POPULARISATION OF PHYSICS AND THE KNOWLEDGE ACQUISITION AT THE EXTRA-EDUCATION SCHOOL “PHOTON”Journal: GAMTAMOKSLINIS UGDYMAS / NATURAL SCIENCE EDUCATION (Vol.5, No. 1)
Publication Date: 2008-04-05
Authors : Loreta Ragulienė; Violeta Šlekienė;
Page : 36-42
Keywords : general activities; extra education;
Analysing extra education much attention has been given to its general activities and results by various researchers. However, no research has been made on influence of extra education in natural sciences on developing schoolchildren's knowledge acquisition so far. This article deals with extra education at junior physicists' school “Photon”. “Photon” was founded in 1973 at Siauliai University, Faculty of Natural Sciences, Department of Physics. Every year 800–900 9th form schoolchildren from various secondary schools in Lithuania enter this Junior Physicists' School. The studies last for four years. The pupils have to solve 60 different problems every year. The pupils send the solved problems to the "PHOTON" Council, which sends them back after the correction of mistakes together with the booklets of the correct solutions. “Photon” school is an extra educational institution, so schoolchildren continue their studies there until their needs and interests are satisfied. 17300 schoolchildren have completed their studies at “Photon” school. The aims of this article are: to present the tasks, principles and activities of extra education junior physicists' school “Photon”; to research schoolchildren's learning motivation and needs for extra education; to analyse the abilities of popularisation of physics and the acquisition of knowledge at this school. Methods of research: analysis of cumulate experience, survey of schoolchildren and physics teachers, systemic, comparative analysis. The research has been carried out in 2002–2007 year. 1460 young physicists school “Photon” – schoolchildren of 9th–12th forms and 180 teachers of physics from the various schools of Lithuania have been involved in the research. The received data was processed using statistical research methods. For analysis of the research data software SPSS (Statistical Package for Social Sciences) has been used. Research has showed, that „Photon“ school is a good form of deepening and expanding knowledge and raising interest in Natural sciences. The main factors defining preferential studies at “Photon” school are needs for knowledge, self – development and novelties. Those factors are directly connected with future plans, ways of overcoming difficulties and opportunities to get good results. “Photon” trainees are highly self – motivated, their need for knowledge and novelty is very strong and long – term. Leisure activities at “Photon” summer school foster positive emotions and creative favourable environment to reveal needs and aptitudes and to educate a creative personality. Schoolchildren appreciate activities there in the following way: “made new friend”, “interesting activities”, “got acquainted with famous Lithuanian scientists”. Educating factors are being stressed at “Photon” summer school. Trainees were enthusiastic experimenting in laboratories and participating in seminars. A 35 year activity of “Photon” school, active schoolchildren‘s and teachers‘ participation have revealed significance of its existence educating harmonious and creative personalities.
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