A Constructivist Approach to Basic Physics Laboratory Applications
Karadeniz Technical University, Turkey
In this study, current structures of laboratory applications were examined and three steps of applications based on constructivist approach were carried out. A constructivist model was piloted in General Physics Laboratory at Fatih Faculty of Education in 2001-2002 Fall Semester for 6 mechanic experiments. The need for guide teaching staff for the second application was met, and then G-E constructive laboratory model was improved and implemented. Second application was carried out with one experimental and two control groups in 2001-2002 Spring Semester for 6 electricity experiments. While the first and the second applications were quasi-experimental in design, the third application which was carried out in 2002-2003 Spring Semester was an experimental design. A special case study, during which various data gathering instruments utilized, was employed to identify the existing situation of the laboratory. In all the three applications, while all control groups performed traditional verification experiments under the guidance of a teaching staff, in the second and third treatments, experimental group students performed their experiments utilizing the constructivist G-E laboratory model under the guidance of physics student teachers. In order to assess students’ achievement and the effectiveness of the G-E model, the first midterm examination of General Physics Course was used as a pre-test. In all three applications, laboratory examinations done at the final day of laboratory were used as a post-test. In the second and third applications, oral exam, pre-test, post-test, and laboratory attitudes scale were used to collect data. Results of the analyses showed that there is a significant difference in student achievement at p=0.05 level in favor of the constructive model. The findings of the study suggest that the G-E constructivist laboratory model applications are more effective than the traditional applications in terms of student learning. Several suggestions were made to improve physics laboratories at secondary and higher education levels using the G-E constructivist laboratory model.
Yesilyurt, M., "A Constructivist Approach to Basic Physics Laboratory Applications", PHD Thesis, Karadeniz Technical University, Trabzon, Turkey, 2003.
Program of Physics Education
Faculty of Education
Yuzuncu Yil University
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