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Using Chemistry Education to Solve Societal Problems Research Paper (Research Paper Sample)


the task was a research report at graduate school of education nagasaki university, Japan. the report is about findings from the study carried out at two JUNIOR high schools in japan for a period of one year. the title of the study was "Using Chemistry Education to Solve Societal Problems:
Lessons from Theory and Practice in Japanese Context."


Using Chemistry Education to Solve Societal Problems:
Lessons from Theory and Practice in Japanese Context
Atukwase Cleophus
A Research Report
Submitted to
Graduate School of Education
Nagasaki University
In Partial Fulfilment of the Requirements of
The Certificate in Teacher Training Student Program for Foreign Students
2018.04.01 – 2019.03.-
Submission Date: 2019.02.04
Supervisor: Prof. Yoshimasa Hoshino
Executive Summary
Today’s society faces global societal problems/challenges: environmental challenges (depletion of natural resources and climate change), declining birth-rate and aging, growing economic inequality, urban concentration, shortage of labour, and terrorism. In addition to these global challenges, Japan’s societal problems include a declining birth rate/population, an increasing senior population/decrease in the productive-age population, shrinking labour force especially medical and nursing care, increasing medical and social security costs/expenses, energy and environmental issues, deteriorating public infrastructure, cumbersome bank procedures with highly cash-based transactions, and lack of access to public transport in underpopulated rural areas. Chemistry education can enable solving such problems, and SDGs and Japan’s Society 5.0 reinforce each other in attempting to achieve economic development and social change.
The theme of the study was “Chemistry Education, Culture, and Societal Problems,” and the study was titled: “Using Chemistry Education to Solve Societal Problems: Lessons from Theory and Practice in Japanese Context.” In line with the title, the purpose of the study was captured in two objectives: “To determine how chemistry education enables Japanese learners to solve societal problems,” and “To determine how chemistry education is incorporating Japanese culture in order to solve societal problems.”
To achieve the objectives, literature was reviewed; Junior High School chemistry lessons were observed (both live and respective videos); and HSC pre-entry past papers were analysed. Therefore, the study used lesson observation and content analysis as the data collection techniques for the qualitative method.
Lesson observations revealed that the teaching and learning process had the following features: was influenced by culture; integrated usage of the traditional chalkboard with ICT resources; was purely learner- and activity-centred, and teachers always gave immediate feedback in class; and enables learners to develop ten attributes/characteristics. The ten attributes include communication skills, risk-taking and independent learning, problem-solving, group working skills, observation skills, self-esteem and self-confidence, time consciousness, orderliness and cleanliness, listening skills, and commitment to and engagement with activities. Analysis of HSC pre-entry exams revealed that chemistry questions were dominated by experiments (diagrams, graphs, and calculations) which required the learners to apply theoretical and practical knowledge. They were able to test learners’ problem-solving skills, and analytical and quantitative skills: very important skills in daily life and solving societal problems. The discussion of findings in relation to literature reviewed enabled formulation of a theoretical SECK Framework for solving societal problems.
Reflection on Ugandan and Japanese classroom interactions revealed that the teaching styles in Japanese classrooms are very different from those in Ugandan classrooms. This is mainly due to much larger class sizes, congested/overloaded curriculum, inadequate instructional materials, and pressure to produce the best results in Uganda national examinations. Therefore, interventions to improve teaching of science in Uganda should be holistic and radical to transform Uganda National Examinations Board (UNEB) and National Curriculum Development Centre (NCDC) with possibility of integration though this can be a technical and political battle. The problem of failing sciences in Uganda seems to be due to some factors beyond the control of a science classroom teacher. It was also highlighted that the report (especially on lesson observations) has benefits to Japan, for example, improving teaching, motivating teachers, and evaluative comparison with other MEXT reports.
