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SUMMARY ON THE ROLE OF ICT IN SCIENCE EDUCATION BY ANGELA

McFARLANE & SILVESTRA SAKELLARIOU , Cambridge Journal of Education,


Vol. 32, No. 2, 2002

INTRODUCTION
Science education means addressing the question of what and who the science
curriculum is designed for and, therefore, what a successful navigation of that
curriculum might look like. The most powerful ways of embedding ICT-based
experiences in that curriculum. As a starting point it is necessary to identify what the
aims of a curriculum are and how attainment will be recognised, before addressing
whether or not the use of particular forms of ICT will assist teacher and pupil in
achieving more effective learning (McFarlane & De Rijke, 1999; McFarlane, 2001).
There are two perspectives on the relationship between the science curriculum
and the potential of ICT in science education.The first perspective takes the current
English curriculum for secondary school science with its emphasis on empirical science
as its context and the second looks at how the role of ICT might be developed if the
curriculum were to change emphasis to that of scientific reasoning rather than the
practice of empirical science.
It is beyond the scope of a paper such as this to address all the possible
applications of ICT in science education in either model. The emphasis here will be on
the use of ICT to support or replace practical work as a vehicle for investigation and on
the use of multimedia and the Internet as a vehicle for the development of scientific
reasoning, as we believe these are the most powerful applications of ICT to science at
the present time, although in most cases somewhat under-researched.
CONTENT
The role of ICT in the teaching of science it is important to place this in the
context of the pedagogical model promoted as the vehicle for curriculum delivery. The
current model of integration of ICTs in school science in England and Wales was

developed in the early 1990s (Frost et al., 1994). It takes as its starting point the
investigative approach to science teaching embedded in UK curricula.
The model is based on the premise that the approach to science is essentially
investigative, with students learning about both scientific theory and process
simultaneously. There are various forms of ICT which offer potential enhancement to
each stage of this essentially iterative model.ICT-based interventions can either be used
to enhance the practical investigation or as a virtual alternative to real practical work
where a simulation supports exploration of the investigative model through a
computerised representation of the phenomena under study.
The successful the underlying model of investigative science is, with or without
the use of ICT, in achieving the four objectives of practical work (to motivate students, to
teach them theoretical content, to teach laboratory skills and to expose students to the
scientific process) is debatable (Wellington, 1998, for a critique). The development of
theoretical understanding through practical work has long been recognize as
problematical, if desirable.
As a result they become overloaded and in order to handle this information
overload Johnstone & Wham (1982) argue that they are like to adopt the following
strategies to adopt a simple recipe approach; focus on one aspect copy what others
(especially the high achievers) are doing. From this it becomes apparent that pupils are
unlikely to grasp the relevant theory, even where it could be derived from the results,
especially where there is not enough time for classroom discussion to draw this out. As
a result they may resort to memorization ( Klausmeier , 1985)
Three objectives of practical work are to be considered (motivation, content
knowledge and scientific reasoning) there is a role for other forms of ICT. The use of
applications, such as word processing (still by far the greatest use of computers in
schools), spread-sheets and databases within science teaching, can be powerful and
has much in common with the enhancements afforded to learning in other contexts. The

role of iterative working and dynamic representation in the development of


understanding are discussed elsewhere and are particularly pertinent in the context of
science education (Bonnett et al., 1999; Moseley et al., 1999; Buckingham &McFarlane,
2001). the motivational role of ICT is signi cant and suggests that the majority of
young people react favourably to the use of computers in the classroom (Cox, 1997).
None of the studies recorded have been long term, neither have they concentrated on
students who have a rich experience of ICT in their wider lives.
The key point is as for any intervention, the use of an ICT-based task must be
evaluated in context. The teacher must both understand and communicate the exact
nature of the task in hand and ensure that the students have the necessary background
understanding to complete the task. The outcomes must be evaluated against the
intended outcomes and the adequacy of the task to support them. Using ICT is not the
issue so much as how it is used, and the role of the teacher is vital.
There are important elements of ICT literacy which are relevant to scientific
literacy and the development of scientific reasoning. The importance of the role of the
Internet and World Wide Web as contexts for the development of these important skills
sets. This is particularly so when the experience of access to information sources,
including broadcast and Internet media, in the wider community is growing so rapidly
and is such a central part of young peoples experience of the world beyond school
( Buckingham & McFarlane, 2001).
The model of science education which fully exploits electronic media should
incorporate both the location and analysis of scientific information and publishing of the
resulting critique as part of an active electronic community of learners. Indeed, in this
way school pupils can expose their interpretations of science to peer review and truly
experience the way research proceeds in an authentic fashion.

CONCLUSION
The role of ICT in science education where investigative science plays a central
part, there are applications of ICT which can both support live bench work and some
which can replace it, providing a virtual system to investigate using the same principles
as in the laboratory. Moreover, models of the ideal system can be animated alongside a
simulation of the real system to reinforce the relationship between practice and theory.
An alternative approach can be to adopt an analytical approach to scientific information
found in popular and scientific literature, especially the wealth of each available on the
Internet.
There are an understanding of various scientific methods and the relationship
between evidence and conclusions are required this can be a more potent experience.
In order to avoid such a potentially divisive curriculum, it might be better to model a
curriculum for all which has an equitable balance between investigative empirical
science, supported with ICT so that it is more effective, and investigative critical science
which is supported through access to scientific sources and published analyses shared
and discussed with peers.
While the students using the laboratory, it can teach them to use the
apparatus safe handling of chemical. After that, they could collecting data become more
faster by then it can be manipulate the data using data logger. The information of
seeking information skill in order to evaluate to find the statement whether it is true or
false.. The use of computer based learning for data captured and display to give access
to an accurate data set but the teacher must teach first the basic skill to the students
and they will able to use it later on. Last but least if it programmed in the right situation
they will get accurate data .