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Science Education Research at the Department of Chemistry

Research Topic: Designing a conceptual framework for authentic teaching to facilitate effective learning in secondary schools of Sri Lanka

Ms. Bhagya Manjaree is carrying out a research project on the above topic towards her MPhil Degree, at the Department of Chemistry. General objective of this research is to design a conceptual framework for teaching intervention development aimed at enhancing creativity, engagement and performance in science among secondary school students of Sri Lanka through an authentic teaching approach. This intervention is well-informed by a stakeholders’ need analysis conducted within the Sri Lankan context and some of the best practices used in the UK schools. The essence of this signatory pedagogy is to introduce a process where the learner is practicing all steps of ‘Scientific Inquiry within an authentic context-based activity’. We are studying how to connect the learner with this approach through empathy using psychological/thinking tools, which is the approach used in the ‘Designing Our Tomorrow-DOT’  program at the University of Cambridge, UK.

Bhagya won two scholarships to aid her work in this project; Commonwealth Split-site Scholarship, UK enabling to gain the knowledge and skills required to accomplish the objectives of the study in a split-site mode, and Cambridge Trust Scholarship to co-fund the remaining cost of the study. She is spending one year at the University of Cambridge to study the DOT program. We are hoping to give our recommendations for education reforms and policy changes, based on the outcome of this study.

Supervisors: Dr. Aashani Tillekartane (PI), Prof. K. M. Nalin de Silva, Dr. Laalitha Liyanage (Univ. of Kelaniya), Dr. Thilini Rupasinghe (Univ. of Kelaniya).