Learning to Teach Science in the Secondary School: A companion to school experience, 4th Edition (Paperback) book cover

Learning to Teach Science in the Secondary School

A companion to school experience, 4th Edition

Edited by Rob Toplis


314 pages

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Learning to Teach Science in the Secondary School is an indispensable guide with a fresh approach to the process, practice and reality of teaching and learning science in a busy secondary school. This fourth edition has been fully updated in the light of changes to professional knowledge and practice and revisions to the national curriculum.

Written by experienced practitioners, this popular textbook comprehensively covers the opportunities and challenges of teaching science in the secondary school. It provides guidance on:

• the knowledge and skills you need, and understanding the science department at your school

• development of the science curriculum

• the nature of science and how science works, biology, chemistry, physics and astronomy, earth science

• planning for progression, using schemes of work to support planning , and evaluating lessons

• language in science, practical work, using ICT , science for citizenship, Sex and Health Education and learning outside the classroom

• assessment for learning and external assessment and examinations

Every unit includes a clear chapter introduction, learning objectives, further reading, lists of useful resources and specially designed tasks – including those to support Masters Level work – as well as cross-referencing to essential advice in the core text Learning to Teach in the Secondary School, sixth edition.

Learning to Teach Science in the Secondary School is designed to support student teachers through the transition from graduate scientist to practising science teacher, while achieving the highest level of personal and professional development.


"The book is user friendly and written in an understandable and jargon-free way by current and experienced practitioners. It maintains its accessibility throughout in a refreshingly non-condescending manner. In keeping with good practice, each chapter starts with a series of objectives and many include a number of tasks to help develop the skills needed to be a reflective and critical teacher. The references and ideas for further reading are recent and relevant, and would be a good starting point for trainee teachers to further engage with the topics discussed"John Caroll, Education in Chemistry

Table of Contents

1. BECOMING A SCIENCE TEACHER 1.1. Learning to be a science teacher Rob Toplis 1.2. Managing your professional learning Caro Garrett 1.3. Working in a science department Rob Toplis 2. THE SCIENCE CURRICULUM 2.1. Science in the National Curriculum Paul Davies 2.2. Science 11–14 Paul Davies 2.3. Science 14–19 Paul Davies 3. GETTING TO GRIPS WITH SCIENCE 3.1. The nature of science Michael J. Reiss 3.2. Biology Katherine Little ls and DNA 3.3. Chemistry Ann Childs 3.4. Physics and astronomy Steven Chapman 3.5. Earth and atmospheric science Paul Davies 4. PLANNING FOR TEACHING AND LEARNING SCIENCE 4.1. Planning for progression in science Ralph Levinson 4.2. Using schemes of work to support planning Kevin Smith 4.3. Planning and evaluating lessons Kevin Smith 4.4. Teaching strategies and organising learning Pete Sorensen 5. TEACHING SCIENCE: SPECIFIC CONTEXTS 5.1 Language in learning science Rob Toplis 5.2. Practical work Rob Toplis 5.3. Using technologies to support learning science Ruth Amos 5.4. Science for citizenship Marcus Grace 5.5. Sex and health education Sandra Campbell 5.6. Beyond the classroom Ruth Amos 6. ASSESSMENT IN SCIENCE 6.1. Assessment for Learning – A Formative Approach Christine Harrison 6.2 Summative assessment and examinations in science Christine Harrison 7. IS EDUCATION RESEARCH VALUABLE FOR TEACHERS OF SCIENCE? John Oversby 

About the Editor

Rob Toplis is Senior Lecturer in Secondary Science Education at Brunel University, UK.

About the Series

Learning to Teach Subjects in the Secondary School Series

Designed for all students learning to teach in secondary schools, and particularly those on school-based initial teacher education courses, the books in this series complement Learning to Teach in the Secondary School and its companion, Starting to Teach in the Secondary School.  Each book in the series applies underpinning theory and addresses practical issues to support students in school and in the training institution in learning how to teach a particular subject.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
EDUCATION / Curricula
EDUCATION / Teaching Methods & Materials / Science & Technology