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Unit 7: Science Teaching and Learning Strategies
Topic 2: 2.1
The Teaching of Science
In science, children are being encouraged to be the discoverers of the nature of things. Children need to be engaged in ‘real experimentation’ and discovering things by themselves. Active participation of children in science lessons is possible through the use of inquiry and discovery strategy in teaching. Inquiry-discovery emphasises learning through experiences. Inquiry generally means to find information, to question and to investigate a phenomenon that occurs in the environment. Discovery is the main characteristic of inquiry. Learning through discovery occurs when the main concepts and principles of science are investigated and discovered by students themselves. Through activities such as experiments, students investigate a phenomenon and draw conclusions by themselves. Teachers then lead students to understand the science concepts through the results of the inquiry. Thinking skills and scientific skills are thus developed further during the inquiry process. Below are some suggestions that a science teacher can use to lead and motivate the students in the inquiry activities:
1. Ask open-ended and high level questions, solicit and accept divergent
responses, and probes and redirects; 2. Avoid telling answers or suggesting what students must do next; instead, act only as a clarifier or facilitator; 3. Encourage and reinforce your students in taking more responsibility for making learning discoveries; 4. Be supportive of their responses, suggestions, and deferring views and interpretations, but insist that they back up their comments with logical evidence; 5. Teach students how to phrase or write the concepts, principles or generalization that they are forming; 6. Encourage them to act on current verified “best answer”, understanding that additional evidence may lead to new “best answer”; 7. Teach and encourage students to distinguish between “healthy “ and “negative” skepticism; 8. Encourage student-student interaction and sharing by stressing support and cooperation rather than competition; 9. Point out any errors in logic, misuse of inferences or generalizations that are too broad but allow your students to make their own correction as far as possible, for if you supply corrections, you may defeat the purpose of inquiry; 10. Be sure to identify errors and verify conclusions and generalizations in nonthreatening ways. Discovery is the mental process of assimilating concepts and principles. Discovery processes include: • • • • • • Observing Classifying Measuring Predicting Describing Inferring
It is a matter of internally rearranging data so that the students can go beyond the data to form new concepts. The choice of teaching methods should be based on the curriculum content. In between this expository-pure discovery continuum lies guided discovery. Conducting an experiment involves thinking skills. In a teaching. students’ repertoire of intelligences. Inquiry should not be confused with discovery. and encourager. it is pure discovery. The younger the children. fact. students test hypotheses through investigations to discover specific science concepts and principles. and structure of ideas. R. The following are brief descriptions of some teaching and learning methods which can be used by a science teacher in the teaching of primary school science: Experimentation An experiment is a method commonly used in science lessons. organization. principle or law which is required by the science syllabus. students’ abilities. Pp. Discovery assumes a realist or logical approach to the world which is necessarily present in inquiry. the less you present. where appropriate. 91. Teaching strategy Teacher role Student role EXPOSITION (teacher lectures. When both rule and solutions are given. besides guiding students to carry out experiments. Science lessons that are not interesting will not motivate students to learn and subsequently will affect their performance. demonstrates) Active/Dominant Passive or active GUIDED DISCOVERY EXPOLARION OR FREE DISCOVERY(INQUIRY) Facilitator Active Active/facilitator Active Source: Carin. In experiments. With the inquiry-discovery strategy in mind. when neither is given. the teaching method is thoroughly expository. the use of a variety of teaching and learning methods can enhance students’ interest in science. Guided discovery helps students to acquire knowledge on their own.Module 6: KDC SABK Unit 7: Science Teaching and Learning Strategies A lesson can range from free discovery where the teacher’s role is minimal at one end to pure expository learning where the teacher’s role is maximum at the other. resource person. A. scientific skills. the older the children. Guided discovery is not restricted to finding something entirely new to the world such as an invention or theory. Teaching Science Through discovery (6th Edition). Figure 11: Dominance/passivity of science-teaching methods Guided discovery science teaching/learning methods blend teacher-centered and student-centered techniques. the more they will initiate work with you as a facilitator. Inquiry tends to imply a constructionist approach to teaching science. (1989). Guided discovery involves finding the meanings. teachers should provide students with the opportunities to design 6-30 . Different teaching and learning activities should be planned to cater for students with different learning styles and intelligences. and manipulative skills. Discovery concentrates upon closure on some important process. the more you must present information and guide them. and the availability of resources and infrastructure. Inquiry is open-ended and on-going. & Sund. instructs.
