p><p>14. Experimental period of the International </p><p>Baccalaureate: objectives and results </p><p>15. Radio study group campaigns in the United </p><p>' Republic of Tanzania </p><p>16. Educational reform in Peru </p><p>17. Establishing an institution teaching by correspondence </p><p>18. Youth participation in the development process: </p><p>a case study in Panama </p><p>19. Educational innovation in agrarian reform: </p><p>Mostaganem Institute of Agricultural Technology, Algeria </p><p>20 . Post-graduate teacher training: a Nigerian alternative </p><p>21 . Roskilde University Centre: an innovation in higher </p><p>education in Denmark </p><p>22 . Educational innovation in Switzerland </p><p>"23 . In-service training of teachers in Sri Lanka </p><p>"24. Examination reforms in Sri Lanka </p><p>"25 . Management of educational reforms in Sri Lanka </p><p>"26. Integrated approach to curriculum development in </p><p>primary education in Sri Lanka </p><p>"27 . Integrated science in the junior secondary school </p><p>in Sri Lanka </p><p>"Titles in Asian series </p></li><li><p>Experiments and innovations in education N o . 2 7 </p><p>An Internationa/ Bureau of Education series </p><p>Integrated science in the junior secondary school in Sri Lanka </p><p>by A . M . Ranaweera </p><p>Director of Education </p><p>Curriculum Development Centre </p><p>Ministry of Education, Sri Lanka </p><p>Study prepared </p><p>for the Asian Centre </p><p>of Educational Innovation </p><p>for Development </p><p>The Unesco Press - Paris 1976 </p></li><li><p>The designation employed and the presentation of the </p><p>material in this publication do not imply the expression of </p><p>any opinion whatsoever on the part of the Unesco </p><p>Secretariat concerning the legal status of any country or </p><p>territory, or of its authorities, or concerning the delimitations </p><p>of the frontiers of any country or territory. </p><p>{ </p><p>\ J 7 Published'in. 1976 by.-the Unesco Press </p><p>7, Place de Fontenoy, 7 5 7 0 0 Paris, France </p><p>and the Asian Centre'of Educational </p><p>Innovation for Development </p><p>Unesco Regional Office for Education in Asia </p><p>C . P . O . Box 1425, Bangkok, Thailand </p><p>English edition ISBN 92-3-101374-2 </p><p>French edition ISBN 92-3-201374-6 </p><p>Spanish edition ISBN 92-3-201374-x </p><p>Printed in Singapore </p><p>by Singapore National Printers (Pte) Ltd. </p><p> Unesco 1976 [B] </p></li><li><p>Preface </p><p>In 1972 Sri Lanka initiated a major reform of its education system. A series of six studies, of which the present publication is one,1 describe the different aspects of education and h o w they were affected by the educational reform: in s o m e aspects totally n e w programmes, designed and developed ground-up, were introduced: in others, the current programmes were reoriented, with n e w emphases and focal points. </p><p>The reform occurred in an education system which for quite a few decades had c o m e to be taken for granted because of its steady rhythm of expansion and growth. A s the present series of studies show, the driving force of the reform c a m e from out-side the education system, and lay in the urgencies of the social and economic situa-tion. The changes triggered off in consequence within the education system are both comprehensive and fundamental, and serve to illustrate h o w the processes of reform and innovation are interlinked. </p><p>In the 1960s, m a n y countries in Asia including Sri Lanka initiated quite exten-sive programmes in reforming science education. In Sri Lanka the n e w science education programmes were directed to the upper grades of the secondary stage. The Educational Reforms of 1972 m a d e an important departure from this policy by shifting the emphasis to the lower grades where the largest number of pupils are. </p><p>The present study gives a comprehensive background information on the science curriculum development from 1957 until the present day. Following the 1972 reforms, science became an important subject in the general education curriculum for grades 6 to 9 and took the form of integrated science. </p><p>The Secretariat, while noting that the views expressed by the author are not necessarily those of Unesco, records its appreciation to him for this valuable con-tribution to the series. </p><p>The others are: </p><p>Ariyadasa, K . D . In-service training of teachers in Sri Lanka. </p><p>Premaratne, B. Examination reforms in Sri Lanka. </p><p>Ariyadasa, K . D . Management of educational reform in Sri Lanka. </p><p>Peiris. K. Integrated approach to curriculum development in primary education in Sri Lanka. </p><p>Diyasena. W . Pre-vocational education in Sri Lanka. </p></li><li><p>TABLE OF CONTENTS </p><p>Page </p><p>I. INTRODUCTION </p><p>Survey of science curriculum development programme 1957-1972 1 </p><p>Formulation of objectives 2 </p><p>Operational principles and criteria for revision programme 3 </p><p>Science curriculum development project 1957-1972 4 </p><p>Development of science education 1957-1973 4 </p><p>Developments since 1972 Introduction of the new educational scheme 6 </p><p>II. INTRODUCING INTEGRATED SCIENCE </p><p>Science at the junior secondary school level (grades 6-9) 9 </p><p>W h y integrated science? 