Madrid, 31 (European Press)
A study published by the International Journal of Science Education, by a team of researchers from the University of Barcelona (UB) and Rovira i Virgili (URV) University, acknowledged improvements in terms of learning with the understanding that the “Science Bits” educational project provides students between fifth primary and fifth grade. Fourth of the ESO Scientific Materials.
With more than 20 international awards, “Science Bits” are used by educational centers in Spain, the United States, Mexico, Chile and other countries. The programme, developed in Spain by the International Science Teaching Foundation (ISTF), is based on the 5E learning model (participate, explore, explain, illustrate and evaluate) and includes all natural science subjects (natural environment, physics, chemistry, biology and geology), from 5º from elementary to 4º from ESO.
Now, a study has analyzed, over a five-year period, the short- and long-term theoretical learning of students from two schools that offered “Science Bits” in science classes, compared to two schools that maintained more traditional methods by relying on textbooks for use.
The study’s conclusion is that the conceptual learning of students who studied using ‘Science Bits’ improves by about half a standard deviation, which in educational research is a relevant effect, with respect to those schools that maintained more traditional methods. Thanks to this study, “Science Bits” is the only educational project whose effectiveness has been scientifically validated, according to the ISTF.
One of the centers that provided the ‘science bits’ analyzed by the study, Fundació Llor de Sant Boi de Llobregat (Barcelona), also analyzed the results of fourth-year ESO students in the diagnostic tests administered each year by the Generalitat de Catalunya, for the duration of the period. in which to study.
“The trend was clearly up: more and more students were placed in the range of those with high or average scores, and fewer of them got low or average low scores,” Josep says. This school.
“The 5E model provides us with a structured and well-established framework. Its five types of activities consist of activating prior knowledge through a relevant context (engagement), exploring scientific concepts embodied in that context in a logical and collaborative way (Explore), formalizing and structuring new knowledge (explained). ), applying this knowledge in other contexts by implementing a group project (elaboration) and reclaiming the acquired knowledge to solve various problems (assessment)”, adds Mikkel Martin, Professor of Science and Mathematics at the same school.
Students of the other educational center analyzed, Solc School in Barcelona, also experienced significant improvement according to the study findings. “The ‘Science Bits’ methodology is very successful because it is based on building knowledge from exploration, inference, and contextual application,” says Pep Espígol, science teacher and educational director at Solc.
In their opinion, their experience after these years also revealed two additional strengths. On the one hand, he explains that “activities in the assessment section allow for contextual, rich and cross-sectional assessment of learning,” which in his opinion is a “good example” that by shifting assessment, they change the way they teach and learn.. “On the other hand, experience simulators are so realistic that They make it possible to turn a standard classroom into a laboratory, but also suggest to teachers a series of practices that can be implemented in a real way in the center’s laboratory,” he adds.
All schools participating in the study are part of Fundació [email protected]It is an association of charter schools committed to educational innovation.
“With the modest exception of some programs that address various specific learning difficulties, it is not unusual for educational materials offered to schools to have scientific research to support them,” says Héctor Ruiz Martín, a researcher in cognitive psychology of memory and learning in education. settings and the director of the ISTF, who thus justifies that they have collaborated with a team of researchers from UB and URV to analyze the effects of the program over the past five years.
“If we in the field of health demand that any medical treatment be subject to strict scientific control that guarantees its efficacy and assesses its risks before its application, why not do the same in education? Why not demand that the methods and educational resources provided to schools are based on research and subject to study to verify their effectiveness?” Ruiz says.
“MATH BITS” EN 2021
This year, the foundation took it one step further and expanded its proposal by incorporating a team of renowned researchers in mathematics education to form ‘Math Bits’, a commitment to the current system of mathematics learning because it is also based on scientific evidence.
“The joint proposal of ‘Math Bits’ and ‘Science Bits’ signifies an essential step towards integrated teaching and learning in the STEM field. Both projects share an environment, a methodological approach and educational management tools, and the ability to overlap with each other to achieve a common approach to science and mathematics,” he explains Hector Ruiz.
Math Bits offers various types of activities that aim to build meaning and standardize mathematical concepts and procedures through regular practice and application in relevant contexts. In addition, it includes hundreds of interactive multimedia resources for active and participatory learning, as well as easy-to-use tools to ensure complete and personalized monitoring of each student’s learning.
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