Knowing and Thinking Level 1

Scientific understanding

How can I teach the scientific concepts that underpin the investigation?

Background knowledge about the science phenomenon being investigated is important for the development of worthwhile questions for investigation. It is important not to spend too long doing background research so that insufficient time is left for the planning and conducting of a MyScience investigation. Scientific knowledge is constantly growing and changing so the processes of investigation are more important than the presentation of ‘facts’.

Watch as students describe the difficulties experienced while doing background research.

When you have taught about topics such as ‘life cycles’ or ‘living and non-living’, you would have established student prior knowledge, addressed misconceptions and progressed student understanding to a deeper level. While the content of curricula and syllabuses may change in the finer details, understanding of the basic concepts that underpin students’ scientific investigations generally does not radically change. What you have done successfully in the past will still inform your current practice.

MyScience investigations occur within the context of a theme. The theme is expanded into topics. The relationship between topics within the theme can be easily demonstrated through a mind map that is jointly constructed by the teacher and class. This helps students understand how the scientific theme relates to the outside world. By the end of this learning pathway, you should be able to generate a mind map with your class for the theme that is the basis for their scientific investigation.

Watch an Assistant Principal explain how she chose a theme, Mythbusters.