Hands-On Science Gets a Thumbs Up From Students

Article Tools
  • PrintPrinter-Friendly
  • EmailEmail Article
  • ReprintReprints

If students are taught science using hands-on experiments and team problem-solving, they have a better attitude about the subject than if they are lectured and assigned textbook reading, a national poll has found.

Browse Education Week's Web Connection; Your On-line Source Of Information From Education Marketers

Indeed, more than three in five students ages 10 to 17 say that they would be "a lot more psyched" about science if they could do more experiments themselves in class and use a computer to go on-line to communicate with scientists and other students.

The survey, released last week in Washington, was sponsored by the Bayer Corp. of Pittsburgh. The nationally representative telephone survey of 1,016 youths was conducted last month by Peter D. Hart Research Associates and includes interviews with 217 elementary, 364 middle school, and 412 high school students. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.1 percentage points.

According to the poll, about half of the students learn about science mainly by the traditional means of listening to the teacher lecture or reading from a textbook. The other half learn through such methods as conducting experiments or discussing problems.

Across the board, students exposed to a hands-on approach express a more positive attitude and have a better impression of science than those taught the typical way.

Better Liked

For 54 percent of the students using more action-oriented methods, science is at, or near, the top of the list of subjects they like, compared with 45 percent of the students in traditional classes. Forty percent of those in the hands-on classes consider themselves to be excellent or very good science students vs. 32 percent of the students in traditional classes.

The pedagogy also seems to affect student understanding. Nearly one-fourth of the students in the traditional classes feel that science is the most difficult subject to understand, while 18 percent of the students using performance-based strategies say so.

"A more widespread use of hands-on inquiry methods in the science classroom may be a useful step toward improving students' feelings toward science," the study says. Earlier Bayer surveys on science education showed that teachers agreed with that sentiment, according to the new study.

Web Only

Web Resources
  • The National Science Teachers' Association Web page provides experiments and lesson plans from its National Science Education Standards.

Back to Top Back to Top

Most Popular Stories





Sponsor Insights

Free Ebook: How to Implement a Coding Program in Schools

Successful Intervention Builds Student Success

Effective Ways to Support Students with Dyslexia

Stop cobbling together your EdTech

Integrate Science and ELA with Informational Text

Can self-efficacy impact growth for ELLs?

Disruptive Tech Integration for Meaningful Learning

Building Community for Social Good

5 Resources on the Power of Interoperability from Unified Edtech

New campaign for UN World Teachers Day

5 Game-Changers in Today’s Digital Learning Platforms

Hiding in Plain Sight - 7 Common Signs of Dyslexia in the Classroom

The research: Reading Benchmark Assessments

Shifting Mindsets: A Guide for Training Paraeducators to Think Differently About Challenging Behavior

All Students Are Language Learners: The Imagine Learning Language Advantage™

Shifting Mindsets: A Guide for Training Paraeducators to Think Differently About Challenging Behavior

How to Support All Students with Equitable Pathways

2019 K-12 Digital Content Report

3-D Learning & Assessment for K–5 Science

Climate Change, LGBTQ Issues, Politics & Race: Instructional Materials for Teaching Complex Topics

Closing the Science Achievement Gap

Evidence-based Coaching: Key Driver(s) of Scalable Improvement District-Wide

Advancing Literacy with Large Print

Research Sheds New Light on the Reading Brain

Tips for Supporting English Learners Through Personalized Approaches

Response to Intervention Centered on Student Learning

The Nonnegotiable Attributes of Effective Feedback

SEE MORE Insights >