Doing with ideas: the role of talk in effective practical work in science

Fotou, Nikolaos and Abrahams, Ian (2015) Doing with ideas: the role of talk in effective practical work in science. School Science Review, 97 (359). pp. 25-30. ISSN 0036–6811

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Doing with ideas: the role of talk in effective practical work in science

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Abstract

In both primary and secondary schools the widespread use of highly structured ‘recipe’
style tasks means that practical work is generally effective in enabling students to do and see what
the teacher wants (the domain of objects and observables). While primary teachers have been found
to allocate a similar proportion of their lesson time to procedural instructions as their secondary
colleagues, their practical tasks tend, on average, to be shorter than those used by secondary
teachers. The use of shorter tasks means that primary teachers have more non-practical whole-class
time to talk to students about the meaning of new scientific words and, when necessary, scaffold
new scientific ideas (the domain of ideas), both of which are necessary if teaching is to be effective
in developing conceptual understanding. In this respect secondary teachers, like their primary
colleagues, need to be more aware of the role of talk within practical work as an effective means of
developing secondary school students’ conceptual understanding of scientific words and ideas.

Keywords:Analogies, Practical Work, NotOAChecked
Subjects:X Education > X320 Academic studies in Primary Education
X Education > X130 Training Teachers - Secondary
X Education > X100 Training Teachers
X Education > X300 Academic studies in Education
X Education > X330 Academic studies in Secondary Education
Divisions:College of Social Science > School of Education
ID Code:19722
Deposited On:04 Dec 2015 10:05

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