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Creativity and Excitement in Primary Science Helen Wilson, Jo Thompson Oxford Brookes University

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1 Creativity and Excitement in Primary Science Helen Wilson, Jo Thompson Oxford Brookes University

2 The tension in the current English education system? My test results must improve Content driven Creativity Process driven

3 The stress on results means that there is a tendency towards extreme instrumentalism in learning: if it is not assessed then it is not important. Wilde et al (2006) Nuffield Review Higher Education Focus Groups Preliminary Report The Nuffield Review of 14 – 19 Education and Training

4 My test results must improve Content driven Creativity Process driven

5 My test results will improve Content driven Creativity Process driven

6 If you are willing to deal effectively with the needs of able pupils you will raise the achievement of all pupils. Renzulli

7 A rising tide…

8 Evidence?

9 Structure of the Project Originally funded by: the AstraZeneca Science Teaching Trust

10 Oxfordshire AZ Project 16 Oxfordshire primary schools Year 6 teacherScience co-ordinator CPD: 8 days INSET

11 London York

12 More emphasis on pupils independent scientific thinking Increased time within lessons spent in discussion of scientific ideas More focused recording by the pupils, less time spent writing More time for hands on, practical investigations Key Outcomes of Projects

13 More practical activity Deeper thinking More discussion Less writing More questioning Or, more simply:

14 Threads The Bright Ideas Time Practical science Focused recording Talk Do Think

15 Infusion: Higher order thinking Bright ideas time Problem solving Investigations Pupils as researchers Questions ICT Creativity Coates, D. & Wilson, H. (2003). Challenges in Primary Science. London: Fulton Dialogue

16 High: synthesis - hypothesising, showing originality by creating, inventing and composing evaluation - judging, rating and giving opinions analysis - categorising and comparing; distinguishing between fact and opinion or relevant and irrelevant information Middle: application/use - transferring knowledge from one situation to another similar one Low: comprehension - summarising and putting ideas or information into other words knowledge - remembering, reciting or listing facts Blooms Taxonomy

17 Higher order thinking occurs when a person takes new information and information stored in memory and interrelates and/or rearranges and extends this information to achieve a purpose or find possible answers in perplexing situations. Another definition of Higher Order Thinking: Information Relates, rearranges Possible answers Lewis and Smith (1993, p.136)

18 Too busy working to have time to think?

19 Content of the Curriculum Use/Apply Reflection HOT Infusion

20 Bright Ideas Time All the project schools developed this discussion slot The Bright Ideas slot has taken off throughout the school. It really encourages the pupils to think & it is rather like a science mental starter

21 Think Pair Share Thinking time


23 The Bright Ideas Time Game shows: Odd One Out PMI A big question Concept cartoons Discussing big ideas is more important than finding the right answer

24 The Odd One Out

25 Chocolate, paper, water Which is the odd one out & why?

26 Which is the Odd One Out and why? Sand Salt Iron filings

27 Which is the odd one out & why?


29 Video clip: Odd One Out

30 The Bright Ideas Time Sheets of examples of the Bright Ideas Time

31 PMI Chocolate door handles

32 PMI: A world without electricity

33 Positive Statements: You won`t waste so much energy Instead of electrical toys you would have wind up radios – that would be fun!! The world would be equal

34 Minus Statements: It would be very scary walking home at night. There wouldn't`t be a London underground. You wouldn't`t be able to watch T.V!

35 Interesting Statements: You would have to be inventive in your spare time. Torches might become really fashionable. People might be fitter – less T.V = more exercise.

36 The chocolate teapot Living on the Moon A world without friction A flexible skeleton An eye in the middle of your hand

37 There is more of a buzz and children are a lot more confident when sharing their ideas - risk- taking has increased/improved greatly and this has a positive knock-on effect Incorporating Bright Ideas time into every session The Bright Ideas have been an excellent way of stimulating discussion and questioning. They have also come up with some far more interesting ideas than I have thought of. I have noticed that the more we do, the more scientific their ideas have become.

