Effectiveness of Hands-On Activities to Develop Chemistry Learners’ Curiosity in Community Secondary Schools in Tanzania
Learners’ curiosity is among the affective domains of learning that has a great potential to take learning to higher levels and meet the demands of the 21st-century teaching and learning process. This paper assesses how hands-on activities performed using learning materials from learners’ immediate environment can enhance learners’ curiosity in chemistry lessons. Observing students’ hands-on activities during chemistry lessons enabled researchers to monitor the development and expression of curiosity in the actual learning environment. The study involved 169 senior three chemistry students purposively selected from three intact science classes in three community secondary schools from Dar es salaam, Tanzania. We performed a Design-Based Research (DBR) in a convergent mixed method design following a pragmatic stance. We found that learners can better express their curiosity when they collaboratively learn using materials that they are familiar with. Besides, the paired samples t-test performed on the means curiosity indicators from pre and post-intervention Students Self-Reporting Questionnaire (SSRQ) gave t (127) = 22.25, p<0.0005, and the effect size of 0.80 while pre and post-intervention Teacher Rating Scale (TRS) shown t (168) = 13.427, p<0.0005 and effect size of 0.62. Based on these findings it is recommended that educators should put learners at the center of every step of the learning process through hands-on activities to stimulate their learning curiosity.