Teaching Secondary Science: Constructing Meaning and Developing Understanding, 4th Edition (Paperback) book cover

Teaching Secondary Science

Constructing Meaning and Developing Understanding, 4th Edition

By Keith Ross, Liz Lakin, Janet McKechnie, Jim Baker


258 pages | 66 B/W Illus.

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Paperback: 9781138833425
pub: 2015-06-18
Hardback: 9781138833418
pub: 2015-06-15
eBook (VitalSource) : 9781315735474
pub: 2015-06-19
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The fourth edition of Teaching Secondary Science has been fully updated and includes a wide range of new material. This invaluable resource offers a new collection of sample lesson plans and includes two new chapters covering effective e-learning and advice on supporting learners with English as a second language. It continues as a comprehensive guide for all aspects of science teaching, with a focus on understanding pupils’ alternative frameworks of belief, the importance of developing or challenging them and the need to enable pupils to take ownership of scientific ideas. This new edition supports all aspects of teaching science in a stimulating environment, enabling pupils to understand their place in the world and look after it.

Key features include:

  • Illustrative and engaging lesson plans for use in the classroom
  • Help for pupils to construct new scientific meanings
  • M-level support materials
  • Advice on teaching ‘difficult ideas’ in biology, chemistry, physics and earth sciences
  • Education for sustainable development and understanding climate change
  • Managing the science classroom and health and safety in the laboratory
  • Support for talk for learning, and advice on numeracy in science
  • New chapters on e-learning and supporting learners with English as a second language.

Presenting an environmentally sustainable, global approach to science teaching, this book emphasises the need to build on or challenge children’s existing ideas so they better understand the world in which they live. Essential reading for all students and practising science teachers, this invaluable book will support those undertaking secondary science PGCE, school-based routes into teaching and those studying at Masters level.


"Aiming at both trainees and practising science teachers, this book sets out a firm philosophy for underpinning science teaching with a need for the pupils of today to understand the responsibilities they have for looking after the environment in the 21st century … As a school mentor to a trainee teacher, I can see a really well-structured, wideranging and informed support programme." - Janet Mitchell, St. Paul's School, London

Table of Contents

Part I - Science and why we teach it: 1. What makes a good science teacher? 2. Working Scientifically 3. Science education and sustainability Part II - How Pupils Make Sense of Their World: 4. Learning through language and observation 5. Elicitation: Pupils’ ideas of the world 6. A constructivist approach to learning 7. Active learning techniques 8. Learning through talk 9. Learning through reading 10. Learning through writing 11. Harnessing the Power of Computers and the Web 12. What if English is not the Mother Tongue of your students? 13. Numeracy in science Part III - Knowledge and Understanding: 14. Difficult ideas in chemistry 15. Difficult ideas in physics 16. Difficult ideas in biology 17. Difficult ideas in earth science and astronomy PART IV - Planning, Assessment, Teaching and Class Management: 18. Planning for progression 19. Assessment for Learning in science 20. Managing pupils in science lessons 21. Health, safety and laboratory management 22. Teaching and learning at 14–19 PART V - Professional values and the wider world: 23. Inclusion and science for all: every child matters 24. Learning outside the classroom 25. Becoming a professional science teacher

About the Authors

Keith Ross is a former secondary science teacher and Education Teaching Fellow at the University of Gloucestershire, UK. He is currently co-creating four-minute animated science videos with the Fuse School that are free to teachers and students worldwide. www.youtube.com/fuseschool.

Liz Lakin is a former secondary science teacher and tutor at the universities of Gloucestershire and Cumbria, UK. She is currently Senior Lecturer in Education and Life Sciences at the University of Dundee, UK.

Janet McKechnie is a physics teacher and STEM coordinator at Pate’s Grammar School, Cheltenham, UK. She is also former Physics AST and Science Leader for the Secondary Science PGCE at the University of Gloucestershire, UK.

Jim Baker is a freelance educational consultant, webmaster, blogger and maverick. With 44 years’ experience he has taught science at secondary schools in Lincoln and still teaches part-time. www.jimbakersonlinelearning.co.uk.

Subject Categories

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