International Journal of Humanities and Social Science

ISSN 2220-8488 (Print), 2221-0989 (Online) 10.30845/ijhss

Chemistry Teachers’ Role in Changing Practical Work from Simple ‘Hands On’ Activities to More of ‘Minds on’ Activities
Ituma Monica, Twoli Nicholas, Khatete David

Practical work is important for effective learning of Chemistry. In most secondary schools especially in Kenya, practical work in Chemistry mainly involves ‘hands on’ activities where learners follow laid down procedures to arrive at a predetermined outcome. This may lead to working on practical activities without much thought of the actions and thus low conceptualization resulting in poor performance in Chemistry at the end of the course. This study aims at providing alternative approach on how to engage the learners’ mind more in practical activities. The process started by collecting data through observations of convectional practical lessons, followed by analysis of instructional materials used by Chemistry teachers and questionnaires for the Chemistry teachers. The findings showed that the strategies used to teach practical work did not adequately focus on the learners’ ‘minds on’ activity. There was need, therefore for the re-design of the activities to support the implementation of learnercentred investigative practical work in secondary school Chemistry. The study suggests a model for organising instructional activities for Chemistry practical work at secondary school level.

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