The importance of both content and process is emphasised in almost all curriculum
documents, syllabi and statements in science education. However, many teaching
and learning resources tend to focus on content with few resources available
with up-to-date information on the process of science. The 1980s and 1990s
have seen changes in the processes of science used to investigate coastal
and marine environments. Here the emphasis has been on how the processes
of science can provide answers and make predictions to understand and manage
our coastal and marine environments. This module provides teachers with
information and skills on the processes of science used to investigate coastal
and marine environments and their relevance to teaching practice.
In order to do this, participants will analyse the "Working Scientifically"
strand in the science profile from the nationally-developed curriculum.
They will also analyse science processes in other syllabus documents and
the relationship between curriculum frameworks and current practices for
investigating coastal and marine environments. It provides an introduction
to some of the methods used in science to support generalisations for
the patterns they see in coastal and marine environments. It also provides
participants with the skills to be able to implement these strategies
in their classrooms and in the field. In summary, this workshop seeks
to challenge participants to appreciate the relevance of scientific methods
for their teaching practice and to help teachers develop skills to implement
The objectives of this workshop are:
- to relate teaching practice with statements in curriculum documents
which refer to "Working Scientifically" and science processes;
- to analyse key issues in the process of science and its use when investigating
coastal and marine environments;
- to provide participants with the skills and strategies to implement
the processes of science in their classrooms;
- to relate and analyse the relevance of the processes of science, teaching
practice and curriculum documents when investigating coastal and marine
- to provide a framework for using the processes of science in any coastal
and marine environment.
There are six activities in this workshop:
This is an icebreaker activity. The purpose of this activity is to exchange
ideas on how the participants use science to investigate coastal and
marine environments and relate this to the "Working Scientifically"
strand of the Statements and Profiles for science in nationally-developed
curriculum documents. The investigation of coastal and marine environments
in the field is emphasised.
- Observing, Collecting Data and Generalising
This activity outlines common methods used in schools to investigate
coastal and marine environments. It is introduced by a mini-lecture
and then participants are asked to classify some science activities
which are used to investigate coastal and marine environment.
- Generalisations and Evidence
This mini-lecture provides participants with an overview of scientific
methods and the standards of evidence scientists presently accept as
valid when investigating coastal and marine environments.
- Barnacles in Mangrove Forests: An
This mini-lecture illustrates the processes of modern science using
a mangrove environment as an example.
- Design your own Field Trip: The Real
Distribution of Mangrove Oysters
This activity provides an overview of how to implement such strategies
and how to develop a field excursion based on them.
- Conclusion: Where to Now with Science?
This activity provides participants with an opportunity to comment on
the use of science for investigating coastal and marine environments,
its relationship with curriculum documents and with classroom practice.
It also discusses the limitations of scientific processes.
||Observing, Collecting Data and Generalising
||Generalisations and the Evidence 1
||A Model for Scientific Investigations
||Generalisations and the Evidence 2
||Why are there More Barnacles on the Seaward Side of
||A Simple Generalisation
||An Alternative Generalisation
||Benefits of "Working Scientifically"
||Investigating Plankton from the Mangroves
||Change and the Mangroves
||Field Excursion to the Mangroves - Junior Secondary
||Investigating Common Barnacles in the Mangroves
||ACT Science Curriculum Framework
||The Real Distributions of Mangrove Oysters
||Design Your own Field Trip
| Reading 1
||Observing, Collecting Data and Generalising
||Generalisations and the Evidence
||Barnacles in Mangrove Forests: An Example
||A Field Trip: An Example
B. To be obtained
Activity 1 Several sheets of
chart paper, thick pens and OHT pens.
Edwards, P., Watts, M. and West, A. (1993) Making the Difference:
Science, Technology and the Environment, WWF, Surrey.
Harlen, W. and Elstgeest, J. (1992) UNESCO Sourcebook for Science
in the Primary School: A Workshop Approach to Teacher Education, UNESCO,
Harlen, W., Macro, C., Schilling, M., Malvern, D. and Reed, K. (1990)
Progress in Primary Science: Workshop Materials for Teacher Education,
Routledge, New York.
Monk, M. and Dillon, J. (eds) (1995) Learning to Teach Science: Activities
for Student Teachers and Mentors, The Falmer Press, London.
Pritchard, I. and Preuss, P. (1991) Data Handling Skills for Australian
Science Students, Cambridge University Press, Melbourne.
Ross, P.M. (1995) Mangroves - a Resource, Environmental Trust
Grant, Environmental Protection Authority, NSW.
Underwood, A.J. (1990) Experiments in Ecology and Management, their
Logics, Functions and Interpretations, Australian Journal of Ecology,
15, pp. 365-389.
Underwood, A.J. (1991) The Logic of Ecological Experiments: A Case History
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Journal of Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom, 71,
Underwood, A.J. and Chapman, M.G. (1993) Seashores: A Beachcomber's
Guide, New South Wales University Press, Sydney.
Underwood, A.J. and Chapman, M.G. (eds) (1995) Introduction to Coastal
Habitats, Coastal Marine Ecology of Temperate Australia, University
of New South Wales Press, Sydney, pp. 1-15.
Wellington, J. (ed.) (1989) Skills and Processes in Science Education:
A Critical Analysis, Routledge, London.