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Unit Summary

Unit type

UG Coursework Unit

Credit points

12

AQF level

7

Level of learning

Intermediate

Former School/College

Former School of Education

Unit aim

Explores in depth personal and sociocultural constructivism and its implications for science and technology teaching and learning. Pedagogical issues (e.g. gender and culture inclusive perspectives and strategies, creativity) are discussed. Discusses the implementation of syllabus and early childhood guidelines. Focuses on the concepts exemplifying Earth and space, living world and material world.

Unit content

  1. The nature, content and directions of typical primary syllabuses and early childhood curriculum guidelines and frameworks, within the context of a 0-12 developmental outcome and content framework and the development of literacy and numeracy outcomes. 
  2. Concepts and teaching – learning experiences in the following areas in the natural and made environments:
    1. material world
    2. Earth and space and
    3. living world. 
  3. Teaching models, strategies and techniques which encourage children to use the process of scientific investigation and the technological process of design and make. 
  4. How children learn S&T: focus on children's own ideas (personal constructivism) and their physical and social learning environment (sociocultural constructivism); role of materials and communication, especially scaffolding; implications from how children learn for teaching strategies; planning using models which take children's ideas and learning environment into consideration, e.g. 5Es, conceptual change, interactive, and which use productive pedagogical principles 
  5. Resources for S&T education (including curriculum projects such as Primary Connections; ICT [data handling software; data logging sensors; electronic information sources; simulation and modelling software; publishing and presentation software; communication technology; devices such as digital cameras] – uses in learning S&T. 
  6. Specific curriculum/pedagogical issues: e.g. school, early childhood centre scope and sequence planning; teaching science for children from different backgrounds ; different abilities; gender; assessment and profiles; cross-KLA connections; classroom management. 
  7. Implementing, evaluating and reflecting upon S&T activity/lesson sequences and/or strategies and techniques which use a knowledge of (1) to (6).

Learning outcomes

Unit Learning Outcomes express learning achievement in terms of what a student should know, understand and be able to do on completion of a unit. These outcomes are aligned with the graduate attributes. The unit learning outcomes and graduate attributes are also the basis of evaluating prior learning.

GA1: , GA2: , GA3: , GA4: , GA5: , GA6: , GA7:
On completion of this unit, students should be able to: GA1 GA2 GA3 GA4 GA5 GA6 GA7
1 describe the nature and content of primary and early childhood science and technology (within a 0-12 years context), especially as it is reflected in Australian syllabuses and early childhood curriculum guidelines and frameworks, and suggest ways to translate these curriculum documents into practice
2 explain key concepts and understandings underpinning the content areas of Earth and space, living world and the nature of materials and changes in materials
3 use the processes of scientific investigation and design, make and appraise across a range of typical early childhood and primary content strands and be able to develop teaching-learning activities which provide opportunities for children to use these processes
4 plan a sequence of activities or lessons (incorporating aspects of [3]) using a range of appropriate strategies and be able to justify the professional decisions involved
5 identify the key features of a constructivist view of learning, both personal and sociocultural, and illustrate its application, especially the use of constructivist teaching models, strategies and techniques
6 select and justify the choice of appropriate strategies associated with teaching science and technology to children of mixed ability, from different backgrounds, and different gender and locate, use and critique relevant resource material, including computer and ICT resources, associated with implementing primary syllabus and early childhood curriculum guidelines and frameworks
7 reflect critically upon a range of pedagogical and curriculum issues associated with implementing science and technology across the early childhood and primary spectrum and be able to suggest strategies for acting upon these issues and state and satisfy criteria for the development of a justifiable program in science and technology education, including reference to productive pedagogies and their underlying premises.

On completion of this unit, students should be able to:

  1. describe the nature and content of primary and early childhood science and technology (within a 0-12 years context), especially as it is reflected in Australian syllabuses and early childhood curriculum guidelines and frameworks, and suggest ways to translate these curriculum documents into practice
    • GA4:
  2. explain key concepts and understandings underpinning the content areas of Earth and space, living world and the nature of materials and changes in materials
    • GA1:
    • GA2:
    • GA4:
  3. use the processes of scientific investigation and design, make and appraise across a range of typical early childhood and primary content strands and be able to develop teaching-learning activities which provide opportunities for children to use these processes
    • GA1:
    • GA2:
    • GA4:
  4. plan a sequence of activities or lessons (incorporating aspects of [3]) using a range of appropriate strategies and be able to justify the professional decisions involved
    • GA4:
  5. identify the key features of a constructivist view of learning, both personal and sociocultural, and illustrate its application, especially the use of constructivist teaching models, strategies and techniques
    • GA4:
  6. select and justify the choice of appropriate strategies associated with teaching science and technology to children of mixed ability, from different backgrounds, and different gender and locate, use and critique relevant resource material, including computer and ICT resources, associated with implementing primary syllabus and early childhood curriculum guidelines and frameworks
    • GA4:
  7. reflect critically upon a range of pedagogical and curriculum issues associated with implementing science and technology across the early childhood and primary spectrum and be able to suggest strategies for acting upon these issues and state and satisfy criteria for the development of a justifiable program in science and technology education, including reference to productive pedagogies and their underlying premises.
    • GA2:
    • GA4:

Prescribed texts

  • This is the compiled electronic version of the text with just the chapters for this unit - get either the hard copy or this electronic version : Skamp, K & Preston, C (eds) , 2016, Electronic copy: Readings for Science and Technology Education: Curriculum and Pedagogy, 1st, Cengage Learning, South Melbourne, Victoria.
  • This is the latest version of the text (purchase this one unless you have an earlier copy) A compiled Electronic version is available see below: : Skamp, K & Preston, C (eds) , 2014, Hard Copy: Teaching Primary Science Constructively,, 5th edn,, Cengage Learning, South Melbourne, Victoria. ISBN: 9780170261203.
Prescribed texts may change in future teaching periods.