Author(s): Huong, P. T., Thanh My, N., Nga, N. T. H., & Van P. D.
Science laboratory plays an essential role in teaching science subjects in general and natural sciences in particular. The laboratory is not only a place to realize theoretical knowledge learned but also to faciliate lively and visualized learning where students can demonstrate their creativity in learning, stimulate their passion for scientific research, nurture their love and protection for nature and the environment through practical experiences. This study aims to evaluate the current situation of the natural sciences laboratory and its influencing factors, accordingly proposes some solutions to promote the use and efficiency of the natural sciences laboratory at lower secondary schools in the North Central region of Vietnam. The study was conducted in 3 provinces of North Central Vietnam, Thanh Hoa, Nghe An, and Ha Tinh, at 21 secondary schools, with 189 teachers and 252 students (from June 2019 to December 2019). Data is purposefully collected by regions, namely urban, rural, and mountainous areas, from key teachers, well-qualified and reputed teachers, and students of the selected schools via questionnaires about the current situation of the laboratory, and factors influencing the frequency of teaching science subjects in the laboratory. The survey results showed that: school laboratories are mostly for general purposes, and the system of specialized laboratories for each science subject is inadequate, especially in urban areas with a low rate (below 50%) due to the large number of students. Many schools transform the laboratories into theory classrooms. In terms of laboratory equipment, chemicals and samples, urban schools are better-equipped than rural and mountainous ones.