Category Archives: Professional Studies

 AC1 – Maienschein, J. et al. (1998) states that there are two main definitions for science literacy. The first emphasizes a huge focus on gaining units of scientific or technical knowledge. Second emphasizes scientific ways of knowing and the process of thinking critically and creatively about the natural world. Knowing about science means that you can make informed decisions about the world around us from an economic, social and personal point of view. Science literacy links in with some of the principles with the Curriculum for Excellence which are depth, coherence and relevance (Education Scotland, 2016). It is important for children to look at science in depth because if you don’t the children may not have the chance to understand at any other point. Coherence comes in because if the children link up their previous knowledge to their current learning then they may have a better overall understanding. Lastly, relevance is important because if you cannot justify why the children are learning what they are, then why are they learning it? If their work isn’t relevant to the Curriculum and the children’s interests then they won’t be interested in science.

(Hannah Wilson)


AC2 – A shortage of scientific literacy could result in the development of false scientific conclusions. In 1998 one false accusation reported by the media was the investigation into the MMR vaccine. Andrew Wakefield, who no longer practices medicine, came to the conclusion that a child who is given this three in one vaccine for measles had an increase chance of developing autism. Of course, when these findings were released by the media many parents were hesitant and refused to get this vaccine for their children meaning the chances of the child catching measles increased.   In 2004 it was finally realised that these findings were false. Wakefield only research on twelve children and these twelve medical reports did not match what Wakefield claimed in this findings. His findings were therefore false making the paper he published inaccurate and this paper was taken down. This illustrates how important science literacy is, the outcome of this false information resulted in children suffering for unnecessary reason. In new, recent research it has been found that there is no link between the MMR vaccine and autism. However, there are some parents who may still be hesitant or refuse this vaccine for their child as they still believe Wakefield’s findings.

(Kimberley Young)

AC3 – Fair testing is one of many ways of learning through science enquiry. Testing is kept fair by experimenting in a controlled environment and changing one variable at a time. Teaching children how to test one variable at a time along with a control group shows them that by only one variable can affecting the outcome with a comparison (the control) reliably.  An example of a fair test in a school to improve scientific literacy could be to dissolve sugar in water. In each cup the same volume of water and sugar would be placed, one cup would have warm water and the other cold. The cold water (the control) gives them the comparison and proof that it is in fact the temperature that speeds up the sugar dissolving and not any of variables such as time left in water. Being scientifically literate is the ability to think critically about the world knowing that what they have in front of them may not always be reliable. So science literacy, the example of how false scientific conclusions and teaching fair testing iterates to children that not everything they say or hear is on based on evidence and they should challenge it if necessary.

(Katie Whitham)

Education Scotland (2016) – See here Greenslade, R (2013). The story behind the MMR scare. Available at: Jane Maienschein et al. (1998) “Scientific Literacy” in Science:Vol. 281, Issue 5379. page 917  NHS Choices, Ruling on doctor in MMR scare, 2010. Available at: Science Kidz (2016) – (Accessed: 14th February 2016). UTMB Health, Wakefield Autism Scandal, David Niesel and Norbert Herzog, 2012. Available at:

Skills and Values of a Teacher

As a teacher there are many skills and values you need to consider when presenting yourself in a professional manner. Five of which you may consider would be honesty, patience, fairness, respect and integrity in order to become the best possible teacher.
Honesty: The true meaning of honest is free of deceit; truthful and sincere. All of these contribute to becoming an honest teacher; children each day will look up to you as a role model and highly view your opinion. Therefore, giving an honest opinion or answer is always best. As children view the world around them each day a new subject may arise where certain situations may need to be discussed within the classroom, and as they say “honesty is the best policy”.
Working with children of all ages can be very stressful and tiring on occasions, especially when working in the early stages of education. Each day brings a new experience and new challenges so patience is a key skill to have. You must understand and take into account that children are still developing and still need time to learn and understand. Supporting children throughout their learning will build a relationship between the teacher and the child to help them to develop to the best of their ability.
Today the consensus seems to be that fairness and equality are two of the most important factors in a classroom. As a role model treating everyone equally and not judging demonstrates a high quality of professionalism within your class. In today’s society it is very easy to judge those around us but as a teacher it is vital that you treat everyone around you fairly, no matter their background, gender or religion.
Certainly there is no shortage of disagreement that respect is a positive feeling of admiration and this can be strongly linked to the teaching environment. Nowadays, respect is necessary for building rapports with pupils, fellow colleagues and parents, all skills that are essential in the classroom. In order to gain respect you must give the respect you wish to be given. As a professional, having an open mind is key to building a respectable, trusting relationship.
It can be argued that having strong moral principles and integrity is one of the most important factors of being a teacher today. By setting aims and targets for yourself, you are able to follow a pathway that demonstrates care and compassion, all assets that are necessary qualities for a teacher to have. Someone with strong morals represents a good role model to the children for them to look up to.