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This project Pri-Sci-Net has received funding from the European Union Seventh Framework Programme (FP7 2007 /13) under grant agreement No.266647 Inquiry.

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Presentation on theme: "This project Pri-Sci-Net has received funding from the European Union Seventh Framework Programme (FP7 2007 /13) under grant agreement No.266647 Inquiry."— Presentation transcript:

1 This project Pri-Sci-Net has received funding from the European Union Seventh Framework Programme (FP /13) under grant agreement No Inquiry based primary science: lessons from experiences in English classrooms Willeke RietdijkUniversity of Southampton Jenny ByrneUniversity of Southampton Sue Dale-TunnicliffeInstitute of Education, University of London ESERA Conference, 7 September 2013

2 This project Pri-Sci-Net has received funding from the European Union Seventh Framework Programme (FP /13) under grant agreement No Activities trialled in the UK: – Early Years (ages 3-5) Swing game (Belgium) (2x) Find the magnet (Cyprus) (2x) Strong Walls (Belgium) (1x) – Years 1-4 (ages 5-9): Magnetic power (Slovakia) (5x) Exercise for health (Slovakia) (4x) Shadows, day and night (Southampton) (4x)

3 This project Pri-Sci-Net has received funding from the European Union Seventh Framework Programme (FP /13) under grant agreement No UK context for IBSE Positive climate for IBSE IBSE has had strong focus in UK primary curriculum but curriculum will be changing 2014, focus on facts and concepts Lower status of science compared to maths and English Primary science teacher training focuses on IBSE, but science is one of many subjects Not many opportunities for IBSE professional development Pri-Sci-Net delivers CPD, but nearly impossible for teachers to come out of school At Early Years (3-5) level, general philosophy of learning fits entirely with IBSE principles – playing and exploring, active learning, creating, and thinking critically are regarded to characterise effective teaching and learning

4 This project Pri-Sci-Net has received funding from the European Union Seventh Framework Programme (FP /13) under grant agreement No Research questions 1.Why is IBSE important in the primary classroom? 2.What are barriers to the management and delivery of effective inquiry-based science in the UK? 3.How does the age group of the children affect the management and delivery of effective inquiry-based science? 4.What are children’s responses to, and thoughts and feelings about the various aspects of inquiry based science?

5 This project Pri-Sci-Net has received funding from the European Union Seventh Framework Programme (FP /13) under grant agreement No Research methods 7 participating schools (2 Early Years and 5 Primary), broadly representative of the population Teacher questionnaires about feelings and views on IBSE Classroom observations of 18 activity trials (class sizes: ~30) 18 Interviews with classroom teachers 17 child group interviews (2-5 children); one 1:1 child interview Thematic analysis of interview data using NVivo; statistical analysis of questionnaire using SPSS

6 This project Pri-Sci-Net has received funding from the European Union Seventh Framework Programme (FP /13) under grant agreement No Observation categories Children are engaged in scientific thinking and discourse Children work with evidence and formulate explanations Children reflect on the progress of their inquiry, evaluate what has been achieved and plan next steps (based on PriSciNet definition of IBSE) Ratings: 1 = fully teacher led; 3 = fully pupil led; 2 = in between/combination

7 This project Pri-Sci-Net has received funding from the European Union Seventh Framework Programme (FP /13) under grant agreement No Research Q 1. Why is IBSE important? IBSE Teacher questionnaire findings (n=17) 14 out of 17 teachers felt that IBSE is ‘very important’ Open responses: Children need to: – follow their own ideas, discover for themselves, try things out, be independent in learning about the world around them – have fun, enjoy science – Work collaboratively – Skills in scientific inquiry are building blocks for life

8 This project Pri-Sci-Net has received funding from the European Union Seventh Framework Programme (FP /13) under grant agreement No Insufficient time, space, resources, staff (Questionnaire + Interviews) Lack of teacher confidence & skills, subject knowledge – (questionnaire) Teacher reluctance to relinquish control to the children (interviews + classroom observations) Research Question 2. Barriers to the management and delivery of IBSE

9 This project Pri-Sci-Net has received funding from the European Union Seventh Framework Programme (FP /13) under grant agreement No Observation ratings Full independence (3) only given in 29% of ratings (35/122) 27% of ratings indicate a 1 = fully teacher led aspect (33/122)

10 This project Pri-Sci-Net has received funding from the European Union Seventh Framework Programme (FP /13) under grant agreement No Most teacher led aspects of inquiry (most level 1 ratings): – Engaging children with scientific questions – Engaging children in critical discourse with others about procedures, evidence and explanations – Children connecting evidence and explanations to developing scientific knowledge (=NOS!) Most pupil led aspects of inquiry (most level 3 ratings): – Children interacting with each other during the activity – Children giving priority to evidence as they plan and conduct investigations

11 This project Pri-Sci-Net has received funding from the European Union Seventh Framework Programme (FP /13) under grant agreement No Teachers’ concerns about managing group work and assessment during inquiry based work (teacher interview data) Engagement & learning of children of different levels and abilities Group mix and size Tracking individual pupil’s, as well as all groups’ learning Managing resources How to assess children of different abilities? How to differentiate for different abilities and prevent repetition for able students? How much spoon feeding is needed for younger children? How to ensure learning objectives are met?

12 This project Pri-Sci-Net has received funding from the European Union Seventh Framework Programme (FP /13) under grant agreement No Research Q 3. How does age group of the children affect the management and delivery of IBSE? Concerns about suitability of IBSE for young age groups: common remark: “the children are too young for this”  Usually teachers of ages 5-7

13 This project Pri-Sci-Net has received funding from the European Union Seventh Framework Programme (FP /13) under grant agreement No Children’s feelings about IBSE Engagement, excitement, enthusiasm Enjoying working in groups and getting ideas off each other, receiving peer support Difficulties experienced with: – making links with scientific knowledge – group work

14 This project Pri-Sci-Net has received funding from the European Union Seventh Framework Programme (FP /13) under grant agreement No Conclusions & implications Teachers and children find IBSE highly valuable and enjoyable, but... …many challenges experienced Despite teachers valuing IBSE, hesitance to fully deliver it Restrictions of targets and national assessment regimes impede IBSE learning (especially early primary) Some of the findings resonate with concerns expressed in literature: - Focusing on specific skills (observation, fair testing) or doing hands on science rather than in-depth learning about inquiry and how science works? (Kim and Tan, 2011; Abd-El-Khalick, 2004) Creativity with / awareness of alternative assessment methods would facilitate IBSE Some difficulties children experienced with group work might impede their learning and confidence

15 This project Pri-Sci-Net has received funding from the European Union Seventh Framework Programme (FP /13) under grant agreement No Thank you Our addresses: – (Jenny Byrne) – (Willeke Rietdijk) – (Sue Dale-Tunnicliffe)


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