RESEARCH AND EVALUATION
Implementation of science based on the 5E Learning Model: Insights from teacher feedback on trial PrimaryConnections units
Keith Skamp, Southern Cross University and Shelley Peers, Australian Academy of Science
Paper presented at the Australasian Science Education Research Association Conference, University of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, June 27-30, 2012.
This paper reports on insights gleaned from an analysis of more than 3000 comments, from over 200 teachers who have implemented trial PrimaryConnections units and provided detailed written feedback. The feedback included teachers’ perceptions of the strengths and weaknesses of each of the 5E phases and many related aspects. Using various lenses (e.g., purposes of the 5E phases, inquiry, language and assessment) to interpret teachers’ perceptions, this analysis reveals, among a range of outcomes, the impact PrimaryConnections is having on teachers and students, the extent to which aspects of the enhanced 5E learning model are being addressed, areas which could further strengthen professional learning and the improvement of science pedagogy at the primary level.
Influencing Intended Teaching Practice: Exploring pre-service teachers’ perceptions of science teaching resources
Grant Cooper, John Kenny & Sharon Fraser, University of Tasmania
Grant Cooper, John Kenny & Sharon Fraser (2012): Influencing Intended Teaching Practice: Exploring pre-service teachers’ perceptions of science teaching resources, International Journal of Science Education, 34:12, 1883-1908
This paper reports on a study that explores the effect of the PrimaryConnections resources on the intentions of pre-service primary teachers to teach science. The purpose of this study was to investigate how effective these quality teaching resources were in influencing the intentions of primary pre-service teachers to teach science after they graduated. The study also provided evidence of how quality science teaching resources can be effectively embedded in a teacher education program as a means of encouraging and supporting pre-service teachers in teaching science.
Read more at: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/09500693.2012.698762
PrimaryConnections: Simulating the Classroom in Initial Teacher Education
Anne Christine Hume, University of Waikato, NZ
Hume, A.C. (2011). PrimaryConnections: Simulating the Classroom in Initial Teacher Education. Research in Science Education, 2012, Volume 42, Number 3, Pages 551-565
This paper reports on an innovation involving a sustained simulation in an undergraduate science education course as a mediational tool to connect two communities of practice—initial teacher education and expert primary science teaching. The course lecturer and student teachers role-played the expert classroom teacher and primary students (Years 7/8) respectively in an attempt to gain insights into teaching and learning through authentic activity that models good practice in primary science teaching and learning. Activity theory was used to help frame and analyse the data. Findings from the first trial indicate that the simulation was very effective in initiating science pedagogical content knowledge (PCK) development of primary student teachers.
Read more at: http://www.springerlink.com/content/v537262591014615/?MUD=MP
Re-Imagining Science Education: Engaging Students in Science for Australia’s Future
Russell Tytler, Deakin University
Tytler, Russell (2007), Re-Imagining Science Education: Engaging Students in Science for Australia's Future.
Many of the innovations described by the literature reviewed in this document imply expanded and innovative teaching practices. One of the key criticisms of the current, traditional practice in school science has been of the pervasive use of transmissive pedagogies, and the lack of variety in teaching strategies. This is in part a response to the nature and volume of curriculum content requirements, and possibly the continuance of a long-standing tradition. Pedagogy, in a re-imagined science curriculum, will need to be more varied, more supportive of students’ agency through more open tasks, increased discussion and negotiation of ideas, and involve more varied settings. Reform of science education will need to include a substantial re-think of pedagogy, linked to content reform and teacher development.
Read more at: http://research.acer.edu.au/aer/3/
PrimaryConnections: A new approach to primary science and to teacher professional learning
Mark Hackling, Edith Cowan University
ACER Research Conference 2006: Boosting science learning – what will it take?
This paper reports data on the impact of PrimaryConnections on teachers, students and schools based on a trial in 2005 which involved an intensive professional learning program supported with trial curriculum units. The program improved teachers' confidence, self-efficacy and practice, students' learning, and the status of science within schools. The data suggest that the combination of professional learning and being supported in their teaching with curriculum resources enhances teachers' confidence and self-efficacy through building science pedagogical content knowledge.
Mark Ash, Moreton Bay College
This article first appeared on page 13 in EQ Australia Issue One, Autumn 2008, 'Let's teach maths and science'. EQ Australia is a quarterly magazine published by Curriculum Corporation.
A contextualised approach to the learning of science asks students to look at their world and the science within it as a way to learn and apply major scientific concepts. Research findings have strongly supported contextualised learning in science, but a number of obstacles have prevented its widespread implementation [...] To deal with these obstacles, education systems and education publishers should draw on the experiences of successful examples of contextualisation, such as those provided through Salters Science and local PrimaryConnections initiatives. Efforts to overcome these obstacles will also need to recognise the particular local conditions, including the backgrounds of staff and students.