The thought of teaching science to a class of eager students has always filled me with slight dread. This is partly due to having little experience of science throughout my own primary experience as well as lacking any confidence surrounding science knowledge and experiments.
I decided to engage with this module in the hope that through learning about the theories behind science pedagogy my confidence and subject knowledge would grow. Not only have I learned masses about certain scientific areas, I have also gained better confidence in planning and delivering lessons.
Going into our first group teaching lesson I was slightly apprehensive as this would be the first time I had taught science and the thought of teaching my first lesson to experienced primary 6 pupils was daunting. I believe that working as a group provided ‘strength by numbers’ but also gave us the opportunity to share knowledge and ideas. Having the support of other students was also a confidence boost as it allowed us to step in and support each other in any areas of weakness.
For our second group lesson again we were in a group. I felt much happier about the thought of teaching science to a group of primary 7’s. As a teacher it is my responsibility to make sure that I have a secure subject knowledge. when we were first shown the list of topics we could cover I knew that I would have to do a lot of research, however this was extremely beneficial as it meant I was engaged with the learning process and also helped me to judge how much of a topic we could cover in the given time and also how complex we could take the concept. After reflecting on my contributions to the first group lessons, I identified areas of personal weakness which I hoped to develop and improve on.
Firstly, I believed that it was important to have a set of questions prepared in order to assess learning throughout the lesson. Although we did have a set of pre-prepared questions it was also important for us to acknowledge and answer the questions presented by the children throughout the lesson.
Throughout my time at university I have repeatedly heard lecturers mention the “hook”. A way of sparking interests in a lesson and gaining instant engagement. This is something we struggled with in our first lesson as we had a more mundane experiment compared to some of the others surrounding us. However, by incorporating fly-sticks in this lesson we instantly had pupils hooked on our concept and managed to keep their attention throughout the lesson. As a teacher it is simply not enough to have a good opening, we must be able to explain the idea and the science behind it.
I believe our second group lesson flowed well as we each presented a different experiment based on the concept of static electricity. Again, the benefit of teaching with peers was that if any questions were presented that one person did not know the answer to we could rely on each other to fill in any gaps of knowledge.
By engaging in this module I have not only learned a huge amount about science, I have also gained a greater insight as to creating educational vlogs. I have never made a video before and was apprehensive of filming and producing videos which would form part of my assessment. However, as technology becomes an ever-expanding part of society it is important that as a teacher I engage with learning about how technology can be used in the classroom. Vlogging in this sense was a great way of exploring and sharing our own personal findings however this idea could be easily used in the primary classroom. It would also be reasonable to suggest that vlogs and voice notes could be featured as a form of teacher/peer feedback.
This module has improved my knowledge of both the science curriculum and methods of teaching which in turn has created a newfound sense of confidence in myself and my teaching abilities which I hope to put into practice on my next placement.