The Analyze of the Learning Style-Based Biology Instruction

Gazi University, Turkey

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Abstract

Today, science and technology improving fastly, continuously changing economic conditions and resulting social, cultural and political events need the education of individuals in convenient with their abilities. This scheme naturally leads to reorganization of educational programs and defining new curriculum goals that are capable of arising new behaviors in students, in convenient with the new programs. However, many studies showed that the experts working in different disciplines have become incapable of how they teach effectively and have preferred to search new methods. In this point of view, especially from 1980's learning style-based education/instruction programs have been in use in many countries. Gregorc's learning style model is one of the important models currently used. This study was designed by using Gregorc's Learning Style Model.

The aim of this study is to determine whether the biology courses in high schools are instructed in convenient with the student's learning styles. There are a lot of instructional preferences the students, who learn by using Concrete Sequential, Abstract Sequential, Concrete Random and Abstract Random type learning styles, expect from their teachers to learn effectively in the levels of I., II. and III. thinking. In this study, after determination of instructional preferences of teachers, it was tried to find that students having which type of learning styles learn effectively in which levels of thinking.

The model of survey, correlational research was performed in this study. The study population consisted of 30 teachers working in high schools in Ankara in 2000-2001 academic year.

The observation and interview forms designed by the researcher made data collection. Reliability and validity of the forms were done. 20 different concordance coefficients that show consistency among independent observers were found to range from 0.73 to 0.97. The median was 0.855.

Biology teachers were observed while they were teaching "plant tissues" in 10.th class. The period of data collection took 131 hours.

In statistical analysis, frequency, percentage, arithmetical mean, Kruskal-Wallis H-Test and Mann-Whitney U-Test were used.

As a result of this study, it was realized that biology teachers frequently use instrumental preferences for the students having Abstract Sequential Learning Style in I. Level of Thinking, for those having Concrete Sequential Learning Style in II. Level of Thinking and for those having Abstract Sequential Learning Style in III. Level of Thinking, respectively.

While a significant difference was obtained between the instructional preferences biology teachers use for different learning styles, and occupational experience; no significant difference was seen in comparison to the university biology teachers had been graduated from, joining to in-service training about instructional preferences, location of schools they work in whether in low or high socioeconomic environment.

The opinions and proposals of biology teachers about why they could not serve learning style based biology teaching are listed under the headings of facilities of school, biology course curriculum, students, management (school management and The Ministry of Education), biology teachers themselves, education of biology teachers (pre-service training and in-service training).
In conclusion, improvement in biology education depends on many factors. The teacher themselves is only one of the factors. Biology teachers can be successful in learning style based biology teaching only after fundamental concrete reconstruction is made in overall system particularly in education of teachers.

Corespondence

Assist. Prof. Dr. Gülay Ekici
Gazi University, Faculty of Technical education, Department of Educational Science, 06500, Ankara-TURKEY
Tel: (0090) 312 202 85 04
Fax: (0090) 312 212 00 59
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