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Anthony Gioko
Professional Development Teacher
Facilitator Physics and Technology
Aga Khan Academy, Mombasa

I see monitoring as a way of informing me of what is happening for future action;
however Rogers and Badham (1992) defines it as a systematic collection of data over a
period of time which is then used to evaluate a program, process or a person. I concur with
Earley (2000) approach to evaluators as “what we want to happen, happening or are we
doing what we said we would do?” p 199. A monitor checks, oversees and keeps a
continuous record of any observation made (White, 1997). This paper presents a monitoring
plan which is designed to monitor the resources in terms of organization, access and use in a
physics laboratory. According to Tamir (1989) the laboratory is a unique facet of science
education where basic resources if not present can be detrimental to the education as a while
claims Schreen (2000). Apart form the monitoring plans the papers give the profile of the
school the resources to be used for the monitoring process, partners in the monitoring and
the process of monitoring.

The laboratory offers a chance for science to be learned effectively through
experience (UNESCO in Tamir, 1989). Such experiences are through utilization of resources
in practical work. Millar (1991) gives a rational for practical work; in facilitating the
learning and understanding of science concepts and in developing competence in the skills
and procedure of scientific inquiry. Gunstone (1992) further explains that the teachers and
students should see practical in a broader context which reflects enhanced metacognition
when the focus is on conceptual understanding. I have developed this plan to try and achieve
the purposes of monitoring that is accountability, knowledge and development (Chemlisky
and Shadish, 1997) regarding organization, access and use of resources and space. Re-order
levels are dictated upon by the knowledge of utilization. Parkinson (1994) advices that
resources are only useful if the can be found in time for the lesson.
All the above framed by rationale as a science teacher the laboratories are relevant to
me. I had been involved in huge equipments budget hence I feel my monitoring plan will
ensure accountability. Resources in the laboratories are sometimes abused by both students
and teachers hence I need to evaluate the system. Finally the laboratories are exposed to
risks and dangers hence keeping track can inform on safety precautions.

With this plan I will then be able to achieve the following objectives
-To identify different areas which need focused investigations.
- To determine the strengths and opportunities in the organization access and use of
laboratory resources and space.
-To identify the weakness and use them in reviews and PD1 design.
-To provide information for the school wide development plan.
- To track the success of achieving the objective of equipping the physics
laboratories and its relations to the goals, and mission of the school.
“…Developing critical thinking and analysis...” (School Website, 2006)
However for effective monitoring I could not monitor the whole school at a go
but focus in a particular area with a certain location in a specified nature (Aspinwall,
Simkin, Wilkinson and McAuley, 1992). For this I chose resources in physics laboratories
for monitoring purpose.

School profile
The school has 350 students with 30 teachers. For co-curriculum activities the school
has a gymnasium, auditorium, playing field (football, hockey), Courts (basketball and
squash), swimming and diving pool. For practical subjects it has 2 computer laboratories, 2
laboratories in each respective science; biology, physics and chemistry and a general science
laboratory. For options there are 3 art rooms, a food technology laboratory and 2 technology
workshops. The average classroom population is 20 students.

Professional development

The school follows Key stage 2 and key stage 3, International General Certificate of
Education and the International Baccalaureate. The students join in Year 6 and leave at Year

The monitoring process will be undertaken by the core planners of the strategic plan.
The core planners include the Principal, Head Teachers, Business Manager, Pastoral
coordinators, Head of Department, Teachers, Laboratory Technician and the Students. The
team will develop some guided principles to enable them work effectively and efficiently.

Resources for Monitoring Process
There will be several resources namely charts, books, papers and time to be used and
they include the tools for data collection, management and analysis. The monitoring will be
done in the physics laboratories which are representative of all the laboratories. A
representative group will be selected through purposive sampling from Year 6 to Year 13.
The representative group will be Year 7, Year 9 and Year 12 as they represent all the areas
Key stage 2, Key stage 3 and Baccalaureate respectively.

Success Criteria
Fully organized laboratories where all the resources are accessible and used effectively
through proper utilization of appropriate space.

Performance Indicators
Quality of Organization, Extent of access and Range of use, of laboratory resources and

-Organization of resources.
-Accessibility of resources.
-Use of resources

-Display, presentation and use of space.

The four themes will be monitored during the year as shown in the schedule (see
appendix F) with a sampled group accordingly. The process will involve collecting data
through interviews, observation and document/ record analysis. The approach is a time-
constrained monitoring Wilcox (1992) because the reviews have to be done within the re-
ordering of equipment. After collecting the data it will be analyzed per the instrument. The
outcomes will be collated in Table 1. The scoring is reversed; success will be indicated by
low score, as the scores increase a demand for action will be pronounced.

