A Survey of Perceptions of Elementary School Teachers on the Small-Scale Chemistry

미량화학(Small-Scale Chemistry)에 대한 초등학교 교사들의 인식

  • Received : 2010.10.28
  • Accepted : 2010.12.30
  • Published : 2010.12.31

Abstract

The aim of this study was to survey the perceptions of the elementary school teachers on the smallscale chemistry(SSC) following its training session. The teachers participating in the survey were 266 teachers in the Gyeongnam province. They were given a questionnaire that focused on the nine areas of the SSC: Needs for the teacher training and its application, its benefits, issues of safety and danger as well as treatment of environmental pollution, its economic efficiency and the development of investigative skills. The designed questionnaire was checked by an authority, and the responses to each question were tallied and analyzed. The results are as follows. The biggest problems of the traditional experimental methods as rated by the teachers were, in the order of importance, the preparation time, the legal liability of teachers for the safety and accidents, financial issues, disposal of the experimental wastes and the lack of relevant data. Since most of the teachers had not experienced the SSC lab programs in the field, they responded positively to the questions of need for its introduction and training. The implementation of the experimental SSC lab programs should proceed in the following order: introduction into the textbook, teacher training program, after-school education and the invitation of instructors. The most useful materials for the SSC program were CDs, videos, books and various printed materials, in that order. The responses regarding benefits of the SSC program included its simplicity, convenience, time savings, diversity, qualitative and quantitative aspects, integration into the regular class and use of toys. In particular, the teachers mentioned the increased safety due to the small amount of experimental reagents needed and the durability of plastic instruments. The familarity from the use of everyday tools as well as easy access to and the low-cost of the instruments were other important benefits. The teachers in general rated the educational content of the program highly, but many also found it to be average. Some pointed out the lack of sufficient discussion due to the individual or pair groupings as a potential shortcoming. The potential for development of problem solving ability and improvement of skills was rated positively. The number of teacher who rated the development of creativity positively was just over the half. As for the area of improving investigative skills, many found its assessment difficult and confusing because of the lack of its systemic definition and categorization. Based on the findings of this study, I would like to recommend the application and a wider dissemination of the small-scale chemistry lab program into the elementary school science curriculum.