Diagnostic Testing and Remedial Teaching in Chemistry at Secondary school Level By Dr. Rajeswari.K[1]

 

Abstract

Educational diagnosis implies the use of more or less technical procedures designed to locate specific learning and instructional difficulties, and to determine their causes.  Since students’ progress is to be appraised towards desirable educational objectives, it is necessary to identify factors in the teaching- learning situations that may be interfering with optimum growth of individual learner.  Such deficiencies tend to accumulate with one deficiency leading to another so that after a stage learning becomes quite impossible and thus the student continues to fall back with the gap widening more and more.The exact nature of a child’s handicap must be revealed before it is possible to undertake a remedial programme. The more specific the diagnostic information revealed, the more exactly the remedial material can be made to fit the need. In the present study the investigator  analysed  the extent of practice of Diagnostic Testing and Remedial Teaching, identified the procedures adopted by Secondary School Chemistry Teachers in Diagnostic Testing and Remedial Teaching and  the practical difficulties likely to be encountered by Secondary School Chemistry Teachers while using Diagnostic Test and Remedial Teaching.

INTRODUCTION

The process of determining the causes of educational difficulties is known as educational diagnosis.  The scope of educational diagnosis is much larger than the use of tests and examinations. It is not proper to limit the scope of diagnosis to locating the causes that interfere with the ordinary academic prognosis of the pupils. An adequate diagnosis may involve the use of intelligence tests, both general and specific, and of diagnostic achievement types of laboratory apparatus for measuring sensory activity, co-ordination and the like. Other forms of appraisal such as rating scales, controlled observation, questionnaires   and interviews can also be used for diagnosis in education.

A diagnostic test is a test designed to locate specific learning deficiencies in case of specific individuals at a specific stage of learning so that specific efforts could be made to overcome those deficiencies. It helps the teacher in identifying the status of the learner at the end of a particular lesson, unit or course of learning as to what specific teaching or learning points have been properly grasped by the learner. If such a deficiency is located in several students, it become obvious to the teacher to reflect upon whether something went wrong with his method of teaching. After administering a diagnostic test or battery test to students, a teacher takes remedial measures to overcome the deficiencies thus discovered.

Chemistry is one of the most important disciplines among sciences, which has a close connection with the daily life. In any countries, teaching of Chemistry has been an integral part of the curriculum at all levels of education for many years.  Modern developments in the field of Agriculture, Industry, Architecture, Medicine etc are all contributions of Chemistry. Due to the widespread applications, Chemistry has become an indispensable subject for most of the optional combinations in Science faculty.  Moreover, those who wish to continue their studies in any other branch of Science namely, Biological science or Mathematics require a minimum knowledge of Chemistry.

Educational diagnosis implies the use of more or less technical procedures designed to locate specific learning and instructional difficulties, and to determine their causes.  Since students’ progress is to be appraised towards desirable educational objectives, it is necessary to identify factors in the teaching- learning situations that may be interfering with optimum growth of individual learner.  Such deficiencies tend to accumulate with one deficiency leading to another so that after a stage learning becomes quite impossible and thus the student continues to fall back with the gap widening more and more.  It is here that the teacher is required to know the specific weakness of the student both individually and collectively and provide suitable remedial teaching.  To locate the specific weaknesses in the learning of his pupils the teacher may use analysis of assignment in periodical and final examinations and also oral work in the classroom.  But the more systematic way is to construct diagnostic tests and administer them for these purposes.

The analysis of diagnostic test results is useful to the teacher to identify the difficulties of the students before they are firmly rooted in the students thinking and important learning points that carry over into other sections of the work can be clarified and reinforced.  The exact nature of a child’s handicap must be revealed before it is possible to undertake a remedial programme. The more specific the diagnostic information revealed, the more exactly the remedial material can be made to fit the need.

OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY

  1. To analyse the Extent of practice of Diagnostic Testing and Remedial Teaching
  2. To identify the Procedures adopted by Secondary School Chemistry Teachers in Diagnostic Testing and Remedial Teaching
  3. To identify the Practical difficulties likely to be encountered by Secondary School Chemistry Teachers while using Diagnostic Test and Remedial Teaching
  4. To collect the Suggestions from Secondary School Chemistry Teachers for the successful practice of Diagnostic Testing and Remedial Teaching in Chemistry at Secondary School Level.

METHODOLOGY

Tools Used:

Rating Scale and Questionnaire for Secondary School Chemistry teachers.

Sample of the Study:

The sample consisted of  120 Secondary school  teachers in Chemistry.

The details regarding the ratings of teachers on the Extent of Practice of Diagnostic testing and Remedial Teaching in Chemistry at Secondary School Level are given in Table1.

Table 1. Ratings of Teachers Regarding the Extent of Practice of Diagnostic Testing and Remedial                            Teaching in Chemistry at Secondary Level

Sl No Aspects Responses in percentage
Always Some Times Never
1 Extent of practice of Diagnostic Testing 11 34 55
2 Extent of Practice of Remedial Teaching 20 50 30

It is found that very few teachers in Chemistry  recorded that they are alwayIs using diagnostic test (11%)and   Remedial Teaching (20%). 50% of teachers reported that they are using Remedial Teaching Sometimes. 30% of teachers reported that they are Never using Remedial Teaching in Chemistry at Secondary  Level.

Ratings of Teachers regarding the procedures / methods adopted for diagnostic testing in Chemistry at Secondary level

The percentage of responses of teachers for each item was calculated and the details are given in Table 2.

