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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1860/494

Title: Teaching science to 8th graders by engaging them in a design and technology activity: a case study
Authors: Sidawi, Mai M.
Keywords: Education technology;Classroom environment;Science--Study and teaching
Issue Date: 22-Jun-2005
Abstract: This study described how students can apply science concepts to a Design and Technology task. It also examined whether the students could transfer their scientific knowledge to their design of technology. The study was conducted at an urban school in Philadelphia where a sample of 36 eighth grade students were taught a science unit, Energy, Machines, and Motion, and engaged in a technology design task that was chosen based on the scientific content of the unit. Two approaches of relating teaching science to technological design were observed and described. Through the first approach, the students were given technology lessons in addition to their science lessons. This was to provide them with the technological knowledge that they needed in designing technology such as learning about the design process, selection of appropriate materials, and selection of appropriate tools and how to use them. Also, the students were taught the social skills that will enable them to develop an effective collaborative relationship with their peers such as conflict-management and brainstorming. Through the second approach, the students were taught the science unit and then at the end of the unit the students were given the design task as an assessment of their scientific knowledge. The students’ experience of designing technology for each approach was described. The study was conducted using multiple tools and instruments such as observation, videotaping, interviews, and testing. The students were also given the survey PATT-USA to measure their attitude toward technology. The study showed that the students’ learning of science was impacted by their weak prerequisite knowledge in science, their poor verbal and written communication skills and their style as dependent learners. Also, the study showed the great impact of the school and classroom cultures on the participation of the students in a Design and Technology activity. The students in this study showed great resistant to participating in a Design and Technology activity. The study linked that to the culture of the classroom where the technology period was considered by the students a period of “free time” to be spent mainly on the computer, playing educational games or engaged in short term, non-demanding projects.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1860/494
Appears in Collections:Drexel Theses and Dissertations

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