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Science Matters Pres

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  • 1. Primary Science Really Matters Lesley Harrison Primary Science Teacher Fellow 2009 Funded by the New Zealand Government Administered by the Royal Society of New Zealand Email: [email_address]
  • 2.
    • Overview
    • What does recent research tell us about science education in New Zealand primary schools?
    • Why include more science in primary school education?
    • What can you do to make good science a happening thing in your school?
  • 3.
    • The Research
    • NEMP, TIMSS, and NZCER all suggest that primary science education in New Zealand is in crisis
  • 4. National Education Monitoring (NEMP 2007) Significant increase in negative student attitudes towards science by Year 8 More students reported never doing science experiments or visiting science activities
  • 5. Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) 1994 - 2006 NZ students’ achievement in science has fallen Hours dedicated to teaching primary science in NZ has decreased 80% of Year 5 students indicated that they want to do more science
  • 6. NZCER 2007 50% of primary principals surveyed reported including more enquiry learning in their curriculum Only 2% reported science as a curriculum focus (Ian Milne 2009) Year 4 students like science but have little opportunity By Year 8 there is a noticeable decline in enthusiasm for science
  • 7. Why these results?
    • Science in primary education may be ‘diluted’ by the enquiry approach
    • Primary teachers may not feel confident with the content of the Science Curriculum
    • Is there time in the busy school programme to include quality science education?
  • 8. SO DOES PRIMARY SCIENCE MATTER? WHAT’S ALL THE FUSS ABOUT?
  • 9. Why teach primary science?
    • Science helps to make sense of the physical and natural world and our universe
    • Later learning in science builds on an early foundation
    • Early engagement can foster a lifelong interest and passion for science
    • Practical science works for a range of learning styles
  • 10.
    • Scientific thinking and investigation lends itself perfectly to the enquiry learning approach.
    • Children love ‘doing’ science
    • We need more scientists to solve complex problems faced by society today
    • Science is a context for and links all the learning Areas
  • 11.
    • Science informs our choices,
    • decisions and actions.
    • We need to know about good and bad science!
    • A level of scientific literacy is vital
    • for everyone if we are to ensure the
    • future sustainability of our planet.
  • 12.  
  • 13.  
  • 14.  
  • 15. What can we do to enhance science education in primary schools?
  • 16.
    • Spread the word that ‘science really matters’
    • Develop a clear vision of how you want science education to happen in your school
    • Identify a science leader who will support others and ensure the vision comes to life
  • 17.
    • Forge links with others
    • develop learning communities and share information
    • Plan to give science time and resources
    • Have a science fair
  • 18.
    • Provide authentic and practical science learning experiences for students
    • Invite in real scientists to talked with your students
    • Set up a wiki and invite scientists to join the learning community
    • Have a science fair
  • 19.
    • Have a science fair
    • Be open to new learning yourself and talk about science in a positive way with students
    • Utilise the resources that are already available to you
  • 20. Science Websites
    • http://www.sciencelearn.org.nz/
    • THE SCIENCE LEARNING HUB
    • http://www.sciencepostcards.com/
    • Science exploration through stories
    • http://www.brainpop.com/
    • High quality short videos
    • http://www.primaryresources.co.uk/
    • Shared teacher resources
    • http://www.planet-science.com/home.html
    • Free resources