To what degree are we taking the fundamental steps to guarantee primary school children are prepared for secondary school science?
In my literature review I will examine how teachers have adequately equipped primary school children for the start of key stage three science. Nonetheless, in contrast to Maths and English, science is seen by some as a less important subject (Graham 2016). Moreover, it is viewed by (Pound 2007) that science supports many children’s interests about the world around us so it’s vital that we teach them the importance of it. I have chosen science to do my literature review on because a range of children choose by the end of their primary school tenure whether or not they wish to pursue a career within a scientifical field.
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Firstly, the predominant way to get children enthusiastic in learning a subject is to have a strong passion for it so that children can share your enthusiasm (Leith 2010). By law (DFE, 2014) declares if a person wishes to study teacher training at a university they must hold a C grade minimum from GCSE level, which emphasises the other view shared by (Palmer 2013) who argues that teachers do have good subject knowledge as to get a C at GCSE one would need to know important aspects of the science curriculum. In conjunction (Aaron 2011) states that there is a trend that school teachers have a low level of subject knowledge within science, this results in teachers spending less time wanting to teach the subject. Furthermore, Graham (2005) alongside Davidson (2009) argue that key stage two teachers are battling to fortify children’s enthusiasm for wanting to be educated in science, as they themselves have a lower knowledge within the subject, not only this, but the confidence of teaching the subject is also low in schools down to teachers not having an enthusiasm for the subject themselves. Laur and Hayward (2011) believe that there is a predominant problem within key stage two and that teachers understanding of the science curriculum is the focal point. They contend that the issue is that teacher standard three (DFE, 2011) which in turn highlights the need to have good subject and curriculum knowledge, however this is not being met by some teachers as almost one in four children go into key stage three without the proper knowledge to make further progress (Pittman 2012). OFSTED (2014) suggested that teachers need to understand which topic of science they struggle with and know how to address the problem so that children can make good progress through to the start of key stage three.
The National curriculum states that children need to learn the three different modules of science topics which included Physics as well as Chemistry and also Biology (James 2012). Moreover, (Parkman 2008) mentions the importance of children being able to use scientific language in everyday conversion with peers and parents. It results in a higher quality of learning for the child if they are able to recall important facts and information from lessons they have partaken in, leading to a higher degree of learning. Furthermore, Vygotsky (1962) argues that children’s main knowledge should come as a result of learning about the world around them and doing this independently to learn at a greater level and only a small proportion of this time should be in collaboration with your peers. Finally concurring with this viewpoint (Lloyd 2009) argues a proposal that educating science should be taught in a purposeful and enthusiastic way this is so children as a result of the new approach can develop their own learning and achieve a higher quality of learning.
Schools do have the ability to execute the science modules and teach them in the order they believe will be most beneficial. Vast past research states that assessment in science ought to achieve three major factors; firstly to motivate critical thought, logical thought and addressing misconceptions (National Curriculum 2014). The expulsion of using tests and seeing data to see how children in schools especially within key stage two are developing would be advantageous to learning insists (Feeney 2013) as the tests are preventing teachers being able to teach the children why science is fun and enjoyable. Furthermore contending that teachers plan assessment based questions from the beginning of the children’s prior knowledge and then eventually resulting in a test which encounters everything they have previously learned it means they have more time to stimulate the children’s mind and teach them enjoyable science lessons. (Hammond 2008) proclaimed that the abolishment of topic tests in science shouldn’t result in it being seen in a lower regard to other subjects as you’d still have assessments in maths or English throught the year for example. The antithesis between this viewpoint and (Richards 2006) is he states that the reason of keeping assessment in science is to assist the learning of children in science and to help develop what they are uncertain about and what topics they are confident on.
OFSTED (2011) detailed that not all schools undervalue the significance of science, however they do comment that there is still a crevice between the majority of schools which regard science highly as a subject and the ones which regard it lower than other curricular subjects. However, (Hook 2007) argues as he expresses that inadequate time has gone into educating children about science, as well as this teachers have less admiration for the subject, with science being seen as less important as maths or English. In a dissimilar view (Blossom 2010) expostulates with Hook’s argument as he declares that when presented into the National Curriculum, science was seen as a core subject of high regard. (Jones 2009) contends that statement because he believes the status of primary school science is drastically reduced due to the continual importance and influence of Maths and English. The National Curriculum (DFE, 2011) states that science should still be seen as an extremely high regarded subject within the curriculum. In a dissimilar viewpoint (Nicholson 2017) supports the importance of holding science in a high regard in primary schools by adding that science lets children develop and helps children to avoid the common misconceptions they may come across, in addition to science giving them the opportunity to learn and discover new and wonderful thoughts.
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- https://www.Sciencetransitionks2ks3.ac.uk/services/ocsld/resources/sciencetheories.html#sensory. [Accessed 5th November 2018]. (Pittman 2012)
- Davidson, N. (2005) Secular Education and the Logic of Science. London: Faber and Faber.
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- Zone of Proximal Development. Vygotsky (1962). Zone of Proximal Development. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.innovativelearning.com/educational_psychology/development/zone-of-proximal-development.html. [Accessed 14th November 2018].
- Hayward, I. and Laur, P. (2000). Post-primary science teachers’ perceptions of primary science education. Research in Science Education, 23(1), pp.122-178.
- Palmer, R. (2013). Science education in schools: maintaining curiosity. [online] GOV.UK. Available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/maintaining-curiosity-a-survey-into-science-education-in-schools [Accessed 3 Nov. 2018].
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