Wind Energy

The role of language in learning and the value of finding the roots of meaning

Words and ideas are useful but there can never be one correct meaning or definition of each one. Despite the best efforts of scientists to keep meanings fixed and precise, the meaning of what is written and said in science as in any aspect of human life changes over time - public meanings change over historical time, and private understandings change over the lifetime of an individual. It is therefore important to uncover how children use words. We may accuse them of muddled thinking, when it...

Markobine Gando

Sembo Cars

This chapter began by showing that naive observation is not possible. There are no such people as objective scientists, able to collect data without using any of their own ideas. The scientific method may start when we notice something, but even this process depends unconsciously on the ideas that are already in our minds. These ideas or concepts are often labelled by single words, so it is important to find out what each person, whether learner or learned, understands by these words. Figure...

Justification for the inclusion of science in the school curriculum

Some topics in our science curriculum owe their presence more to accidents of history than to anything else, though we could justify any part of our existing curriculum from a cultural point of view. If the ideas form part of our scientific heritage, humanity as a whole has a right to share this knowledge. We can justify including the cultural achievements of humanity from other disciplines of knowledge on the same basis there is little distinction between studying the evolution of humans two...

Planning a school trip

Any form of off-site visit or activity necessitates thorough planning, with special attention paid to health and safety issues. This can be time-consuming but is vital to ensure that a safe, legal and educationally beneficial experience is obtained by all concerned. A general risk assessment will need to be carried out prior to the visit, with a more specific one being carried out once at the site. Companies will usually have their own generic one to help you. Often preparation for the visit...

Activities to support teaching

Pupils need to be fully equipped to play this active role and this requires the development of certain critical thinking skills that are fundamental to our decision-making process. These skills include metacognition thinking about thinking These skills don't develop overnight they need to be honed and nurtured, and opportunities should be offered whereby they can be practised and perfected. One activity that goes some way to support this is the process of 'diamond ranking' see Box 3.2 . Pupils...

Structured activities using pupil talk

When pupils need more than 10 or 20 seconds for their talk it needs to be structured more carefully. Here are some examples Peer-group discussion to develop an explanation for a phenomenon ('Why do you think bulbs go dim when in series, but stay bright in parallel You have 45 seconds to discuss this in your groups.'). Debating an issue, having been given resources to examine (as in activities you can download from the upd8 ('update') website (www.upd8.org.uk), such as the genetics debate in Box...

Misconception Plants respire at night but breathe in carbon dioxide in the day

Experiment Von Helmont

Pupils and adults alike hold this common misconception, but we need to appreciate the broader picture. There is clearly a grain of truth here see Chapter 4 - plants are net users of carbon dioxide during the day, and net exporters of it at night however, respiration goes on all the time. When a plant photosynthesises it uses sunlight energy to split water and reduce carbon dioxide. The end products are glucose and oxygen. Plant biomass its overall structure , however, is made of more than mere...

Childrens alternative ideas

Wind Energy Ideas

Methods of teaching science which are based on the idea that pupils build up, or construct, ideas about their world are often called constructivist approaches. If we want pupils to understand and use scientific ideas their existing beliefs need to be challenged or extended. We cannot always replace these naive ideas, but we can encourage pupils to use the scientific ones when appropriate, and to show them the inconsistencies in many of their existing ideas. This chapter looks at ways to probe...

Directed activities related to texts DARTs

The aim of active learning techniques is to allow pupils to translate the ideas they receive by watching, listening or reading into ideas that they own, ideas that are theirs and that they can use. Often pupils can read texts and answer questions without understanding -recall the discussion we had in Chapter 4 on markobinegando p. 33 and Box 4.3 . Techniques that give pupils the opportunity to interact with the text they are reading are called directed activities related to texts, or DARTs...

Confusion in how the word energy is used in everyday life and by physicists

The word energy is used spontaneously even by five-year-olds - it is a part of our everyday language. Not so long ago, in school we did experiments where 'work' was turned to 'heat' by friction we could calculate the number of joules that were equivalent to 1 calorie. Later we learnt that heat and mechanical movement were both forms of 'energy' and could be measured in the same units. Nowadays, the word energy, in its everyday meaning, has come to represent an ability to do something useful and...

Electricity from metals in a lemon

Planning Board Goldsworthy Feasey

You notice that when a copper and a zinc strip are pushed into a lemon, a voltage is generated between the two metal plates. What is going on See Figure 2.2. Generating questions for the investigation a Do the metals have to be different b Does the voltage depend on the size of the metals used c Does the voltage depend on the fruits used d How does the voltage change as the metals are moved apart e Which metals produce the largest voltage f How does this 'make' electricity FIGURE 2.2...

