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Primary Science Issues

Discussion in 'Science' started by alessio, Jun 19, 2012.

  1. alessio

    alessio Administrator

    I don't think they are too young to understand the topic, but they would certainly need some visual and hands on aids, i.e. good models that can be used to help them get a clear picture of what happens. Personally, I would find it quite difficult to teach changes of stated without mentioning particles, but I come from a Secondary background!
    I think focussing on different models and outlining their strengths and weaknesses would make a nice dissertation. You could also evidence it with examples of pupils' work, quotes, etc...
    And if you have enough time, you could try to move to models for electric circuits, maybe!
    Hope this helps,
  2. I would be cautious about particle science since you can only teach a model and there's no chance of pupils trying things out for themselves (at least we would hope not!) There has been interesting work done in the past on looking at how mental models pupils hold before being taught a subject are changed (Or not changed) by the teaching.) Constructivist teaching approaches are an attempt to get round the problem and research on how well these methods work is probably useful.
    My own wish would be for research to show what effect teaching children how to carry out a fair test actually has on their scientific thinking. My own theory is that 'Fair Testing' is a concept we spend too much time on to the detriment of other things such as enthusing pupils, getting into depth on concepts and time spent on finding out what children are thinking.
    Primary pupils in Scotland are now being taught 'Inheritance' but with very limited info about the mechanics of it, more about stimulating their curiosity.
  3. Hello!
    I recently taught a class of year 4's changing state. We spoke about how particles make up everything around us and talked about how temperature can give or take away energy from them. We played a PE style game around this idea. The children show a good level of understanding and at the end of the topic were able to draw diagrams of water going through the cycle showing the particles in different states.
  4. Thank you that does help!! I would struggle to teach without explaining particles too. Thanks for your advice. [​IMG]
  5. Goat2

    Goat2 New commenter

    And always choose something that has been covered before otherwise you'll likely be penalised for a minimal reading list!
    The old SPACE project had good ideas and get the back copies of Primary Science Review ( and of course check out the teachers understanding of particles...!)
    Try serially diluting food colour until it just can be seen and see if they can explain how that is, without telling them about the particles of dye.

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