Arguing for Science (Three Minute Thesis Script)

“Learning science helps people make good decisions.” This claim is often made to justify the teaching of science. But is it true? Where’s the evidence? The assumption is that learning scientific facts and the scientific method will equip people to make good decisions. But learning science is very different to learning to use science to … Continue reading

Primary Teachers of Science: Be Passionately Curious

This is part of my lecture from this afternoon’s introduction to the preservice teacher course I give each year. It is an introduction to scientific ideas, modelling the pedagogies of primary science teaching. We move in and out of learning science, and learning to teach science. “I have no special talent. I am only passionately curious.” – … Continue reading

QnA: Developing skills for scientific enquiry

Originally posted on Science for Life. 365:
Sarah: Last week I spoke about science writing and blogging to postgraduate journalism students at the University of South Australia. Following the lecture, the students and I had a great Q&A session which has now spilled over into email conversations. Today a student sent me these two great questions: Query: I was interested in…

Five myths about the chemicals you breathe, eat and drink

The use of the Appeal to Nature fallacy to sell products, particularly foods, drinks, cleaning products and health products, is pervasive and dangerous. The use of the terms “chemical-free”, “organic” and even “permeate-free” have for years perpetuated the fallacious idea that “natural = good” and “synthetic = bad” to everyday people. I really liked this article (below) from The … Continue reading

The Technology Process in the Australian Curriculum: Technologies

SPOILER ALERT: This post is very boring, unless you’re an Australian F-10 teacher, pre-service teacher or for some reason interested in what content is taught in the Australian Curriculum: Technologies. Don’t say I didn’t warn you! I’ve written extensively about Technology education before; but that was in the context of the Queensland Curriculum, Assessment and … Continue reading

The Misuse of Neuroscience in Schools

Teachers are dedicated people, who devote not just their days to their students, but often their evenings, nights and weekends too. In all the effort to stay on top of day-to-day planning, preparing, assessment and reflection, it is difficult to stay on top of the research, and tempting to try the latest trend to engage … Continue reading

Remarkable Creatures

Remarkable Creatures

Originally posted on Science Book a Day:
By Tracey Chevalier Synopsis: On the windswept, fossil-strewn beaches of the English coast, poor and uneducated Mary Anning learns that she has a unique gift: “the eye” to spot fossils no one else can see. When she uncovers an unusual fossilized skeleton in the cliffs near her home,…

Why is the moon still up there?

About a fortnight ago I received a text message at about 10 am from my mum. I don’t mind at all answering science questions like this one, but in my hasty text message reply I didn’t really do the moon – or my mum’s understanding of why she sometimes sees it during the day – justice. … Continue reading

Argumentation Experience of Pre-service Teachers

Argumentation Experience of Pre-service Teachers

Today, my final year primary and middle years Education students had a brief taste of argumentation for the science classroom. They prepared for class with the pre-seminar reading I assigned, Argumentation in Primary and Middle Schools, and brought to class the arguments they had prepared back in their first year for another course I teach (essentially, … Continue reading

University Course Student Feedback: Is it a waste of time?

A friend posted this article from the Guardian Higher Education to Facebook this morning: Academics Anonymous: student feedback is a waste of everyone’s time. The article had the byline “Collecting feedback on courses benefits neither staff nor students – often it’s biased, sexist or simply unrealistic” and was written, of course, by an anonymous academic. The … Continue reading