Field studies in the Newfoundland intermediate and secondary science curriculum

FitzPatrick-Antle, Mary Lynn (1993) Field studies in the Newfoundland intermediate and secondary science curriculum. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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    Available under License - The author retains copyright ownership and moral rights in this thesis. Neither the thesis nor substantial extracts from it may be printed or otherwise reproduced without the author's permission.
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Abstract

The purpose of this research was to assess the use of outdoor resources in the teaching of Intermediate and Secondary Science in Newfoundland Schools, and to ascertain what impediments exist to its use, as well as to obtain suggestions from Science Teachers to facilitate and improve the use of the outdoor classroom in their science teaching. A set of 13 research questions were used to guide the development of the survey/questionnaire in the study. All the school boards in the province of Newfoundland were contacted in order to obtain a list of all intermediate and secondary science teachers within their school districts. A list of 465 teachers was compiled. Each teacher on this list was mailed a survey/questionnaire. A total of 256, or 55% were returned. This data was then analyzed and general conclusions and recommendations made. It was found that the majority of field trips in the intermediate grades were completed in the grade seven program. In the secondary school science program the majority of field trips were taken in the area of environmental science. There was a large percentage of teachers in the biology, earth science, and geology areas who never take field trips. The most important factor seen by teachers as limiting or restricting the use of field trips in teaching science was financing the travel. Other important factors included: lack of funding for resource material, length of class time, class scheduling problems, too rigid curriculum requirements for courses, lack of resource material, classes too large, and few local sites of interest. The most important factor which can contribute to improving and increasing the use of field trips in science teaching is inservice and workshops for science teachers on how to effectively design field trips. Other factors seen as important in improving or increasing the use of field trips in science were: special regional materials designed for your particular area, inform non-science teachers and administrators of the benefits of using the outdoors, and more preparation for field trips in university undergraduate classes. Less than 25% of the teachers listed university programs as their main preparation for conducting science activities involving the use of field trips. The majority indicated that they were self-taught in the use of field trips in the science curriculum. Most field trips take place on or near the school grounds and 51.2% take place within walking distance from the school. Most field trips are carried out during one or two class periods. Respondents were positive about the importance and necessity of using field trips as classroom and laboratory aids in teaching science. Most activities conducted by teachers in the field were concerned with environmental quality and pollution. The most frequently visited sites for field activities were marshes and bog land, forest, pond or lake, and stream or river.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/5107
Item ID: 5107
Additional Information: Bibliography: leaves 114-124.
Department(s): Education, Faculty of
Date: 1993
Date Type: Submission
Geographic Location: Canada--Newfoundland and Labrador
Library of Congress Subject Heading: School field trips; Science--Study and teaching (Secondary)

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