Qualitative preparation of pre-service teachers remains an actual problem. Appropriate school preparation is important for studying at university. This is very actual for future natural science teachers because the candidates of very different knowledge and ability level enter Lithuanian (and not only) universities. Such condition is presupposed by Lithuanian (and not only) general secondary education system because all natural science subjects (physics, chemistry and biology) are compulsory up to the 10th form, and in the 11th -12th (3rd -4th gymnasium) classes, only one of all natural science subjects is compulsory, or an integrated natural science course. Besides, students taking into consideration their needs and inclinations can choose general or extended natural science – biology, chemistry or physics course.
Five university scientist groups carrying out an international project “Developing Bridging Courses for Mathematics and Science Teacher Students/Bridge2Teach/” started solving this problem. The aim of the project is to create, test and develop the bridging courses designed for the preparation of mathematics and natural science teachers. In this way, it is sought to do away with the gap between what was learnt at school, and what is necessary starting the studies at university.
In Siauliai university, for the pre-srvice Integrated natural science teacher knowledge consolidation, 12 ECTS credits course Holistic natural phenomena conception is foreseen in the programme, by which, filling the gaps in natural science knowledge, it is sought to form entire, holistic world cognition, to motivate students for deeper natural science understanding and interpretation, to awaken willingness to explore. The studies of this course are organised so that every student should have a possibility to acquire lacking natural science knowledge, to extend it, and to actualise.
All Siauliai university study programme Integrated natural science pedagogy students, having participated in the survey, unanimously pointed out that having started studies at university, at a different level they felt gaps in natural science and mathematics knowledge and abilities. As the main solution way of such a problem, the students indicated bridging course organisation for the first course students, accentuating that for successful studies at university, general and even extended mastering of the school course is necessary.
Having generalised teachers’ who participated in the expert survey answers about bridging courses for students in natural science and mathematics and their need, one can claim that students, who enter higher education, have school knowledge gaps, which could be at least partly fulfilled by properly prepared and realised bridging courses. Lecturers experts claim that bridging course content depends on the chosen study direction (even on the study programme) because, basically, the necessary knowledge for the students having chosen different study programmes differs. They accentuate that such course demand for every future student should be individual; they note that to include such course in study programmes is problematic.
In the spring of 2020, the Covid-19 pandemic having started, and quarantine being introduced in the country, a transition was made to distance teaching/learning. Using online distance learning, a possibility naturally emerged for the primary school students to develop independence. And this is a very important competence part of learning how to learn. One of the most important independence criteria is - thoroughly completed work.
Research focus – 3-rd form students’ knowledge and skills working independently.
Aim – after analysing task activity worksheets, to assess students’ knowledge and skills, and to discuss students’ ability to work independently.
It was suggested for the students that they watch a film in You Tube about a common sparrow and a field sparrow. An activity worksheet was prepared, which was sent to the students by e-mail. For the preparation of the task, a day was allotted. Nineteen 3-rd form students took part in the research.
It was ascertained that some of the students lacked attentiveness searching for the similarities and differences of the analysed animals, patience carrying out the other tasks. Watching a film about a common sparrow and a field sparrow, the students acquired new knowledge about their biological peculiarities, living environment, behaviour. Answering the questions, the students already used new concepts. At the same time, they developed work with information recourses, research skills, improved comparing and confronting abilities.
Nevertheless, almost half of the students lacked thoroughness, showing their independence. It was still difficult for the students to formulate full answers, therefore they could not fully demonstrate their knowledge and understanding. Girls, carrying out the tasks, were more observant and attentive than boys.
Performing the tasks, students demonstrated reproductive and productive independence. Of course, you should not limit yourself in this, and in future you should more orient yourself to the development of creative independence.
