The Art of Teaching Primary School Science  book cover
2nd Edition

The Art of Teaching Primary School Science

ISBN 9781760878122
Published August 3, 2021 by Routledge
226 Pages 12 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

The long-awaited second edition of The Art of Teaching Primary School Science has evolved to meet the demands of schools in our rapidly changing society. Recognising that children have an innate curiosity about the natural world means that teaching primary school science is both rewarding and critical to their futures. The focus of the chapters reflects the deep expertise in curriculum and pedagogy of the chapter authors. Included are chapters on the nature (wonder) of science and how children learn as well as the nuts and bolts of teaching: planning, pedagogy and assessment. In addressing the teacher education AITSL professional standards for teaching, there are chapters on digital pedagogies, differentiation and advanced pedagogies such as problem-based learning. Finally, there is a section on STEM education that explains how an integrated approach can be planned, taught and assessed.

This book is both accessible to all preservice and practising teachers and up-to-date in providing the right mix of theoretical and practical knowledge expected of this generation of primary school teachers. Teacher educators worldwide will find this an essential resource.

Table of Contents

PART I UNDERSTANDING THE ART OF TEACHING PRIMARY SCHOOL SCIENCE 1. Engaging Learners in the Wonder of Science 2. Understanding How Children Learn Science 3. Addressing Alternative Conceptions in Science 4. Science Curricula for Primary School PART II IMPLEMENTING THE ART OF TEACHING PRIMARY SCHOOL SCIENCE 5. Planning Engaging and Safe Science Lessons 6. Teaching Strategies for Primary School Science 7. Assessment, Learning and Teaching 8. Digital Pedagogies for Primary School Science 9. Project- and Problem-based Learning and Learning Outside of the Classroom 10. Differentiated Teaching Practices and Strategies to Meet Diverse Student Needs PART III EXTENDING THE ART OF TEACHING PRIMARY SCHOOL SCIENCE TO STEM 11. Approaches to Teaching STEM in Primary Schools 12. Enhancing Student Learning Through STEM 13. An Ecojustice Framework for Teaching Environmental Sustainability and STEM

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Vaille Dawson is a Professor of Science Education in the Graduate School of Education at the University of Western Australia in Perth where she conducts educational research in science classrooms, supervises doctoral and Masters students and teaches preservice secondary science education. Originally a medical researcher and then a science teacher, she has conducted science education research at the secondary and tertiary levels in Australia, Indonesia and India for over 20 years. Her research interests include scientific literacy, teacher education, argumentation and decision-making, critical thinking, socioscientific issues and teaching in disadvantaged schools. In addition to publishing five teacher education textbooks for primary and secondary school science, she has published multiple book chapters and peer-reviewed papers. She is Fellow of the Royal Society of Biology, an Honorary Senior Research Associate at University College London and a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. She is passionate about ensuring that all young people have access to a quality science education, regardless of background.

Grady Venville is a Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) at the Australian National University in Canberra where she holds responsibility for the establishment and satisfaction of academic standards at ANU, including the delivery of an exceptional educational and student experience. Grady’s career highlights have included a postdoctoral appointment at King’s College London; being appointed the inaugural Professor of Science Education in 2007, and Dean of Coursework Studies in 2013, at the University of Western Australia; and a three-year appointment to the Australian Research Council College of Experts. Professor Venville’s research in science education focuses on conceptual development, curriculum integration and cognitive acceleration. Grady has made a lifelong commitment to teaching and education. A central belief underpinning everything she does is that high-quality education is critical not only for human development but also for a healthy and peaceful society.


Internationally recognised authors in science and STEM education, Vaille Dawson and Grady Venville understand that the ‘art of teaching’ is helping others to learn. Skilfully chosen chapter authors explain how this works in practice. From the first chapter exploring the meaning of science and the importance of wondering why, to the last chapter about being brave and adventurous with a transdisciplinary STEM curriculum, this book is focused on learning. Preservice teachers, teacher educators, and practising primary teachers seeking to hone their skills, should start here. Innovative, evidence-based and practical, this book will help you develop the art of teaching science- Emeritus Professor Leonie Rennie