Academic journal article International Journal of Instructional Media

Relationships between Instructional Activities and Science Achievement of Adolescent Students in Japan: Findings from the Third International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS)

Academic journal article International Journal of Instructional Media

Relationships between Instructional Activities and Science Achievement of Adolescent Students in Japan: Findings from the Third International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS)

Article excerpt

A number of efforts have been directed toward designing effective instruction for teaching and learning in science and mathematics. For instance, several types of instructional efforts have focused on the need to provide training in anatomy without using dissections (Zirkel & Zirkel, 1997). Toward that goal, teaching models and computer simulations have been developed. Other research has examined the effects of differing types of graphical presentations on student learning about the anatomy and processes of the human heart (Roshan & Dwyer, 1998). Similarly, the use of an instructional video on the characteristics of Lyme disease resulted in improved student knowledge of the disorder (Lawless, Brown, & Cartter, 1997). Other recent studies have assessed the development and use of computer instruction for biology, chemistry, and earth sciences (Dix, Allendoerfer, Jones, Lacey, & Laurenzi, 1995-1996; Kelly, 1997-1998; Ngai & Chen, 1997-1998). Several instructional programs for science instruction for elementary and secondary school students have been developed. Those programs have the goal of encouraging students to consider health sciences careers. For instance, a program in San Francisco provides teams of first-year medical students to visit sixth-grade public school classrooms (Doyle, 1999). Another program is designed to improve the problem-solving skills and science knowledge of students from fourth-grade to twelfth-grade in Los Angeles (Palacio-Cayetano, Kanowith-Klein, & Stevens, 1999). In this program, teachers work with medical faculty from the University of California (Los Angeles) to develop problem-solving software that incorporates realistic situations related to health sciences problems. Finally, an instructional program has been designed to provide junior-high and high school students in Boston with an opportunity to learn about science by working in university laboratories (DeRosa & Phillips, 1999). The importance of these types of problem-based learning experiences for science teaching has been discussed in a recent overview of emerging instructional theories (Reigeluth & Squire, 1998).

Students in Japan have tended to show science and mathematics achievement that has been higher than international averages (Mayer, Tajika, & Stanley, 1991; U.S. Department of Education, 1997). Consequently, there has been a recent focus on science and mathematics teaching in Japan. For instance, recent findings indicate that extensive practice is incorporated into the daily schedule of students in Japan (Shimizu, 1998). A second instructional practice that has been identified is the use of supplementary books that include practice problems in mathematics and science; the use of such books in Japanese junior high schools provides expanded opportunities for further study (Trefla, 1998). Regarding classroom instructional practices, recent research has found that adolescent students in Japan who earned higher mathematics achievement test scores reported more frequent use of several specific activities, including using things from everyday life to solve mathematics problems, frequently being given homework, and having teachers more frequently solve an example related to the new topic (House, 2001). Recent findings also indicate that students in Japan who spent more time studying mathematics and less time watching television or working tended to show higher mathematics achievement test scores (Fuligni & Stevenson, 1995). Considering student characteristics, students in Japan were more likely to believe that studying hard was important for mathematics achievement while having a good teacher was not particularly important (Chen & Stevenson, 1995). Finally, it has been noted that Asian (Japanese and Chinese) mothers of elementary-school children expressed more concern about their children's problems in mathematics than did American mothers, despite the fact that the Asian students had earned higher mathematics test scores (Crystal & Stevenson, 1991). …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.