In the 21st century, the speed of technology, information and communication tools and economics obliges teachers to prepare the young generation to be able to adapt quickly to the rapidly changing living conditions. The rapid growth of various ICT tools in schools opens up ample opportunities for change in the educational process. Today ICT itself is not an innovation, but it provides new opportunities for education by developing and changing at a fast pace. Therefore, the use of ICT in education has the potential to become the key tool for implementing new pedagogical ideas, i.e. to become a pedagogical innovation or an innovative pedagogical process, which will help to achieve qualitatively new results in human learning and creativity development. Moreover, by using ICT, teachers can help students to acquire knowledge and understand the taught material as well as make lessons a lot more stimulating. The aims of analysis to show the employment and the usage of ICT tools in science lessons. Children can perform various tasks with iMO cubes, an interactive map, interactive T-shirts as well as Photon and Blue bot robots. The employment of interactive iMO cubes is a new and unique way to learn by creating a dynamic learning environment. The integration of movement in the educational process helps to create a more stimulating atmosphere which interests young learners even more. An interactive T-shirt is a tool which helps the 3rd-4th grade students to get acquainted with the structure of the human body, internal organs, blood circulation, digestive and urinary systems. An interactive T-shirt is scanned with the help of the tablet and the "Virtual tee" app. "Photon Robot" is an educational tool that helps teachers in various lessons, such as programming, maths and science. Blue-bot robots are already a prevailing learning tool in both kindergartens and schools. It is programmed manually or with the help of the Blue-Bot program. Robots are often used in science lessons, children programme robots and name pictures, they also choose the correct answer and create sequences. All these tools interest and motivate students as well as help them to review their knowledge.
Due to the rampant COVID-19 virus, informal science education is becoming particularly complicated due to the uncertain situation in general education in schools. Thanks to the organizers of the project of the science festival "Spaceship Earth", who have planned part of their events in advance in the virtual space, we can offer teachers a virtual excursion to the temporary exhibition of the Geological Museum of Vilnius University as part of remote informal science education.
You can find the virtual tour here: http://www.geol.gf.vu.lt/lt/muziejus
The purpose of this article is:
to provide the material used to create the guide's story;
to advise on how this virtual trip can be used in science education lessons to spread knowledge of geological science, its importance for understanding the world, natural climate change, and the evolution of flora and fauna;
help to develop the ability to hear relevant and important information;
help in the integration of information provided during the virtual trip into biology, anatomy, nature, chemistry, world cognition, geography and other subjects.
We hope that this virtual tour will be acceptable for teachers doing both formal and informal science education.
The article provides additional information and suggests possible tasks.
In modern-day knowledge and deeper understanding has an exceptionally important role in forming a student’s erudition. In order for a student to achieve a proper level of education the tutoring must be systematically based on gathering knowledge in an academic environment. Unfortunately the students may sometimes forget or misinterpret the gathered information. Geography is no exception. During the learning process of said subject, it is often observed, that some students cannot properly understand the new material, because the current level of knowledge is insufficient. Thus it is critical to find out the level of students understanding at the present and pinpoint the missing gaps in previously gathered information.
The analysis of the survey showed a significant gap between the students of two classes. The students of grade II showed not only the better level of knowledge and understanding, but also were more motivated to learn, compared to grade I. By examining the result of the test regarding natural recourses, few questions revealed the flaws in geographical understanding. A meaningful amount of the students showed poor special understanding: were unable to name the leading countries regarding natural recourses extraction. The struggle to clearly reason the answer also became apparent: the lack of knowledge in the field of geographical theory and concepts is most noticeable. For both tested classes, the easiest questions were regarding the analysis of data, students successfully pointed out the classification of natural resources as well as the pros/cons of using fossil fuel.
The STEAM science competition “Our Experiment” (organized by the Lithuanian Center of Non-formal Youth Education) is one of the opportunities to diversify the educational process and encourage students to take a deeper interest in natural sciences. We are convinced that the STEAM science-based competition encourages students to work in teams and collaborate on research. Teamwork skills are especially needed in today’s world of science and work, as one person’s mind or skills are no longer enough here. Already at school, it is important to point out that knowledge of one subject is often not enough to identify and solve problems, different sciences complement each other, and their integration often creates opportunities for innovation. Working with the STEAM method inevitably integrates subjects in the educational process. The STEAM science competition led to the search for an integrative topic. It became the subject of "Papyrus Production".
