There are so many importance of a laboratory but first let us define what a laboratory means for better understanding before proceeding to its importance and benefits. A laboratory also referred to as a science laboratory can simply be defined as a place or a room where practical experiments are carried out.
A place where students are brought in direct contact with their learning materials to manipulate them through provided procedures to reflect scientific thinking.
It can also be defined as a building set aside for scientific discovery and inquiry purposes.
Science is complex and therefore requires experiments and results to enable better understanding.
According to history, the first laboratory was established in the 18th century in 1830 built in Britain at Royal Technical College by Thomas Graham as earlier before then, pioneer scientists provided their houses for the research purpose for their science youngsters.
Importance of a Laboratory in Science Education
Science laboratory occupies a central role in the new science curriculum as it enables students to get the practical knowledge of what they have been taught in the classrooms.
One unique purpose and importance of a laboratory is the fact that science itself is an activity and inquiry based area of study meaning that science is practical based and therefore requires a designated place often called the laboratory where the practical’s should be carried out.
Students should be left to find out whatever they learnt in the classroom by themselves through research findings and discoveries to enable them understand better and sometimes come up with their unique results that may also contribute and appear important to the subject.
Meanwhile science students are always interested and enjoy practical works as it affords them the opportunity to work together in groups and learn from each other as well as practically observe the results they learnt on the classrooms.
Science students are often categorized as the ‘’smart’’ set of people because they are often assessed based on their behavioural objectives which include:
a) Cognitive (Knowledge)
b) Affective (Attitude) and
c) Psychomotor (Skills)
Due to this, science students are always expected to compose themselves while in the laboratory, concentrate and be very careful in order to achieve the desired result of the practical task they are set out to do.
This however has also influenced their everyday life as most science students often appear calm and calculative in real world.
Meanwhile science teachers also have a great role to play in the laboratory as recent research has proven that in most schools, as soon as the student knows what to do in the laboratory, was able to set up the materials, perform the experiments and is able to record the correct measurements and readings, the student is given a good assessment by the teacher.
These however only emphasized on the knowledge and skills of the said student with less emphasis on the attitude which has led to the neglecting of the attitude required in the laboratory.
For instance, as a science teacher, you also need to assess how careful your students were when handling the apparatus, do they take time to make sure the apparatus used for the experiments and the laboratory tables used are cleaned before leaving the laboratory or do they just rush to get out immediately after the practical is concluded?
The laboratory affords the science students the opportunity to practically carryout their research to make their personal findings and generate their results based on the instructions from their science teacher which helps to enhance their knowledge in that field of study.
Research discoveries however which are always carried out in the laboratory has on its own provided many benefits and great importance in our world today as most of our latest discoveries and equipment’s evolved from the result of a research carried out in a laboratory.
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