Re-engaging adolescent students in science : an experienced teachers' classroom

Copping, Warren & Watters, James J. (2011) Re-engaging adolescent students in science : an experienced teachers' classroom. In Hudson, Peter B., Chandra, Vinesh, King, Donna T., & Lee, Kar-Tin (Eds.) Proceedings of the STEM in Education Conference 2010, Faculty of Education, Queensland university of Technology, Queensland university of Technology, Brisbane, Qld, pp. 1-16.

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Adolescents are both aware of and have the impetuous to exploit aspects of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) within their personal lives. Whether they are surfing, cycling, skateboarding or shopping, STEM concepts impact their lives. However science, mathematics, engineering and technology are still treated in the classroom as separate fragmented entities in the educational environment where most classroom talk is seemingly incomprehensible to the adolescent senses. The aim of this study was to examine the experiences of young adolescents with the aim of transforming school learning at least of science into meaningful experiences that connected with their lives using a self-study approach. Over a 12-month period, the researcher, an experienced secondary-science teacher, designed, implemented and documented a range of pedagogical practices with his Year-7 secondary science class. Data for this case study included video recordings, journals, interviews and surveys of students. By setting an environment empathetic to adolescent needs and understandings, students were able to actively explore phenomena collaboratively through developmentally appropriate experiences. Providing a more contextually relevant environment fostered meta-cognitive practices, encouraged new learning through open dialogue, multi-modal representations and assessments that contributed to building upon, re-affirming, or challenging both the students' prior learning and the teacher’s pedagogical content knowledge. A significant outcome of this study was the transformative experiences of an insider, the teacher as researcher, whose reflections provided an authentic model for reforming pedagogy in STEM classes.

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ID Code: 42402
Item Type: Conference Paper
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: Middle years, Science teaching, PCK, Classroom learning environment, Teacher research, Student engagement, Science content self-study
ISBN: 9780646558127
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > EDUCATION (130000) > CURRICULUM AND PEDAGOGY (130200) > Science Technology and Engineering Curriculum and Pedagogy (130212)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Education
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2011 Warren Copping and James J Watters
Copyright Statement: All papers included in the proceedings went through a double blind review process. Some authors may have submitted revised versions following this process. Copyright of the paper remains with the author(s). Views of the authors may not necessarily be the views of their representative institutes or the STEM committee.
Paper and author information displayed is based on the information available at 31 January 2011. Author details can be found on each paper.
Deposited On: 06 Jul 2011 01:53
Last Modified: 06 Jul 2011 01:54

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