The Development of a Predictive Theory of Science Education Based Upon Information Processing Theory

El-Banna, Hamdy Abdel-Azeem M (1987) The Development of a Predictive Theory of Science Education Based Upon Information Processing Theory. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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This thesis describes the establishment of a new predictive theory for science education which can give direction to the improvement and transformation of science teaching at all levels. It is based upon Information Processing Theory. It has the ability to predict performance in science on the basis of independent psychological tests and to provide a framework for understanding how scientific learning takes place. The development of the theory has resulted from empirical work on 529 school pupils at "0" Grade (age 16) and on 440 Glasgow University students, through two series of experiments in addition to two confirmatory studies in the U.S.A. and Egypt. The first series related to students performance in individual questions, and the second related to students over-all performance in conventional examinations. Throughout this empirical work, a constant pattern has emerged showing that the students' holding-thinking space limited their ability to solve problems of different complexity. As soon as there was an overload on students' holding-thinking space, their performance fell away. In addition, the students' holding-thinking space is considered to be a good predictor for success in the conventional "0" Grade examinations, as well as the university examinations not only in chemistry, but also in physics, biology and mathematics. Where the theory and the empirical measurements have not agreed exactly, further investigation has been done to examine the disparities. In some cases new understanding has occurred which has allowed the theory to be modified. This thesis illustrates the importance of the teaching of learning strategies. In fact, it raises the teaching of strategies on to a par with the teaching of content. Three ways of successfully reducing the load on the students' holding-thinking space have been described and tested. The effect of the limitation of students' perceptual fields and of holding-thinking space on learning and problem solving tasks is also explored. The theory, which has been established in this thesis, answered some of the questions that educators have concerning students' limitations in learning and in problem solving. The outworking of this theory in terms of instructional methods, design of computer programs, books and laboratory experiences, is forming the basis of several follow-up studies.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: Science education
Date of Award: 1987
Depositing User: Enlighten Team
Unique ID: glathesis:1987-77492
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 14 Jan 2020 11:53
Last Modified: 14 Jan 2020 11:53

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