Aspects of Teaching Secondary Science: Perspectives on Practice

Aspects of Teaching Secondary Science: Perspectives on Practice

Aspects of Teaching Secondary Science: Perspectives on Practice

Aspects of Teaching Secondary Science: Perspectives on Practice

Synopsis

Recent Years have seen a huge emphasis placed upon science as a core element of the school curriculum. Aspects of Teaching Secondary Science: Perspectives on Practice has been compiled to meet the needs of those teaching and training to teach the subject. The book's structure reflects the different dimensions to learning science. The first section focuses on the importance of talk in the science classroom, while the second explores the key role of practical work. The third section is concerned with the creative, theoretical aspect of science, and section 4 follows this by considering the communication of ideas and how pupils learn to participate in the discourse of the scientific community. Section 5 emphasises the place of science in the broader context, considering its moral and ethical dimensions and its place in a cultural context. Finally, section 6 explores the complexity of the task faced by science teachers, highlighting the knowledge and skills science teachers must acquire in order to create an environment in which students are motivated to learn science. The Perspectives on Practice series brings together collections of articles by highly experienced educators on the practical aspects of teaching national curriculum subjects. They are invaluable resources for those studying to become teachers, newly qualified teachers and more experienced practitioners, particularly those mentoring students and NQTs

Excerpt

The nature and form of initial teacher education and training are issues that lie at the heart of the teaching profession. They are inextricably linked to the standing and identity that society attributes to teachers and are seen as being one of the main planks in the push to raise standards in schools and to improve the quality of education in them. the initial teacher education curriculum therefore requires careful definition. How can it best contribute to the development of the range of skills, knowledge and understanding that makes up the complex, multi-faceted, multi-skilled and people-centred process of teaching?

There are, of course, external, government-defined requirements for initial teacher training courses. These specify, amongst other things, the length of time a student spends in school, the subject knowledge requirements beginning teachers are expected to demonstrate or the ict skills that are needed. These requirements, however, do not in themselves constitute the initial training curriculum. They are only one of the many, if sometimes competing, components that make up the broad spectrum of a teacher's professional knowledge that underpin initial teacher education courses.

Certainly today's teachers need to be highly skilled in literacy, numeracy and ict, in classroom methods and management. in addition, however, they also need to be well grounded in the critical dialogue of teaching. They need to be encouraged to be creative and innovative and to appreciate that teaching is a complex and problematic activity. This is a view of teaching that is shared with partner schools within the Open University Training Schools Network. As such it has informed the planning and development of the Open University's initial teacher training programme and the flexible pgce.

All of the flexible pgce courses have a series of connected and complementary readers. the Teaching in Secondary Schools series pulls together a range of new thinking about teaching and learning in particular subjects. Key debates and differing perspectives are presented, and evidence from research and practice is explored, inviting the reader to question the accepted orthodoxy, suggesting ways of enriching the present curriculum and offering new thoughts on classroom learning. These readers are accompanied by the series Perspectives on practice. Here, the focus is on the application of these developments to educational/subject policy and the classroom, and on the illustration of teaching skills, knowledge and understanding in a variety of school contexts. Both series include newly commissioned work.

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