38 Practical Investigations: Do people with the strongest legs jump the furthest? I think… because…

39 Example: Do people with the strongest legs jump the furthest? Responses from Year 2 pupils

40 a.Most of the time people jump further when they are stronger b.Muscles has got nothing to do with how far because muscles are if you carry heavy things not how far you go c.I think the people with the lightest legs will jump the highest because they dont have to lift as much d.There is no reason e.The people with the stronger legs are strong so they can jump higher f. I think the strongest legs will push the most and go the furthest. g.The people with the strongest legs will jump the furthest because they have the strongest legs. Rate these responses, according to the depth of thinking involved:

41 Year 2 Patterns in Data & Evaluations Lillie had the biggest bit round the thigh but she did not jump the furthest I think its about how high you go because it takes longer to land

42 How to focus the LO in Sc1 Concentrate on one particular aspect of an investigation, e.g. prediction planning results conclusion.

43 Focus Recording – on the learning objectives

44 But then when you do an investigation, you understand what you are actually writing about and you can write a lot clearer. If youre just told to write something, but if you find out something first and then report it, then you learn.

45 How do we know that the Earth is a sphere?

46 If its flat, when you make the foundations for a temple why doesnt it go through? Why doesnt water fall off the edge if the Earth is flat?

47 Because gravity comes from the centre of the earth, because a sphere is the smallest shape you can make from the centre, it would most likely be pulled up into a sphere.

48 Why dont we sense the motion?

49 Because were not going around fast

50 But if everything is moving all the time, like all the trees and houses, then you dont feel any different from anything else.

51 Label the parts of the flower Which is a stamen? Where is pollen found?

52 Cut up a flower & see if you can find the parts below. Do some research and find out what is the yellow stuff on the anthers.

53 What do you think the bee is covered in? What will happen when the bee visits another flower? Which came first, bees or flowers?

54 Questioning contd. In pairs: Look at the picture on the screen. What does it make you think about? What do you think it is? What would you like to know about this picture?


56 Single pollen grain of chamomile

57 Which frog has a bigger mouth? Are you sure? Measure to find out.

58 What do you see?

59 1.Man Playing Horn... Or Woman Silhouette? 2.Rabbit or duck? 3.A Face Of A Native American... Or An Eskimo?




63 In science, posing closed questions is a necessary skill too!

64 Guess who?

65 Whats my material?

66 Questions When questions arise in the classroom that no-one can answer, put them in the poster of the light bulb Challenge: who can find the answer?

67 I asked the best question this week My question was …

68 Recurring themes from pupil interviews: Thinking about ideas Talking, discussing ideas with each other More doing for themselves (hands on) – investigations, experiments Less writing Fun, enjoyment, interesting Deciding for themselves what to do Understand and remember more by doing

69 I really like the Bright Ideas bit, especially the PMI, because it gets you thinking. … they are fun and get you thinking, which is what scientists have to do. We used to have to write more in science, but this year I have had to do a lot more thinking and talking

70 Sports Model (Freeman) Provide Identify

71 Pell and Jarvis (2001) in UK and Piburn and Baker (1993) have found that childrens enthusiasm for science decreases with age in primary schools.

72 They love science! They are very enthusiastic & feel that they are learning in a more interesting way They are far more interested in science & always want to do more That was good, you had to think a lot more…it makes science much more fun Oxfordshire AZ Project I have enjoyed science more & think this has rubbed off on the class

73 London G&T Project They have become more abstract in their thinking and have found activities more fun It has been a great opportunity and the ideas learnt will definitely continue to be used and developed.. I have give my children more opportunities to discuss their ideas about science topics and have found that they are more willing to share their ideas with me and others.

74 % of pupils in project attaining level 5 = 53% % of pupils nationally attaining level 5 = 41% Number of pupils in project = 412 A significantly higher proportion of children achieved the highest level in the project schools than was the case nationally.

75 The findings of this project suggest that the making of time for thinking through discussion and practical science is a priority in the primary classroom which should not be squeezed out by a content driven approach. Conclusion

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