In the science classroom, some ideas are as difficult for young students to grasp as they are for teachers to explain. This refreshing book provides a unique perspective on the pedagogy of physical science derived from researching teachers' learning.
In the science classroom, there are some ideas that are as difficult for young students to grasp as they are for teachers to explain. Forces, electricity, light, and basic astronomy are all examples of conceptual domains that come into this category. How should a teacher teach them? The authors of this monograph reject the traditional separation of subject and pedagogic knowledge. They believe that to develop effective teaching for meaningful learning in science, we must identify how teachers themselves interpret difficult ideas in science and, in particular, what supports their own learning in coming to a professional understanding of how to teach science concepts to young children. To do so, they analyzed trainee and practising teachers' responses to engaging with difficult ideas when learning science in higher education settings.
The text demonstrates how professional insight emerges as teachers identify the elements that supported their understanding during their own learning. In this paradigm, professional awareness derives from the practitioner interrogating their own learning and identifying implications for their teaching of science. The book draws on a significant body of critically analysed empirical evidence collated and documented over a five-year period involving large numbers of trainee and practising teachers. It concludes that it is essential to 'problematize' subject knowledge, both for learner and teacher.
The book's theoretical perspective draws on the field of cognitive psychology in learning. In particular, the role of metacognition and cognitive conflict in learning are examined and subsequently applied in a range of contexts. The work offers a unique and refreshing approach in addressing the important professional dimension of supporting teacher understanding of pedagogy and critically examines assumptions in contemporary debates about constructivism in science education.
CHAPTER ONE INTRODUCTION CHAPTER TWO CONCEPTUAL CHANGE AND LEARNING ABOUT FORCES 1. THE CHALLENGE OF LEARNING ABOUT FORCES AND MOTION 2. CONCEPTUAL CHANGE: A BRIEF HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE 1. The influence of Piaget 2. The 'classical' model of conceptual change 3. Developing knowledge and understanding of learners' conceptions in science 4. Some theoretical models of conceptual change 5. Considering the individual's world 3. CONCEPTUAL CHANGE IN ACTION: PRIMARY TEACHERS LEARNING ABOUT FORCES 1. Forces within the context of floating and sinking 2. The sociocultural environment and the role of the tutor 3. Learning in action: floating and sinking 4. Initial ideas 5. Constructing and reviewing hypotheses 6. Developing a forces view of floating and sinking 7. Generalizing weight for size 8. Understanding forces in different contexts - towards context independent learning 9. The arched bridge 10. The parachutist 4. SOME CONCLUSIONS AND IMPLICATIONS 1. Reflections on how teachers and trainees develop a qualitative understanding of force and motion 2. Developing pedagogical insight through employing a metacognitive approach to learning. 3. Some implications for teacher education CHAPTER THREE THE ROLE OF ANALOGIES IN LEARNING 1. LEARNING ABOUT SIMPLE CIRCUITS 2. APPLYING ANALOGIES TO SIMPLE CIRCUITS Analogies deployed Synopsis of research findings Initial ideas about a simple circuit Tracking learning within the groups 3. IMPLICATIONS FOR PEDAGOGY Theproblem of analogies in developing a sequential view of simple circuits 4. EXPLANATION AND MEANING The appropriation of hermeneutics Exemplification of language and meaning Alternative perspectives on knowledge acquisition Partitioning and sequencing The presentation of science knowledge in science education 6. PRACTICAL IMPLICATIONS FOR PEDAGOGY: TEACHING 7. TEACHER SUBJECT AND PEDAGOGIC KNOWLEDGE CHAPTER FOUR COGNITIVE CONFLICT AND THE FORMATION OF SHADOWS 1. PROMOTING CONCEPTUAL CHANGE THROUGH COGNITIVE CONFLICT The role of cognitive conflict in learning science Some limitations of the cognitive conflict strategy 2. THE CHALLENGE PRESENTED BY THE CONCEPTUAL DOMAIN OF LIGHT 3. EXPLORING THE IMPACT OF COGNITIVE CONFLICT IN LEARNING ABOUT SHADOWS Background to the exemplification study The cognitive conflict scenarios Learner responses to the cognitive conflict scenarios Categories of responses to the cognitive conflict scenarios (1-3) Triggering meaningful cognitive conflict 4. RESOLVING THE CONFLICT 1. The need to generate causal explanation 2. Resolving the cognitive conflict caused by the cross-shaped shadow 5. THE EMERGENCE OF PEDAGOGICAL INSIGHT 1. The Learning Process 2. Pedagogy relating to light 3. Pedagogical implications for future practice 6. DISCUSSION 7. SOME CONCLUDING REMARKS &nbs
This book examines how to develop effective teaching for meaningful learning in science. It identifies how teachers interpret difficult ideas in science and, in particular, what supports their own learning in coming to a professional understanding of how to teach science concepts to young children. The book investigates how such professional insight emerges in the process of teachers identifying those elements that support their understanding during their own learning. In this paradigm, professional awareness derives from the practitioner interrogating their own learning and identifying implications for their teaching of science. The book draws on a significant body of critically analyzed empirical evidence collated and documented over a five year period involving large numbers of trainee and practicing teachers.