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EDX3160 Science Curriculum and Pedagogy

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


Science educators need to be confident and competent teachers of science to be effective in assisting learners to become scientifically literate; there will be a need for them to have. Educators require not merely knowledge of curriculum content, but also pedagogical content knowledge. This quality blends content and pedagogy seamlessly into an understanding of how particular topics, problems, or issues are organized, represented, and presented. In particular, pedagogical content knowledge is of fundamental importance in a teacher's approach to catering for the diverse interests and abilities of learners, and in the ways in which topics, problems or issues are presented in the classroom. An understanding of pedagogy related to specific content knowledge in science, and how this might be interpreted to meet the needs of particular pupils, provides a sound base for effective teaching in these areas. While this course has a strong pedagogical component, the approach taken in the design of this unit is to treat content and pedagogy together.


The aim of the course is to develop students' understanding of pedagogical strategies to address content in science, in parallel with their awareness of ways of transforming this understanding of the content so that what they know and the ways they have come to know it become accessible to the children they teach. Sessions which involve the presentation of relevant scientific ideas, together with the identification of ways in which these ideas might be transformed so that they are accessible to children and young adolescents, will act as the stimulus for a series of laboratory sessions and workshops. Problem-solving skills will be advocated together with an approach to science that incorporates honesty, open-mindedness and information sharing.


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 of the structure of the Queensland 1-10 Science syllabus (Proposal, Resource and Quiz)
  2. show knowledge of the core essential learning of the five content strands of the syllabus (Resource and Quiz)
  3. demonstrate understanding of the practices and dispositions of science appropriate to the syllabus (Proposal, Resource and Quiz)
  4. display an appreciation of how children think and learn about science (Resource)
  5. interpret and apply the notion of pedagogical content knowledge (Proposal and Resource)
  6. identify strategies for transforming specific content so that it would accessible to children (Resource)
  7. identify a range of misconceptions and develop strategies for avoiding these in subsequent teaching. (Proposal and Resource)
  8. develop and implement learning experiences and assessment methods appropriate to primary science teaching (Resource)
  9. demonstrate an ability to establish student understanding of science concepts and to identify and deliver appropriate strategies to address these concepts (resource and Quiz)
  10. display awareness of potential applications of information and communications technologies for science teaching (Proposal and Resource)
  11. demonstrate an understanding of the principles of risk management in teaching science safely and effectively (Resource)
  12. show a recognition of the social and ethical dimensions of science education (Resource)
  13. demonstrate competence in written language and scholarly writing including correct spelling, grammar, and bibliographic referencing. (All Assessment items)


Description Weighting(%)
1. Science content from syllabus strands: earth and beyond; energy and change; life and living; natural and processed material; science and society 35.00
2. Pedagogical content knowledge: transformation of content 30.00
3. Interpreting science curriculum 10.00
4. Selecting and creating resources for science education 20.00
5. 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. (

  • Fleer, M., Jane, B., & Hardy, T (2007), Science for Children: Developing a Personal Approach, 3rd edn, Pearson, Sydney.
  • Hewitt, P. G., Lyons, S., Suchocki, J., & Yeh, J (2007), Conceptual Integrated Science, Pearson, San Fransisco.

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.
  • 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.
  • Peters, J. M., & Gega P. C (2006), Science in Elementary Education, Merrill, Upper Saddle River.
  • Skamp, R (2007), Teaching primary Science Constructively, 3rd edn, Thomson Learning, South Melbourne.
  • 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
ASSIGNMENT 1 PROPOSAL 30 30 13 Aug 2012
ASSIGNMENT 2 RESOURCE 40 40 26 Oct 2012
ASSIGNMENT 3 QUIZ 30 30 26 Oct 2012

Important assessment information

  1. Attendance requirements:
    ONC: It is the students' responsibility to attend and participate appropriately in all activities scheduled for them, and 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

    WEB: 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:
    There is no examination in this course.

  7. Examination period when Deferred/Supplementary examinations will be held:
    As there is no examination in this course, there will be no deferred or supplementary examination.

  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.

  2. Students may be expected to develop their own resources and therefore may incur some minor additonal costs.