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Teaching Science Capabilities - Questions

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Started by Helen Ramsdale 07 Jun 2016 6:31pm () Replies (5)

Not sure what I did but I managed to not post this correctly... so I'm trying again here:

Science is our strategic planning focus and there is no baseline data available, so I need to survey teachers on their confidence and understanding using the capabilities. Here are some of my potential questions. I would appreciate your thoughts/

Possible Questions - Confidence:

Do you discuss issues related to science with other colleagues? If yes, what sort of issues?

Do you discuss issues related to science with students? If yes, what sort of issues?

What barriers do you face in teaching science?

Do you have an area of expertise in science that you could share with other teachers? If yes, what is it?

How well is science integrated in your classroom (how often, is it taught more explicitly than integrated)?

Do you have a science/discovery ‘table’? What items and activities are included?

 

How familiar are you with the science capabilities?

How confident do you feel teaching science capabilities and how do you approach this:

How confident do you feel teaching children to observe closely and discuss what they see (not what they infer)?

How confident are you at teaching students (using science) to gather data?

How confident are you at teaching students to use and critique evidence to justify their thinking?

Replies

  • Paul Ashman (View all users posts) 08 Jun 2016 10:06am ()

    My first response is egads! This is a lot that you're expecting teachers to write -are you sure this isn't for a dissertation :-)

    Some questions for you... (thought I'd try out critiquing by question!)

    Why are you focusing on the capabilities rather than NoS?

    How will you collate -will the responses be on a number scale or paragraph driven?

    Are you concerned that a lot of this is very subjective -confidence can change day to day!

    Do you feel that teachers are aware enough of the capabilities to be able to answer the questions?

    Do you think it would be worthwhile to ask about the students too -their engagement, ability, curiosity?

     

    Anyway, just some ideas! Any others have thoughts, ideas or discussion to contribute

  • Helen Ramsdale (View all users posts) 08 Jun 2016 5:04pm ()

    My first response is egads! This is a lot that you're expecting teachers to write -are you sure this isn't for a dissertation :-) ... it is for the strategic plan, so close :) but the survey will have some answers to choose from (teachers are busy people) to minimise writing requirements and provision to add their other comments.

    Some questions for you... (thought I'd try out critiquing by question!) Excellent.

    Why are you focusing on the capabilities rather than NoS? We are looking at building capabilities in both teachers and students and we have no baseline... Goal = Improve engagement, capabilities and confidence in learning areas (Staff and students - student baselines next term).

    We are already using NoS through planning and I think it is useful to focus on the capabilities as they are used to unpack the NoS and contexts (which can be pretty broad), and look at the development of skills (a narrower focus?)... welcome your thoughts on this though, and your question has helped me see that I probably need to add something around NoS - thanks for the pick up on this, suggestions?

    How will you collate -will the responses be on a number scale or paragraph driven? will need to analyse depending on the results but will probably use both... the survey form itself allows for both to be used (a scale that is graphed + added comments).

    Are you concerned that a lot of this is very subjective -confidence can change day to day! We are mostly an experienced staff and have completed a number of surveys over the last few years so I believe that we will get a fair representation of their initial attitudes etc.

    Do you feel that teachers are aware enough of the capabilities to be able to answer the questions? We have had several PD sessions around this but if not then it also tells us useful information (that they are not very aware of them).

    Do you think it would be worthwhile to ask about the students too -their engagement, ability, curiosity? Definitely, that is stage 2.

  • Susan Duell (View all users posts) 09 Jun 2016 12:20pm ()

    I am holding our first science staff meeting for the year next week. I will be passing on what I have learnt through our PD sessions. I would like to gather staff voice also, how ever as a starting point we will be unpacking the science curriculum, and introducing the capabilities. At the start of the meeting I will be kicking off with the candles activity - and then revisiting at the end and discussing how the NOs and capabilities were reflected...hope I'm on the right track!

    I think you have some valid questions which I would like to consider myself - what barriers do you face teaching science? How are you integrating science into your classroom? Also consider - How is the NoS reflected in your science teaching?

     

  • Helen Ramsdale (View all users posts) 10 Jun 2016 12:02am ()

    Thanks Susan, I really like your suggestion re "How is the NoS reflected in your science teaching? " This may be useful to me too. I think it would be useful to have a 'think tank' on all of the ideas around baselines, data, capabilities, NoS to nut out some of these types of ideas - Paul's sessions/workshops are great (fun, practical, inspiring. informative and reflective), and as our confidence and knowledge grows it would be great to share our "I wonder..." thinking and discuss them. I really like opportunities to share ideas, get creative, and discuss possibilities.

    Thank you too Paul for your response, it has me thinking.

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