Bringing Australia’s diversity into science education

Textbook (chapter)


Pfeiffer, Linda, Fitzgerald, Angela and Woolcott, Geoff. 2018. "Bringing Australia’s diversity into science education." Woolcott, Geoff and Whannell, Robert (ed.) Teaching secondary science: theory and practice. Cambridge, United Kingdom. Cambridge University Press. pp. 394-415
Chapter Title

Bringing Australia’s diversity into science education

Book Chapter CategoryTextbook (chapter)
ERA Publisher ID1418
Book TitleTeaching secondary science: theory and practice
AuthorsPfeiffer, Linda (Author), Fitzgerald, Angela (Author) and Woolcott, Geoff (Author)
EditorsWoolcott, Geoff and Whannell, Robert
Page Range394-415
Chapter Number2.9
Number of Pages22
Year2018
PublisherCambridge University Press
Place of PublicationCambridge, United Kingdom
ISBN9781316636114
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1017/9781316882535.021
Web Address (URL)https://www.cambridge.org/core/books/teaching-secondary-science/bringing-australias-diversity-into-science-education/A8806F0FC20DBE984E18167D11988873
Abstract

[Summary]:

LEARNING OBJECTIVES

After studying this chapter, you should be able to:
• describe the importance of differentiation in science education
• understand how practical approaches to cultural differences can foster students’ different ways of knowing science
• recognise the role of Universal Design for Learning (UDL) in developing practical approaches to inclusion of disability in science education
• explain how families and communities of students of differing socioeconomic statuses can provide quality practical approaches to science learning and teaching
• develop practical science learning opportunities for students living in different geographic localities.

Introduction

This chapter is the ‘mirror’ chapter to Chapter 1.9. It provides practical examples related to the theoretical outlines in Chapter 1.9 with a focus on the four different categories of diversity outlined in Chapter 1.9, diversity in cultural background, disability, socioeconomic status and geographic location. Bearing in mind, of course, that students may have diverse needs that cross over more than one of these areas. It is important to note that in a classroom environment every single student has a diverse range of needs.

The ways in which the diverse needs of students can be catered for when teaching science include:
• utilising pedagogies and strategies that enhance science learning, such as the 5Es mode of inquiry (see Chapter 1.3 and Chapter 2.3)
• hands-on investigations
• problem-based learning
• ensuring science lessons are relevant and contextual.

Hands-on investigations that allow for students from family backgrounds with low science education or careers in science need to be structured to enhance and support students. Support needs to be provided in the science classroom, such as resources, structure and scaffolding. Group work is another way that students with low confidence or prior experiences with science can learn from one another and increase confidence.

Problem-based learning requires researching, experimenting and testing solutions to a problem. Using relevant and contextual real problems can increase the confidence of your students to get involved in scientific investigations. You will need to use diagnostic tools to determine your student's prior experiences and background each time you begin a new topic or unit of work. Including parents and the local community can assist in creating meaningful, relevant and contextual learning experiences.

We all learn differently and there are a number of different ways of learning that need to be catered for within the one classroom.

Keywordsscience education; diversity
ANZSRC Field of Research 2020390304. Primary education
390113. Science, technology and engineering curriculum and pedagogy
390306. Secondary education
Public Notes

Files associated with this item cannot be displayed due to copyright restrictions.

Byline AffiliationsCentral Queensland University
Monash University
Southern Cross University
Institution of OriginUniversity of Southern Queensland
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