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Student autonomy enhancing science learning : Observations from a Primary Connections implementation

Fittell, David (2010) Student autonomy enhancing science learning : Observations from a Primary Connections implementation. In 2010 Annual Conference of the Australian Science Education Research Association, 30 June - 3 July 2010, Port Stevens, New South Wales. (Unpublished)

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Abstract

This case study involved a detailed analysis of the changes in beliefs and teaching practices of teachers who adopted the Primary Connections program as a professional development initiative. When implementing an inquiry-based learning model, teachers observed that their students learnt more when they intervened less. By scaffolding open-ended nquiries they achieved more diverse, complex and thorough learning outcomes than previously achieved with teacher-led discussions or demonstrations. Initially, student autonomy presented erceived threats to teachers, including possible selection of topics outside the teachers’ science knowledge. In practice, when such issues arose, resolving them became a stimulating part of the earning for both teachers and students. The teachers’ observation of enhanced student learning became a powerful motivator for change in their beliefs and practices. Implications for developers of PD programs are (1) the importance of modeling student-devised inquiries, and (2) recognising the role of successful classroom implementation in facilitating change.

Impact and interest:

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ID Code: 40948
Item Type: Conference Paper
Keywords: Inquiry science , Primary science, Elementary school, Professional development, Qualitative research, Primary Connections, Teacher change
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > EDUCATION (130000) > CURRICULUM AND PEDAGOGY (130200) > Science Technology and Engineering Curriculum and Pedagogy (130212)
Divisions: Current > Research Centres > Office of Education Research
Current > Schools > School of Curriculum
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Education
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2010 David Fittell
Deposited On: 25 Mar 2011 12:41
Last Modified: 25 Mar 2013 18:11

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