From Research on Local Materials to the Learning of Science: An Inquiry-based Laboratory for Undergraduates

By Namkang Sriwattanarothai, Piyachat Jittam, Pintip Ruenwongsa and Bhinyo Panijpan.

Published by The Learner Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

We present two new instructional learning units for an undergraduate life science laboratory. The novelty is in applying the results of our scientific research to the teaching of a student laboratory class in which one part involves actual manipulation and the other handling of data provided by the researcher. In this way, the researcher or the researcher cum lab instructor with superior pedagogical content knowledge was better at responding to unexpected results because of the broad hands-on experience previously acquired from the conventional research. To gain manipulative skills in science, our students participated actively in an inquiry-based learning session. They had to perform learning cycle activities from which they were expected to achieve high levels of learning. The laboratory activities for the students were of two topics i.e., seaweed enzyme and the Siamese fighting fish DNA. Results from this study revealed that the seaweed enzyme learning (SSL) unit helps students to acquire concepts on enzyme-catalyzed reaction. Also the fighting fish learning (FFL) unit enables students to conceptualize about species and natural selection. Additionally, these learning units promote students’ positive perception of science learning. The newly developed learning units may provide useful learning models for teaching and learning in the life science course.

Keywords: Enzyme, Siamese Fighting Fish, Learning Cycle, Natural Selection, Seaweed, Species

The International Journal of Learning, Volume 16, Issue 6, pp.459-474. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.397MB).

Namkang Sriwattanarothai

Ph.D. candidate, Institute for Innovative Learning, Mahidol University, Bangkok, Thailand

Namkang Sriwattanarothai is a Ph.D. candidate in Science and Technology Education Programme of Institute for Innovative Learning, Mahidol University.

Piyachat Jittam

Lecturer, Institute for Innovative Learning, Mahidol University, Bangkok, Thailand

Piyachat Jittam obtained her Ph.D. (Science and Technology Education) from the Institute for Innovative Learning, Mahidol University in 2008. During her Ph.D. study, she was supported by a scholarship under the program for the Promotion of Science and Mathematics Talented Teachers of the Institute for the Promotion of Teaching Science and Technology. She was a supporting staff at Department of Biochemistry, Faculty of Science. Now she is a lecturer in the Institute at Mahidol University.

Pintip Ruenwongsa

Deputy Director, Institute for Innovative Learning, Mahidol University, Bangkok, Thailand

Pintip Ruenwongsa is the Deputy Director of Institute for Innovative Learning, Mahidol University and Chair of the Doctor of Philosophy Programme in Science and Technology Education of this institute.

Bhinyo Panijpan

Deputy, Institute for Innovative Learning, Mahidol University, Bangkok, Thailand

Bhinyo Panijpan is the Director of the Institute for Innovative Learning, Mahidol University.

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