Forget the mind-boggling nature of the universe, just the Solar System is almost unimaginably huge and unimaginably empty. No textbook image or poster on a classroom wall can even begin to capture this. Surely, an awareness of the minuteness of our existence in the immensity and eternity of the cosmos, is a cultural entitlement, a […]Read More Modelling the solar system
I’ve been part of a few Twitter discussions about bonds and energy. Several people have made insightful observations that have really pushed everyone’s thinking. It is brilliant when a bunch of science teachers get together and really wrestle with the potential conflict between accurate models in science, and how to make these conceptually difficult ideas […]Read More Bondage
Interesting tweet from @griff2742 My main thought on this is “proceed with caution”. There is certainly evidence supporting interleaving, but I’m not at all convinced that evidence supports re-designing a science curriculum in a way that breaks up topics more than we already do. However, I do think it indicates we should build in regular […]Read More Interleaving the Science Curriculum?
Curriculum development is a bit like the Briggs-Rauscher reaction: back and forth, to and fro, back and forth, to and fro… For various reasons, we need to reconsider the “how to teach chemistry” we include in the @SotonEd PGCE Secondary Science programme. The majority of our partnership schools are 11-16, so our trainee teachers typically […]Read More Reviewing the chemistry curriculum – wisdom of crowds
School Science is stuffed full of declarative knowledge, which comes in lots of different forms and has to be applied in lots of different ways. I think this makes it hard to teach well. I’ve written about the basic approach I share with the trainee teachers at the University of Southampton in a couple of […]Read More Teaching Procedural Knowledge
A very long time ago, in a school far, far away (well, a fair way along the A27), I did a TeachMeet presentation on using Venn diagrams and another categorisation exercise. The rough transcript is here, but I’ve just found this list of things in KS3 and the GCSE specifications, that I meant to post […]Read More Venn and the Art of Categorisation
I love teaching science, but I think it’s a hard subject to teach well. Of course it’s easy to see the challenges in your own area of expertise and gloss over the ones in other subjects but science has a lot of content – a lot of declarative knowledge – and lots of different ways […]Read More Teaching Declarative Knowledge: Part 2
I love teaching science, but I think it’s a hard subject to teach well. Of course it’s easy to see the challenges in your own area of expertise and gloss over the ones in other subjects but science has a lot of content – a lot of declarative knowledge – and lots of different ways […]Read More Teaching Declarative Knowledge: Part 1
My mum is an exceptional woman. An occupational therapist for most of her career, she was inspired by some voluntary bereavement counselling she did for a few years and then retrained as a psychotherapist in her 50s, completed a degree, and then a Masters, and worked very successfully with all sorts of people struggling with an extraordinary […]Read More My Mum & Misconceptions
Retention of early-career teachers is a big issue for the education system in the UK. There is evidence that early-career science teachers are particularly vulnerable (Allen & Sims 2017). A number of factors affect teacher retention across all subjects but it is less clear why early-career science teachers are more at risk than teachers of […]Read More Do we know anything about the impact of subject knowledge on retention of early-career science teachers?