Integrative Cognitive-Affective Learning in a Primary Science Lesson

  • Siang, Tan Kok (National Institute of Education) ;
  • Santhanasamy, S. Nirmala Devi (Xishan Primary School)
  • Received : 2012.05.28
  • Accepted : 2012.07.30
  • Published : 2012.08.31


The first category of Affective Domain objectives in Bloom's Taxonomy is about "Receiving". In it, the first subdivision listed is "Awareness" (Krathwohl, Bloom & Masia, 1964). Since these categories are intended to be hierarchical in ascending order of internalization, it is important that young learners be given ample opportunities in their learning experiences in class to be aware of positive values and effective life skills. This paper reports a feasibility study on the adoption of an integrative cognitive-affective learning approach in a primary school science lesson. 37 primary six students in a Singapore primary school were taught the concept of centre of gravity, including a hands-on activity to find the centre of gravity of an irregularly shaped cardboard by using a plumbline. After reviewing how a plumbline works, their teacher then led them into a discussion on the question "Who is the plumbline in your life?" a reference to identifying positive role models in their lives. From the transcript of the students' in-class sharing and their written responses to the question, it is clear that the integrative cognitive-affective learning approach did enable students to present their ideas and learning experiences in the affective domain quite readily. This conclusion provides a valuable lead to a follow-up project on whether students who are exposed to such integrative learning approaches will be more capable and more aware of identifying important positive social habits or values. If so, then the teaching of values in schools could take on a whole new dimension, that of borrowing students' learning energy in the cognitive domain to learn values and life skills in the affective domain.


Affective Learning;Attitude;Life Skills;Primary Science;Values


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