This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This material reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein
This report presents the main results from the activities carried out during the first year of Chemistry is all around Network Project and dedicated to the problem of student’s motivation to learn scientific subjects and particularly Chemistry. Trough the view-point of Chemistry school teachers with rich professional experience, representing different types of Bulgarian secondary schools, experts in Chemistry education, scientists in Chemistry, researchers in philosophy of Chemistry, science mediators and policy makers in natural sciences education, the main obstacles to students’ motivation to learn Chemistry are analyzed. Based on reviews of large number of publications, national and from the other Project partners, general approaches to improve the teaching-learning process and to motivate students to study Chemistry are formulated. Practical instruments and interactive teaching resources for implementation of these approaches to improve the motivation of students to learn Chemistry are proposed.
The whole idea of this work is the reasons for declining interest in science studies and related professions. The most common aims are to promote a positive image of science, to improve public knowledge of science, improve school-based science teaching and leasing, raise pupils’ interest in science subjects and consequently increase uptake of science studies at upper secondary and tertiary education levels, strive for a better gender balance in MST studies and professions, provide employers with the skills they need and so help to maintain competitiveness. We also present some ways how to repeat it. One of them is teachers’ approach. Teachers would suggest more real life examples, teaching more about issues that are useful or even essential in daily life. They should avoid instructivistic approach with students` passivity. Instead, various teaching methods can be utilized, e.g. games, trans-subject project education, proper experiments. The teaching method is crucial for students, it is better if they learn non-violently, seemingly incidentally. This depends on the teacher’s abilities and imagination.
Students’ motivation to learn chemistry is a complex multidimensional construct. In this report, a systematic effort is made to identify and evaluate the current situation regarding students’ motivation to learn chemistry in Greece. The conclusions drawn were based a) on the analysis of the experiences and comments of a group of 11 Greek chemistry teachers and 5 Greek scientific experts and b) on the analysis of the comments made by non-national teachers and scientific experts in relation with Greek national teaching resources and publications uploaded on the “Chemistry is All Around Network” portal. The experiences of the Greek teachers/experts were explored in the course of three workshop activities by using the constant comparative method. The comments of the Greek teachers/experts were related to non-national teaching resources available also in the above mentioned portal. The results of the undertaken work gave specific insight into the following three aspects regarding the national situation on students’ motivation to learn chemistry: a) the main existing student motivational constructs, b) the obstacles affecting students’ interest towards chemistry and c) the successful practices in motivating students to engage in chemistry learning.
In recent years, several initiatives have been taken to motivate more students to study Science in general and Chemistry in particular. Industrial and governmental bodies have spoken repeatedly about the need for skill-building in the Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) subjects, including Chemistry, that are seen as vital in underpinning the Knowledge Economy and aiding Ireland’s recovery from economic downturn. Uptake of Chemistry as a subject for the terminal examination at second level in Ireland, the Leaving Certificate, has seen a slight increase to over fourteen per cent. However, this turnaround could be difficult to maintain due to a number of factors, not least the fiscal situation and its effect on school budgets for more expensive practical subjects, as well as allocation of subjects to students within timetabling constraints and choice by students of the science and technology subjects. The latter is further influenced by attitudes to, experiences of and perceived usefulness of Chemistry, both by students and their guardians. Teachers and school facilities have a central role to play in student motivation. A proposed new curriculum for second level Chemistry, with a more emphatic requirement for practical work, is currently in the post-consultation phase, and a new Chief Examiner for Chemistry at upper secondary level has recently been appointed.
In Italy, among the scientific fields, chemistry is identified as an exemplary case study as it is recognised as one of the most difficult subjects. In order to enhance chemistry education, a key objective, is to motivate students, to raise their interest in science subjects, thus making their learning process more effective. For this purpose, the Ministry of Education, University and Research has taken a number of actions, with particular attention to the use of information technologies as educational tool for the new generations, those of 'digital natives'. The report is mainly focused on the research and selection of ICT resources for chemistry teaching and on the analysis of their efficacy to enhance students motivation.
