Archive for the ‘science education’ Category

Falling Off The Learning Curve

November 9, 2010

I am probably stating the obvious when I say that science teachers need to know about the experiments they will be teaching and know how to use the apparatus availabe. What is beginning to concern me is the fact that this will not continue to happen for much longer. (more…)


Duking The Stats

October 14, 2010

The title comes from a scene in “The Wire” where detective-turned teacher Presbelouski is called to a staff meeting where he is told that children are to be withdrawn from normal classes in order to practice for the assessment tests. He complains to a colleague who explains the need for the school to improve their SATs scores. “Ah!” he says. “we’re duking the stats!” To her blank look he says “Making rapes disappear, turning felonies into misdemeanors. I’ve been here before.”

I have to say that “duking the stats” is neither peculiarly American nor peculiarly fictional. (more…)

Re-Inventing the Wheel – Badly

September 24, 2010

If there is money to be made in education, it is certainly not from working in a school. Now that Building Schools for the Future has been binned, the best way is probably publishing materials for new courses. (more…)

I’m Sick of This Urban Myth

September 8, 2009

[BPSDB]If I had a fiver every time I heard that “Schoolchildren don’t do experiments in science any more because of Health & Safety” I’d be able to afford a trip to the Antipodes this Christmas. (more…)

Teacher Trainee Dropouts

August 14, 2009

A report in the Independent ( “Four Out of ten trainees quit teaching early, report warns“, 14 August 2009) on trainee-teacher drop out rates makes for interesting if depressing reading. Six months after completing their PGCE course, only 63% are working in state schools and a further 16% quit teaching within three years. (more…)

Daily Mail Determines Reality

May 17, 2009

[BPSDB]The Daily Mail, it would appear, has taken on itself the right to decide not only what is taught in school science lessons but also the nature of reality. (more…)

Double or Triple?

April 3, 2009

Interesting discussion here on school science education. Part of it discusses the merits of the combined science double award versus the three separate sciences. (more…)

Ditching Evolution

March 7, 2009

I have just read Paul Rees’ article “Are textbook references to Darwin close to extinction?” His concerns are the lack of reference to evolution and references to the scientists such as Charles Darwin and Gregor Mendel, whose work lay the foundations of evolutionary thought. (more…)

The Perils of Privatising Education

February 16, 2009

[BPSDB]Professor David Colquhoun has been investigating the teaching of woo to schoolchildren. The offending subject matter is found in the OfQual accredited Edexcel Level 3 BTEC Nationals in Health and Social Care. (more…)

Salters Physics

November 13, 2008

My school now offers the “Salters Physics” AS/A2 course rather than a more traditional course. It is a very mixed bag containing much that one would expect to find on a physics course but also numerous oddities. (more…)