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fbtwitterlinkedinvimeoflicker grey 14rssslideshare1
Languages: English
Types: Doctoral thesis
Subjects: LB1501
The main aim of this thesis is to further understanding of primary science\ud teaching through the analysis of a constructivist research project and its\ud evolution into curriculum materia's. My analysis is underpinned with views\ud on the nature of constructivism, the nature of primary science and\ud research into effective teaching. In particular, I seek to locate the Primary\ud SPACE (Science Processes and Concept Exploration) Project within the\ud paradigm of constructivism; to explore notions of children's ideas as either\ud theories or everyday ways of knowing; to chart the influence of\ud constructivism in the Nuffield Primaa'y Science (NPS) curriculum materials\ud and to observe case studies of classroom practice linked to both SPACE\ud and NPS. My analysis locates SPACE in a form of constructivism\ud particular to primary science (Harlen and Osborne, 1985) which has more\ud in common with "good primary practice" than with other approaches to\ud constructivism. The messages from the NPS Science Co-ordinator's\ud Handbook are very similar to this, while the practice modelled in the\ud Teachers' Guides relates more closely to "guided discovery". Observation\ud of a teacher using NPS for the first time reveals practice very similar to\ud that modelled in the Teachers' Guides in which the teacher is in control of\ud the right answer. This is more successful than a SPACE teacher who tries\ud to change the social dimension of classroom teaching and learning to give\ud the children more ownership, according to constructivist principles.\ud "Guided discovery" is acknowledged to be unprofitable for learning\ud (Hodson, 1993) yet the children being taught using NPS had learning\ud outcomes exceeding the teacher's expectations. I suggest reasons for the\ud success of NPS based on research into effective teaching: that repetition\ud of clearly stated key ideas leads to focused teaching in which learning\ud activities are matched to intended learning outcomes. This approach does\ud not view children's ideas as theories to be developed and is therefore not\ud related to constructivism. I suggest that the way forward for primary\ud science teaching is to embrace socio-cultural approaches so that the\ud teacher's role corresponds more closely to society's norms for education\ud in science, that children learn the accepted science view through\ud supported negotiation, with their ideas viewed only as everyday ways of\ud knowing.
  • The results below are discovered through our pilot algorithms. Let us know how we are doing!

    • 1. Personal Context and Aims of the Thesis..........................................I
    • 2. The Context of Constructivism...........................................................3
    • 3. The Nature of Primary Science..........................................................4
    • 4. Teaching Strategies and Effective Teaching......................................5
    • 5. The Primary SPACE Project..............................................................6
    • 6. Nuffield Primary Science....................................................................7
    • 7. The Structure of the Thesis................................................................8 5.4 Conclusion: the status of children's ideas in the developmentof understanding ..................................................32
    • 6. Conclusion: A Theory of Learning or a Theory of Teaching'?...........32
    • 7. Summary..........................................................................................35
    • 1. The Practice of Primary Science......................................................38 1.1 The wider context: "good primary practice" ...............................38 1.2 The nature of primary science....................................................40
    • 2. Changes in Approach to Primary Science ....................................... 41 2.1 The development of 'process science' ....................................... 41 2.2 The contribution of the Assessment of Performance Unit.......... 44 2.3 The resurgence of content .........................................................45 2.4 Conclusion: No justifications for particular approaches..............46
    • 3. The Advent of Constructivist Primary Science.................................46 3.1 A generative model for learning primary science........................47 3.2 Classroom constructivism...........................................................50 3.3 Children as scientists?................................................................51 3.4 Challenges to primary constructivism.........................................51
    • 4. The Nature of Practical Work in Primary Science............................52 4.1 A typology of practical work........................................................52 4.2 Questioning the link between "doing" and "understanding" ........53 4.3 Conclusion: The development of understanding in primary science.......................................................................................55
    • 5. Conclusion: What Should be the Place of Constructivism in PrimaryScience Education?' ............................................................55
    • 6. Summary..........................................................................................57
    • 1. Teachers' Understanding of the Nature of Science .........................59 1.1 A typology of teacher attitudes to science teaching ...................60 1.2 Typological response to curriculum innovation...........................61 1.3 Conclusions: Subject knowledge constraints on teaching approachto science....................................................................62
    • 2. The Culture of the Classroom ..........................................................62 2.1 Classroom ethos ........................................................................63 2.2 Children's understanding of science learning.............................65 2.3 Conclusions: The influence of subject knowledge on classroomculture........................................................................66
