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School Innovation in Science Formerly Science in Schools An overview of the SIS Model & supporting research Russell Tytler Faculty of Education, Deakin.

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Presentation on theme: "School Innovation in Science Formerly Science in Schools An overview of the SIS Model & supporting research Russell Tytler Faculty of Education, Deakin."— Presentation transcript:

1 School Innovation in Science Formerly Science in Schools An overview of the SIS Model & supporting research Russell Tytler Faculty of Education, Deakin University

2 Nature of SIS  SIS is a model by which schools work to improve their teaching and learning in Science.  The SIS model includes:  A framework of effective teaching and learning  A strategy to support teacher and school change  A range of support elements  The SIS model is operating in 400+ schools and has since been extended to major Middle Years, and P-12 Victorian projects

3 The SIS Strategy

4 The SIS Components 1. The learning environment encourages active engagement with ideas and evidence 2. Students are challenged to develop meaningful understandings 3. Science is linked with students’ lives and interests 4. Students’ individual learning needs are catered for 5. Assessment is embedded within the science learning strategy 6. The nature of science is represented in its various aspects 7. The classroom is linked with the broader community 8. Learning technologies are exploited for their learning potentialities

5 Mathematics and Science (IMYMS) 1 The learning environment promotes a culture of value and respect 2 Students are encouraged to be independent and self motivated learners 3 Students are challenged to extend their understandings 4 Students are supported to develop meaningful understandings 5 Students are encouraged to see themselves as mathematical and scientific thinkers 6 Mathematics and science content is linked with students’ lives and interests 7 Assessment is an integral part of teaching and learning 8 Learning connects strongly with communities and practice beyond the classroom 9 Learning technologies are used to enhance student learning

6 Developing an Action Plan Auditing Practices in the School Project support structures Supporting Actions in schools Reviewing audit data and developing initiatives Developing and Writing an Action Plan Prioritising initiatives Team practices Student learning, perceptions Classroom practice — teacher interviews Curriculum School organisation and practices

7 Component Map example 1.3 Students are encouraged and supported to take responsibility for the design, conduct and analysis of science investigations In my class: Student investigations often arise as a result of their questions and predictions. Students frequently take responsibility for aspects of the design, conduct and analysis of science investigations. They are encouraged to critically evaluate their findings. Student investigations sometimes arise as a result of their questions and predictions. Students often provide input into aspects of practical work such as design, conduct and analysis. Practical work mainly involves set instructions, but allows individual interpretation of results. Students occasionally provide input into aspects of practical work such as design, conduct or analysis.. Practical work is planned to illustrate science concepts or to teach science processes. Students almost always follow set instructions. Comment

8 Component mapping …  The teaching and learning review exercise … identified teacher strengths and areas that they would like to improve on … allowed teachers to identify and be open about their limitations and expertise … encouraged a more thoughtful approach to teaching and learning … encouraged the development of a shared vision of science (From a review meeting of SIS Coordinators)

9 Team strategic practice audit

10 Student perceptions For each of the statements about THIS CLASS, mark whether you … SAADSD 1It is OK to say what I think in this class 2In this class I am expected to make decisions about how I do my work 3In this class we study things that interest me 4The work we do in class makes me think and ask questions 5My teacher’s comments on my work help me learn better 6In this class we work on projects outside school or have people come to talk to us 7I enjoy the work I do in this class

11 The focus of SIS Teacher classroom praxis Teacher knowledge and beliefs Curriculum materials School science culture Student learning The SIS Components are aimed at the interaction between students and the teacher’s praxis, and knowledge and beliefs The SIS Strategy is aimed at the interaction between the school and the teacher’s praxis

12 So what have schools been doing?  Teaching and learning initiatives  Curriculum initiatives  Community initiatives  ICT initiatives

13 Examples of teaching & learning initiatives  catering for individual learning styles by using a greater range of teaching strategies  developing more interesting and student-centred units of work and greater numbers of ‘hands-on’ activities to improve student engagement and motivation.  developing more investigative approaches to practical work and experimentation.  promoting the use of higher order thinking through open-ended and problem solving tasks  embedding activities in units and sequences that “ relate science to the real world, profile the work of scientists”, and “increasing awareness of the role of modern science in the community”.

14 Some outcomes from School Innovation in Science

15 Changes in science team culture  SIS schools generally and in particular Secondary schools have been excited by the renewed sense of teamwork..  It seems to be the most alive faculty in the school. The Science teachers are seen to be more ‘cutting edge’, in touch with current education trends and prepared to have a go at initiatives. Science teachers seem really engaged in their teaching (Secondary teacher).  (Involving the whole school) was incredibly powerful as all the staff became involved and felt that their opinion was valued. The sense of “ownership” for all staff was critical in gaining support for the process of change that was about to take place (Primary SIS Coordinator)

16 Team practices: % of primary and secondary coordinators rating their pre-project and current performance at a high or very high level

17 Changes in school science Percentage of SIS Coordinators and teachers agreeing or strongly agreeing with: CoordinatorsTeachers The project has been successful to date in:PrimSecPrimSec a. Increasing the profile of science in the school79.680.597.376.7 b. Improving the organisation and planning of science curriculum in the school 10092.792.277.5 c. Improving the way science is taught in classrooms97.992.786.575.3 d. Improving processes for assessing students’ science learning 77.185.473.157.8 e. Increasing teachers’ enjoyment of teaching science95.887.884.861.5 f. Improving science learning outcomes for students98. g. Improving students’ attitude to science95.975.089.257.2

18 Changes in mean Component Map scores over three years

19 Student achievement: Secondary 2002

20 Other evidence of change  Consultant judgments: 68% of schools after 2001 were substantially embedding change or moving strongly in that direction  Increased time on science  The mean reported time spent on science in primary schools doubled to 2 hours, with another 2 hours spent in literacy and other KLAs, based on science. Many schools report times well in excess of this, basing a substantial portion of the curriculum around science themes.

21 Factors affecting success (SIS) Coordinator:Status within school, degree of organization, leadership qualities. School leadership: Leadership commitment; and actions related to support and commitment School culture:A culture of change existing in the school A positive attitude and willingness to try things The ability to share ideas and be open with each other concerning their classroom practice Access to support and resources: External support and prompting from consultants, Networks: other schools to share ideas, available PD, Access to physical resources Time, CRT* support, direction and project materials/advice

22 Leadership: Coordinator Strategic Actions  Team building— encouraging a common agenda  Supporting groups of staff working on initiatives  Supporting individual teachers  Encouraging innovation and involvement  Dealing with less-than-enthusiastic teachers

23 Role of the leadership team in the school  Explicit commitment to the project  Selection of SIS Coordinator  Moral support for Coordinator  Tangible support: time release, timetabling, reports to council ….  Strategic advice

24 Principles embodied within SIS  Challenge to teaching and learning practice  Acknowledgment of levels within schools  Local ownership and control  The importance of leadership  A layered conception of teacher learning

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