Science and Technology

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Science and Technology


Working scientifically

Science and Technology K-6: What? How? and Why?

What?Science and technology is a way of investigating, understanding and explaining our natural, physical world and the wider universe (Skamp, 2012). For children to become engaged and involved in science and technology, their stereotypical view of science and scientists must be broken and ultimately changed through the use of new and modern technology and initiative teaching approaches.The current New South Wales board of studies syllabus (1993), states that students from K-6 should be capable of planning, organising and conducting their own scientific investigation by the end of stage three (years 4-6). This requires teachers to prepare their students to think scientifically and technologically in the six content strands of built environments, information and communications, living things, physical phenomena, products and services and the earth and its surroundings. Teachers and students now have a range of new and exciting technologies that can be incorporated into their everyday science and technology classes which will open many exciting interactive and engaging oportunities avaliable to us today in the 21st century. Educators who are teaching in the 21st century must reflect on the heavy demands of the technological world the children are being raised in and take advantage of all the new resources in order to teach the strands of content in the syllabus in a fun and engaging way. This method of teaching is known as a constructivist approach which should be used in all primary education classrooms.

How?To enable students to think and work scientifically and technologically, teachers must use a constructivist approach. A teacher who uses a constructivist approach to teach in the classroom is a teacher who draws on the student’s prior concepts and knowledge of science and expands on that knowledge through many different techniques. By working constructively with the class, students gain first-hand knowledge through exploration which encourages discussion between students to verbalised their new concepts and understandings, (Stephens, lecture 11). Teacher’s must first set up problems for the students to question and explore, either individually or in groups which promotes students to then make inquiries about the problem and develop new patterns of thinking scientifically. Then allows students to pose their own questions and predictions about the problem, which will then be the foundation to how they will plan and organise their experiment. Allow a few lessons to plan and discuss what it is they wish to observe and eventually conduct and record results. The students must be then able to explain the results and elaborate on the science and technology present in the results. It is in the final stages of the experimentation that the teachers discuss with the students the new knowledge they have gained. By implementing a constructivist approach into the science and technology lesson, children are developing their own methods in learning and therefore gaining life-long lessons, (Lamanauskas, 2012). Another theorist on constructivist approaches, Richardson (1997), suggests that if students are taught constructively, it encourages them to think and learn in their own individual way as opposed to a prescriptive theory of learning which is the way they 'should' be learning. For a constructive teaching approach to work in the classroom, teachers must learn to step back and simply monitor the students exploration to encourage the students to work as a group with discussion of their thoughts and ideas. The 5E model of learning is a key concept of a constructivist approach as it incorporates all the signifcant skills the students should be using in the science and technology lessons.

Teaching in the 21st century

Why?Children growing up in the 21st century have access to unlimited amounts of information at the click of a button or a scroll of a finger. Today’s teachers are no longer our student’s primary source of information, they are merely a filter between children and knowledge. (Murcia, 2007) In order to keep children’s attention and engagement in science and technology, correct approaches must be used. From growing up in a fast expanding world, a pen and paper will no longer suffice in today’s education. A teacher’s role is to facilitate students learning of science. (Skamp, 2012)Learning science allows students to answer to their curiosity, creativity and imagination they are holding. In everyday life people are faced with questionable aspects that are explained and understood through science. The learning of science allows students to explore, make observations, take wrong turns, test ideas, build on ideas, use mathematics and technology, thinking in different ways, construct physically, and many other things. Science is a way of accumulating knowledge that incorporates human values and social activity. (Fitzgerald, Dawson & Hacking, 2009)The learning of science is practical and relevant, it enables people to answer the general questions of why and how things happen in the world Eg. Why volcanoes erupt. It encourages skills such as problem solving, perseverance and researching. With learning science, children have the ability to understand issues in the world more clearly and understand what the media expresses. Science is taught in Schools because general education is not complete without it.The teaching of science aims at helping pupils to live in the modern world, to introduce them the methods and systems of science and to develop some attitude we think valuable.It helps to develop an appreciation of how science has contributed to the historical and cultural development of our society. (Looi, 2010)As cited in Teaching as a dynamic activity, Shamos states “By nurturing students’ appreciation for science, the prospect for creating more fully literate individuals increases." (Shamos, 1988).






Personal experiencesThrough previous personal experiences in working scientifically and technologically, a greater understanding of the scientific concepts was gained. An experimental process was conducted through planning, organising, exploring, recording, explaining and elaborating on the ideas and the results gathered. All of the procedures used throughout the experiment were crucial examples of the 5E teaching model used in the teaching constructively approach. By experiencing the model first-hand throughout the experiment, it's advantages became highly evident. The experiment allowed us to research, experiment and then understand the concepts of heat and light energy first-hand which was a great help in expanding on our knowledge in the science and technology subject.



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