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EDX2260 Teaching Science in Early Primary

Semester 1, 2020 On-campus Toowoomba
Short Description: Teaching Science Early Primary
Units : 1
Faculty or Section : Faculty of Business, Education, Law and Arts
School or Department : School of Education
Student contribution band : National Priority - Teaching
ASCED code : 070100 - Teacher Education
Grading basis : Graded
Version produced : 29 February 2020


Examiner: Karen Spence


Pre-requisite: Students must be enrolled in one of the following Programs: BEDU (Early Childhood) or BEDU (Primary) or BEDU (Primary + Special Ed) or BEDU (Special Ed) or BEDU (HPE Primary) or BEDU (SHPE Primary) or BECH or BEED or BPED

Other requisites

Students enrolling in courses which do not follow the recommended enrolment pattern cannot be assured of a developmental learning experience or program completion within their preferred timeframe.


Science is a dynamic, collaborative and creative human endeavour arising from our desire to make sense of our world through exploring the unknown, investigating universal mysteries, making predictions and solving problems. Young children are natural scientists who ask many questions. Teaching science effectively requires a clear understanding of the nature and philosophy of this subject. This first course in primary science aims to enhance pre-service educators’ knowledge and understanding of science and ways to teach it to children in Years F-3. As such, the importance of providing and capitalising on play opportunities for children to explore the world around them is a key consideration. Constructivism theory underpins modern science teaching, so this is modelled by the course adopting a constructivist approach. The course also makes use of other evidence-based strategies such as collaborative learning and analysis of scenarios of teaching and learning. The course explores the science ideas required at levels based on current science education research, and will afford opportunities for achievement of several national standards aligned with science education.


This is the first course in a suite of two compulsory courses supporting the teaching and learning of primary science. Pre-service educators will learn about the nature of science and the organisation and structure of the Australian Curriculum: Science. They will develop an understanding of the content and pedagogical content knowledge required to teach all four Science Understanding sub-strands from the curriculum across Years F-3. Pre-service educators will apply this understanding in the development and implementation of science lesson plans. This course allows pre-service educators to experience collaborative learning and to consider the integration of literacy and numeracy with science.


The course objectives define the student learning outcomes for a course in accordance with the Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership’s (AITSL) Australian Professional Standards for Teachers (APST). On successful completion of this course pre-service educators should be able to:

  1. describe and evaluate different views of the nature of science (APST 2.1);
  2. develop understanding of the science concepts and related pedagogical content knowledge relevant to Years F-3 across all four Science Understanding sub-strands (APST 2.1, 4.2);
  3. develop awareness of misconceptions common to learners in years F-3 and how these misconceptions could be avoided or challenged (APST 2.1, 2.2);
  4. apply their understanding of science concepts and pedagogical content knowledge in developing and implementing short teaching episodes and lesson plans for diverse students (APST 1.5, 2.2, 2.3, 4.2);
  5. integrate numeracy and literacy strategies in science teaching (APST 2.5);
  6. apply ethical, student wellbeing and safety standards in managing curriculum based, practical science experiences (APST 4.2, 4.4).


Description Weighting(%)
1. Nature of science and integrating literacy and numeracy with science in Years F-3 10.00
2. Teaching science in Foundation Year 20.00
3. Teaching science in Year 1 20.00
4. Teaching science in Year 2 20.00
5. Teaching science in Year 3 20.00
6. Integration and inclusivity in science in Years F-3 10.00

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. (

Campbell, C, Jobling, W & Howitt, C 2018, Science in early childhood, 3rd edn, Cambridge University Press, Port Melbourne, Australia.
(Pedagogical text - retain if you intend to complete the elective science courses.)
Wenham, M & Ovens, P 2010, Understanding primary science, 3rd edn, SAGE, London, UK.
(Science text - retain for Science 2 and the elective science courses.)

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.
Whether you are on, or off campus, the USQ Library is an excellent source of information

Student workload expectations

Activity Hours
Directed Study 80.00
Independent Study 85.00

Assessment details

Description Marks out of Wtg (%) Due Date Notes
ASSIGNMENT 1 45 45 03 Apr 2020
ASSIGNMENT 2 55 55 02 Jun 2020

Important assessment information

  1. Attendance requirements:
    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.

  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:
    Students should refer to the Assessment Procedure (point 4.2.4)

  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:
    There is no examination in this course, there will be no deferred or supplementary examinations.

  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. Referencing in assignments must comply with the APA referencing system. This system should be used by students 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. This guide can be found at

  2. Students are required to demonstrate competence in and appropriate use of academic language and literacy, including spelling, grammar, punctuation, and referencing in all assessment responses. Marks allocated to the aforementioned criteria will be specified in the criteria for assessment of all assessment items.

  3. Students are required to submit ALL assignments to evidence meeting or exceeding the mandatory requirements of the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers (APSTs).

Evaluation and benchmarking

In meeting the University’s aims to establish quality learning and teaching for all programs, this course monitors and ensures quality assurance and improvements in at least two ways. This course:
1. conforms to the USQ Policy on Evaluation of Teaching, Courses and Programs to ensure ongoing monitoring and systematic improvement
2. forms part of the Bachelor of Education and is benchmarked against the:

  1. internal USQ accreditation/reaccreditation processes which include (i) stringent standards in the independent accreditation of its academic programs, (ii) close integration between business and academic planning, and (iii) regular and rigorous review
  2. Queensland College of Teachers
  3. Australian Professional Standards for Teachers (APST) of the Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership (AITSL).

Other requirements

  1. Participation: Students can expect it will be necessary to participate in and contribute to a range of learning opportunities in this course including online study activities, lectures, tutorials, seminar presentations, group discussions and self-directed study activities in order to apply the coursework that will enable quality assessment tasks to be submitted as evidence of professional development.

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

Date printed 29 February 2020