by Ruth Amos & Ralph Levinson (UCL Institute of Education, UK)
PARRISE activities at UCL IOE during autumn 2014 have focused on our new cohort of 92 pre-service science teachers (PSTs).
In September, Ruth Amos and Ralph Levinson presented the PARRISE project and ideas about SSIBL to our experienced teacher-mentors, who are supporting the PSTs in school this year.
We devised a pilot PST development programme together with other colleagues in our team at UCL IOE where SSIBL approaches were introduced after two workshops on inquiry science and using socio-scientific issues in science learning. In the inquiry workshop, PSTs were given some standard science practicals and asked to generate possible questions which students could research and investigate. The SSI session followed a science and consumerism theme. PSTs explored the layers in Kinder EggsTM from the aluminium foil, through the chocolate to the plastic toys and paper instructions. They imagined, discussed and researched the scientific, environmental, economic and social impacts and issues surrounding the manufacture of Kinder EggsTM.
To foreground the main SSIBL workshop, PSTs carried out some research in their first placement schools, linked to curriculum requirements in our new ‘Working Scientifically’ science national curriculum theme.
The PSTs interviewed mentors and experienced science teachers about:
their ideas of inquiry in science,
the kinds of inquiry they teach, and
whether socio-scientific issues are commonly used within, or to initiate, inquiry.
We are collating the research findings.
In the main SSIBL workshop, Ruth and a colleague, Sheila Curtis, showed a range of stimulus photographs to promote a questioning learning environment and
Explored the nature of creative, open questions in science.
Then Ralph focused back on the Kinder EggTM scenario by revealing the in-depth story of the production of aluminium. PSTs were taken on a journey from Canada (bauxite extraction) to Jamaica (aluminium extraction), stopping off at Ivittuut, Greenland for some cryolite and finally they met the catadores do lixo in Brazil to examine the complex issues around recycling.
Next steps – in January the PSTs will create and try out their own SSIBL activity for a group of 11-14 year old school students … more news to follow.
Workshops on socio-scientific, inquiry-based learning at IOE