International Journal of Human Sciences, cilt.7, ss.573-603, 2010 (Diğer Kurumların Hakemli Dergileri)
The aim of this study was to improve pre-service science teachers' science process skills and attitude towards chemistry by developing their metacognitive skills embedded within a motivating chemistry laboratory. The sample of the study was 54 pre-service science teachers who took the first year chemistry lab course at Marmara University. Both the control (n=27) and the experimental group (n=27) carried out 11 experiments, each of which was performed over a lab course. The students comprising the control group performed the experiments following the instructions described in the laboratory manual. However, in the experimental group, pre- and post-discussions about the design of the experiments were held in order to create metacognitive awareness of the experimental design. The students in the experimental group were supported and encouraged during the course and were given four semi-structured reflective interview forms developed by the authors. As opposed to the control group, the students in the experimental group were asked to inquire of the researcher what subjects they should study. While the students in the control group were provided no feedback on their reports, the students in the experimental group were consistently provided positive feedback. The findings showed that the experimental group outperformed the control group in the Science Process Skill Test, particularly in the categories of identifying variables and operationally defining. The first and the last interview forms, which were given at the beginning and the end of the semester, were used for a deeper analysis of the students' metacognitive skills, motivation and attitude towards the course. The second and the third reflective forms were used to create metacognitive awareness in students. Although the students reflected very positive feedback on the last interview form, the results of the t-test analysis showed that no significant gain was achieved either in the control or experimental group in terms of their attitudes towards chemistry. The results of the analyses seem to be in favor of the experimental group in terms of the development of science process skills, motivational beliefs and metacognitive learning strategies.