Basseterre, St. Kitts, December 09, 2015 (SKNIS): The first phase of implementing the use of micro-science kits in classrooms has begun with a two-day orientation workshop, which was held on December 8-9 at the Customs Conference Room, for primary and secondary school teachers in an effort to enhance teaching and learning of science through experimentation.
Speaking on behalf of the Minister of Education, the Honourable Shawn Richards, Eleanor Phillip, Senior Assistant Secretary in the ministry, stated that the UNESCO initiative is ideal where space is limited or when a physical lab is unavailable.
“The micro-science kits are small scale science labs that are portable and uses materials in small quantities thereby minimizing waste and cost,” Mrs. Phillip explained, adding that the kits make experimentation more feasible for varied age groups as they can be used for both primary and secondary education.
“These kits are very suitable for our context,” she stated. “Teachers in the primary schools can access these portable labs and materials to engage our students in experiments. Secondary school teachers would no longer have to wait until a lab is available as the kits can be used inside of the classroom.”
Mrs. Phillip stated that “learning science through experiments is very applicable at this time where the focus is on discovery learning.”
“This underpinning philosophy of using micro-science kits is well entrenched in UNESCOs pillars for learning,” she said. “The first two pillars highlight the fact that students should learn to know and learn to do.”
“One of the principles of science education is that learning experiences should reflect a view of scientific knowledge and scientific enquiry that is explicit,” stated Mrs. Phillip, noting that the Ministry of Education through the Curriculum Development Unit (CDU) also embraces the thrust for enquiry based science education.
The next phase will be to pilot the kits in the classroom which will be monitored and evaluated. An assessment will also be carried out to ascertain how effective the kits will be in improving science learning and teaching. The third phase will be the full implementation of micro-science kits across the federation.