Thumbnail Image

A junior school science unit on the solar system: Learning to think like a scientist

This article highlights the ways in which a Year 1‒3 teacher in a decile 8 rural primary school used the Science Learning Hub website (www.sciencelearn.org.nz) to develop her own science knowledge and to introduce her 20 five- and six-year-olds to the planets, and to the research that scientists undertake to extend their knowledge. The research was undertaken as part of the Science Learning Hub’s (Hub) ongoing research in evaluating its usefulness for practitioners. Hub researchers observed the class over three days during the second week of the unit, and interviewed the teacher about her approaches to the unit. The research explored how a new entrant teacher might make use of the Hub resources in conjunction with other materials to help children begin to think like scientists. Detail of the materials and two of the activities that were used is given and there is a discussion around how these activities encouraged the children to articulate their ideas and listen to the views of others, including those of ‘expert’ scientists. Implications for teaching are highlighted to show how teachers of very young children can stimulate children’s interest and curiosity in science, and help children to start a journey towards ‘thinking like a scientist’.
Journal Article
Type of thesis
Brooks, M., Chen, J. & Harlow, A. (2012). A junior school science unit on the solar system: Learning to think like a scientist. Computers in New Zealand Schools, 24(2) 205-216.
Centre for Distance Education and Learning Technologies, University of Otago College of Education
© 2012, The Authors. Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 New Zealand License.