Since the school session is made up of 2 semesters. research institutes. Students may be involved in the planning process and specific educational tasks should be assigned during the visit. The outcome of the project either in the form of a report. students play out a particular role based on certain pre-determined conditions. mangrove swamps. Project A project is a learning activity that is generally undertaken by an individual or a group of students to achieve a particular learning objective. each semester lesson plan could look something like this: Week/date 1 5/1 – 9/1 2 12/1 – 16/1 Topic Parts of the body Strategy/activity Hands on activities to observe parts of the body Remarks Teaching courseware will be integrated into the lesson 6-31 . Project work promotes the development of problem-solving skills. In order to plan out the semester lesson plan. This involves students drawing up plans as to how to conduct experiments. Field Studies The learning of science is not limited to activities carried out in the school compound. museums. Visits to these places make the learning of science more interesting. Games require procedures that need to be followed. time management skills. games and the use of models. you will need the Science syllabus.2 Semester and Weekly Lesson Plan Teaching is more than telling. you will need to do a semester lesson plan to cover the entire science curriculum. and design. Simulation In simulation. A project generally requires several lessons to complete. Semester lesson plan would specify the content for the duration. an artefact or in other forms needs to be presented to the teacher and other students. and factories. preparation. To optimise learning opportunities. Effective teaching requires a great deal of thought. meaningful and effective. an activity that resembles the actual situation is carried out. a school calendar and your school timetable. Examples of simulation are role-play. A good semester lesson plan should contain the following headings: Semester. a calendar.Module 6: KDC SABK Unit 7: Science Teaching and Learning Strategies their own experiments. visits need to be carefully planned. Learning of science can be enhanced through the use of external resources such as zoos. Number of Weeks. and independent learning. At the beginning of the school term. Topic and Remarks. 2. In role-play. It also devise weekly table for the whole semester. No educational visit is complete without a post-visit discussion. Models are used to represent objects or actual situations so that students can visualise the said objects or situations and thus understand the concepts and principles to be learned. and how to present the results of their experiment. how to measure and analyse data. Students play games in order to learn a particular principle or to understand the process of decision-making. science centres.
In the daily lesson plan.3 Daily Lesson Plan based on Needham’s 5-Phase Constructivism Model From the weekly lesson plan.Module 6: KDC SABK Unit 7: Science Teaching and Learning Strategies Topics for each week in the semester lesson plan is then further detailed in the weekly lesson plan according to the following format: Days and Time Topics/ Learning Objectives Teaching and Learning Methods Teaching and Learning Resources 2. the lesson for each day is then planned. a teacher should plan appropriate activities that suit the purpose of each phase in the Needham’s 5-Phase Constructivism Model. The format of such a lesson plan is shown below: Format of a lesson plan based upon Needham’s 5-Phase Constructivism Model Date: Time: Class: Number of pupils: Subject: Learning Theme: Learning Outcomes: Pre-requisite knowledge: Scientific/Thinking Skills: Scientific/Noble Values: Learning aids and materials: 6-32 .
Module 6: KDC SABK Unit 7: Science Teaching and Learning Strategies Phase/Time ( Orientation minutes) Contents Teaching & Learning Activities Remarks Eliciting of Ideas ( minutes) Restructuring of Ideas ( minutes) Application ( minutes) Reflection minutes) ( 6-33 .
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