Teaching and Learning Animal Classification with e-Resources: A Tale of Two Classrooms

By Fiona Ngai-ying Ching and Winnie Wing-mui So.

Published by The International Journal of Science in Society

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

Animal classification has long been a central part of biological science education. However, research studies have found that the concepts of animals and animal classification are challenging for students. This paper discusses two approaches adopted by teachers in teaching animal classification to sixth graders with e-resources. One approach flows from the general rules of animal classification to individual groups of animals, resembling a ‘deductive’ way of thinking. The other approach, instead, flows from different groups of animals to the general rules of animal classification and resembles an ‘inductive’ way of thinking. Lesson designs created by the two teachers, student pre-and post-lesson tests and interviews with focus group students are analysed to gain understanding of how different aspects of teaching and learning animal classification with e-resources are related to the two approaches. The results suggest that both approaches are effective in introducing the concepts of animals and animal classification as well as engaging students in learning.

Keywords: Animal Classification, e-Resources, Internet, Learning Environments, Primary Science

The International Journal of Science in Society, Volume 3, Issue 3, pp.107-116. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 788.565KB).

Fiona Ngai-ying Ching

Senior Research Assistant, Department of Science and Environmental Studies, The Hong Kong Institute of Education, Hong Kong, Hong Kong

Prof. Winnie Wing-mui So

Associate Professor, Department of Science and Environmental Studies, The Hong Kong Institute of Education, Hong Kong, Hong Kong