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Cycle 6 (2017 Deadline)

Integrating ISLE in integrated science instruction to improve science teachers’ abilities on STEM education

PI: Irwandi Irwandi,, Syiah Kuala University
U.S. Partner: Eugenia Etkina, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey

Project Overview:

Since the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) was firstly administered, Indonesia has consistently performed poorly in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). In 2015, Indonesia was ranked 63rd for mathematics and 62nd for science out of 70 countries. Current results of the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) also show that the abilities of Indonesian students to apply and reason in science and math are below average. One reason could be that common teaching practices in Indonesia rarely promote critical thinking skills. Therefore, improvement is needed in teacher content knowledge and skills in STEM education. Responding to this challenge, in late 2013 Indonesia launched a new curriculum promoting critical thinking, called “curriculum 2013” or K-13. K-13 introduces the scientific approach as a teaching methodology following five stages: observing, questioning, experimenting, rationalizing, and communicating. The Indonesian government has invested a great deal in training teachers in K-13, but many problems have been encountered in implementation, as the teachers were not ready and lacked sufficient pedagogical content knowledge to integrate the scientific approach into their instruction.

Investigative Science Learning Environment (ISLE), an approach developed by U.S. partner Dr. Eugenia Etkina of Rutgers University, improves students’ scientific abilities by bringing actual science practice into the classroom. In ISLE students learn by observing real phenomena, analyzing patterns, devising explanations, and testing them experimentally (Etkina, 2015). Inspired by taking an ISLE training workshop from Dr. Etkina in 2015, the PI Dr. Irwandi and his team will use their PEER support to develop ISLE-based integrated science instruction to improve teachers’ abilities in STEM education. In the initial phase, they will apply ISLE instruction in integrated science courses at the secondary school level in Indonesia, and later they will apply it in the lab instruction component of a university-level basic physics course.

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