THE EFFECT OF PROJECT BASED LEARNING ON SCIENCE UNDERGRADUATES’ LEARNING OF ELECTRICITY, ATTITUDE TOWARDS PHYSICS AND SCIENTIFIC PROCESS SKILLS
 
Abstract
In the study, it was aimed to investigate the effect of project based learning on the first year science undergraduates’ attitudes towards physics, electricity achievement, and development of scientific process skills. In these quasi-experimental nonequivalent groups pretest-posttest design study, the sample consisted of total of 90 first year science undergraduates (prospective teacher) enrolled in the Science Teacher Training Department in Bayburt Education Faculty in 2006–2007 academic year in Turkey. The electricity title was taught through project based learning in the experimental group, while traditional teacher-centered instruction was followed in the control group through the second semester. The data was collected through three different tests; Electricity Achievement Test, Attitude towards Physics Test and Scientific Process Skills Test. The tests were administered to the experimental and the control group students at the beginning and end of the course as pretest and posttest. In addition, to explore further the in-class atmosphere of the experimental group, the observation notes taken by the researcher through ten weeks and the semi-structured interviews of 30-40 min conducted with the purposely selected five students from experimental group. Pretest and posttest scores collected by the three tests were statistically analyzed applying the repeated measures multivariate analysis of variance (MANOVA). The statistical analysis showed that there were statistically significant differences between experimental and control group with respect to students’ attitude toward physics, electricity achievement and scientific process skills. Furthermore, it was found from the qualitative data that the experimental results support the idea that the project based learning enhanced the students’ learning and helped their attitudes towards physics and research skills to improve.
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