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Improving Quality of Science Teacher Training in European Cooperation

  Assessing Science for Understanding (CZ) Training Module Based on Socio-cognitive Constructivism (CY) European Dimension in Integrated Science Education (LT) Development Procedural Skills in Science Education (BG) Using Laboratory to Enhance Student Learning and Scientific Inquiry (TR)  
Unit 1 - A Conception of Integrated Science Education Unit 2 - Some Philosophic, Didactic and Social Aspects of Integrated Science Education Unit 3 - The Main Tendencies of Integrated Science Education Development Unit 4 & Unit 5 - Integrated Science Education in the Context of the Constructivism Theory
Unit 6 - The Models of Integrated Science Education Unit 7 - The Integrated Science Education Curricula and its Designing Principles in Comprehensive School Unit 8 - The Science Education Tools and Ways of Producing them in the Collaboration Process Unit 9 & Unit 10 - A Constructivist Approach to Integrated Science Education: Teaching Would-be Teachers to do Science
Unit 11 & Unit 12 - Contextual Teaching and Learning of Integrated Science in Lower and Upper Secondary Schools Unit 13 - The Evaluation Strategies of Integrated Science Teaching / Learning Unit 14 - The Collaboration Peculiarities of Science Teachers  

Unit 1
A Conception of Integrated Science Education

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A Conception of Integrated Science Education


Depending on the adopted criteria, integration has never remained to be identical. The process itself was known in didactics long time ago and was used for training by the famous classics of pedagogy such as Komenskij, F.A.Dysterveg, J.Lock, etc. B.Kedrov maintains in his description of the evolution of natural sciences that since the outset of the 20th century, “… two converse tendencies of natural sciences evolution appeared: one was famous for its resolution, embranchment and differentiation of sciences, the other– on the contrary, was seeking to combine the isolated sciences into a single system of knowledge, i.e. integration…” (Kedrov, 1967).

The various ideas of integration spread out in Europe and North America pretty late after the World War II. The very first educational projects of integrated natural sciences were conceived in Great Britain. Later, teaching integrated natural sciences was distributed into the schools of the Netherlands and other continents including Australia, Asia, etc. New projects were developed: Biological Sciences Curriculum Project, Elementary Science Study, etc. (Charles B.Klasek, 1972).

The integration issues of natural sciences have been a field of interest for many scientists from various countries. Thomas R.Koballa, Lowell J.Bethel (1985) paid close attention towards the integration of natural sciences into the other educational subjects. H.Cohen and F.Staley (1982), R. Francis (1996) and other scientists were trying to prove the meaning of natural sciences and mathematics integration. Judah L.Schwartz and Jerrold R.Zacharis (1977) additionally supplied the integration method with the science of technology. They supposed there would not be possible without the formation of the concept of modern technologies. A.Glatthorn and A.Foshay (1981) were interested in the issues of launching integrated teaching programs. Arthur A.Carin and Robert B.Sund (1989) paid much attention to contemporary teaching of natural sciences. They tried to define contemporary natural science as a subject as well as considered the question how to integrate the subjects of natural sciences into the other subjects, how to individuate the educational process, how to apply the latest technologies (for instance, micro computers, etc.). Other researchers focused on the problems of the integrated curricula/syllabuses. The following main points can be underlined:

In addition, integrated natural science education is examined in the context of the ideas of constructivism. A basic premise of constructivism is that knowledge is not passively received but developed as students construct their own meanings (Treagust, 1996). Teachers who valued their students existing ideas` and attempted to link learning to them (i.e., using a constructivist premise about learning) were more able to make relevant links and transfer of skills across curriculum areas. They were more likely to involve integration as a framework in their teaching (Waldrip, 2001). According to Bentley and Watts, learning is always an interpretative process involving individuals` constructions of meaning. New constructions are based upon previous experience and prior knowledge (Bentley, Watts, 1994, p.24).

Tasks (assignments)

Case study

A teacher N of a school YYY teaches physics, always searches for different forms of work and frequently makes original decisions. Sometimes, the classes given by the teacher involves more than the taught subject, for instance physics / chemistry, physics / biology or physics / physical education and physics / music. The students enjoy such lessons as they find them easier, funnier etc.

Questions to Case Study


The experience of teaching integrated natural sciences is enormous. The ideas of integrated education spread out over the schools of Europe and the North America in 1960 – 1970. The first projects of the similar method of teaching were set up in Great Britain: Nuffield Secondary Science, Scottish Integrated Science, etc. Later, such projects as “Improvement of the Curriculum of Natural Science Subjects” and “Natural Sciences – Society – Technologies”, etc. were established in the U.S.A. The models of integrated natural sciences teaching carried a character of the experiment the results of which were thoroughly assessed.

A primary purpose of integrated natural science education is the construction of the whole world picture, the development of the child’s world outlook and intense correlation with an environment, the fosterage of affective experience. In this case, integration helps to avoid resolving educational content into related or loosely related fields that expand the child’s world picture.

