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Affective domain
School science
Values education
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Tan, K. S., Heng, C. Y., & Tan, S. (2013). Teaching school science within the cognitive and affective domains. Asia-Pacific Forum on Science Learning and Teaching, 14(1), Article 3.
In classrooms, science is usually taught within the cognitive domain while the
psychomotor learning domain is achieved through performing science experiments
in the laboratory. Although students attend civic and moral education and pastoral
care classes where values and life skills are often taught directly, learning
experiences in most school subjects such as science are still centred on preparing for
high stakes examinations. It is therefore not surprising that affective domain learning
outcomes are often the least considered when teachers plan or conduct their science
lessons. This paper is a report on three school-based trial lessons in which students
from two Singapore secondary schools were taught science concepts and skills in the
usual manner with follow-up reflective activities requiring them to draw from their
learning experiences parallel scenarios in their daily lives. The students were taught
chemistry topics like reactivity of potassium metal (taught to a secondary 4 normal
technical class), sedimentation as a separation technique (taught to a secondary 3
express class), and reaction characteristics of weak and strong acids (taught to a
secondary 2 express class). At the end of each lesson, students had to discuss, reflect
and respond to an everyday event or scenario which has characteristics similar to the
chemistry topic or skill they had just learnt. This cognitive-affective integrative
teaching approach aims to help students surface important values, positive social
habits or effective life skills. Although this is not a research project but an exemplary
teaching practice, observations of students' reflective responses to the tasks and
feedback on learning experiences frotn students and teachers show great potential for
this teaching approach to be a possible way in helping raise the profile of affective
learning objectives in school science lessons.
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