Sciences Conversation Day 2

Delegates attending our second conversation day at Bishopbriggs Academy identified four priority theme for sciences:

  1. Equity in education – science for all
  2. The importance of planning across school clusters
  3. Career long professional learning and support for practitioners
  4. Partnerships

Education Scotland is keen to hear your views regarding the third priority which addressed career long professional learning and support for practitioners.

Delegates viewed that:

  • More emphasis needs to be placed on recognition of lifelong learning for all practitioners:
    • Need to provide support from FE, HE and industry
    • There should be a clear opportunity for teachers to extend learning to master’s-level
    • Drawing together of HE and other organisations to facilitate a move towards accreditation.
  • Specialist support for teachers may be of benefit – potentially in the form of a visiting specialist.  Children age 9 + would be appropriate target audience.
  • There is often an artificial connection between formal and informal science education – and a recognition that the structured/rigid way which science is taught in secondary schools needs to change to reflect the realities of the wider world.
  • Promoting science in the classroom is not solely about teaching resources – teaching method (pedagogy) and leadership are key to success:
    • Need to ensure that there is a focus on STEM skills, rather than just content
    • Role of interdisciplinary learning is important – Bishopbriggs Academy has been undertaking an interdisciplinary project on the Commonwealth Games which connected with science learning.
  • Initial Teacher Education has to recognise importance of STEM specialism – primary schools need access to teacher specialism
  • Important to influence the work of the National Implementation Board to ensure needs of education system in relation to sciences are met
  • Need to ensure that newly qualified teachers (NQTs) have appropriate level of support to ensure their practice aligns to principles of CfE
  • Teacher support in sciences:
    • How does a leader create an environment for a practitioner to thrive?
    • Need to involve learners in prioritising improvements
    • We need to move away from tick box approach in identifying outcomes.
  • Practitioners in primary schools are mostly not science graduates but the question was raised whether practitioners need a science background to be able to teach science effectively?
  • CLPL in science needs to be targeted at all staff – not single practitioners.

 Education Scotland is keen to hear your views. Click on the title of this blog post to leave a comment.