The integration of natural science education with other educational subjects should present pupils the knowledge of natural sciences as well as the material produced in the textbooks and workbooks that are linked with the current affairs of school, with the customs and traditions of the schoolchildren and their relatives of the inhabited locality. The closest natural objects such as the park, forest, lake, mound, etc. are not out of the way. Hereby, the learners are encouraged to show interest in an environment of their inhabited locality, are stimulated to know more and more, their thoughtful evaluation of nature is developed, etc. Integral natural science education requires a different approach to the educational process itself.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the main point of integrated science education?

Science education is an integral phenomenon that can be grasped as a whole science. It is disintegrated in the substantial parts such as ecology, environment education, etc. The parts of any of the units advance and finally settle in the complete wholeness. In order to understand the problems of science education, they have to be investigated complexly embracing different fields and levels.

What will you consider as a classical definition of Integrated Science?

There are many classical definitions of Integrated Science which you may find in many advanced books.

Next Reading

Adeniyi, E. Ola (1987). Curriculum Development and the Concept of "Integration" in Science - Some Implications for General Education. Science Education, Vol. 71, No. 4, p. 523-533.

Duit R. (2007). Science Education Research Internationally: Conceptions, Research Methods, Domains of Research. Eurasia Journal of Mathematics, Science & Technology Education, 3(1), p. 3-15. Available via Internet: http://www.ejmste.com/v3n1/EJMSTEv3n1_Duit.pdf

Gedrovics J. (2000). Subject integration – goal or tool? In.: Today`s Reforms for Tomorrow`s School`s (ATEE Spring University). Klaipėda, p.76-80.

Hodson D. (1992). In search of a meaningful relationship: an exploration of some issues relating to integration in science and science education. International Journal of Science Education, Volume 14, Issue 5, pages 541 – 562.

Lamanauskas V. (2003). Natural Science Education in Comprehensive School. Siauliai: Siauliai University Press, p. 514.

Lamanauskas V. (2007). Science Education as a Core Component of Educatedness. Problems of Education in the 21st Century (Science Education in a Changing Society), Vol. 1, p. 5-6.

Lamanauskas V. (2007). Modern science education as investment to the future. Journal of Baltic Science Education, Vol. 6, No., 1, p. 4.

Riquarts, K. Hansen, K.-Henning. (1998). Collaboration among teachers, researchers and in-service trainers to develop an integrated science curriculum. Journal of Curriculum Studies, Volume 30, Number 6, 1 November, pp. 661-676.

Wellington, J. (1996). Secondary Science. Contemporary issues and practical approaches. London and New York.


Abraham Shumsky. (1965). Creative Teaching in the Elementary School. New York.

Arthur A. Carin, Robert B.Sund. (1989). Teaching Modern Science. Merrill Publishing Company.

Charles B. Klasek. (1972). Instructional Media in the Modern School. Professional Educators Publications.

Cohen H., Staley F. (1982). Integrating with Science: One Way to Bring Science Back into the Elementary School Day. School Science and Mathematics, Vol.82, P. 560-570.

Bentley D., Watts M. (1994). Primary science and technology. Practical alternatives. Buckingham*Philadelphia: Open University Press.

Glatthorn A., Foshay A. (1991). Integrated Curriculum. In.: The International Encyclopedia of Curriculum, P. 160-161.

Fogerty R. (1991). Ten ways to integrate the curriculum. Educational Leadership, 49(2).

Francis R. A Procedure for Integrating Math and Science Units. School Science and Mathematics, Vol.96(3), p. 114-119.

Jacobs H.H. (1989). The interdisciplinary concept model: theory and practice. Gifted Student Quarterly, Fall.

Koballa T.R., Bethel L.J. (1985). Integration of Science and Other Subjects. Research Within Reach. Science Education.

Korozhneva L., Melnik E. (2003). The integrative approach to studying of natural sciences in primary school. In.: Importance of Science Education in the Light of Social and Economic Changes in the Central and East European Countries (The materials of the IV IOSTE symposium for Central and East European Countries). Kursk, p.118-119.

Lang M. (2001). Teacher professionalism and change: developing a professional self through reflective assessment. In. H.Behrendt, H.Dahncke, R.Duit et al. (eds). Research in Science Education – Past, Present, and Future. Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Publishers, p.131-136.

Lamanauskas, V. (2001a). Gamtamokslinis ugdymas pradinėje mokykloje /Pasaulio pažinimo didaktikos pagrindai/. Šiauliai.

Schwartz J.L., Zacharis J.R. (1977). Science, Mathematics and Technology : Recognizing the Quantitative Arts. National Elementary Principal, p.87.

Šapokienė E. (2001). Mokykla+aplinkotyra=VIOLA. Utena: “Utenos Indra”.

Treagust D., Gräber W. (2001). Teaching chemical equilibrium in Australian and German senior high schools. In. H.Behrendt, H.Dahncke, R.Duit et al. (eds). Research in Science Education – Past, Present, and Future. Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Publishers, p.143-148.

Waldrip B. (2001). Primary Teachers` Views About Integrating Science and Literacy. Australian Primary and Junior Science Journal, Vol.17, Issue 1.

Underhill R.G. (1994). Editorial: What is integrated mathematics and science? School Science and Mathematics, 94, 1.

Аквилева Г.Н., Клепинина З.А. (2001). Методика преподования естествознания в начальной школе. Москва: Владос.

Кедров Б.М. (1967). Предмет и взаимосвязь естественных наук. Москва, С. 302.