Modelling the solar system

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 […]

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Bondage

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 […]

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Interleaving the Science Curriculum?

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 […]

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Teaching Procedural Knowledge

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 […]

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My Mum & Misconceptions

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 […]

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Do we know anything about the impact of subject knowledge on retention of early-career science teachers?

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 […]

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