    • 3. Teachers' Subject Knowledge..........................................................66 3.1 Types of subject knowledge .......................................................67 3.2 Primary teachers' understanding of science knowledge.............68 3.3 Teacher subject knowledge and classroom teaching.................69 3.4 Conclusions: Teacher confidence and teacher subject knowledge..................................................................................71
    • 4. The Structure, Content and Impact of Curriculum Materials............72 4.1 The approach to science advocated in curriculum materials......72 4.2 The relationship between teacher guides and pupil materials.... 75 4.3 The impact of curriculum schemes on classroom practice.........77 4.4 Conclusion: maximising the impact of curriculum materials for teachers.....................................................................................77
    • 5. Developing Practice in Primary Science ..........................................78 5.1 Government-funded training.......................................................79 5.2 Outcomes of teacher development ............................................80 5.3 Models of teacher development in constructivist primary science........................................................................................82 5.4 Reflective models for teacher development and subject knowledge..................................................................................85
    • 6. Summary..........................................................................................86
    • 1. The portrayal of the constructivist process in NPS ........................104
    • 2. The Role of the Teacher in "the SPACE approach".......................105
    • 3. An Analysis of Questions Written in the NPS Teachers' Guides ... 109 3.1 Questions relating to observation.............................................111 3.2 Sequencing of questions ..........................................................112 3.3 Wording questions so the intention behind them is clear......... 113 3.4 Inferences regarding the role of the teacher in the Teachers' Guide........................................................................114
    • 4. A Comparison of the Espoused and the Exemplified TeacherRoles in NPS.................................................................... 115 4.1 Role 1: finding out the children's ideas.....................................116 4.2 Role 2: reflecting on how children may have arrived at their existing ideas and how far they have progressed towards developingmore scientific ideas ...............................................117 4.3 Role 4: providing opportunities to test or challenge ideas, perhapsleading to changes ......................................................118 4.4 Role 5: assessing the extent of any change in ideas and in process skills which may have resulted.....................................120
    • 5. The View of Science Teaching and Learning Implied by "the SPACE approach"...................................................................120 5.1 Implied view of science learning...............................................121 5.2 Implied view of science teaching..............................................122 5.3 Conclusion:a paradigm shift....................................................123
    • 6. Summary........................................................................................123
    • 1. The Informal 'Contract' with the Teachers .....................................125
    • 2. Teacher Development Sessions ....................................................126
    • 3. Phase I of Data Collection: the Topic of 'Growth'.........................128 3.1 Commentary on the pilot elicitation (March 1987)....................128 3.2 Commentary on the elicitation (October 1987).........................128 3.3 Commentary on the intervention (November, 1987).................129
    • 4. Phase 2 of Data Collection: the Topic of 'Sound'...........................130 4.1 Commentary on the elicitation (February 1988) .......................130 4.2 Commentary on the intervention (May 1988) ...........................131 4.3 Cohclusion: development in SPACE teachers' practice ...........132
    • 5. Development in Teachers' Practice ...............................................133 5.1 Evidence of teacher development............................................133 5.2 Explaining patterns of development .........................................136 5.3 Ideas about teacher change.....................................................137 5.4 A model to relate context and timing to the effect of teacherdevelopment.................................................................139
    • 6. Summary........................................................................................142
    • 1. Rationale for Data Collection .........................................................143
    • 2. Selecting an Appropriate Teacher..................................................145
    • 3. Case Study of "Veronica", a Science Co-ordinator ........................146
    • 4. Data Collection...............................................................................148 4.1 Field notes................................................................................148 4.2 Session evaluations by the teacher..........................................149 4.3 Fieldwork journal ......................................................................150 4.4 Interview...................................................................................150
