What are the Merits and Demerits of Laboratory Method of Teaching Science?

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The Merits and Demerits of Laboratory Method of Teaching Science are as follows:

Merits of Laboratory Methods:

Following kinds of merits can be accrue by making use of Laboratory Methods:

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a. Through this method, a science teacher can provide various kinds of learning experiences\to the students, as a result of which information gained by them turns out to be of permanent kind.

b. In this method, individual differences and interest of all the students are taken into consideration, as a result of which, it is considered to be one of the psychological method of teaching. As more importance is assigned to students in this method, as a result of which, it is considered as child centred method. As no student is require to accept the beliefs and orders of the teacher and full freedom is provided to them to participate in the laboratory activities, as a result of which they begin to learn various information by doing works themselves.

c. Through this method, students learn to explore various things on their own. They also learn to verify various scientific facts and principles. Such students become able to solve out various kinds of problems arising in their life own their own, as they possess of high level of self-confidence.

d. As the students directly get indulged in the experimental functions and handle the various complex instruments themselves, thus various kinds of practical skills and proficiency get developed in them to considerable extent, with the help of which they prove to be successful in earning their livelihood in the future.

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e. Through this method, an intimate relationship got developed in between the students and teacher, as students are required to acquire necessary guidance for performing practical work from the teacher while the teacher provides proper individual attention to them, by which all of them come closer to each other.

f. With this method, teacher can develop various good habits among the students because of which it is known for inculcation of good virtues among the students by a majority of experts. An important good habit which gets developed among the student is that they learn to perform their work on their own and independently. Not only this, they have to work while maintaining co­operation with other students also, as a result of which habit of team work gets developed in them. In addition of these, qualities of honesty, sincerity and truthfulness also get developed among the students through this method.

g. When students get success in their experimental work, then they attain a sense of achievement, which helps them in improving their performance to considerable extent in all spheres of life.

Demerits of Laboratory Methods:

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These methods has some specific kind of limitations also, some of which are as follows:

a. There are some kinds of knowledge which cannot be verified through experiments, as a result of which this method has limited applicability. Not only this, generally it is found that teachers do not allow the students to make experiments independently, as it involves certain kind of risk of occurrence of accident.

b. As all the students get involved in experiment works because of which it becomes necessary to provide them with separate equipments and other materials, but it is not possible for the teachers to do so as the main problem in our nation is shortage of resources. It is an important reason that why this method is used to limited extent in schools.

c. For procuring the essential materials and facilities, a huge amount of funds are required, because of which this method is considered to be expensive. It is not possible to make use of such method in schools of our nation, especially in government schools.

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d. As every student in expected to learn by performing experiments, thus it is felt by some experts that this method expects too much from the students. In this method, students feel heavy burden on themselves as a result of which they do not get involved in the exploration and investigation processes with their fullest capacities.

e. Not only the students feel lot of burden on them, but teacher also have the same kind of tendency. Sometimes, teacher find it difficult to attend to the individual needs of the students, as they differ from each other to considerable extent. As a result of this, students get discouraged, as a result of which, it becomes very difficult for teacher to provide timely help and guidance to them.

f. This method can only be used by experienced and well qualified teacher otherwise, probabilities of getting failure can be increased.

When to Use:

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From the above discussion it is clear that this method can only be used by the teacher when students getting education have sound theoretical base. Not only this, there should be provision of enough apparatus in the school laboratory otherwise, students will not get individual materials.

This method cannot be made practicable at primary and middle school stages, however, a it can be used for imparting education to students of high secondary stage. If the number of students getting education in the class is more, then it is not possible to make use of this method, as teacher will find it difficult to make arrangement for different equipments for such a large number of students.

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