Biology Teaching Education Essay Research Coursework (Essay Sample)
First, These prompts relate to a laboratory class. Respond to one or the other and make it clear which one you are addressing. Second, comment on the following three posts
As to the learning outcomes of a laboratory- how do those relate to the lab activities in a course?
Some educators have said that students sometimes "leave their heads/brains in the hall during lab". Why might they say that?
Second, comment on the following three posts
I am responding to the second prompt.
When people say that students leave their heads in the hall during lab, they talk about how students don't think much during lab. This is due to lab being students following a set of instructions, doing some math in certain classes, and being done. Most of the work now is eve done by the computer programs.
I both agree and disagree with this idea. I agree that for many classes, lab is just following some instructions, writing some numbers the computer gives you, and doing a small amount of math or explaining to finish. There is not much thinking involved in this process, as the steps are laid out for you.
I disagree however, with the idea that no thinking goes on in most labs. While many times, you can yadda yadda your way through any work, in at least a handful, you have to truly think about it. For example, in my physics 250 class, for many labs we needed to figure out exactly what could have been wrong in the experiment to give us our error. He also pushed us to be specific, as "human error" would give no points. This meant trying to figure out how something may have been measured inaccurately, or testing if the equipment was fully calibrated. Due to these, I feel like whether students leave their brains in the halls during lab rests on the professor teaching the lab.
Many educators say that student "leave their heads in the halls during lab" and I believe that to be true. In lab we are told to apply the concept we learned in lecture to the problem given to us, but many times we are thought how to critically solve those problems. In lectures we are sometimes thought only how a problem is solved in a specific way but when students come to lab they are unable to critically think about the problem. Sometime professors try to give students too much information without explaining to them the relevance of the material and how it can be used in a way that pertains to them. I am a TA for chemistry labs and have seen students struggle with labs when they do well in lectures because they aren't able to apply the material and think critically about what is given to them. I also feel as if student do not try as hard during lab settings because they think it's easy and doesn't require as much work as lectures when it should be given the same amount of time.
Some educators tend to say that students "leave their heads/brains in the hall during lab." I think educators tend to say this because students have trouble connecting what they learned in the lecture portion to the lab portion of the class. In the lecture portion, most classes involve powerpoints and occasional examples on the board. Whereas in the lab more concepts are applied and involves a hands on approach. This may be difficult for students if they do not fully understand the lecture portion and then try to demonstrate experiments in the lab.
Educators make the argument under the assumption that while in the lab, students do not think much. I disagree with this assumption by educators. Students follow instructions and write down observations or explain some arguments. The argument is that this process is just an application of what the students already learned during the lectures hence they do not need to think much. However, I disagree with this perception. In the lab, there’s too much at stake. It involves the application of more than only what was learnt in class. In the lab, students need to be creative. In the lectures, students only learn specific ways of dealing with problems. In the lab, new issues are presented. Problems that they cannot solve with just the knowledge from the lectures (Miller et al., 2019). Here, they apply creativity. Creativity is a process that requires a lot of engagement of the mind.
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