    • 5. Analysis of Veronica's Practice in Relation to the Teacher RolesOutlined in NPS.................................................................... 151 5.1 Role 1: Finding out what children's ideas are...........................151 5.2 Role 2: Reflecting on how children may have arrived at their existing ideas and how far they have progressed towards developingmore scientific ideas ...............................................154 5.3 Role 3: Helping children develop process skills so that they test and apply their ideas scientifically ..............................157 5.4. Role 4: Providing opportunities to test or challenge ideas, perhapsleading to changes.....................................................161 5.5 Role 5: Assessing the extent of any change in ideas and in process skills which may have resulted.....................................167
    • 6. An Analysis of Veronica's Questioning during the Topic of'Sound' .......................................................................................168
    • 7. Inferences about Teaching and Learning Drawn from Observationsin Veronica's Classroom...........................................170 7.1 Veronica's personal theories of science teaching, actual andespoused............................................................................170 7.2 Children's implicit understanding of science teaching - inferred fromobservations......................................................................172 7.3 Unspoken issues in relation to the introduction of NPS............ 173
    • 8. Summary........................................................................................176
    • 1. Teaching according to SPACE and NPS....................................... 177 1.1. Teacher profiles.......................................................................177 1.2 Comparisons of teacher practice..............................................178
    • 2. Analysis of similarities and differences between the teachers.......183 2.1 Differences between teachers: control and ownership oflearning .................................................................................184 2.2 Similarities between teachers: changing established lesson scripts......................................................................................185 2.3 Conclusions: the children's perspective ...................................186
    • 3. Changing Practice Successfully.....................................................187
    • 4. Identifying features of successful practice in Nuffield Primary Science ........................................................................................... 189
    • 5. Summary........................................................................................190
    • CHAPTER 10: CONCLUSIONS: EFFECTIVE TEACHING IN PRIMARYSCIENCE ......................................................192
    • 1. Constructivism................................................................................192 1.1 The view from the literature......................................................192 1.2 The contribution of SPACE to the constructivist debate...........193 1.3 The contribution of NPS to the constructivist debate................194 1.4 The contribution of SPACE and NPS teachers to the constructivistdebate ................................................................195
    • 2. The Nature of Primary Science......................................................195 2.1 The view from the literature......................................................195 2.2 The contribution of SPACE to understanding the nature of primaryscience........................................................................196 2.3 The contribution of NPS to understanding the nature of primary science.....................................................................................196 2.4 The contribution of SPACE I NPS teachers to understanding thenature of primary science...................................................196
    • 3. Towards a Definition of Effective Practice...................................... 197 3.1 The view from the literature......................................................197 3.2 The contribution of SPACE to an understanding of effective teaching...................................................................................198 3.3 The contribution of NPS to an understanding of effective teaching...................................................................................199 3.4 The contribution of SPACE / NPS teachers to an understandingof effective teaching .........................................201
    • 4. The Social Dimension of the Teaching and Learning Processes...201
    • 5. The Way Forward for Primary Science Education .........................202
    • 1. Teachers Need a Good Understanding of Science........................204
    • 2. Teachers Need Pedagogical Content Knowledge .........................205
    • 3. Start from Teachers' Existing Practice...........................................206
    • 4. Start from Teachers' Existing Theories of Effective Teachingand Learning...................................................................206
    • 5. Make Attitudes Towards Science Teaching Explicit.......................207
    • 6. Consider the Social Dimension of the Teaching and Learning Processes.......................................................................................207
    • 7. Ensure the Availability of On-going Support Within and Outside theClassroom ................................................................................207
    • 8. Implications for Curriculum Scheme Development ........................208
    • (from Harlen and Osborne 1985, p.137)...................
    • andOsborne 1985, p.142....................................
    • (from Bell and Gilbert 1996, p.16)..........................
    • SCH................................................................ 107
    • Guides............................................................. 110
    • Activities........................................................... 127
    • inTeacher Practice............................................. 140
    • Table 8.2
    • Children's Opinions about NPS.............................. 174
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