Teaching Secondary Science: Constructing Meaning and Developing Understanding

Teaching Secondary Science: Constructing Meaning and Developing Understanding

Teaching Secondary Science: Constructing Meaning and Developing Understanding

Teaching Secondary Science: Constructing Meaning and Developing Understanding


The fourth edition of Teaching Secondary Science has been fully updated and includes a wide range of new material. This invaluable resource offers a new collection of sample lesson plans and includes two new chapters covering effective e-learning and advice on supporting learners with English as a second language. It continues as a comprehensive guide for all aspects of science teaching, with a focus on understanding pupils' alternative frameworks of belief, the importance of developing or challenging them and the need to enable pupils to take ownership of scientific ideas. This new edition supports all aspects of teaching science in a stimulating environment, enabling pupils to understand their place in the world and look after it.

Key features include:

  • Illustrative and engaging lesson plans for use in the classroom
  • Help for pupils to construct new scientific meanings
  • M-level support materials
  • Advice on teaching "difficult ideas" in biology, chemistry, physics and earth sciences
  • Education for sustainable development and understanding climate change
  • Managing the science classroom and health and safety in the laboratory
  • Support for talk for learning, and advice on numeracy in science
  • New chapters on e-learning and supporting learners with English as a second language.

Presenting an environmentally sustainable, global approach to science teaching, this book emphasises the need to build on or challenge children's existing ideas so they better understand the world in which they live. Essential reading for all students and practising science teachers, this invaluable book will support those undertaking secondary science PGCE, school-based routes into teaching and those studying at Masters level.


Our approach to teaching secondary science is based on a hope that future generations will take better care of the planet than at present. We take an approach to learning where we expose children’s existing ideas, so they can be challenged or built on to enable them to understand their environment and build a sustainable future.

Although we have in mind those learning to become science teachers this book should be an inspiration to those well into their teaching careers. The book is divided into five parts – each of which has an important introduction.

Part I starts with an exemplary lesson and asks ‘What is science and why do we teach it?’

Part II warns us that pupils come to school with ideas about the way the world works which are often very different from our scientific ideas and gives support for ways to enable pupils to come to a scientific understanding of their world through a host of active learning techniques.

Part III gives some support in teaching difficult scientific concepts.

Part IV tackles one of the major concerns that new teachers have: managing the classroom, and we start with the need for careful planning.

Finally Part V deals with other aspects of becoming a professional teacher and introduces a bit of educational history and philosophy.

There are two linked resources supporting this book

The Scitutors website, in association with the Association for Science Education (ASE), now has downloadable support material for tutors in science education and their students, including many links to other useful websites (visit www.scitutors.org. uk/resources/scitutors).

Science Issues and the National Curriculum (Ross et al. 2002), covers most of the topics covered in a secondary science curriculum. It is a self-learning resource which uses initial elicitation questions to identify possible alternative ideas and challenges them where necessary thereby developing an understanding in science. The science is set in everyday or environmental contexts, an approach that we put forwardce Issues’.) Once downloaded and unzipped, double click the Dr icon Science.exe to run the resource. It is set at around GCSE

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