Cowie, B., Moreland, J., Otrel-Cass, K., & Jones, A. (2008). Making connections in the teaching and learning of science and technology. Set, 3, 42-44.
Permanent Research Commons link: https://hdl.handle.net/10289/8323
Teachers are responsible for supporting their students’ learning in the moment, over the course of a unit, and throughout a school year. They also have a longer-term responsibility to develop students’ skills and dispositions as lifelong learners. These responsibilities extend to fostering students’ long-term interest in particular learning areas. Primary teachers face a number of challenges in promoting connections and a sense of continuity and coherence for students. This is especially difficult for subjects such as science and technology where primary students typically study science and technology topics only two or three times a year and then over a period of days. Connections and coherence are a fundamental aspect of learning experiences, which build cumulatively; students learn when they build on what they know and have experienced. However, students often experience school as a series of disconnected episodes (Rudduck, Harris, & Wallace, 1994) and may therefore fail to realise the linkages between lessons, tasks, and ideas. Teachers can help students to make connections. Teacher planning of nested and linked tasks in a manner that could support continuity and connection is described in a companion article in this issue of set (pp. 38-41). The teachers in the InSiTE study (Cowie, Moreland, Jones, & Otrel-Cass, 2008) used a number of strategies to help students make connections and develop a sense of continuity. Some of these are illustrated in this article.
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