Science is about exploring, questioning and finding answers to the things happening around us. It enhances problem solving skills, creativity and critical thinking in students. These skills help them to develop ideas, evaluate decisions and arrive at a solution for a problem in their life. It also helps them to become socially responsible citizens. In order to develop these skills via Science, they have to observe what is happening around them. Observation and curiosity are the most important qualities that scientists should possess (Ref. NCERT-5th EVS). Today’s students are the emerging scientists of tomorrow’s world.
But, most of the children at school memorize the concepts without understanding. Children do not get proper exposure to improve their scientific temper. Also, they could not associate the learnt things with their day to day activities. So, it is teacher’s responsibility to create the science environment to develop the observation skills of the students.
In this study, the researcher tries to develop the observation skill of the children through activities like reporting, picture reading, making tables, comparing, identifying, analysing and differentiating. Students are more interested in doing experiments and activities than classroom teaching. The researcher frames activities to increase their interest in science and the habit of patience to do researches. This method is planned to introduce the children to understand the passion with which scientist pursue their experiments.
Each day, group discussion on one activity held on consecutive days. The individual / group interpreted their observations and findings. Sufficient information and guidance were given by the author to the children whenever needed. The process continued for 20 days. The observation and findings of the children evaluated through worksheets and oral questions.
Quality Education is about attaining learning outcome and lifelong learning for all. In order to ensure quality education, new teaching pedagogies should be implemented in our education system. The new teaching methodology should also ensure that learning process happens throughout the life. In this study, the researcher tries new method to enhance students’ higher order skills which develop the students’ observation skill.
Science education is one of the most important subjects for primary kids. It develops students’ higher order skills like problem solving, creativity and critical thinking. These are the very essential lifelong skills that help the students to make ideas intelligently and understand the evidence to solve the problem. Learning critical thinking and problem solving through science activities gives students the skill and knowledge to succeed in life. In order to develop these skills, the students have to observe and understand their surroundings. Students are more interested in doing activities/experiments than classroom teaching. But, they do not have patience to observe and to get results while doing experiments. Curiosity, observation and being patience are the most important qualities of great scientists. To develop these qualities in budding scientists, the teacher has to create science environment in schools. In this project, the researcher frames science activities to develop students’ observation skill. Through this, they also learn how to be patience to get results while doing experiments.
- To improve the observation skill of children through observation activities with proper understanding.
- To engage the children in individual/group close observation and interpret it with previous knowledge.
- To develop the habit of patience to get results while doing activities.
- To ensure quality education and lifelong learning for all.
The study conducted for 30 children of class 5 from Government Primary School, Kalitheerthalkuppam, Puducherry. The author proposed to take three themes from environmental studies of class 5. The themes are animals, food and plants. Each theme was given activity followed by the classroom group discussion. The following 3 activities will be done the children.
- Children observed a bird daily for 10 minutes and fill the activity of the birds in the observation form.
- Children brought different kind of raw and cooked food. Each item packed in different preservation method. Each day, the children observed the changes happened in the food by its colour, smell. Shape etc. The observation was recorded in the given format.
- The third activity is making the children to bring different kind of soils from their surroundings. Then, the students were divided into 6 groups. 6 kinds of plants planted in all the types of soil. For instance, tomato plant will be planted in red soil, black soil and sand. Likewise, all the 6 plants planted in the three types of soil. Observation conducted by the children daily. The growth of the plant observed by height, leaves, branches, flowers, fruits etc and the comparison of growth in different types of soils.
All the activities had reporting, picture reading, making tables, comparing, identifying, analysing and differentiating. Each day, group discussion on one activity held on consecutive days. The individual / group interpreted their observations. They also encouraged to say the findings on the observation and the reason behind it. Sufficient information and guidance were given by the author to the children whenever needed. The process continued for 20 days. The observation and findings of the children evaluated through worksheets and oral questions.
Points were given according to their performance for each activity. The results showed that the students involved in these experiments were asking many questions. And they tried to conclude their findings to propose hypothesis. It developed their problem solving and critical thinking ability in the classroom as well. Also, it developed interest towards science.
Slow learners also showed interest while doing the activities. It developed their curiosity and observation skill in experiments.
CONCLUSION AND IMPLICATIONS OF THE STUDY:
Individual/ Group observation activities increased the enthusiasm in the younger children in exploring and understanding their surroundings. The children were motivated to explore new things without any interference. Such a method of learning helped them to observe and appreciate the things happening around them. It also ensured that the process helps them for lifelong learning. These activities enhanced the student’s critical thinking and problem-solving ability.