The paper is going to present the Polish national scene on Students’ Motivation according to Chemistry is All Around Network project requirements (WP4.1).The paper will briefly introduce Polish national trends in teaching science subjects, chemistry in particular. It will also consolidate the information about the project in Poland; the involvement of schools, teachers and experts and describe their role in the project and their field of expertise. Space will be devoted to presenting the main obstacles to students’ motivation to learn chemistry with reference to teachers and experts’ comments as well as analysis of the main teaching and learning resources available online. Comments will be made to the most innovative online solutions available on the Polish educational scene supporting teachers in the classroom and motivating learners at different levels of education to explore chemistry deeper and further on their own. Some references will be made to the teachers and experts’ workshop organized at WSIU premises on the above topic.
Chemistry is universally assumed as one of the most difficult and demanding science subjects. It is recognized as involving difficult concepts, specialized terminology and mathematics. This work aims to report the current situation concerning student’s motivation to learn chemistry in Portugal. The following points will be addressed: (1) A general overview of the national education system, (2) Chemistry in the Portuguese educational context, (3) Analysis of national/international reports/initiatives concerning motivation and/or performance in sciences/chemistry, (4) Analysis of the “Chemistry is All Around” project portal resources (papers, publications and ICT-based resources). Moreover, the composition of the Portuguese team in what concerns the involved scientific experts, schools, teachers and students is presented. As a last point the results of the first workshop are summarized. The findings presented in this report are based on both literature and analysis of the teachers and experts opinion, as expressed in the project portal.
The report provides background information on the system of teaching chemistry at Slovak schools of all levels. The results of the above surveys are given in Section 4 as well as at the end of the national report. The report names the main challenges and obstacles to students' motivation for learning chemistry, teacher approaches and possible solutions. At the same time, the report presents current most innovative resources and materials for teachers of chemistry, which, in the last three years developed in Slovakia. It includes particularly the Ministry of Education‘s project supported by the EU- new innovative curriculum and chemistry textbooks for teachers and students in the process of education modernization for primary and secondary schools, as well as other major foreign sources. The report also contains basic information on schools, teachers and experts in Slovakia involved in the project as well as their collaboration on the development of new curricula and approaches. The report also lists the results of a joint workshop of teachers and experts, their views on the current state of teaching chemistry in Slovakia in terms of student motivation as well as other problems in teaching of chemistry in Slovakia.
In the last few years, scientific and technological developments are changing our society in many and varied ways. We are immersed in knowledge and mass media era and the need for a scientific and technological literacy is increasingly required. Citizens are witnesses of a huge amount of troubles related to Science and Technology that requires responsible decisions and whose repercussions affect us global and individually . As a consequence, we need to change curricula contents to make the relationships between scientific and daily knowledge prevail among students. Therefore, we should bear in mind that scientists´ work can be known by our students . Moreover, to guarantee that this happens, methodology needs to be changed; we may take into account aspects such as competence development, critical thought, analysis information, and people’s motivation through values and the adaption of Science learning to 21st century needs . However, at present, we find students’ increasing lack of interest towards Science which is reflected in the decreasing number of students, especially girls, who choose Physics, Chemistry or Mathematics degrees . As a consequence, we need to take urgent measures, at institutional level, which can be clearly observed in daily teaching.
In this report, a general overview of students’ motivation to learn chemistry in the Turkish context has been carried out. In addition, positive effects and features of Chemistry is All Around Network activities has been overviewed and clarified. The initial part of the report comprises the current situation of science education with special focus on chemistry teaching at all levels of education in Turkey. Various studies and researches on science education and especially chemistry education concerning students’ motivation were reviewed, examined and evaluated. Moreover, an analysis of the teaching resources on the Chemistry Network Portal and their effects on enhancing attractiveness and effectiveness of chemistry teaching has been carried out. The results and suggestions from the workshop which has been organized by the network of teachers and experts from Turkey have also been presented.