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Teaching Ideas about Science to Foundation level students.

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Presentation on theme: "Teaching Ideas about Science to Foundation level students."— Presentation transcript:

1 Teaching Ideas about Science to Foundation level students

2 2 A view of scientific literacy Knowledge of Science Explanations Knowledge of Ideas about Science Skills: critical thinking, development of argument …

3 3 Strategies for teaching Ideas about Science 1 Have clear ‘Ideas about Science’ (IaS) objectives in mind when teaching.

4 4 For example:  IaS3 Developing explanations: – IB3.2 Follow the evidence – AB3.1 Follow the evidence

5 5 IaS 3 Developing explanations Scientific explanations are tested by comparing them with data from observations or experiments. Recognise that an observation that agrees with an explanation increases confidence in the explanation, but does not prove it is correct. An observation that disagrees with a prediction (derived from an explanation) indicates that either the observation or the prediction is wrong, and that this may decrease our confidence in the explanation.

6 6 Strategies for teaching Ideas about Science 1 Have clear ‘Ideas about Science’ (IaS) objectives when teaching. 2 Keep the context simple. Use only some of the stimulus material provided if this enables you to focus on the specific point you want to teach. 3 Use everyday science-related contexts, e.g. current media stories 4 Use everyday non-science contexts

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8 8 Helping students understand Ideas about Science  Pace – Schemes of Work are only a guide. Adjust the teaching time to suit your students. You do not have to follow every detail of the Schemes of Work.  Literacy – OUP publications offer differentiated texts and activities – Even so, teachers need to help students develop skills for interrogating text

9 9 Interrogating text  Determining how scientific texts are to be taken involves determining, for example, when something is an inference, a hypothesis, a conclusion, or an assumption; when something is an asserted truth, an expressed doubt, or a proffered conjecture; when something is evidence for a claim, a justification for an action, or a stated fact to be explained. If these general meanings are missed, then the reader..has failed to grasp the scientific meaning beyond the surface content level. Norris and Phillips, 2003

10 10 Key language for Developing Explanations Opinion What someone thinks is an explanation for something. Hypothesis An statement most people accept because it hasn’t been disproved. Evidence Someone’s viewpoint. May not be based on evidence. Explanation Information that people see as relevant to an issue. Fact An idea to explain some evidence.

11 11 Introducing key language for IaS 3 Developing Explanations Is Mr Briggs guilty of speeding? Sunday, March 7 th, was a cold, sunny day. At 11.36am Mr Briggs was observed driving along Water Street. A speed camera measured his speed at 36mph. This is 6mph above the speed limit. Mr Briggs denies that he was speeding.

12 12 Is Mr Briggs guilty of speeding? Sunday, March 7 th, was a cold, sunny day. At 11.36am Mr Briggs was observed driving along Water Street. A speed camera measured his speed at 36mph. This is 6mph above the speed limit. Mr Briggs denies that he was speeding. - A fact?

13 13 Is Mr Briggs guilty of speeding? Sunday, March 7 th, was a cold, sunny day. At 11.36am Mr Briggs was observed driving along Water Street. A speed camera measured his speed at 36mph. This is 6mph above the speed limit. Mr Briggs denies that he was speeding. - A piece of evidence?

14 14 Is Mr Briggs guilty of speeding? Sunday, March 7 th, was a cold, sunny day. At 11.36am Mr Briggs was observed driving along Water Street. A speed camera measured his speed at 36mph. This is 6mph above the speed limit. Mr Briggs denies that he was speeding. - fact not linked to the question?

15 15 Skills assessment Case Study First - help students develop relevant skills & knowledge selecting relevant sources  analysing evidence and argument  drawing their own conclusions  presenting data and explanations  using key language for Ideas about Science Then - introduce the Case Study task  clearly focused title  student criteria/checklist  provide some stimulus material (simple practical as well as magazine/newspaper/TV report)  use range of presentation styles where motivational (need exemplars, e.g. poster)

16 16 Skills assessment Data Analysis First - help students develop relevant skills & knowledge an understanding of concepts such as best estimate, significance, reliability, validity skills in processing and presenting data (e.g. drawing and interpreting graphs) skills in drawing conclusions and evaluating the level of confidence that can be placed in them Then - introduce the Case Study task measurements procedure and results appropriate to your student’s range of abilities student criteria/checklist

17 17 “Students liked discussing contentious ethical issues, and seeing how science impacts on everyday life.” “The greatest challenge has been allowing more discussion, and weaning students off the ‘right’ answer.” Discursive teaching

18 18 Helping students understand Ideas about Science – a summary  Pace – Schemes of Work are only a guide. Adjust the teaching time to suit your students.  Literacy – Help students develop skills for interrogating text (See National Strategy, Learning skills for science)  Critical thinking, argumentation, evaluation … – structure the analysis of arguments – structure the introduction of key vocabulary – set small and achievable objectives  Ideas about Science develop over the whole course – objectives planning – departmental communication


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