- Start date: 1 September 1999
- End date: 31 January 2001
- Funder: The Nuffield Foundation
- Primary investigator: Professor Jim Ryder
- Co-investigators: Andrew Hind
Current A/AS level science syllabuses identify developing students' understandings about the nature of science as a course aim. However, for many areas of the nature of science there are no teaching resources currently available to support teaching at A/AS level. Furthermore, very little is known about teacher knowledge and expertise required for effective teaching about the nature of science, despite the fact that new curricula for initial teacher training explicitly identify developing trainees' ability to teach about the nature of science.
This project developed teaching resources designed to promote students' understandings about aspects of the nature of science in A/AS level science courses. Strategies for using these resources were developed. These resources and associated teaching strategies have been evaluated and published as part of the project. The project will also identified areas of knowledge and expertise which teachers need in order to teach about the nature of science.
The project published teaching resources and strategies aiming to develop students' ideas around specific areas of the nature of science within A/AS level science courses.
In addition to student activity sheets, the publication includes guidance notes for teachers outlining the learning aims of each activity, ways in which these materials can be used in the classroom, and views students hold about the nature of science issues to be covered.
The project studied the implementation of these teaching resources and strategies in the classroom. We considered:
- knowledge and expertise which teachers need in order to use the materials in their classrooms
- the extent to which the teaching tasks develop students' understandings about aspects of the nature of science
- teachers' and students' views about the relevance and effectiveness of the tasks within the A/AS level science course
HIND, A., LEACH, J. & RYDER, J. Teaching about the nature of scientific knowledge and investigation on AS/A level science courses (PDF file).