An analysis of labwork tasks used in science teaching at upper secondary school and university levels in several European countries

A. Tiberghien, L. Veillard, J.F. Le Maréchal, C. Buty, R. Millar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article describes the results of a study of the similarities and differences in laboratory tasks used in science education at upper secondary school and university level, in the three main science subjects, in seven European countries. The data source for the study was a collection of 75 laboratory instruction sheets for use at school level in five countries, and 90 for use at university level in six countries, selected as being typical of practice in these countries. The tool used for analysis was a map (or classification system) for labwork tasks. Whilst some differences are noted between the science subjects and between educational levels, the dominant impression from this analysis is of similarity across educational levels, science subjects and countries. Some coding categories arise only very infrequently, suggesting that some possible designs of labwork task are very seldom used. The findings indicate the potential usefulness of this classificatory map as a tool for monitoring practice and for raising questions about the use of labwork in science education.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)483-508
Number of pages25
JournalScience Education
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2001

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