Learning Science Through Observation, Investigation and Imagination
Only 53% of Australian students are proficient in science at Year 6 according to the latest testing undertaken by ACARA (ABC News 2017 15 Mar 2017).
Learning Science Through Observation, Investigation and Imagination is a framework for all primary schools that can improve science proficiency.
The framework consists of professional learning for teachers, a Teacher Companion for every teacher, a Student Science Journal for every child and support for ongoing team planning. Trial results have shown that the framework is equally effective in supporting classroom teachers, irrespective of their level of science training.
The framework is structured on the Australian Curriculum with specific mention of State education authorities’ requirements. It is shaped by powerful evidence-based research in teaching and learning. It is structured at three levels, based on the stages of cognitive development of children: Levels F–2, 3–4 and 5–6.
Rather than teaching children complex facts or asking them to recall isolated pieces of information, the framework explicitly teaches:
- learning through observation
- understanding by carrying out investigations
- formulating explanations using imagination.
The Teacher Companion provides teachers with comprehensive unit plans that cover the entire Australian Science curriculum. The Teacher Companion also provides background subject information, pedagogical content knowledge and assessment rubrics that enable teachers to understand the zone of proximal development (ZPD) of every child.
The Student Science Journal is a structured workbook in which students record observations and the results of investigations. The units for Years 3-6 have a reflection and feedback section for students and teachers to write in.
The framework is based on a professional learning community model where teachers work together to plan teaching and assess learning. It introduces a new pedagogy of observation, investigation and imagination to teach science inquiry. For these reasons up to sixteen hours of professional learning is provided for schools that use the materials. The professional learning is structured to meet each school’s needs to plan, teach and assess student learning in the Science curriculum.