I have found the first two science inputs to be invaluable for this stage of my teacher training. Not only have I learned science knowledge but I will have gained information and advice which I shall apply to all aspects of my teaching. I am now eager to start my own investigating and to teach not only science but across the curriculum, which is a sign of the exact sort of method and result I would like to produce as a teacher.
Science lessons should teach rather than tell and should promote hard-working children who are enquirers. It is important not to have to know random science-related information but for it to have connections and be purposeful (not in isolation). Teach with effective planning (along the path of the story) and share with children what, how, where and WHY. This can be through topical science – highlighting science in everyday life. When children understand and appreciate their learning it is easier to engage and be enjoyable.
An aspect of this is to share career paths through STEM learning such as:
- Ethical hacking, game designers
- Food development and tasters
- Cosmetic industry
- Social Science
- Scientific Gardening
- Animal work
– and to discuss transferable skills –
However, there will be barriers and challenges such as being a male dominant work force and imbalances showing from early stages into Nationals (which I think should be explored in the classroom). In turn it is also important to have a balance of scientists which are investigated in the classroom such as through Scotland as a Scientific Nation.
I can now identify that in secondary school biology, I struggled to say the least. I chose the subject because of it’s content, I enjoyed learning about the human body and the environment in particular, (which I look forward to teaching on in the future) but I struggled with a lot of the assessment methods. Conducting experiments which involved collecting data and analysing data. I recall struggling with a simple graph, but is it so simple when it hasn’t been taught well? As primary teachers we need to be installing science skills as well as concepts and ideas about science and to make this clear to the children. From this workshop I will take away that yes I can provide a range of science topics but that when children reach secondary school it is easier to teach knowledge on forces then it is to teach the skills needed for effective science lessons. This leads me on to scientific literacy;
“Scientific literacy is not about being able to talk in scientific ‘jargon’ that no-one else understands, but much more about being able to interpret ideas that are put in front of you, about the world around you, using as a basis the scientific knowledge and facts you already possess” (Dunneand Peacock, 2012). It is not being able to take in information and recall but to apply in unfamiliar or familiar situations. This helps children to contribute to society, understand the world around them and science ‘traps’ such as the use of ‘brain gym’ and diet fads. I believe this will become increasingly important in modern society, with messages from social media to environmental issues and voting participation. I also believe this shouldn’t be hidden information from children and this will be one key aspect of my practice I will install in my classroom. Teaching children about what exactly they are learning (including the skills) and why. Children also be involved in this process and .In turn supporting children to become;
- Successful learners
- Confident individuals
- Responsible citizens
- Effective contributors.
Not only in their primary school learning but in their social lives, secondary school and into adulthood. We are building the foundation for the future and with effective science teaching and learning I believe children stand in much greater position to view the world differently, cope with a variety of situations and regulate themselves. This also transfers to participating and achieving in the 4 contexts for learning:
- Curriculum areas and subjects
- Interdisciplinary learning
- Ethos and life of the school
- Opportunities for personal achievement.
I look forward to exploring science and I hope to inspire children of all genders to engage with science, in it’s many forms, and create active lifelong learners.
Education Scotland (2013) The Sciences 3 – 18. 25 – 33. Available at: https://education.gov.scot/improvement/documents/sciences/sci14_sciencescurriculumimpact/sciences-3-to-18-2013-update.pdf (Accessed: 14.01.19)
Dunne, M. and Peacock, A. (2012) Primary Science, London: Sage