Main Article Content

In-service chemistry teachers’ reflections on and experiences with supervised laboratory instruction in Ethiopia


Mirtachew Tihar Ali
Annette Lykknes

Abstract

This qualitative study reports on 12 in-service teachers’ reflections on and experiences with supervised laboratory instruction (SLI) based on a two-day professional development workshop. Three main themes emerged from thematic analysis of the interview transcripts: (1) SLI is an attractive teaching method, (2) SLI is challenging to implement in the classroom and (3) teachers need support to teach SLI. Attractive features of SLI included pre-laboratory activities, reflective group discussions, and scaffolding that could help them accomplish difficult laboratory tasks. However, teachers felt limited by an overloaded curriculum, little time, and a lack of lab facilities, self-confidence, and experimental experience. To implement SLI in their own classrooms, the teachers expressed the need to receive support from university staff through regular in-service laboratory training and inspirational scientific discourses. Furthermore, they emphasized the importance of access to SLI-adapted teaching materials and qualified laboratory assistants. Overall, teachers found SLI quite beneficial to their laboratory teaching in high school chemistry education.