Authors:Mirko Ruščić, Antonio Vidović, Goran Kovačević, and Damir Sirovina
The study on the use of microscopes in biology teaching was conducted in 73 primary schools and 30 secondary schools in Split-Dalmatia County. The results showed that 94% of schools have at least one monocular light microscope, which is of primary importance for the teaching of biology. Out of the total number of schools, 97 schools are equipped with microscopes, while 6 schools have no microscopes. The most common types of microscopes used in teaching are monocular light microscopes (80%), followed by binocular optical microscopes (16%), digital microscopes (3%), and stereomicroscopes (1%). A total of 43% of teachers perform microscopy using the demonstration method, and 37% of teachers use practical work. Animal tissue and crosscut plant structure are the most frequent specimens used for microscopic examination in demonstration lessons, and plant cell preparations, protists, and sex cells are the most frequently used in practical lessons. In the course of the school year, 61% of teachers use the microscope occasionally in teaching biology, and 39% do so often. In terms of levels of satisfaction, using microscopy in teaching received an average rating of 3.73. Fifty-three percent of teachers gave the main reason for the infrequent use of microscopes in teaching as the lack of a sufficient number of microscopes for quality teaching; 30% cited the overly demanding biology curriculum; 11% space problems; and 6% the lack of microscopes, teacher's lack of confidence in working with microscopes, and lack of preparation. The reason given by the teachers for the low level of engagement with microscopy is their concern that there is no guarantee that the amount of time and effort required to use microscopes in class will be justified.