Introduce Lab Skills among Students


Teaching and learning process is a complex one that involves many aspects, which contribute to its success. One of these aspects is the method of delivery and practices used in the classroom by the instructor

Learning by doing can be achieved only by doing experimentation. Any course of Science which does not period opportunities for lab work is incomplete from the point of view of teaching. Laboratory work plays a significant role in science education. In the educational process, laboratories can be used to develop scientific notes and create models to test hypotheses. Laboratory work also helps in understanding the difference between observation and presentation of data . In support of this fact, it is documented that “Laboratory activities appeal as a way of allowing students to learn with understanding and, at the same time, engage in a process of constructing knowledge by doing science”. Laboratory experiments have vital importance in the study of all scientific subjects (chemistry, physics, biology). Teaching and learning process is a complex one that involves many aspects, which contribute to its success. One of these aspects is the method of delivery and practices used in the classroom by the instructor.

Education around the world has developed from a teacher-centered learning transforming into a student-centered learning that teaches students how to take responsibility for their own learning and become more independent. Many teachers still follow traditional practices such as direct lecturing, strict use of textbook as the only reference, and rarely extend their teaching to make it relevant to real-life scenarios. As stated by Yore, this does not place any importance on the development of critical thinking skills and all concepts that are important to science literacy. On the other hand, Cobb, McClain, de Silva Lamberg and Dean state that: “Design experiments have both a pragmatic bent and a theoretical orientation developing domain-specific theories by systematically studying those forms of learning and the means of supporting them.” The goals of practical work are to improve students’ understanding, develop their skills in solving problems and understanding the nature of science, by replicating the actions of scientists.
Physics is an experimental science. They were, appropriately, discovered by (or inducted from) careful observation and thoughtful analysis of actual experiments. Genuine understanding entails being able to relate the abstract ideas to the particular facts to which they correspond. The premise of the scientific method is that (observation of) nature is the ultimate judge of the truth of any physical theory. Indeed, experiments designed to prove certain ideas have often ended up showing them to be wrong. Accordingly, all physical concepts must be verified experimentally if they are to be accepted as representing laws of nature. Accordingly, the introductory physics laboratories have the following purposes and goals:
1.To provide an experimental foundation for the theoretical concepts introduced in the lectures. It is important that students have an opportunity to verify some of the ideas for themselves.
2.To familiarize students with experimental apparatus, the scientific method, and methods of data analysis so that they will have some ideas of the inductive process by which the ideas were originated. To teach how to make careful experimental observations and how to think about and draw conclusions from such data.
3. To introduce the methods used for estimating and dealing with experimental uncertainties, including simple ideas in probability theory and the distinctions between random (statistical) and systematic “errors.” This is essential in understanding what valid conclusions can be deduced from experimental data and that, properly obtained, these conclusions are valid, notwithstanding the uncertainty of the data.
4.To learn how to write a technical report which communicates scientific information in a clear and concise manner.
5.To introduce new concepts and techniques which have a wide application in experimental science, but have not been introduced in the standard courses. These may require that the student consult additional textbooks.
6.The laboratory is not a contest whose object is to get the “right answer.” The purpose is to learn how to gain knowledge by looking at reality, not an attempt to make reality conform to preconceptions. The important thing is to learn how to be observant, to really
See what happens, and to deal with this information with the strictest integrity. And to understand, or learn to understand, the meaning of what happens.
Virtually all science teachers recognize that empirical enquiry is the hallmark of the natural sciences. It is hard to imagine learning to do science, or learning about science, without doing laboratory or fieldwork. Experimentation substantiates all scientific knowledge and understanding. Laboratories are won- direful venues for teaching and learning science. They offer students opportunities to think about, discuss, and solve real problems. In the framework of teaching the natural sciences, “laboratory” is a general name for activities based on observations, test experiments done by students. Stu-dent laboratories have been an essential element of the physics curriculum for more than a century. Unfortunately, there is still no agreement as to the educational goals or the best way to assess those goals for physics laboratories. Unfortunately what we are observed in our Education System particularly at Higher secondary level Students give more focus to theory then to Practical as they go for Coaching Centers and skip the classes and what we observed at the End the External Examiners gave them full marks in lab which is not to be good as destroys the Education system. Teachers should be serious towards the Lab also.
Similar is the case with the undergraduate students here they are not taking the lab seriously most number of students think it’s waste of Time. We shouldn’t go through theory only but we should go through practical. Physics lab aids a student in establishing the relevance of the theory. It brings clarity in the mind of the students regarding the basic concept of the subject. Students understand the difference between theory and application. Physics laboratory helps a student in improvising their approach towards the subject. Experiments carried out in Physics laboratories helps students in learning how to be patient and careful while taking observation and hitherto calculating inference. Research is everything in science without research science would get stagnated and it is here in physics lab that a student learns what it is to be a researcher. What are the attributes of a researcher which they need to inculcate? These questions hovering over students mind gets answered in a Physics educational lab. There are different procedures of different experiments in Physics and then there are some basic behavioral rules in a laboratory.
A student of Physics needs to be aware of all this. Working in a school physics laboratory actually puts a fundamental slab for them. Broadly the functions of Physics Laboratory are determined according to the needs of the science industry. If the laboratory is for schools, then the function is crystal clear. The laboratory is aimed at encouraging students to learn physics theories in a more elaborative manner with the involvement of its application. The experiments carried out are mostly the ones in coherence with the curriculum. If the institute is for higher studies whether governmental or non- governmental, there is the objective is to carry out researches and studies relevant to the current industry of science. While carrying out the research the researcher needs to apprehend to the commercial perspective of the study for making it viable.

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