Understanding Science Ideas: a Guide for Primary Teachers

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Understanding Science Ideas is a concise and colourful book that was written by members of the Nuffield Primary Science project team to help teachers to discuss and understand key science ideas and explanations at an appropriate level, consistent with the philosophy of the project.

Research findings
The SPACE researchers had found that many teachers considered that they did not have the necessary knowledge to teach science and seriously lacked confidence in teaching it. However, they also found, that when required to take note of children’s ideas and give attention to children’s ways of reasoning, teachers saw that children were learning without being fed the ‘right answers’. A change also took place in the teachers’ views of the nature of science.

The book starts with a short introduction that discusses what primary teachers need to understand about science concepts and science process skills. This is followed by 30 short sections, of two to six pages, covering all the key concepts in the National Curriculum. Each page is highly illustrated and picks out the key ideas and the related childrens’ ideas.

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