These resources have been reviewed and selected by STEM Learning’s team of education specialists for factual accuracy and relevance to teaching STEM subjects in UK schools.

Strengthening Teaching and Learning in Science Through Using Different Pedagogies

This resource from the Department of Education consists of five teacher self-study units which were produced to offer practical suggestions for classroom use on: using group talk and argument; active questioning; improving the learning climate; using models and modelling techniques; and teaching the science of contemporary science (plus guidance for subject leaders).

Produced as part of the Key Stage Three National Strategy for teachers of students aged 11-14, these units are self-study guides for teachers to help them improve practice in particular aspects of teaching and learning and are designed to support individuals, pairs or groups of teachers.

Written by the Key Stage Three National Strategy team, the units make references to research evidence, and other publications. The units were intended to be used of peer-coached teams of two or three supported by the school senior leadership team.

Originally presented as a box set, it comprises five themed units and a Science Subject Leaders’ Guide. Teachers could choose which units to study, and in any order, and a unit was estimated to require about two hours of study and five hours of work in the classroom. Each contains an introduction, case studies, tasks and classroom assignments, practical tips, a summary of research, and suggestions for further professional development.

*Science Subject Leaders’ Guide: outlines the importance of continuing professional development (CPD) for science teachers; provides an overview of what each study unit contains; explores how the units can be used flexibly; information about where teachers could go for extra support in the management of these units.

*Unit 1 - Using group talk and argument: explores why using group talk and setting up conditions for healthy argument is important; provides guidance on how various groupings can be used in the laboratory and gives advice on choosing a stimulus for group talk.

*Unit 2 - Active questioning: brings together advice on questioning as a tool for students’ learning and helps teachers to plan for questioning to stimulate higher-order thinking.

*Unit 3 - Improving the learning climate: covers the physical climate and explores how this can be built on creating a climate of success for students; explores how the motivation of students can be improved through classroom language.

*Unit 4 - Using models and modelling techniques: explores how teachers can use teaching models and scientific models to enhance students’ understanding of complex ideas; demonstrates how teachers can enhance written work by modelling literacy techniques.

*Unit 5 - Teaching the science of contemporary science: establishes what is meant by contemporary science; gives advice on how to incorporate contemporary issues into teaching.

A DVD with video footage of teachers in class, and interviews with teachers and students, was also produced.

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