Subject - Knowledge of the world. Integrated programs: Lithuanian language, mathematics, art and technologies, information technologies, human safety. I wanted students to be able to apply cognitive skills in integrating subjects: critical thinking, practical skills, analysis and conclusions, information processing, application and deepening of knowledge, presentation. Nature of work - integrated lessons. The lessons took place in the gymnasium science laboratory.
Educational film based on practical activities:
Home Papyrus Production https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OJClRehaATc
The STEAM science competition used the tools of the gymnasium's natural sciences laboratory (during the implementation of the EU-funded project “Supply of Schools with Natural and Technological Sciences” most Lithuanian schools were equipped with natural sciences - tubes, flasks, microscopes, sensors, optical kits).
The STEAM science competition led to the search for an integrative topic. "Papyrus production" is a topic of world cognition. Subjects were integrated: Lithuanian (analysis of the study material, expressive language for making a film), mathematics (weighing of bulk materials, time calculation, water temperature measurement), art and technologies (sheet cutting, gluing, drawing, drawing sketches), information technologies (filming of scenes, timer setting, searching websites for information on Egyptian symbols, papyrus production, glue production at home), human safety (safe handling of electrical appliances, boiling water, sharp objects). Throughout the learning period, students remained active as one activity changed to another. Students learned new concepts, worked on the principles of science, presented his competitive work to the school community, at student science conferences.
Dogs for 15,000 years have been an integral part of all humanity in our life and culture. In recent times, canitherapy has gained in popularity as a therapeutic approach based on the positive effects of human-dog interaction on the physical, psychological and social aspects of humans. This method is often used in institutions for child care and education (kindergartens, schools, care homes), health care facilities, retirement homes and other special facilities for children and adults with various mental disorders. In order to introduce pupils to the basics of cynology, to promote canitherapy, charity and social activities, various activities are organized at Kaunas Vyturys Gymnasium in order to involve as many pupils as possible. This activity is also being integrated into the long-term project “Sustainable School”. It is also sought and emphasized that a person must go to a kennel if he wants to have a certain breed of dog, but if he wants to have dog (does not matter breed), he must go to a shelter. This way is to combat breeding of undocumented breeding dogs. The gymnasium organizes educational classes with dogs for primary school learners, social campaigns "Support the homeless", integrated project "Use waste and help the homeless", quizzes "Do you know dogs and their breeds". Also it is planned to prepare an elective subject for students of grades 11-12 “Basics of Cynology”.
The article substantiates the importance of science education and its forms of teaching. One of the forms of education is the analysis of experiential education, its significance and effectiveness, possibilities of organization in primary education. The organization of experiential education - learning from experience for elementary school students - is presented. Based on their life experiences, students learn to evaluate processes and phenomena, analyze them, and are constantly encouraged to learn through their personal experiences.
At the preschool age, it is crucial for the development of children's linguistic abilities to select and purposefully apply various methods and techniques is crucial. One of the effective ways of speaking and developing a language is fairy tales.
STEAM activities are increasingly used in the educational process. The idea was to combine these activities with the creation of fairy tales. We believe that integration of STEAM activities in the fairy tales creation process helps to develop children's linguistic skills, emotion perception and expression, strengthens critical and creative thinking and enables to gain problem-solving skills. Through research and experiments children learn more about their immediate environment. Children unfold their experiences and impressions in their own works.
The idea of integrating STEAM educational activities in the fairy tale creation process has been implemented. The children experienced many positive emotional reactions, such as: interest, surprise, curiosity, achievement joy, sense of togetherness and closeness. This encouraged the children to become more interested, to ask questions, to tell about their impressions, to reveal them in their works. Children's critical and creative thinking and ability to solve problems increased. While taking tests, the children learned how to apply the results guessing methods.