SATIS and upd update

A section on industrial links would not be complete without mention of the Science and Technology in Society (SATIS) material published by the Association for Science Education (ASE) in the 1980s and reprinted in the late 1990s. The original series consisted of seven books, each containing 10 units. The units were designed to be used in conjunction with conventional science courses, especially at Key Stage 4. Each unit is self-contained and linked to the major science topics, as well 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...

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

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...

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...

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...

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...

Making an alloy of sodium and potassium hazardous try out beforehand with your technician

What will happen if we react two of these reactive metals together Some may say they will react violently. However, sodium, a metal, is only reactive towards non-metals such as the chlorine above . When two similar elements 'react' together they form a material remarkably similar to the original elements - thus sodium and potassium form an alloy that still behaves like an alkali metal, but with a melting point lower than either. Compare this with solder an alloy of lead and tin . To make the...

Big ideas in biology

Biology is the study of living things. These are usually cellular but a few are acellular for example many fungi in organisation. It is therefore appropriate that the Secondary National Strategy has recognised the 'organism' as one of the key concepts underlying an understanding of the world around us. It is interesting to note that since viruses share the same nucleic acids and proteins as cells, they are often regarded as biological systems but not usually as organisms. 'Organisms, behaviour...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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,...

References

Note All web links were tested and were accessible at the time of going to press. ASE 2001 Topics in Safety, 3rd edn. Hatfield Association for Science Education. ASE 2006a Safeguards in the School Laboratory, 11th edn. Hatfield Association for Science Education. ASE 2006b Safety Reprints. Hatfield Association for Science Education. Assessment Reform Group 2002 Assessment for Learning 10 principles. Research-based principles to guide classroom practice. Available at Black, P. and Harrison, C....

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...

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...

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...

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....

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'...

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...

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...

The scientific investigation in school

Investigations are needed after you have noticed something interesting, and have had an idea of what might be going on. Ideas come from the creative side of science guesswork , but they must be investigated carefully, which is part of the logical checkwork side Medawar 1969 . It is this checkwork that people usually think of as 'the scientific method', and they forget about the ovals in Figure 2.1 - the creative side to science see also Chapter 24 . Note that theories can be useful but they can...

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...

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...

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...

How did science become a part of the National Curriculum

By the start of the nineteenth century in England there were schools for the wealthy and universities at Oxford and Cambridge but little teaching of science. In Scotland there were universities at St Andrews, Glasgow, Aberdeen and Edinburgh. Developments in science itself since the Renaissance had taken place mainly through amateur efforts of the leisured classes. Cambridge only began awarding science degrees in the 1850s. The Victorian era saw the foundation of new universities in London,...

The unique benefits proffered by science education

Science education, by its nature, includes a range of characteristics a practical approach, nurturing first-hand experiences potential for group or collaborative work and peer support conceptual development in sequential steps affording opportunities for success development of understanding of the big ideas in science - that is, those broad conceptual areas that allow for internal differentiation and individual progression. Nicholls and Turner 1998, p. 107 support this view and list the...

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...

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...

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.