Developing a Research-Informed Teaching Module for Learning about Electrical Circuits at Lower Secondary School Level: Supporting Personal Learning about Science and the Nature of Science

Keith S. Taber (University of Cambridge, UK), Kenneth Ruthven (University of Cambridge, UK), Christine Howe (University of Cambridge, UK), Neil Mercer (University of Cambridge, UK), Fran Riga (University of Cambridge, UK), Riikka Hofmann (University of Cambridge, UK) and Stefanie Luthman (University of Cambridge, UK)
Copyright: © 2015 |Pages: 156
EISBN13: 9781466674424|DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-6375-6.ch006
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This chapter discusses the design and development of a teaching module on electrical circuits for lower secondary students (11-14 year olds) studying in the context of the English National Curriculum. The module was developed as part of a project: “Effecting Principled Improvement in STEM Education” (epiSTEMe). The electricity module was designed according to general principles adopted across epiSTEMe, drawing upon research and recommendations of good practice offered in curriculum guidance and the advice offered by classroom practitioners who tested out activities in their own classrooms. The module design was informed by the constructivist perspective that each individual has to construct their own personal knowledge and so rejects notions that teaching can be understood as transfer of knowledge from a teacher or text to learners. However, the version of constructivism adopted acknowledged the central importance of social mediation of learning, both in terms of the role of a more experienced other (such as a teacher) in channeling and scaffolding the learning of students and the potential for peer mediation of learning through dialogue that requires learners to engage with enquiry processes and interrogate and critique their own understanding.
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