Should Process Skills be Replaced by Tactics and Strategies?

Irene Finch
1989, Vol. 21, No. 3,

Abstract


It is important to give pupils the chance to take 'real' and personal tasks right through from start to finish. However, we also want pupils to focus on separate aspects, so as to grasp each securely and also to help assessment. I Sorting out these separate aspects has been a problem for teachers of technology (including home economics), design, and the investigatory and application phases of science teaching. In all these areas attempts have been made to divide the whole tasks or process into stages, which have been called 'process skills', (i.e. 'design skills' or 'investigatory skills').

Much has been built on this. Some teachers have considered teaching 'process skills' more important than teaching content such as science concepts, because they felt that pupils of lower ability can then succeed, and they have put aside the teaching of content. Many schemes of teaching and assessment have used 'process skills' as a basis for assessment objectives, sometimes with detailed subdivisions for grading.2 Weare beginning to see, however, that the theoretical basis for these skills is shaky and may need more thought. Several critical articles have appeared, especially in the science literature.3


Full Text: PDF