10 </p><p>Objectives of the integrated science course 11 </p><p>Outline of four-year course 14 </p><p>III. M E T H O D S OF OPERATION </p><p>Developing curriculum materials 23 </p><p>Resources 25 </p><p>Supporting services 28 </p><p>IV. P L A N S FOR REVISION 31 </p></li><li><p>I. INTRODUCTION </p><p>Survey of science curriculum development p r o g r a m m e 1 9 5 7 1 9 7 2 </p><p>The second half of the 20th century brought a great concern and urge to </p><p>rethink school curricula both in the developed and developing worlds. The m o m e n -</p><p>tous educational changes taking place throughout the world were an expression of </p><p>the desire to provide better living conditions for all through modern scientific and </p><p>technological achievements. In Sri Lanka this concern for changes in education and </p><p>for a break-down in the disparity in educational facilities available to different </p><p>economic, social and ability striations of the community manifested itself in m a n y </p><p>ways. One major manifestation w a s the science curriculum development programme </p><p>initiated in 1957. </p><p>The curriculum development programme w a s spearheaded through science </p><p>education because it w a s assumed that science and technology were the prime con-</p><p>tributors to the highly accelerated changes taking place in the social, economic and </p><p>cultural fields today, particularly in developing countries. The designers of science </p><p>curricula have the great responsibility of acting as social engineers endeavouring to </p><p>rebuild the social landscape and moulding the future generation to fit effectively, </p><p>creatively and responsibly to the future world. Sri Lanka, as a developing country, </p><p>has to look mainly to science education to provide the manpower and technical ex-</p><p>pertise needed for rapid development. </p><p>In this context the Ceylon Science Curriculum Development Programme w a s </p><p>launched, and it took into consideration three major factors affecting science </p><p>education: </p><p>1. The rapid increase in school enrolment and in the characteristics of the pupil </p><p>population: </p><p>2. The advances m a d e in the field of learning theory and educational psychology </p><p>which m a d e a significant contribution to classroom teaching methodology; </p><p>3. The enormous increase in the content of science and the significant changes in </p><p>the structure of science disciplines. </p><p>The rapid changes in social values regarding education, the expansion of </p><p>educational facilities to benefit underdeveloped regions and depressed social strata </p><p>in Sri Lanka, the changes in society's utilization of individuals with secondary educa-</p></li><li><p>tion, the perceptible rise in living standards, and m a n y other factors, caused a rapid </p><p>increase in the rate of school enrolment, especially in the sciences. </p><p>There w a s cause for concern regarding the content and methodology of </p><p>science teaching. For 9 5 per cent of the pupils enrolling for science, the G . C . E . (Or-</p><p>dinary Level) examination at the end of grade 10 w a s the terminal course in science. </p><p>Only about 5 per cent of the total science students had s o m e chance of utilizing their </p><p>science learning at higher levels. It w a s realized that the academic, didactic, bookish </p><p>teaching tradition considered to be suitable for the 5 per cent w a s hopelessly inade-</p><p>quate for the 9 5 per cent of the less able pupils. Even for the more able of the G . C . E . </p><p>(Ordinary Level) population, the didactic chalk-talk methodology w a s inadequate for </p><p>achieving the objectives of science education. </p><p>Changes in the composition and aspirations of the G . C . E . (Ordinary Level) pop-</p><p>ulation demanded changes in the educational objectives hitherto assumed. As </p><p>national and social needs change, education systems must review their goals and </p><p>take necessary steps to provide a service to the community in a manner that is valid </p><p>in terms of n e w or emerging cultures, national development patterns and contem-</p><p>porary thought. In this context questions such as the following needed to be asked: </p><p>i. W e r e w e teaching science in our schools? </p><p>ii. W e r e w e teaching science that w a s suitable to our children? </p><p>iii. W a s the teaching also concerned with the w a y scientists obtain scientific </p><p>knowledge (process of science)? </p><p>v. W a s the teaching concerned only with the body of scientific knowledge </p><p>(product of science)? </p><p>v. W e r e w e concerned with skills and attitudes as well? </p><p>vi. Were w e using proper methods consistent with current knowledge of the lear-</p><p>ning process? </p><p>vii. W e r e w e assessing science learning suitably? </p><p>viii. Were w e teaching in such a w a y that the system could readily adopt desirable </p><p>changes, leading to efficiency and economy? </p><p>The answers to these questions clearly