Table 1 Monitoring Plan Foundation
Theme Indicator illustration Instruments Sample Scale
Organization -Arrangement of the equipments. -The laboratory equipments are arranged in Observation The two Systematic Random
of resources. respective areas checklist 1 physics ←1 2 3 4 5→
- Extent of labeling the equipment, -The storage facilities in the laboratory are laboratories Adequate Inadequate
well labeled with names and subject areas ←1 2 3 4 5→
-Updating of the inventory. -The inventory is regularly updated. Always sometimes never
←1 2 3 4 5→
-Range of Safety measures taken in -The laboratory takes care of safety conditions Adequate Inadequate
the laboratory ←1 2 3 4 5→
Accessibility -Number of equipment accessible. The Equipment can be accessed easily. Resource Three Always sometimes never
Access selected ←1 2 3 4 5→
of resources.
-Range of accessed resources Only the requested resources are accessed checklist lessons for Always sometimes never
Questionnaire1 each class ←1 2 3 4 5→
Use of -Who can use the laboratory -The laboratory equipments are used by all Self fill One lesson All Selected
resources classes. Resource use selected ←1 2 3 4 5→
-Extend of use of the resources -The equipments are used for demonstration Grid randomly
and in performing practical’s and 25% of the All Selected
investigations students to ←1 2 3 4 5→
-Extent of relevancy -The apparatus used are relevant to the topics fill the form Adequate Inadequate
-The handling of the apparatus taught and the level of the students. (Students to ←1 2 3 4 5→
-The laboratory technicians are trained in fill form
handling all the equipments and emergency only ONCE
rising from the equipment in a month)
Display, -Nature of Displayed resources -The laboratory has displays of relevant Observation All the Labs Related Least related not related
posters around them checklist(3) Selected ←1 2 3 4 5→
-Condition of display. -The laboratory displays equipments in a safe Questionnaire students for Safe Risky
and use of manner for the purpose of educational interest. survey ←1 2 3 4 5→
-Type of displays -The resources are used to produce interesting students to Very Interesting Dull
-Proper use of space presentations through demonstrations participate ←1 2 3 4 5→
-The space has been used efficiently. only ONCE Efficiently Inefficient
in a year ←1 2 3 4 5→

Table 2 Monitoring Plan Grid
What to monitor Who will What/criteria Where/site When How will the data be used Respondent
Organization Teachers Arranging the resources in an organized In the physics Sept. 07- The data will be an indicator HT
Lab manner. laboratory log book. July08 of utility use. It also is used to
Technicia - Physical inspect Students’ practical advise the teachers in their
n. o The laboratory lay out. reports book. 2nd week of the future planning for time
-The labeling of Lesson Plan. Midterm management and the
the storage facilities term laboratory technician for
resources After each organization.
- Check the inventory major order
o Update frequency
o Lay out
- Check the safety of the place
o Procedures.
o Resources
Accessibility. HOD Being able to get to the resources. Physics laboratory Sept 07-July08 The data will be used to find DHT
Students - Check the number of resources and how the resources are assessed
type accessed by the students and Monthly dictate the actions as per the
teachers. output
- Ask the Lab. Technician if they can
provide what a student/Teachers wants
- Ask teachers if they get what they
-Observe practical session
Use of resources HOD Using the laboratory resource In the physics Sept. 07- The data will be used to D HT
Subject -List of people who use the resources laboratory log book. July08 identify how the resources are
Teachers -Range of use of the resources Students’ practical utilized ant the quality of the
-Relevancy of the use reports book. Once a week utility.
-Safety in use Lesson Plan.
Display, presentation Subject Displayed and presented items Physics laboratory Sept.07-July08 The data will inform on the HOD
Teachers -Relevance on the display Once a month displays of resources in the
and use of space
Students -condition of the displayed items but different laboratory.
-Variety of the Displays subsequent
Space utility days

Monitoring and evaluation is a very crucial process in all aspects of resources.
Equipping the laboratories takes a lot of money, which is invested with a purpose. For
the purpose to be achieved the equipments have to be utilized effectively in a safe
environment. From this background monitoring comes in to keep track of all the
aspects of resources utilization and management. Monitoring is beneficial to the
teachers, students and the administration. When the students, teachers and the
administration are all informed and participate, it will truly give a clear picture in
accountability, knowledge and development.


Aspinwall, K., Simkins. T., Wilkson, F. J., and McAuley, M. J. (1992). Managing
evaluation in education a developmental approach. London: Routledge.

Earley, P. (2000). Monitoring, managing or Meddling? Governing bodies and the
evaluation of school performance. Educational Management and
Administration, 28(2), 199-210.

Gunstone, R. F. (1992). Reconstructing theory from Practical experience. In B.
Woolnough, Practical science education (pp.67-76). Buckingham: Open
University Press.

Millar, R. (1991). A Means to an end; The role of process in science education. In B.
Woolnough, Practical science education (pp. 43-52). Buckingham: Open
University Press.

Parkinson, J. (1994). The effective teaching of secondary science. England: Longman
Group UK limited.

Rogers, G. & Badham, L. (1992). Evaluation in school. Getting started on training
and implementation. London: Routledge.

Screen, J. (2001). Monitoring School effectivesness in devleopn country. School
Effectiveness and School Improvement, 12(4), 359-384.

White, P. (1997). The purpose of monitoring in P. White & C. Poster (Eds.), The self
monitoring school (pp. 4-19).London: Routledge

Wilcox, B. (1992). Time-Constrained evaluation a practice approach for LEA’s and
school. London: Routledge.

