Thinking, Doing, Talking Science Can we use our skills to train teachers in a way that has measurable impact? [email protected] Oxford Brookes University research with 16 primary schools in 2002-04 found that the following approaches led to increased engagement & achievement: • More questioning • Deeper thinking • More discussion • Less writing • More practical activity 42 primary schools Phase 1 Phase 2 21 primary schools 21 primary schools Intervention Fair test All Year 4 pupils (2012-13) in all schools completed a pre-intervention test and attitude survey in December 2012 and another test and attitude survey in July 2014 Control Year 5 pupils (2013-14) Pupil attitude survey – 3 sections Learning science at school 10 statements • Science lessons make me think • I look forward to my science lessons • I enjoy discussions in science lessons Attitudes towards science 6 statements • It is important that we learn science • I like thinking about scientific ideas Practical work in school science 7 statements • We do practical work in most science lessons • Solving science problems is enjoyable Thinking, Doing, Talking Science Stated Aims To enhance participating teachers’ skills to: • improve the level of conceptual challenge in primary science by the encouragement of pupils’ higher order thinking • make links between pupils’ learning in science, mathematics and literacy and so to increase the cognitive challenge throughout the curriculum Dedicated discussion slots in science lessons Questioning skills to extend pupils’ thinking about scientific ideas Understanding of appropriate and challenging science practical work, including investigations and problem solving Pupils’ focused and creative classroom recording in science Links to maths & English Teachers’ personal science subject knowledge Thinking time Think Pair Share Which is the odd one out & why? PMI: A world without electricity Interesting Statements: Positive Statements: •You won`t waste so much energy •Instead of electrical toys you would have wind up radios – that would be fun!! •The world would be equal •You would have to be inventive in your spare time. •Torches might become really fashionable. •People might be fitter – less T.V = more exercise. Minus Statements: •It would be very scary walking home at night. •There wouldn't be a London underground. •You wouldn't be able to watch T.V! The chocolate teapot Try some Living on the Moon An eye in the middle of your hand See the sheet of further examples A world without friction A flexible skeleton The Big Question: What causes gravity? ‘Pencils produce gravity but not enough to attract anything.’ ‘If you push the two books out in a space craft, in a few days they would gradually pull together…where there’s no friction.’ ‘It’s a force that pulls things to the centre of the earth.’ ‘It makes things fall’ ‘It causes the tide to come in.’ ‘The core is like a big magnet.’ ‘Is it because the world is spinning?’ ‘I think it’s a force that grows in outer space and it picks up rubble and pulls it together.’ The Big Question: How do you know that the Earth is a sphere? ‘Why doesn’t water fall off the edge if the Earth is flat?’ ‘If it’s flat, when you make the foundations for a temple why doesn’t it go through?’ ‘Because gravity comes from the centre of the earth, because a sphere is the smallest shape you can make from the centre, it would most likely be pulled up into a sphere.’ There are seventeen types of penguin on earth. Explain why you think this might be. “Because you can get people from different places in the world why not penguins?” “So that scientists can do more research on penguins behaviour and habitat.” “I don’t know why.” “Some penguins have to live in a different type of happitat so there boddie have to adapt and their boddie can change.” “Because when penguins evolved they all had different DNA causing them to have different apperances” The Big Question: What is going on inside the wire? HOT Practical Prompts for Thinking Practical Prompts for Thinking Make the bulb light Which magnet is the strongest? What are you going to test? What are you going to record? What type of graph is appropriate? What would be the learning objective? How would you assess the learning objective? Ofsted 'Maintaining Curiosity' Science Education Survey 2013 The best science teachers, seen as part of this survey, set out to ‘first maintain curiosity’ in their pupils. The most successful schools visited during this survey had adopted this as a key principle in teaching science and this not only fostered enthusiasm for the subject in their pupils but helped them to fulfil their potential. This report highlights the importance of teaching science for understanding. For pupils to achieve well in science, they must not only acquire the necessary knowledge, but also understand its value, enjoy the experience of working scientifically, and sustain their interest in learning it. In the best schools visited, teachers ensured that pupils understood the ‘big ideas’ of science. They made sure that pupils mastered the investigative and practical skills that underpin the development of scientific knowledge and could discover for themselves the relevance and usefulness of those ideas. Explicit connections between science and literacy, when teachers made them, showed clear evidence of better science and literacy outcomes for pupils. Imaginative teaching allowed pupils to use their science work as a purpose for their reading and writing, in effect doubling the time available to teach both subjects. Teachers were tempted to short-cut any writing tasks in lessons, anxious that pupils moved on to practical work. This reinforced the idea in pupils’ minds that clear planning and subsequent recording of observations and results were not important parts of science practical activities. At its worst, inspectors heard pupils say: ‘We like science because we do not have to write anything.’ Using Bright Ideas and Practical Prompts has engaged their imaginations and they often make links to work covered in other topics. Many of my Year 5 say that they love science and parents have been commenting on how much their children talk about what is being covered. The children are more confident in talking about scientific ideas and they share more without worrying that they might be wrong. They love the practical sessions and the responsibility of planning it. I have learnt absolutely loads. I feel far less concerned about lengthy recording in their books. My lessons are fun and interactive with lots of practical activities. I start every lesson with a PMI or Odd One Out, like a mental starter in maths, and the children love this. I feel my own scientific knowledge and understanding has really improved thus I am more confident in delivering my lessons. It's been thought provoking, inspiring, challenging and a great deal of fun! I now enjoy teaching science more than anything else - Thank you! It has just been a truly amazing project. Thanks so much to all concerned. I've been teaching 15 years and have never felt so inspired and motivated to get up and go to work in the morning.
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