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EDO3561 Teaching the National Curriculum: Science

Semester 2, 2012 Online Toowoomba
Units : 1
Faculty or Section : Faculty of Education
School or Department : Education
Version produced : 30 December 2013

Contents on this page


Examiner: Carole Haeusler
Moderator: Karen Spence


This course represents a new, authentic, curriculum in science education for undergraduate educators. The open-inquiry based learning approach, advocated for this course, provides authenticity where students identify problems, ask further questions based on their prior and current knowledge and share findings and solutions. In this way scientific knowledge is transformed into meaning by an individual within the social and cultural context of education. Further, the course will extend students beyond information and inquiry skills in the direction of clarifying personal values about societal issues from a moral and an ethical standpoint. The authentic approach will demonstrate how society uses scientific knowledge and how different people and groups of people may view things differently. This course will cater for all students, not just those with a significant scientific background.


Authentic science and society education, as presented in this course, will include the construction of knowledge and its transformation into meaning open inquiry and an appreciation of values within the broader scientific and educational community. Problem-solving skills will be advocated in the course and an attitude to science that incorporates honesty, open-mindedness and information sharing will be promoted. Students will experience scientific inquiry which includes learning in contexts characterized by ill-defined problems. They will experience uncertainties, ambiguities, and the social nature of scientific work and knowledge. Students will experience processes of inquiry in which knowledge and practices are shared. This course will focus on science of our universe, and the earth as a system.


The course objectives define the student learning outcomes for a course. The assessment item(s) that may be used to assess student achievement of an objective are shown in parenthesis. On completion of this course students will be able to:

  1. demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the learning outcomes of the Science National Curriculum (all assessment)
  2. display knowledge and understanding of the practices and dispositions of science appropriate to the syllabus (all assessment)
  3. demonstrate knowledge and understanding of how children think and learn about science (all assessment)
  4. interpret and apply the notion of pedagogical content knowledge (all assessment)
  5. identify strategies for transforming specific content so that it would be more readily accessible to children (all assessment)
  6. identify a range of misconceptions and develop strategies for avoiding these in subsequent teaching (all assessment)
  7. develop and implement learning experiences and assessment methods appropriate to primary science teaching (portfolio)
  8. demonstrate an ability to establish student understanding of science concepts and to identify and deliver appropriate strategies to address these concepts (all assessment)
  9. demonstrate awareness of potential applications of information and communications technologies for science teaching (all assessment)
  10. demonstrate an understanding of the principles of risk management in teaching science safely and effectively (all assessment)
  11. recognize of the social and ethical dimensions of science education (portfolio)
  12. demonstrate competence in written language and scholarly writing including correct spelling, grammar, and bibliographic referencing (all assessment)


Description Weighting(%)
1. Science content from syllabus organisers: earth and beyond; energy and change; life and living; natural and processed material; science and society 45.00
2. Pedagogical content knowledge: transformation of content 30.00
3. Selecting and creating resources for science education 20.00
4. Responsible science education: safety, social and ethical dimensions 5.00

Text and materials required to be purchased or accessed

ALL textbooks and materials available to be purchased can be sourced from USQ's Online Bookshop (unless otherwise stated). (

Please contact us for alternative purchase options from USQ Bookshop. (

  • Hewitt, P. G., Lyons, S., Suchocki, J., & Yeh, J (2007), Conceptual Integrated Science, 1st edn, Pearson, San Francisco.
  • Skamp, R (2007), Teaching primary science constructively, 3rd edn, Thomson learning, South Melbourne.

Reference materials

Reference materials are materials that, if accessed by students, may improve their knowledge and understanding of the material in the course and enrich their learning experience.
  • Dawson, V., & Venville, G (2007), The art of teaching primary science, Allen & Unwin, Australia.
  • Fleer, M., Jane, B., & Hardy, T (2007), Science for Children: Developing a Personal approach, 3rd edn, Pearson, Sydney.
  • Loxley, P., Dawes, L., Nicholls, L., & Dore, B (2010), Teaching Primary Science, Pearson, England.
  • Martin, D. J (2006), Elementary science methods, 4th edn, Wadsworth, Belmont.
  • Whether you are on, or off campus, the USQ Library is an excellent source of information

Student workload requirements

Activity Hours
Directed Study 70.00
Independent Study 70.00

Assessment details

Description Marks out of Wtg (%) Due Date Notes
PORTFOLIO 75 75 29 Oct 2012 (see note 1)
EXAMINATION 25 25 End S2 (see note 2)

  1. The portfolio is one assessment that addresses the three major aspects of the National Science Curriculum. Submitted in three stages due Mondays of weeks 5, 13 and 15, involving application and reflection on workshop activities. The total word count: 3000 words.
  2. Students will be advised via UConnect of examination date(s) when the official examination timetable has been released.

Important assessment information

  1. Attendance requirements:
    There are no attendance requirements for this course. However, it is the students' responsibility to study all material provided to them or required to be accessed by them to maximise their chance of meeting the objectives of the course and to be informed of course-related activities and administration.

  2. Requirements for students to complete each assessment item satisfactorily:
    To satisfactorily complete an individual assessment item a student must achieve at least 50% of the marks.

  3. Penalties for late submission of required work:
    If students submit assignments after the due date without (prior) approval of the examiner then a penalty of 5% of the total marks gained by the student for the assignment may apply for each working day late up to ten working days at which time a mark of zero may be recorded. No assignments will be accepted after model answers have been posted.

  4. Requirements for student to be awarded a passing grade in the course:
    To be assured of receiving a passing grade a student must achieve at least 50% of the total weighted marks available for the course.

  5. Method used to combine assessment results to attain final grade:
    The final grades for students will be assigned on the basis of the aggregate of the weighted marks obtained for each of the summative assessment items in the course.

  6. Examination information:
    Closed Examination: Candidates are allowed to bring only writing and drawing instruments into the closed examination.

  7. Examination period when Deferred/Supplementary examinations will be held:
    Any Deferred or Supplementary examination for this course will be held during the next examination period.

  8. University Student Policies:
    Students should read the USQ policies: Definitions, Assessment and Student Academic Misconduct to avoid actions which might contravene University policies and practices. These policies can be found at

Assessment notes

  1. APA style is the referencing system required in this course. Students should use APA style in their assignments to format details of the information sources they have cited in their work. The APA style to be used is defined by the USQ Library's referencing guide.

Other requirements

  1. Students will require access to e-mail and have Internet access to UConnect for this course.