indicated the need for a revision. </p><p>Formulation of objectives </p><p>In setting specific objectives for a n e w curriculum, the designers realized that a </p><p>clear understanding of the dimensions of pupil growth, particularly in science educa-</p><p>tion in Sri Lanka, w a s essential. This involved consideration of: </p><p>Cognitive domain (knowledge frameworks, applications and uses of same) </p><p>Psycho-motor domain (skills of specified types) </p><p>Affective domain (attitudes and value frameworks) </p><p>It w a s recognized that objectives should be based on the following factors: </p><p>The Sri Lanka child </p><p>(his present attitudes, goals, abilities, knowledge, skills, interests, needs) </p><p>2 </p></li><li><p>i. The Sri Lanka society </p><p>(its hopes and aspirations, its opportunities, its demands and defects) </p><p>iii. The contribution science can make to the education of the child, </p><p>iv. The process by which children learn </p><p>(theory and practice of learning) </p><p>From among the several significant analyses available for the cognitive domain, </p><p>that of Bloom1 w a s used by the designers. </p><p>Operational principles and criteria for revision p r o g r a m m e </p><p>It w a s necessary to derive certain working principles and criteria to guide the </p><p>designers of the n e w curriculum. </p><p>These working principles and criteria were derived from: </p><p>i. Current situation with regard to h u m a n , material and time resources; </p><p>ii. Existing pattern of examinations; </p><p>iii. Current theories of learning. </p><p>Resource data </p><p>In developing a n e w curriculum, it w a s realized that decisions pertaining to </p><p>content, method and depth of treatment, pupil and teacher activities and ex-</p><p>periments, and a host of other constituents had to be based on the quality and quan-</p><p>tity of resources available. This necessitated a gathering of essential data related to </p><p>h u m a n resources, material resources and time as a resource. </p><p>Examination data </p><p>The designers recognized that the data extractable from the examinations held </p><p>at this level were shaped by characteristics of the educational environment of m a n y </p><p>years. The data reflected the status of education, its objectives, and the </p><p>achievements of pupils working towards those objectives. The analyses of the con-</p><p>tent and objectives of the G . C . E . (Ordinary Level) examination revealed that all w a s </p><p>not well with science education. A heavy bias in favour of mere factual recall w a s </p><p>evident. It w a s not surprising, therefore, that the teaching, geared to the examina-</p><p>tion, also emphasized the recall of factual information. </p><p>Current theories of learning </p><p>In addition to opinions about the manner in which children learn, voiced by ex-</p><p>perienced teachers, a detailed consideration w a s m a d e of current thought in the field </p><p>of learning and teaching. In this context, the following analyses were m a d e : process </p><p>Bloom, Benjamin S. (Editor) Taxonomy of Educational Objectives, N.Y., Longmans Green (1956) </p><p>3 </p></li><li><p>of concept formation; theories of learning; transfer of learning; motivation in learning; attitudes; and learning motor skills. S o m e working principles were then derived to guide the designers of the n e w curriculum. </p><p>Science curriculum development projects 1957 1972 </p><p>W h e n the Science Curriculum Development Programme w a s first planned in 1957, a survey of the situation indicated three levels of science teaching that needed attention: </p><p>Level I: 6; 7 and 8 standard level (11+ to 1 4 + age group) </p><p>In the middle school grades, general science w a s being introduced for the first time as a subject. (In a few large schools general science had been taught for over a decade). </p><p>Level II: 9, 10 standard or G . C . E . (Ordinary Level) (14+ to 1 6 + age group) </p><p>The G . C . E . (Ordinary Level) classes in science were available in a few relatively large schools at the time. There w a s a fairly long tradition of science teaching, but the approach adopted w a s determined by the objective of preparing pupils for ex-aminations. At this level no details of instructions were prescribed by the Department of Education, except in terms of examination syllabuses. These ex-amination syllabuses had been modelled on the London Matriculation and the Senior Cambridge Examinations. In consonance with the recognized examination objec-tives, the teaching methodology w a s largely didactic, with certain demonstrations or activities used only to verify the principles and facts taught. </p><p>Level III: 11, 12 standard or the H . S . C . / G . C . E . (Advanced Level) (16+ to 1 9 + age group) </p><p>Here the situation w a s similar to that in Level II but, in addition, practical work of a stereotyped nature w a s performed by pupils. This work was regarded more as practice for the practical examination at the end of the two years than as a base of experience for lear...</p></li></ul>


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