The relationship of theory and practice in designing, implementing and evaluating teaching sequences: learning from examples that don’t work

LEACH, John, AMETLLER, Jaume and SCOTT, Phil (2009). The relationship of theory and practice in designing, implementing and evaluating teaching sequences: learning from examples that don’t work. Éducation et la didactique, 3 (2), 139-155.

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Abstract

This paper is about the process of designing and evaluating teaching sequences. It presents a framework to inform the design and evaluation of science teaching (Ametller, Leach and Scott, 2007); the use of the framework is illustrated through discussion of examples. Three short teaching sequences (around 5 hours) are used to exemplify the use of the framework in the design and evaluation of teaching. Each teaching sequence was developed to address conceptual content in the lower secondary school (age 11-13). The sequences addressed Electricity, Plant Nutrition, and Modelling (Physical and Chemical) Change. Each sequence was implemented by at least three teachers. Students’ learning was evaluated using diagnostic questions for conceptual understanding, and compared with that of similar students following the school’s usual teaching approach. Data about the implementation of the teaching were collected through video recording, and teachers were interviewed before and after implementation. The Modelling Change teaching sequence was the first to be developed. Students’ performance, and teachers’ reactions to this sequence, fell considerably short of our design intentions. Significant changes to the design approach were therefore made for the Electricity and Plant Nutrition sequences, which were very well received by teachers, and resulted in statistically significant learning gains by students (Leach et al., 2006). The Modelling Change sequence is therefore presented in more detail, to illustrate how the framework can inform judgements about the success or failure of attempts to design science teaching.

Item Type: Article
Research Institute, Centre or Group: Centre for Education and Inclusion Research
Depositing User: John Leach
Date Deposited: 20 Sep 2012 12:54
Last Modified: 21 Sep 2012 10:51
URI: http://shura.shu.ac.uk/id/eprint/5945

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