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Title: Facilitating students' ownership of learning in science by developing lifelong learning skills
Contributor(s): Fleming, Keith (author); Panizzon, Debra L  (author)
Publication Date: 2010
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Abstract: It is clear from the research that primary school students enjoy science when it is student-centred and focused on relevant investigations involving an inquiry approach (Goodrum et al., 2001). Similarly, we know students' attitudes towards science decline as they progress through schooling, which is not only an issue in Australia but also the majority of western countries (Sjoberg & Schreiner, 2005). While this decline is a complex issue with many interrelated factors highlighted in the science education literature, intrinsic motivation, engagement and student identity are critical components (Panizzon & Westwell, 2009). Furthermore, as students move from primary to secondary education, the many demands on teachers to complete mandated syllabi, measure student achievement against performance standards, focus upon external high-stakes testing, and higher degrees of accountability, can conflict with other priorities and further accelerate this rate of decline. Evidence from the US and UK indicate that if left unchecked, these external factors can become curriculum drivers, resulting in student learning being based solely upon test achievement (Wiliam, 2000). We know that students' interest in science is heightened when they have the opportunity to select relevant and meaningful issues that link to their local community and when they are able to negotiate their own learning goals (Schraw et al., 2006). This is because intrinsic motivation is maximised when students have some ownership and responsibility for decision-making about their learning. Aligned to this is the need for students to develop metacognitive skills that allow them to question their learning processes, develop learning plans, and ultimately reflect upon the changes in their own learning (McInerney & McInerney, 1998). Clearly, these skills need to be introduced early in schooling and developed alongside scientific knowledge, understandings, skills, values and attitudes, which are critical components of any science curriculum.
Publication Type: Journal Article
Source of Publication: Teaching Science, 56(3), p. 27-32
Publisher: Australian Science Teachers Association
Place of Publication: Australia
ISSN: 1449-6313
Field of Research (FOR): 130212 Science, Technology and Engineering Curriculum and Pedagogy
130202 Curriculum and Pedagogy Theory and Development
Peer Reviewed: Yes
HERDC Category Description: C1 Refereed Article in a Scholarly Journal
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Appears in Collections:Journal Article
The National Centre of Science, Information and Communication Technology, and Mathematics Education for Rural and Regional Australia (SiMERR)

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