Choose a topic (objective) from one of the strand units in the Primary Science Curriculum (DES, 1999) and describe how you would assess it in a way that ensures that the assessment is integrated seamlessly in teaching and learning science. Indicate what the focus of the assessment is in terms of the science concept AND skill(s). The topic chosen must not be a task included in Hands-on Science. Indicate what the focus for the assessment is in terms of science concept and skills. In your answer refer to a) common prior conceptions (‘misconceptions’) children might hold within this strand unit and b) how this assessment approach could facilitate constructivist approaches to the teaching of science. Please refer to at least three prescribed readings from both your assessment and curriculum science courses in your response (at least six references in all). Strand: Energy and Forces
Strand Unit: Magnetism and Electricity
Class: Second Class
Learning Intention: The child will be enabled to purposefully play with magnets of different shapes and sizes and explore their effects on different materials (DES,1999) The Teacher Guidelines in conjunction with the Primary Curriculum for Science promotes the use of a constructivist approach to the teaching and learning of science, (DES, 1999). A constructivist approach involves the construction of our own understandings based on the world in which we live in (Brooks, 1993) and our prior knowledge in a variety of areas. This essay will be based on a constructivist approach to teaching magnets in the primary science curriculum, aimed to eliminate any common misconceptions of the child and incorporate self-assessment as the method for assessment for the lesson. The constructivist approach to teaching and learning allows children to take responsibility of their learning which can then make way for self-assessment. Lessons which incorporate self-assessment will see pupils ‘looking at their own work in a reflective way, and identify aspects of it that are good and that could be improved, and then set personal learning targets for themselves’ according to the NCCA’s (2007) Assessment in the Primary School Curriculum. This lesson will incorporate prediction, investigation, interpretation and communication as the children develop the uses of magnets of different shapes and sizes through ‘purposeful play’ (DES, 1999). The learning intentions for this lesson will be shared using WALT and WILF in the introduction to the lesson. Children will be given their learning intentions to give them a goal or target to work towards in the course of the lesson. The children will develop their own concept maps, which will be based on any existing knowledge or misconceptions they may have with regard to magnets, eliciting prior knowledge from the children will give them the opportunity to focus themselves on the topic. Concept maps will be used as interpreted by Mc Cloughlin’s (2000) ‘Conceptual Mapping Frameworks in Science Education: a reader for students of Science education’. The maps will portray each of the children’s knowledge based on the topic, magnets, to be revisited in the development of the lesson and in order for children to interpret their findings and learning outcomes from course of the lesson. The development of the lesson will see the investigation of common misconceptions and experimenting with some of the children’s prior knowledge based on their concept maps they have drawn up. The children will be aware of their learning intentions from the introduction to the lesson and will need little direction which will lead to more focused learning. They will record on their concept maps any new findings they have made, and any prior misconceptions they may have had, and have come to the conclusion of can be recorded. The conclusion of the lesson will include a share session in a whole-class discussion to identify any misconceptions that may still exist and can be addressed, and also to allow...
References: Clarke, Shirley,(2005). Targeting assessment in the primary classroom: Strategies for planning, assessment, pupil feedback and target settin., London.
Collins, B. & O’Leary, M. (2010). Integrating assessment with teaching and
learning in the visual arts: A study in one classroom. Oideas 52, pp. 53-61.
Department of Education and Skills, (1999). Primary School Science Curriculum. Dublin: NCCA
Department of Education and Skills (1999). Primary School Science Curriculum: Teacher Guidelines. Dublin: NCCA
MathScience Innovation Centre, (2007). Floating above the Rest.
Mc Cloughlin, Thomas, (2000). Conceptual mapping frameworks in Science education: A reader for students of Science Education. Dublin.
NCCA (2007). Assessment in the Primary School Curriculum. Guidelines for Schools. Dublin: NCCA.
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