About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 262-269
Publication year: 2011
ISBN: 978-84-615-3324-4
ISSN: 2340-1095

Conference name: 4th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 14-16 November, 2011
Location: Madrid, Spain

TO SIMPLIFY WITHOUT COMPROMISING: CHALLENGES FOR RESEARCHERS DEVELOPING RESOURCES FOR USE IN SCHOOLS

M. Tas, F. McKeon

University of Leicester (UNITED KINGDOM)
The REStARTS project (Raising European Student Awareness in Aeronautical Research Through School-labs) emerged from a concern about the motivation of young people in Europe toward sciences in general and aeronautics in particular. The project aims to develop the pupils’ awareness of a scientific technological industry and of its research, to develop their understanding of related safety and environmental issues and to improve their attitudes towards it.

Researchers in four countries have written background information materials for teachers (primary and secondary) and teaching activities and resources for the teachers to use with children in their classes. They have liaised with each other and local teachers about the suitability of the materials. In addition they have planned visits to their research centres.
The aims and objectives of REStARTS are ambitious. Firstly, researchers are working outside their area of expertise. Some have limited pedagogical experience and insight to children’s learning in science. As ‘experts’ they may begin with theory and think about how to explain it rather than adopting a constructivist approach starting with children’s ideas and experiences (Asoko 2002). Secondly, researchers may also lack confidence in how to motivate pupils across the wide age range of the project. Additionally, the teachers in the primary schools, and possibly the lower secondary schools, may not be specialists and lack confidence with this area of science.

The key focus for this presentation is how researchers deal with the challenges they face in addressing the needs of teachers and pupils when preparing materials and the nature of the appropriate pedagogical support required.

Evaluation instruments of the overall project were systematically developed drawing on similar previous projects (Pell and Jarvis 2003; Scheiner and Sjøberg 2004). Questionnaires were produced for pupils and teachers. To provide triangulation and further insights to the process semi-structured interview schedules were developed for researchers, teachers and pupils.

Anxieties about their personal subject knowledge, lack of experience as educators and their pedagogical understanding have all presented challenges to the researchers. This may have resulted in missed opportunities such as:
- Adopting an investigative approach in activities which might allow researchers to share their procedural understanding as described by Gott et al (1999) and provide teachers and pupils with rich insight to the work of researchers;
- Using current events relating to planes and flying might have been used to consider how scientists attempt to address environmental and safety issues.

References:
Asoko H. (2002) Developing Conceptual Understanding in Primary Science, Cambridge Journal of Education, 32 (2) 153-164
Gott R., Duggan S. and Johnson P. (1999) What do practising applied scientists do and what are the implications for science education? Research in Science &Technological Education, 17 (1) 97-107
Pell A. and Jarvis T. (2003) Developing attitude to science scales for use with primary teachers. International Journal of Science Education, 25 (10) 1273-1295
Schreiner C. and Sjøberg S. (2004). Sowing the seeds of ROSE. Background. The Relevance of Science Education. Oslo: Dept of Teacher Education and School Development, University of Oslo
@InProceedings{TAS2011TOS,
author = {Tas, M. and McKeon, F.},
title = {TO SIMPLIFY WITHOUT COMPROMISING: CHALLENGES FOR RESEARCHERS DEVELOPING RESOURCES FOR USE IN SCHOOLS},
series = {4th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation},
booktitle = {ICERI2011 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-615-3324-4},
issn = {2340-1095},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Madrid, Spain},
month = {14-16 November, 2011},
year = {2011},
pages = {262-269}}
TY - CONF
AU - M. Tas AU - F. McKeon
TI - TO SIMPLIFY WITHOUT COMPROMISING: CHALLENGES FOR RESEARCHERS DEVELOPING RESOURCES FOR USE IN SCHOOLS
SN - 978-84-615-3324-4/2340-1095
PY - 2011
Y1 - 14-16 November, 2011
CI - Madrid, Spain
JO - 4th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
JA - ICERI2011 Proceedings
SP - 262
EP - 269
ER -
M. Tas, F. McKeon (2011) TO SIMPLIFY WITHOUT COMPROMISING: CHALLENGES FOR RESEARCHERS DEVELOPING RESOURCES FOR USE IN SCHOOLS, ICERI2011 Proceedings, pp. 262-269.
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