We only see what our brains allow us to see

Ask a fashion designer, a doctor, an architect, a parent and a motor mechanic to walk along the high street and then ask them to describe what they saw - all will give a different picture. Ask them to walk through the rain forest of an Amazonian Amerindian and they will see none of the complex detail that the tribal people take for granted. In your home town you feel at ease, you know where everything is and what each noise means but a stranger, receiving exactly the same sensory data, can...

Implications for teaching

It is not easy to change the habits of a lifetime, especially if the ideas we are using work so well - it is so convenient to say fuels contain energy. The reason why we urge a change is simple if we fail to acknowledge the role played by oxygen, and the exhaust gases that result, we are in danger of perpetuating the myth that matter, at an atomic level, can be destroyed. Few people gain any real idea of the material nature of greenhouse gases, or of the other products of combustion such as the...

Spreadsheets and data capture

There are many different skills required to use data-loggers and spreadsheets effectively manipulating the keyboard data-logger producing charts, pie charts and graphs using graph-drawing packages within spreadsheets and data-logger packages to support the analysis of results from experiments. There are a number of activities that can be chosen e.g. calculation of speed and production of speed-time graphs production of rates of reaction graphs for chemistry . The example given in Figure 11.5...

Things sink because they are heavy

There is a grain of truth in this if children use the word heavy to mean dense - as we all do. 'Wood is lighter than stone.' 'Metal is a heavy substance.' 'A ton of lead is heavier than a ton of feathers.' What we need to do is to show children that the word heavy, in its strict scientific sense, is a measurement of the force of gravity acting on the mass of body - a measure of its weight. So you can have a light piece of lead, and a heavy bag of feathers, but the density of the lead is still...

Introduction

In these four chapters we cannot cover all the concepts in the science curriculum, but we can focus on some key concepts where research has identified misconceptions. We explore approaches to teaching them, explaining why children have difficulty in coming to a scientific view about them, and why the misconceptions so easily build up even appearing in websites and textbooks - we challenge you to find some in this book . The teaching sequence we proposed in Part II of the book relies on us, as...

Big ideas and misconceptions in earth sciences and astronomy

Astronomy is the study of the stars and the universe. Humans have been trying to make sense of the stars and planets since our earliest ancestors attributed mythical shapes to them and described the constellations we still talk about today. They used the perceived movement of the stars for navigation purposes and sowed and reaped their crops in accordance with the changing position of the Sun and the phases of the Moon. Indeed our whole understanding of time and the language associated with it...

Dawes object lessons in elementary schools

Richard Dawes moved to his parish, near Winchester, in 1836, and built a model school Layton 1973 . Although the well-to-do paid more, once inside the school instruction took no account of social standing or fees paid. But the comprehensive ideal was not complete girls had to do needlework, while the boys studied science. Science lessons were object lessons pupils could observe for themselves the objects of common daily life to inspire them with an intelligent curiosity see Figure 24.1 . Dawes'...

The fueloxygen system

We can now apply this argument to the chemical system involved with burning and respiration. It takes energy to break bonds between atoms. The electrons attract the atoms on each side of the bond. To pull the atoms apart against this electrostatic force there must be an input of energy. If burning or respiration is to take place we need to separate the bonds of the carbohydrate molecules and the oxygen molecules to allow them to rearrange themselves as H2O and CO2. The energy transferred during...

Chemical equations

It amazes people to see molten iron emerge from a furnace where black charcoal and brown rock are heated strongly and few will link this with the layers of rust that appear on garden tools left out in the damp . Chemical changes only become understandable when we see that beneath the outward appearance of change are the unchanging indestructible atoms - the Lego blocks of our real world - which we confidently express to our perplexed pupils in the form of equations. Balancing equations is often...

What are sixthform students expected to do

Following a conventional A-level pathway, post-16 students can expect to do the following AS-levels advanced subsidiary , worth half a traditional A-level, are studied in the first year sixth. Most pupils will take four AS-levels during this year. Students will normally drop one subject after the first year. During the second year of the sixth form, most will continue with three subjects to A-level so-called A2s . Some will do a fifth AS-level others may start three new AS-levels. Most students...

Organising and managing class practicals

The importance of managing your pupils within the laboratory was discussed broadly in Chapter 19. From a safety perspective managing class practicals can be the most challenging aspect of a lesson. Careful consideration needs to be given to movement within the laboratory how is equipment to be distributed, how will Bunsens be lit, how will the end products of the practical be disposed of and how will the equipment be collected in and tidied away at the end including hot tripods On top of all...

