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Teaching secondary science
Teaching secondary science

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Teaching secondary science


This free course, Teaching secondary science, is aimed at new teachers who are in training or embarking on their teaching career and working in school. It sets out to explore some of the key issues around teaching science in secondary schools. Engaging with these issues and debates will help you to reflect upon and develop your practice as a science teacher. You will also develop a greater awareness of the wider context of science education and how this affects science in the secondary school curriculum.

Section 1 examines how science is portrayed in and out of school before considering how such views impact on the teaching and learning of science. This sets the scene for the following sections. The second considers the purposes of school practical work and how it can be used more effectively to support students’ learning. This is developed in Section 3, which examines how students can be engaged in the nature of science through practical work and other experiences. The final section focuses on why dealing with controversial issues in science education is important and the approaches that teachers can take.

This course examines science education from a learner-centred approach to teaching, which is underpinned by a constructivist view of learning – that learners construct knowledge and understanding for themselves through activities, experiences, thought and discussion.

Now listen to an introduction to this course by its author, Sandra Amos:

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As you work through the activities you will be encouraged to record your thoughts on an idea, an issue or a reading, and how it relates to your practice. Hopefully you will have opportunities to discuss your ideas with colleagues. We therefore suggest that you use a notebook – either physical or electronic – to record your thoughts in a way in which they can easily be retrieved and revisited. If you prefer, however, you can record your ideas in response boxes within the course – in order to do this, and to retrieve your responses, you will need to enrol on the course.

This OpenLearn course is part of a collection of Open University short courses for teachers and student teachers [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)] .