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Simple teaching strategies to use during primary science investigations

Rosemary Hipkins and Natasha Kenneally

Videotaped sessions of students working on 'fair testing' investigation scenarios were analysed (N = 204). 

The analysis suggested avenues for the development of strategies that could help develop teachers' pedagogical content knowledge for teaching the skills used during a simple 'fair testing' investigation.  Most conversation during each activity focused on specific aspects of measuring or task completion so that the overall investigation appeared to become a series of disjointed episodes. 

Simple strategies intended to help students hold more of the overall investigation in their memory space whilst laying a foundation for later learning about experimental error and data management were devised and tried out during three focus groups sessions held with experienced primary school teachers. 

The data patterns generated were seen by the teachers to link science and mathematics learning, and to be accessible to those students who struggled with language and/or literacy issues.

Paper presented at the Australasian Science Education Research Association conference, Melbourne, 8-12 July 2003.

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