Teacher journal archive (2008-2011)

Article Title

Under pressure : looking into practice : cases of science teaching and learning


When the author decided to explore boiling water in a syringe with her Year 7 class she discovered the real lessons were learning not to compress childhood and to allow free play in the secondary classroom. The class was studying the particle theory of matter and changes of state and boiling water in a syringe promised to introduce interesting scientific concepts and an exciting, hands-on approach. What ensued was a very different outcome, with the students exploring, asking questions, discussing and playing with the syringes, squirting water both inside the classroom and out for 80 minutes. The author's experience made her remember what she believes about teaching and learning and how that influences her purpose in practice: to try to embed relevance and 'unanxious expectation' in her classroom based on the beliefs that the learning process is not linear; students must construct their own meaning for true learning to take place; and we all need the opportunity to form and ask questions in order to learn. [Author abstract, ed]

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