Science is regarded by many educators as a complex subject to teach, as it requires lengthy preparation and planning. Firstly, teachers need to know the abilities of their students well before embarking on drawing lessons plans for science subjects. Some of the main aspects that teachers need to find out include attention spans, interest and ability levels, prior learning knowledge and experiences, and special needs among others. Such information enables tutors to identify the most suitable content and materials to include in lesson plans (Hassard & Dias, 2013).
Secondly, teachers have to identify the goals and objectives that suit their science students and the expected outcomes of the lessons. The goals set when preparing science teaching plans may be broad in nature, but should at least relate directly to the skills and knowledge that instructors intend to impart to their students. The objectives, unlike goals, need to be specific and should reflect what the teachers want their students to achieve through the tasks they design for them in the learning process. Objectives set in science lessons are usually specific to performance and behavioral in nature (Martin, Sexton, & Franklin, 2009).
There are a number of instructional strategies that a teacher can use to support effective learning among students, especially when they are learning in groups. Inquiry-based learning is one of the instructional methods that a teacher can use to facilitate learning among student groups. Inquiry-based learning can be used to teach all science subjects, as it enables students to practice critical thinking and problem solving skills when looking for solutions. This method is extremely student-directed and student-centered and only requires teacher’s presence at the beginning of the learning process (Hassard & Dias, 2013).
Direct instruction is another instructional method commonly used by teachers to facilitate learning in group settings. The method involves lecturing and is considered one of the simplest strategies for instructing students. In the method, the teacher can cover more content within a short time. Unlike inquiry-based learning, it is impossible to adapt direct instruction oriented lessons to the educational needs of all students (Martin, Sexton, & Franklin, 2009).
Teachers can also apply the cooperative learning method to facilitate how their students study in groups. The method encourages grouping and organizing of facts to facilitate better and quicker understanding among the students. Using the method, teachers can effectively apply graphic organizers, story webs, mind maps, and other means of visualizing information to help students memorize facts and the entire content designed for them (Hassard & Dias, 2013).
Instructional methods used in teaching science should reflect on the objectives and goals students are expected to achieve. Since...