Aspects that Foster Science Learning

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Fall 2009-Day 1
Brainstorming Webs: Sharing Science Experiences
Instructional Strategies

To open the course, we begin by asking the students to think about some time in their lives, inside or outside of school, when they learned some science and enjoyed the process. Sometimes we leave it very open-ended and sometimes we ask in a particular context, such as 'what have you learned about light at some time in your life…' The small groups work on a large piece of chart paper, with all the members drawing pictures of what they learned. Sometimes they need to be prompted with an open ended question such as “well have you ever seen a rainbow?” They also often need to be encouraged to make big and colorful pictures that fill the paper rather than small ones without much detail. After they have drawn some pictures, we ask “what was it about that experience that worked for you? What fostered your learning?” Again they may need some prompting but eventually the small groups list some aspects on their chart papers. Then members of each group present their chart to the class as a way of introducing themselves, saying their names and describing these positive science learning experiences and aspects that had fostered their learning. After all the groups have presented, we ask the whole group to generate a list of aspects that fostered learning across all the groups. These are listed on two more chart papers as shown here.


Science Journal Article About Aspects that Foster Science Learning

Using Pedagogical Inquiries as a Basis for Learning to Teach

van Zee, E.H. & Roberts, D. (2001). Using pedagogical inquiries as a basis for learning to teach: Prospective teachers' perceptions of positive science learning experiences. Science Education, 85, 733-757.

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