Teaching using student-generated representations in science
Kenny, J and Cirkony, C, Teaching using student-generated representations in science, Teaching Secondary Science: Theory and Practice, Cambridge University Press, G Woolcott, R Whannell (ed), Australia, pp. 141-167. ISBN 9781316882535 (2017) [Other Book Chapter]
The Chief Scientist in Australia emphasised the importance of engaging students in productive science learning for the knowledge economy and called for sustainable and equitable support systems to develop teachers’ professional knowledge and capabilities. The number of students who are taking STEM subjects in secondary and tertiary education is declining both worldwide and in Australia. Furthermore, students are being ‘turned off’ science due to their experience in schools, so there is a need to explore how teachers can improve student engagement in science.
Acknowledging this situation recognises that teacher professional knowledge and capabilities are at the heart of improving science learning for students. However, we need to be clear about what knowledge and capabilities are pertinent for teaching science and to also be mindful that teaching and learning in a classroom occurs through a complex interaction between students, the resources used and their teacher.
This chapter examines an approach to teaching science that has emerged from contemporary education research and which aims to address the problem of engaging students’ interest in science by providing more authentic learning experiences that emulate the way science knowledge is generated and how it actually works.