Observation Checklist 1
-Arrangement of the equipments Systematic Random
Lay out ←1 2 3 4 5→
Storage ←1 2 3 4 5→
Categorization ←1 2 3 4 5→
Section average ←1 2 3 4 5→
- Extent of labeling the equipment, Adequate Inadequate
Topic ←1 2 3 4 5→
apparatus ←1 2 3 4 5→
Name ←1 2 3 4 5→
Service date ←1 2 3 4 5→
Name ←1 2 3 4 5→
Expiry date ←1 2 3 4 5→
Section average ←1 2 3 4 5→
-Updating of the inventory. Always sometimes never
←1 2 3 4 5→

Section average ←1 2 3 4 5→
-Range of Safety measures taken Adequate Inadequate
in the laboratory ←1 2 3 4 5→
-First Aid box. ←1 2 3 4 5→
-Fire extinguisher/ Blanket/Sand ←1 2 3 4 5→
-Emergency Exit and Phone
Section average ←1 2 3 4 5→


Resource Access Checklist1
Figure 1 Resource access checklist PROFORMA 1

Date completed………………….. Sheet No……………………..

Aim Specific Objective
To encourage use of resources To increase the use of resources in the physics lab
in physics teaching …………………………………………………….
Class Y7 Y9 Y12
Performance Indicator Information to be collected
1. The number of equipments accessed and the range
-Number of equipment (type).
Please complete the entry for each laboratory. The
-Range of accessed resources range of the resources is indicated in the categories in
the inventory.
Lab Number of No of Types TxE 1/TxE
equipment(E) ( T)

Information Source
( where the information is to be
obtained and how to acquire it)
From the Laboratory report
From Practical requisition log
Please check the books or the
logs and from the apparatus
columns count the apparatus the
type will be identified in the

Adapted from ©Routledge 1992

Questionnaire 1 Accessibility
Yr.________________ Topic _______________________ Date __________
Students Students Responses Tally
How long do you take to get a resource? 1 1 1 1 1 1 1

1 .Immediately 2 2 2 2 2 2 2
3 3 3 3 3 3 3
2. Wait some times
4 4 4 4 4 4 4
3. Before the end of the practical session
4. next practical session
Do you get the type of resources you need?
Always 1 1 1 1 1 1 1
2 2 2 2 2 2 2
3 3 3 3 3 3 3
4 4 4 4 4 4 4
Do you have option to select alternative resources for
your practical’s?
1 1 1 1 1 1 1
Always 2
2 2 2 2 2 2
Sometimes 3 3 3 3 3 3 3
Rarely 4 4 4 4 4 4 4

How long do you take to get a resource? Teachers Lab technician
Immediately 1 1

Wait some times 2 2

3 3
Before the end of the practical session
4 4
next practical session
Do you get the type of resources you need?
Always 1
Sometimes 2 2

Rarely 3 3
Never 4

Do you have option to select alternative resources for
your practicals?
1 1
Always 2
Sometimes 3 3

Rarely 4 4

Gross Average

Resources Use Grid

Describe how the resources are used in the physics Lab
-Who can use the laboratory resources?
4 not at all
3 a little
Lab technicians
2 to some extend
1 a great deal
Others departments
0 entirely
-Extend of use of the resources
-Lab technician
-Lab technicians
-Others departments

-Relevancy of the use
-Aligned to the topic
-indicated in the lesson plan
-The handling of the apparatus
With expertise’s
Under watch of an experienced
With safety measures in mind

Other Specify

Adapted from Rogers and Bedham (1992)

Questionnaire 2 Displays
To be filled by the respondent.
Name _________ Yr (Students Options) _______________
Date____________________ Student/Teachers/Administrator
(cross option)
Do you find the displays in the laboratory relevant to your courses?
Always Never
←1 2 3 4 5→

Are the displays interesting? Very Interesting Dull
←1 2 3 4 5→
Are the displays
- In good shape Always Sometimes
←1 2 3 4 5→

-clean Always Never
←1 2 3 4 5→
- maintained Always Never
←1 2 3 4 5→
-Safe Safe Risky
←1 2 3 4 5→
How well is the space utilized for?
Display efficiently inefficient?
←1 2 3 4 5→

Storage efficiently inefficient?
←1 2 3 4 5→

Sitting efficiently inefficient?
←1 2 3 4 5→

Working efficiently inefficient?
←1 2 3 4 5→

There are varieties in displays (check the boxes with appropriate number)
1 2 3 4 5

Always __________Never
News papers □
Posters Magazine □
Safety Charts □
□ Student work □
Curriculum Demonstrative
□ Models □
Media clips Equipments □
Internet Is the space well used?
□ Adequately □


Not al all


Monitoring Schedule

Sept 07 Oct 07 Nov 07 Dec 07 Jan 08 Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug

WK1 
Organization WK2    
of resources. WK3  
WK1     
Accessibility WK2         
of resources. WK3         
WK4    
WK1         
Use of
WK2         
WK3         
WK4         
Display, WK1  
presentation WK2   
and use of WK3   
space WK4  