It was concluded that chemistry education enables learners to solve societal problems by enabling them to acquire ten attributes which are linked to some of the top ten attributes employers seek on a candidate’s resume, and transferable skills. Some of the transferable skills include problem solving, collaboration/team-working, time management, communication, analytical thinking and researching, and independent learning. Therefore, Japanese chemistry learners will have a competitive advantage in future when seeking employment. However, there is a need to determine whether Japanese learners will be able to adapt and compete flexibly in future.
Implications from the study include the following: integration of traditional teaching tools with ICT resources enables effective teaching and learning process and the process is influenced by culture, and learner- and activity-centred learning with immediate feedback is an effective teaching and learning approach. This is when chemistry education will enable learners to acquire some of the top ten attributes employers seek on a candidate’s resume, and transferrable skills which are very vital in solving societal problems.
Future research should determine whether and how “know-what” knowledge or taught content enables learners to solve societal problems.
Table of Contents TOC \o "1-3" \h \z \u Executive Summary PAGEREF _Toc168111 \h iiList of Figures and Tables PAGEREF _Toc168112 \h viList of Acronyms PAGEREF _Toc168113 \h viiAcknowledgement PAGEREF _Toc168114 \h viii1.0 Introduction PAGEREF _Toc168115 \h 12.0 Chemistry Education, Culture, and Societal Problems PAGEREF _Toc168116 \h 42.1 Society Transitions and Societal Problems PAGEREF _Toc168117 \h 42.1.1 Society Transitions PAGEREF _Toc168118 \h 42.1.2 Global and Japanese Societal Problems/Challenges PAGEREF _Toc168119 \h 62.1.3 Impacts of Society 5.0: Is Society 5.0 the Solution to Societal Problems? PAGEREF _Toc168120 \h 82.2 Social Constructivist View and the Crucial Role of Education PAGEREF _Toc168121 \h 92.2.1 Social Constructivist View of Culture and Knowledge/Reality PAGEREF _Toc168122 \h 92.2.2 The Crucial Role of Education in Solving Societal Problems PAGEREF _Toc168123 \h 102.2.3 Knowledge: A Vital Resource for Society PAGEREF _Toc168124 \h 182.2.4 SECI Model: Conversion of Knowledge from One Form to Another PAGEREF _Toc168125 \h 212.3 Chemistry Education and Chemistry as the Central Science PAGEREF _Toc168126 \h 222.3.1 Chemistry as the Central Science PAGEREF _Toc168127 \h 222.3.2 Chemistry Education PAGEREF _Toc168128 \h 233.0 Methodology PAGEREF _Toc168129 \h 243.1 Philosophical Assumptions PAGEREF _Toc168130 \h 243.2 Research Approach PAGEREF _Toc168131 \h 253.3 Research Design PAGEREF _Toc168132 \h 263.3.1 Key questions PAGEREF _Toc168133 \h 263.3.2 Objectives of the Study PAGEREF _Toc168134 \h 263.3.3 Choice of Data Collection Method PAGEREF _Toc168135 \h 263.3.4 Sampling Procedure PAGEREF _Toc168136 \h 283.3.5 Data Analysis Process PAGEREF _Toc168137 \h 293.3.6 Ethical considerations PAGEREF _Toc168138 \h 294.0 Data Analysis and Findings PAGEREF _Toc168139 \h 304.1 Lesson observations PAGEREF _Toc168140 \h 304.2 Content Analysis of HSC Pre-Entry Exams PAGEREF _Toc168141 \h 315.0 Discussion of Findings PAGEREF _Toc168142 \h 315.1 General Observations and Assessment at JHS PAGEREF _Toc168143 \h 315.2 Lesson Observations PAGEREF _Toc168144 \h 325.3 The SECK Framework for Solving Societal Problems PAGEREF _Toc168145 \h 385.4 Reflection on Practice PAGEREF _Toc168146 \h 405.4.1 Self Reflection and the Researcher’s Role PAGEREF _Toc168147 \h 405.4.2 Reflecting Back: A Critical Analysis of Teaching and Learning in Uganda PAGEREF _Toc168148 \h 425.4.3 Reflecting Forward: Benefits of the Lesson Observations to Japan PAGEREF _Toc168149 \h 536.0 Conclusion PAGEREF _Toc168150 \h 556.1 Conclusions PAGEREF _Toc168151 \h 556.2 Implications for Practice and Policy Makers PAGEREF _Toc168152 \h 566.3 Limitations of the Study and the Need for Further Research PAGEREF _Toc168153 \h 56References PAGEREF _Toc168154 \h 57Bibliography PAGEREF _Toc168155 \h 70Appendices PAGEREF _Toc168156 \h 71Appendix 1. Lesson Observation and Data Analysis Table PAGEREF _Toc168157 \h 71Appendix 2. Group Working in the Laboratories PAGEREF _Toc168158 \h 71
List of Figures and Tables
Fig.1. Society Transitions …………………………..……………………………………………….…… 5
Fig.2. Linking SDGs to Society 5.0………………………………………………..…………………….. 7
Fig.3. Impacts of Society 5.0 …………………………..…………………………………………..……. 9
Fig.4. ‘Livelihood Pentagon’ for Sustainably Solving Societal Problems ...…..…………………&hell...

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