CLIS Introductory Booklets
The CLIS approach stressed the importance of recognising and building on the learner’s existing ideas and challenging any misconceptions that learners may have. It was based on a constructivist theory of learning. The theory was refined and developed through the development and trialling of these materials.
The theory suggests that students develop their own models to explain their experience and therefore come to science with preconceived ideas which they use to explain the world. It is therefore seen as important to allow students the chance to recognise and reflect on their different models to explain the same phenomenon, and to challenge, test, and if appropriate, modify or abandon their ideas.
The process is seen as one of learners actively making sense of the world by constructing meanings. CLIS shifts attention from the whole-class to the individual learner and their needs, and from thinking in terms of whole-class activities to those based on students’ pre-existing knowledge and experience. Students’ ideas are valued rather than dismissed as ‘incorrect’.