Curiouser and curiouser: developing an enquiry-based curriculum

Myers, D. and Westgate, C. (2016) Curiouser and curiouser: developing an enquiry-based curriculum. In: The Cambridge Primary Trust Review National Conference, 18th November, 2016, Mabledon House, London.

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Abstract

This project evaluated the use of science inquiry as ‘a way of knowing’ to develop the scientific capital of primary pupils living in an area of social and economic disadvantage. The Headteacher and Science Subject Leader recognised their roles as cultural change agents in the lives of their pupils and sought to improve children’s access, participation and engagement with the school science curriculum.

Through the implementation of a research protocol and a programme of professional development, teachers and children were challenged to interrogate their beliefs about scientists, science teaching and working scientifically using a mixed methods approach to collect data. By creating opportunities for professional dialogue and guided reflection, requiring peer coaching, mentoring and goal setting, teachers were supported to co- construct new teaching and learning pedagogies that better align with children’s natural dispositions of playfulness and curiosity. The development of teachers’ pedagogical design capacities has resulted in a whole- school shift in emphasis from directed to independent enquiry enabling pupils to devise their own scientific methodologies to generate evidence to support conclusions. This approach required teachers to transfer responsibility for decision-making to children during open-ended investigations and to review the quality of questioning necessary to prompt children’s creative and productive thinking. This project enables pupils and teachers to work together more authentically as scientists, co-constructing new knowledge about phenomena and has indeed facilitated pupils’ greater access, participation and engagement with both the science and wider curriculum resulting in a DAISIES initiative (Diversity and Identity: Supporting Inclusive Education in Science).

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Pupil voice; driving curricular change; child-led enquiry
Subjects: L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB1501 Primary Education
Divisions: Faculty of Education > School of Teacher Education and Development
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Debbie Myers
Date Deposited: 16 Dec 2016 11:02
Last Modified: 16 Dec 2016 11:02
URI: https://create.canterbury.ac.uk/id/eprint/15334

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Last edited: 29/06/2016 12:23:00