Increased awareness of how powerful student voice is. More students realise the importance of using key words in explanations. More students using key words in own writing and higher level questions. Highlighted need to focus on these skills school wide and to get students to see these skills as transferable rather than just for Science Increased focus on skills instead of content. helped to prepare students for GCSE Case Studies. What Gloucestershire teachers say
Introduction This strand is about recognising the importance of models in developing scientific understanding. Within the scientific community, models and modelling are an important mechanism for advancing scientific understanding.
Why Use Models? Teachers can use modelling to help pupils make sense of their observations, findings and abstract ideas through the visualisation of: – objects that are too big, e.g. the solar system, an ecosystem; – objects that are too small or not seen easily, e.g. a cell, the heart; – processes that cannot easily be seen directly, e.g. digestion, erosion; – abstract ideas, e.g. Particle theory, energy transfer.
Progression in Modelling Step 1 – Pupil characteristics Step 2 – Pupil characteristics Step 3 – Pupil characteristics Step 4 – Pupil characteristics recognise that everyday models and analogies can help to explain some scientific ideas can devise simple models to explain their observations, data or ideas; can recognise that different models are used in science to explain the same phenomenon. identify strengths and weaknesses in some of the analogies and scientific models used; use criteria to decide if it is a good enough model or if the model needs to be changed. can select and justify the use of a particular model for an explanation; can think creatively to devise more than one model to explain a scientific phenomenon.
To move from Step 1 to Step 2 Allow pupils to construct a range of cell models and then discuss whether these models helped them to visualise cells that are too small to see.
Models of typical animal and plant cell Slide 4.4
To Move From Step 2 to Step 3 Pupils need to be taught how to evaluate models and decide how appropriate they are A typical lesson objective could be: to be able to use a range of models or analogies to explain the structure of different specialised cells.
To Move From Step 3 to Step 4 Pupils need to be given the opportunity to select and justify the use of a particular model for an explanation. E.g. Looking at different ways that visking tubing can be used to represent the intestines.
I am just starting to use models: I can see how something in science is like something else; for example, lungs are like balloons. I can explain why some of my analogies work; for example lungs are like balloons because they can be inflated and deflated. Top tips to improve: Play games where you pick two random things (for example, a window and a cup of tea), and explain how they are alike, using ideas about science. When you come across ideas in science, keep trying to think of what it is like (a model for the system) I am improving at using models: I can make up my own simple models to explain what I see, my ideas or data I have gathered. I know why different models are used in science to explain the same thing. Top tips to improve: When you are introduced to a new scientific idea, try to suggest a model that might be used to explain it. When the teacher or another student mentions a model for a system, think about the model and how well it explains the system. Try to ask questions about the model to help clarify what all the parts of the model represent. I am taking use of models further: I can identify and discuss the strengths and weaknesses of some analogies and models. I can be creative in thinking of my own models and talking about the model with others. Top tips to improve: When you are given a model, work out which parts of the model represent which bits of the scientific system it represents. When given a model, explain to someone where the model works, and where it does not work. Try to think of ways in which a model could be improved. Explain to someone else how a model can be improved. When given a selection of models of a system, identify the strengths and weaknesses of the model and use this analysis to choose which is the best model for the system. I am skilled and confident in using models: I can choose an appropriate model to explain observations, ideas or data. I can explain why the model I have chosen is the most appropriate. I can be creative and think of my own model for a situation and explain it. Top tips to improve: Explain why you have chosen a particular model. Make up your own models and identify their strengths and weaknesses. Talk about your models, and improve your model if possible. Explain how and why you improved your model. Discuss and agree some rules that you can use to judge if a model is good enough. Using models pupil speak sheets