Promising teacher practices: students’ views about their science learning

Internationally, conceptual and procedural understanding, understanding the Nature of Science, and scientific literacy are considered worthy goals of school science education in modern times. The empirical study presented here reports on promising teacher practices that in the students’ views afford learning opportunities and support their science learning. The research is an illuminating case study of learning science in a large urban coeducational high school in New Zealand. The participants were one science teacher and his class of 28 students (age 13/14 years). Data were collected through classroom observations (63 lessons), a questionnaire, and interviews with all students in groups of 4/5. Illuminating examples of the six most promising practices and student views about how these practices helped them to learn science are presented. Practical work was common in the study class and was analysed for its effectiveness. The research was underpinned by a constructivist theory of learning.