 

Table 2. Procedures/ Methods adopted by Teachers for Diagnostic Testing

SI.No. Procedure adopted Responses in Percentage
1 Diagnostic Test 86.50
2 Achievement Test 46.00
3 Oral Test 45.00
4 Interview 28.00
5 Discussion 16.50

Regarding the procedures adopted by the teachers for, Diagnostic testing in Chemistry at Secondary Level, a great majority of teachers (86.5%) reported that they are using Diagnostic test in Chemistry to diagnose the difficulties encountered by students in Chemistry. The other procedures reported are Achievement test (46%), Oral test (45%), Interview (28%) and Discussion (16.5%)

It can be concluded that eventhough there are several methods and procedures, majority of teachers are using Diagnostic Test for identifying errors committed by students in Chemistry at Secondary School Level.

Ratings of Secondary School Chemistry Teachers Regarding the Procedures/ Method Adopted For Remedial Teaching

Details regarding the Procedures/ Methods adopted by the teachers for Remedial teaching in Chemistry at Secondary School level are in the table given below.

Table 3.                 Procedures adopted by Teachers for Remedial Teaching

Sl No Procedures Adopted Responses in Percentage
1 Remedial Teaching by Teacher 68.50
2 Self-learning Method 35.00
3 Supplementary Reading Materials 28.50
4 Peer Tutorial 20.00
5 Project 18.25
6 Assignments 12.00
7 Activity Methods 8.50

Analysis of the data revealed the following points: Regarding the procedures adopted by the teachers, for Remedial Teaching in Chemistry at Secondary Level, a great majority of teachers (68.50%) recorded that they are using Remedial Teaching.  The other procedures reported are Self Learning Method (35%), Using Supplementary reading materials (28.5%), Peer tutorial (20%), Project (18.25%), Assignments (12%) and Activity methods (8.5%).

It can be concluded from the analysis that even though there are several methods or Remedial teaching, majority of teachers are interested in using Remedial teaching by the teacher to overcome the difficulties encountered by Secondary School students in Chemistry.

Ratings of Teachers Regarding the Practical Difficulties Likely To Be Encountered By Teachers While Using Diagnostic Test in Chemistry

                The details regarding the practical difficulties likely to be encountered by teachers while using Diagnostic test in Chemistry at Secondary School level are in the table given below.   The average weightage for each response were calculated.  The results are given in the table below.

Table 4.                 Practical Difficulties Likely to be encountered by Teachers while Using Diagnostic Test

Sl No Practical Difficulties Average weightage Rank
1 Rigid Time table 18.50 1
2 Lack of:    
i   Time 16.50 2
ii   Library facility 15.85 3
iii   Co-operation from authorities 15.50 4
iv   Co-operation from colleagues 14.50 5
v   Knowledge regarding diagnostic testing 14.20 6
3 Overcrowded class room 13.60 7
4 Lack of Laboratory facilities 12.85 8
5 Lack of Practice 12.69 9

Regarding the practical difficulties likely to be encountered by  teachers while using diagnostic testing in  Chemistry at Secondary Level, the highest difficulty was recorded for Rigid time-table(18.5).

The above mentioned findings highlight the need for making necessary arrangements to overcome the practical difficulties likely to be encountered by teachers while using diagnostic test in Chemistry at Secondary level.

Ratings of Teachers Regarding The Practical Difficulties Likely To Be Encountered By Teachers While Practising Remedial Teaching In Chemistry

                The details regarding the practical difficulties likely to be encountered by Secondary School Chemistry teachers while practising Remedial Teaching is given the table below.

 

 

Table 5. Practical difficulties encountered by teachers while practising Remedial Teaching in                           Chemistry at Secondary Level

Sl No Practical Difficulties Average weightage Rank
1 Lack of time 12.2 1
2 Rigid Time table 11.9 2
3 Overcrowded class room 7.9 3
4 Examination System 6.25 4
5 Lack of :    
i   Laboratory facility 5.86 5
ii   Library facilities 5.6 6
iii   Co-operation from authorities 4.9 7
iv   Co-operation from colleagues 4.2 8
V   Interest on the part of students 2.97 9

Regarding the practical difficulties likely to be encountered by teachers while practising Remedial Teaching in Chemistry at Secondary School Level, the highest difficulty was recorded for lack of time (12.2).

Analysis of the data regarding the practical difficulties likely to be encountered by teachers while practising Remedial Teaching in Chemistry indicates the need for making necessary arrangements to overcome the difficulties likely to be encountered by teachers while practising Remedial Teaching at Secondary School Level.

The above mentioned findings highlight the need for re-scheduling the time table, allotting more periods for Chemistry equipping libraries with suitable materials, restructuring the examination system by including practical work and restructuring the pattern of questions-giving due importance to evaluate process skills, equipping libraries with suitable reference materials and Remedial Teaching Materials, well-equipping laboratories, organising faculty improvement programmes like Seminars,  workshops, refresher and orientation programmes to update teachers with information regarding the preparation of Diagnostic Test, Remedial Materials and the evaluation procedures in Remedial Teaching and necessary measures should be adopted to reduce teacher-pupil ratio to provide individual attention.

REFERENCES

F.J., Schonell., E.F., Schonell. (1965). Diagnostic and attainment testing. London: The English language Book Society and Oliver and Boyd.

G.M., Blair. (1956).  Diagnosis and remedial teaching. New Delhi: Macmillan Company.

L.J., Brueckner., G.L., Bond .(1955).  The diagnosis and treatment of learning difficulties. New York : Appleton century crafts, Inc.

N.F., Newbury. (1953). The Teaching of Chemistry in topical Secondary Schools.  London: Oxford University Press.

[1] Assistant professor, Govt College of Teacher Education, Thiruvananthapuram