Showing posts from January, 2020

Sir, are we doing an experiment?

Recently, the following tweet came across my feed from Adam Boxer , head of science at TTA, related to evidence for the effectiveness of practical learning in improving educational outcomes. So what does an effective practical look like in science education? Having observed and taught a large number of lessons involving practical work, most experiments are designed to reinforce theory, not the process of running a scientific experiment. The implicit assumption appears to be that students will pick up a tacit understanding of what it means to plan and conduct ‘scientifically’ and therefore is not made explicit in instruction (Donnelly et al., 1996). This suggests as science educators we need to develop models of practice in the use of practical work that more effectively integrates theoretical and procedural understanding.  The expectation at present is that students will learn theoretical ideas through practical activities. The learning of scientific ideas is usually a ke