Looking into practice : risky business
The secondary science curriculum is crowded and there are large class sizes and regular interruptions to class time and pressure to achieve good results to contend with, so how does a science teacher achieve her goal of inspiring students with interactive engaging and authentic science experiences? The author saw the opportunity to find a balance when she realised that she had scheduled a Year 9 chemistry class, which would usually take 75 minutes to complete, into a 50-minute laboratory class. She trialled a new approach, using the Project for Enhancing Effective Learning jigsaw approach. This allowed her to save time and provide the students with an opportunity to learn collaboratively. At the end of the project she asked her students to construct a concept map of their understanding of the topic, then undertake a short test. Her experiences helped the author to rethink how she teaches and how she can juggle the ongoing challenges of getting through the curriculum and helping students to learn science well. [Author abstract, ed]
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