MEL how Children Learn in And Through Science Critical Essay

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ASSIGNMENT TASK 2: Critical essay – how children learn in and through science

(Individual task – 2000 words, 50%)

This task will assess a pre-service teacher’s understanding of science education theory as well as their ability to integrate theory and practice in science education. This will be achieved by outlining theories of teaching and learning in science and then presenting an in-depth discussion as it relates to the design and content of their resource booklet (Assessment 1A) and how it can be used to create a coherent lesson sequence.

Weighting: 50%

Length and/or format: 2000 words in PDF (excludes citations and reference list)

Purpose: To demonstrate advanced understanding of how children learn in science and the different science teaching approaches used to address particular science concepts.

Assessment criteria: Look at the attachment ‘Marking Criteria’

A suggested format for the essay is to write it in two parts – Part 1 will provide a critical discussion of theories of science teaching and learning, and Part 2 will use the resource booklet from Assessment Task 1A as a context for a specific discussion of putting theory into practice.

Part 1: Critical discussion of at least 2 theories of learning and teaching science in a primary school science classroom and demonstrate advanced understanding of how children learn in science.

Part 2: In this section, you should show your understanding of pedagogical approaches, illustrating with reference to the design of your resource booklet (Assessment Task 1A) and describe how it could be used to create a coherent science lesson sequence, including the different science teaching approaches used to address particular science concepts. Critically evaluate how the chosen pedagogical approach integrates science knowledge with the General Capabilities and/or Cross Curriculum Priorities.

Key ideas to be addressed in Part 2 include:

  • Identify and justify the overarching pedagogical approach that you would select when planning a lesson sequence to develop your chosen topic in Physical and/or Material World for a particular stage of learning.
  • Include examples of 4-5 lessons/activities from your resource booklet (Assessment 1A) that illustrate your understanding of the implementation of your chosen approach. (At least 1 should be an investigation/fair test and at least one design task should be included.) I have attached the resource booklet!!
  • Alternative student conceptions and their relationship to planning student learning, with specific examples related to the science content addressed by your resource booklet.
  • The role of assessment within teaching and learning, illustrated with examples from your resource booklet.
  • The importance of differentiation within the teaching of primary science with details of how differentiation could be implemented within the resource booklet to support all learners in the primary science classroom.
  • The value to teachers and students of incorporating cross-curricular links within a science learning sequence, with supporting examples.

Recommended references:

The new syllabus can be downloaded from the NESA website:

Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA). Australian Curriculum: F-10 Curriculum: Science. Retrieved from:

Fitzgerald, A. (Ed.). (2013). Learning and teaching primary science. Cambridge University Press.

Fleer, M., Jane, B., & Hardy, T. (2015a). Science for children: Developing a personal approach to teaching (3rd ed.). Pearson.

Fleer, M. (2015b). Technologies for Children. Melbourne, VIC: Cambridge University Press.

Fitzgerald, A. (2012). Science in primary schools: Examining the practices of effective teachers. Sense Publishers.

Howitt, C., & Blake, E. (Eds.). (2010). Planting the seeds of science: A flexible, integrated and engaging resource for teacher of 3 to 8 year olds. Perth: Curtin University and Australian Learning and Teaching Council.[1]

Loxley, P., Dawes, L., Nicholls, L., & Dore, B. (2014). Teaching primary science: Promoting enjoyment and developing understanding (2nd ed.). Routledge: Taylor and Francis.

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