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Disseminating quality controlled scientific knowledge

Fen ve Teknoloji Dersinde Verilen Ödevlerin Öğrenci Görüşlerine Göre Değerlendirilmesi

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Author(s): Caner ALADAĞ | Süleyman DOĞU

Journal: Selcuk Universitesi Sosyal Bilimler Enstitusu Dergisi
ISSN 1302-1796

Issue: 21;
Start page: 15;
Date: 2009;
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Keywords: Science and Technology Teaching | Students’ Views | Assignment

ABSTRACT
Assignments are among the tasks performed out of the classroom. According to Oğuzkan (1985), they are the physical andmental tasks that students have to do for a certain topic or a unit dealt within the class. Assignments, enabling learning out of thecontext of the classroom, are one of the most effective tools that make previous learning experiences more meaningful andrelevant. Moreover, they enable new experiences to be gained most effectively. According to Ergün and Özdaş (1997)assignments are important tools of control for revealing the maturity and knowledge levels of the students who are conductingthem. Assignments have a further role in the application of previously acquired knowledge and skills to newly learned items andhence enabling a better adaptation.According to the recent education program of the Ministry of Education (MEB, 2000), teachers are expected to be peoplewho are planning activities, providing an atmosphere enabling comprehension, making their students ponder, lead and guidingthem rather than teaching the topic before the whiteboard.Doing assignments and studying for the classes can be regarded as new skills to be acquired for the children who have juststarted with their primary education. However, doing assignments and studying for the lessons are not are not issues of naturaldevelopment but a quality to be acquired later on.Barnes (2001) mentions that giving assignments is a common application and teaching strategy applied since ages by teachersaround the world. Assignments are probably witnessed since the first years of schooling and programmed education, commonlyused throughout the world as an application of teaching by the teachers (Gündüz, 2005). Demirel (2000) states that educationprograms are not arrangements limited just to school but for learning experience out of school as well. Therefore, the schoolrelated activities to be conducted out of school are not to be regarded as items out of the teaching process but as activities that aresupporting the teaching process or as items that can be replacements of the actual learning situation.As science is the accumulation of results and experiences gained from the outcomes of studies made in order to make man’slife more comfortable and secure, its development day by day is quite natural. In line with the scientific enhancements, technologywill also develop and change rapidly. As natural sciences plays a major role in the development of science and technology, theeducation of natural sciences plays also a major role. There are many variables affecting the success of the students in NaturalSciences classes. One of the indirect variables is assignments. Assignments have besides teaching also an educative value.The present study is conducted to evaluate students’ view regarding the assignments they are given in Natural Sciences andTechnology classes at the secondary stage of the primary education. In the present study, survey method is applied for data center of Konya. The sample of the study consists of the 426 students at the secondary stage of primary education enrolled at thefollowing schools within Konya; İbrahim Hakkı Konyalı, 24 Kasım, Çatalhüyük Ali Yaman, Şehit Albay İbrahim Karaoğlanoğlu,Müslüme Ali Yaman, Şeker, Şehit Pilot Bayan Ayfer Gök, Zafer ve Mehmet-Şükriye Sert.In the study, the data collection tool is the 23-item questionnaire compiled out of the information present in the literature(Yücel, 2004) applied to 426 students at the secondary stage of the primary education. In the development of the questionnaire,the curriculum of the primary schools was analyzed and relevant literature on curriculum development and evaluation surveyed.Besides, regarding each item the views of the experts were also taken into consideration. The questionnaire was evaluated bynatural science lecturers and regarded as in line with the aim of the study and covering the research topic. In other words, thequestionnaire had also content validity. Before the questionnaire was applied to the main study group, it was applied to a samplegroup and its reliability score determined as 0.81 using Cronbach Alfa formula. After this evaluation, the questionnaire took itsfinal form as a 23-item survey. The results obtained form the survey questions revealed that it represented the scope of the studyand was thus regarded as sufficient for the study. Hence, the 23 items questionnaire was considered to be sufficient for providingthe data necessary for the present study. The effect of unpredictable variables are regarded as the same for each participant of thestudy. Nevertheless, the limitation of the present study consists of the students attending the Natural Sciences and Technologyclasses at the secondary stage of the primary education in Konya city- center during the 2005-2006 school period and theassignments they were given in these classes.The results of the survey were statistically coded and evaluated using SPSS packet program. The frequency (f) and thepercentages (%) provided by the participants for each item in the survey are given in Table 1. The findings of Table 1 areevaluated as well.The results of the present study can be summarized as follows: There is a wide acceptance that assignment lead to thecomprehension and reinforcement of the topics dealt with in Natural Sciences and Technology classes. Teachers’ assignmentcontrol leads to a better student-teacher relationship. Moreover, students’ awareness of the control of the assignment by theteacher leads to more attention to the assignment. The students learn throughout the assignments conducted as a group work.Assignments dealing with up-to-date issues leads to more willingness for the assignments and enable them to comment on these.Following suggestions are made in line with the results obtained:The assignments given should be backed up with different activities. These should while entertaining the students also lead totheir learning. The assignments given should be planned so as to reinforce the topics previously learned and prepare for thecoming ones. Assignments given are to be controlled by the teachers. This will lead both to reinforcing the topics learnt,correction of the mistakes made, and the assignments taken seriously by the students. Teachers should pay attention that theassignments given lead to research, arouse interest of the students, and direct them for learning of the coming topics. They shouldalso prepare the students to the exams. If the assignments enable the students to use multimedia facilities, they will enable thestudent develop an appreciation for these and make them become more willing. If they are related with current topics, they willenable the students to make a connection with the current topics and learn more easily
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