Enhancing Students' Interest, Engagement, and Understanding of Primary and Secondary School Science Concepts by Means of Task Explanations and Task Predictions: An Experimental Study

Project Number
OER 13/11 JR

Project Duration
November 2011 - September 2013

Status
Completed

Abstract
The objective of the proposed project is to systematically analyse how science school tasks can be presented to students in such a manner that they significantly increase their levels of interest, engagement, and eventually enhance their understanding of complex science principles. To that end, an experimental study will be conducted over a period of one year at a primary and secondary school. The experiment will examine whether cognitive strategies of self-explanation, prediction, and a combination of both in relation to a school task, have a differential influence on students' interest, engagement, and understanding. To increase the generalizability of the findings, the experiment will be repeated three times with three similarly complex science tasks as well as one truly experimental setup during which students work individually with an experimenter on a complex science task. The results of the study will provide more insights in how students' situational interest, engagement, and understanding of complex science principles can be enhanced by means of making predictions and/or engaging in self-explanations. As such, the data will reveal whether a relatively simple instructional manipulation has a positive impact on students' science learning in primary and secondary school.

Research Themes
Science

Funding Source
NIE

Related Links
SingTeach Issue 48 (2014): Situational Interest and Learning
ReEd Vol 16 (2014): Closing the Knowledge Gap

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