UNIVERSITY OF MANCHESTER (SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING EDUCATION RESEARCH AND INNOVATION HUB)

QuSmart – Problematising the way children learn to ask scientific questions

OVERVIEW

Project start date: March 2019

QuSmart aims to develop understanding about the nature of children’s scientific questions. The project will draw on learning around wonder, working scientifically and child-led approaches to enquiry. Through identifying routines for children to learn how to ask and build scientific questions, the project will develop materials and training to support teachers to create learning opportunities within an environment where children successfully ask and build their own scientific questions.

The project is developing a programme that includes:

  • two-day face-to-face interactive CPD in which teachers will build awareness, value and rehearse techniques to model and practice the approaches rather than simply know about them
  • a teacher handbook or similar of core materials with an explanation of the underpinning theory and rationale for the approaches
  • a digital learning platform

IMPACT OF SEERIH

  • Establishing the Trajectory of Professional Development (TOPD) - a framework to describe the nature of professional learning through four stages of engagement (Bianchi, 2016)
  • Improving teachers’ practice by widening access to sponsored CPD courses, conferences, clusters and projects. Teachers describe how their confidence, identity and influence as a science teacher impacts on their teaching, children’s learning and whole school culture for science.
  • Enhancing the interaction between teachers and University staff and students allows for the transfer of knowledge and practice of teaching and learning across the primary-Higher Education.
  • Broadening opportunity for teachers, including PSTT Fellows, to engage in curriculum development with leading national groups and opportunities: the Royal Institution Christmas Lectures, The National Army Museum, The National Trust and the Halle.
  • Leading local and regional development through campaigns such as the Great Science Share (GSS) – an annual programme of events to support young people in sharing science with new audiences. As a European City of Science legacy project, GSS raises the profile and wide-scale engagement in primary school science. Shortlisted for a Social Responsibility ‘Making a Difference Award 2017’.

CONTACT

Dr Lynne Bianchi, Director of SEERIH The University of Manchester | Manchester | M13 9PLE: lynne.bianchi@manchester.ac.uk |www.fascinate.manchester.ac.uk

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