Reinvigorating primary school science through school-community partnerships

Edited book (chapter)


Smith, Kathy, Fitzgerald, Angela, Deefholts, Suzanne, Jackson, Sue, Sadler, Nicole, Smith, Alan and Lindsay, Simon. 2018. "Reinvigorating primary school science through school-community partnerships." Corrigan, Deborah, Buntting, Cathy, Jones, Alister and Loughran, John (ed.) Navigating the changing landscape of formal and informal science learning opportunities . Switzerland. Springer. pp. 87-103
Chapter Title

Reinvigorating primary school science through school-community partnerships

Book Chapter CategoryEdited book (chapter)
ERA Publisher ID3337
Book TitleNavigating the changing landscape of formal and informal science learning opportunities
AuthorsSmith, Kathy (Author), Fitzgerald, Angela (Author), Deefholts, Suzanne (Author), Jackson, Sue (Author), Sadler, Nicole (Author), Smith, Alan (Author) and Lindsay, Simon (Author)
EditorsCorrigan, Deborah, Buntting, Cathy, Jones, Alister and Loughran, John
Page Range87-103
Chapter Number6
Number of Pages17
Year2018
PublisherSpringer
Place of PublicationSwitzerland
ISBN9783319897608
9783319897615
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-89761-5_6
Web Address (URL)https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-3-319-89761-5_6
Abstract

Many primary school teachers, when supported by opportunities that assist them to reframe their thinking about the nature of science, appear to demonstrate a capacity to willingly use new perspectives to reconsider science learning and teaching. In particular the need for science to be explored as a human endeavour and the need to generate for students reason to seek understanding, to make sense of and communicate thinking about phenomena and experiences. To this end primary teachers value science learning situated within experiences that are personally meaningful and contextually relevant to their students, often producing opportunities to invite perspectives and achievements from sources outside the school to broaden science learning beyond the confines of the classroom. When established effectively such partnerships can potentially enable students to engage in and develop an understanding of science as a process of investigation and collaboration dependent upon the social construction of knowledge. Through an exploration of three case studies, we demonstrate situations where primary teachers and schools intentionally take steps to ensure their students have a sense of connectedness to their local community and environment by developing mutually beneficial learning relationships with both formal and informal science partners. By doing so these schools actively broaden the primary school science curriculum to include aspects of contemporary science with a particularly strong emphasis on social and emotional aspects of learning. The result is a wider range of learning outcomes than were ever intended or anticipated for students, teachers and the community in general. Finally, the chapter identifies the characteristics that make school-community partnerships educationally valuable for science learning and teaching.

Keywordsmulti-disciplinary science learning; science curriculum; socioscientific issues; science teaching; science learning; school-community partnerships
Contains Sensitive ContentDoes not contain sensitive content
ANZSRC Field of Research 2020390307. Teacher education and professional development of educators
390113. Science, technology and engineering curriculum and pedagogy
390304. Primary education
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Byline AffiliationsMonash University
St Joseph's Primary School, Crib Point, Australia
St Aloysius Primary School, Australia
Holy Child Primary School, Australia
Catholic Education Office, Victoria
Institution of OriginUniversity of Southern Queensland
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