Developing Experiment Skills for Pre-service Teachers of Biology in Vietnam
Nga Viet Thi NguyenInstitute of Pedagogical Research, Hanoi Pedagogical University, Vinh Phuc Province, Vietnam
Huong Thi PhamSchool of Natural Science Education, Vinh University, Vinh City, Vietnam
My Thanh NguyenSchool of Natural Science Education, Vinh University, Vinh City, Vietnam
Nga Thi Hang NguyenFaculty of Biology, Hanoi National University of Education, Ha Noi City, Vietnam
Thuy Bien AnPreschool Education Department, Hanoi Pedagogical University 2, Vinh Phuc Province, Vietnam
Loan Thi DoHung Yen Specialized High school, Hung Yen Province, Vietnam
There has been a growing demand for teacher training institutions to equip pre-service teachers with practical skills that can enhance their teaching performance. In Biology teacher education, experiments have been employed with the educational approach to compensate for inadequate classroom-only instruction. This study aimed to assess the effectiveness of an intervention using biological experiments in developing experiment skills of pre-service teachers of Biology in Vietnam. The study also aimed to identify the challenges to the acquisition of experiment skills faced by Vietnamese pre-service teachers. A group of 128 pre-service teachers from four teacher-training institutions participated in the experimental courses. Pre-service teachers’ improvement in terms of knowledge of the subject matter and experiment skills throughout the experimental courses was evaluated using pre-tests, progress tests, post-tests, and observations The results showed significant improvements in the performance of pre-service teachers as they were provided with an increasing amount of experiment practices. This indicated the effectiveness of training pre-service teachers to acquire experiment skills for their future teaching practices and supported the need to incorporate experiment training in teacher education curricula. Meanwhile, interviews with teacher trainers and pre-service teachers after the experimental courses revealed four major obstacles to the acquisition of experiment skills, namely school, curriculum, teacher trainer and pre-service teacher factors.