Labwork in Science Education

This project focused upon teaching and learning through laboratory work at the upper secondary level (i.e. age 16-18) and early undergraduate level (i.e. age 18-20). A number of related pieces of work were conducted:

  • Production of a typology of labwork, for use in identifying teachers' learning aims in labwork, what students actually learn, various forms of organisation of labwork, and what students actually do (contact: Robin Millar; see Working Paper 1 below).
  • Survey to identify the different ways in which labwork is used in teaching in the different participating countries (contact: Andrée Tiberghien; see Working Papers 2 and 3, volumes 1-3 below).
  • Survey to identify the range of images of science drawn upon by students during labwork (contact: John Leach; see Working Paper 4 below).
  • Survey to identify teachers' images of science (contact: Matilde Vicentini; see Working Paper 5 below).
  • Survey to identify teachers' intentions for student learning during labwork (contact: Hans Niedderer; see Working Paper 6 below).
  • Case studies of student learning during labwork in each participating country (contact: Dimitris Psillos; see Working Papers 7 - 9 below).

The case studies carried out in the UK relate to undergraduate learning in biochemistry, genetics and Earth Sciences.

Project Publications

Working papers relating to this work have been published.

Summary of findings

Working Paper 1: A map of the variety of labwork. Robin Millar, Jean-François Le Maréchal and Christian Buty

Working Papers 2 and 3: Science teaching and labwork practice in several European countries.

Volume 1: Description of science teaching at secondary level. Andrée Tiberghien et al.

Volume 2: Teachers' labwork practice, an analysis based on questionnaires at secondary and university level. Andrée Tiberghien et al.

Volume 3: Analysis of labwork sheets used in regular labwork at the upper secondary school and the first years of university. Andrée Tiberghien et al.

Working Paper 4: Survey 2: Students' images of science as they relate to labwork learning. John Leach, Robin Millar, Jim Ryder, Marie-Geneviève Séré, Dorte Hammelev, Hans Niedderer, Vasilis Tselfes

Working Paper 5: Teachers' image of science and labwork. Hypotheses, research tools and results in Italy and in France. Bandiera, M., Dupré, F., Séré, M-G., Tarsitani, C., Torracca, E. and Vicentini, M.

Working Paper 6: Teachers' objectives for labwork: research tools and cross country results. Manuela Welzel et al.

Working Paper 7: Case studies of labwork in five European countries. D. Psillos and H. Niedderer (Editors).

Working Paper 8: The main results of case studies: about the effectiveness of different types of labwork. Psillos, D., Niedderer, H. and Séré, M-G.

Working Paper 9: Category-based analysis of videotapes from labwork: the method and results from four case-studies. Hans Niedderer et al.

Working paper 10: Les travaux pratiques dans l'enseignement des sciences de la vie et de la terre dans les lycees Francais. Pol, D., Salame, N. et Séré, M-G.