The teacher’s planning

Approaches and methodologies - part 1

The use of a range of teaching methods and approaches is essential when teaching science. An effective science programme should encourage children to ask questions, test their ideas and observe and explore the natural and physical world.

Seasonal factors

Many opportunities should be provided for the children to observe and interact with their environment. Children should work outdoors regularly to observe the effects of seasonal change, to investigate materials and to explore animals and plants in a variety of habitats. Planning for work outdoors should be sufficiently flexible to allow for adverse weather.

The availability of resources and support

It is helpful to establish the resources and support that might be available to plan and implement units of work. Consideration should be given to inviting parent volunteers to assist with certain activities, for example work in the outdoors and small-group work. Appropriate in-service courses should be identified that would provide guidance on the implementation of a strand or strand unit. Staff members should be encouraged to share their knowledge and their expertise in applying different approaches and methodologies.

During this phase, teachers may identify a range of secondary sources, such as books, videos, CD-ROMs and other media that may be used by the children as sources of background knowledge and provide ideas for scientific investigations.