Science as process Henslows systematic botany

As a child, Henslow had a keen interest in natural history, which he pursued at Cambridge. His parish school in Hitcham opened in 1841 and there he developed his idea of using botany as a way of training the mind. His 'systematic botany' lessons involved the classification of plants on the basis of their structure. Pupils were trained in observation and rational thought. Henslow's approach to science education emphasised how science worked rather than the subject matter the process rather than...

Modified texts but kept by pupils

This cut and paste activity Figure 9.2 shows an example is also known as a scrambled worksheet, because the worksheet will be supplied to the pupils to cut up and unscramble, either on-screen or with paper and scissors or even sets of laminated cards. After the pupils have completed the unscrambling with support if necessary you can give out an A5 size completed version for them to stick into their books, or they can download the completed text for their record....

Human biology

Following the outline above we can get pupils to think about our own body design. How do we get the materials to build new cells where they are needed How do we get fuel and oxygen to all our cells Rather than telling pupils about our circulation system, why not let them design it Ask the pupils to outline a 'balance of duties' for the heart and circulatory system - that is, identify exactly what the heart and circulatory system has to do - before considering the various components. How many...

Differentiation

So, armed with suitable information about the class they are teaching, the discerning teacher can fulfil the role of encouraging independent learning. This learning-centred approach follows the constructivist view of teaching and learning, building on or challenging pupils' everyday experiences and the conceptual models of understanding that develop from them. There can be a shift of emphasis from whole-class to individual-based learning, as pupils are encouraged to challenge and discuss their...

UsefuI websites

21st Century Science http www.21stcenturyscience.org Association for Science Education http www.ase.org.uk Concept Cartoons http www.conceptcartoons.com Data logging http www.rogerfrost.com Earth Science Education Unit Keele University http earthlearningidea.com and http www.earthscienceeducation.com Every Child Matters http www.everychildmatters.gov.uk GCSE Examboards Learning Outside the Classroom http www.lotc.org.uk National Association for Able Children in Education http www.nace.co.uk...

General risk assessment

General risk assessments GRAs have been compiled by a variety of authoritative bodies, and are models against which activities can be compared. There are two main aspects of the GRA The first aspect involves answering a series of in-depth questions concerning the activity Is it educationally necessary Is there an alternative, less hazardous substance or procedure Is it a teacher demonstration, or pupil activity What are the age and experience of the pupils What personal protection or control...

Strategies for links

When trainee teachers were asked to list a range of initiatives they had either experienced themselves or heard of, the outcome was quite impressive work experience and work shadowing talks at school by representatives from local firms staff and curriculum development representatives on school governing bodies STEM-related activities and events mini research projects for post-16 In the sections that follow we deal with two aspects from this list resources and STEM-related initiatives.

Modified texts but reusable

This is one of the most powerful activities linked to reading. Instructions for practical activities can be written in several steps on separate cards, on a sheet to be cut up and pasted into their notebooks or available as boxes of text to be sorted on a computer screen. Pupils have to put them in a sensible order before they can undertake the activity. Figure 9.1 is the nail-tube investigation from Chapter 2, but this time pupils have to match a reason for each stage in the...

Matter is made of indestructible particles that do not burn away

This is from a learning log of a primary teacher in training I gradually came to realise how much of a part 'atoms' do play in matter. I have always assumed that as materials go through the process of change, the atoms FIGURE 12.1 A watery solution drawn by a year one B.Ed student FIGURE 12.1 A watery solution drawn by a year one B.Ed student from which they are made up, change too. However, I now understand that atoms are indestructible and I can look at any substance now and judge that,...

Transport of materials in plants

The rooting system of the more advanced plants is complex, with a central taproot and a series of radial, lateral roots. Root hairs serve to increase the overall surface area of the system. Water and mineral salts are absorbed from the soil into the roots by osmosis. The water and minerals pass through a network of cells into a series of hollow tubes, the xylem vessels. These connect the roots to the rest of the plant. Teaching point. Take time to question pupils about what they think the small...

Sharing good safety practice with the pupils

The Secondary National Strategy at both Key Stages 3 and 4 emphasises the importance of health and safety in science education and places an expectation on the teacher to ensure that pupils are fully aware of the hazards, and are able to assess risk and take actions to reduce risks to themselves and others. Traditionally pupils have been given a set of rules to abide by while they are in the science laboratory. Is it the set of safety rules or the sharing in the making of them that is important...

The rise of Nuffield Science

Apart from a few schools using Henslow's ideas, mainstream secondary science in the first half of the twentieth century became very content based, with lots of rote learning of laws and facts. Science teaching in school was geared to passing the university entrance examinations which developed into the School Certificate and then O- and A-levels. The Nuffield Science movement in the 1960s was a direct challenge to this factual approach to science teaching, reviving Henslow's ideas from a...