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Everything teachers need to teach the NSW K-6 Science & Technology syllabus using guided inquiry-based learning

Guided inquiry design process

. Sixteen purpose-designed guided inquiry-based units of work, covering the FULL syllabus , i.e. 4 x units of work for each of ES1, Stage 1, Stage 2 and Stage 3

. Twenty-one hours of group self study (9 hours) plus live instructor-led (12 hours) NESA-approved and endorsed  professional learning covering reviewing, testing, practicing and workshopping the units of work*

Over 22 months in development

Provided by Pedacomp:  all the equipment, materials and technology required to test, practice and workshop the hands-on Science experiments and the visual coding of programmable robots and technology.

 

Effect on Student Achievement of guided inquiry-based Science Professional Learning and in-class implementation

Standard K-6 Science & Technology
units of work after professional development


Effect of non guided inquiry-based Profesional Development on Student Achievement
  
Guided inquiry-based K-6 Science & Technology
units of work after professional development**

Effect of guided inquiry-based Profesional Development on Student Achievement
 
**Research into Guided Inquiry-based Science learning if supported by quality professional learning indicates significant improvement in student knowledge and understanding and higher-order thinking outcomes - see research references below

*The live instructor-led professional learning can be completed face-to-face at an extrenal venue, or Virtual face-to-face at your school.  The Virtual face-to-face professional learning uses Pedacomp's cloud-based Classroom Learning Management system, where your teacher groups and the instructor see each other live, converse and relate as if they were in the same room, but our instructor is located at our virtual classroom studio in Sydney.

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The Guided Inquiry-based units of work: an actual example (Stage 2) 

This unit combines Material World, Physical World and Digital Technologies content.  

From Material World:
  • Changes of state
  • Materials are used for a specific purpose
From Physical World
  • Energy makes things happen (heat, light and electricity)
  • Contact and non-contact forces
  • Forces and energy in products and systems
From Digital Technologies:
  • Digital Systems and the transmission of data
  • Representation and analysis of data
  • Visual Programming.

The unit also has scope for including cross-curriculum content from any or all of Mathematics, PDHPE, English and HSIE

Read full details... 

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Primary school teacher hands-on professional development

NASA, via Associated Press

What the professional development includes:

  • 9 hours of group self-study (three 3-hour sessions)

  • 12 hours of live, face-to-face instructor-led workshop (four 3-hour after-school-hours sessions or two full days)

The nine hours of group self-study includes hands-on study and workshopping of content material, inquiry-based learning-support apps, and methods of assessing student outcomes in guided inquiry/project-based learning.
  
The 12 hours, live, face-to-face instructor-led sessions are hands-on workshops where teachers test, experiment with and prepare to teach the Guided Inquiry-based units of work.
 
Read full details... 


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Pricing details
Online booking

The Pedacomp Guided units of work, and supporting professional development

 

Pricing details Read full details... 
Make your booking  Click here... 

 




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Instructor-led virtual classroom professional development at your school

What resources you need at your school to host the instructor-led virtual classroom component of the professional development

  Read full details... 









 

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Childhood eco-anxiety

How special-purpose, meaning-focused Science units of work can help children deal with climate change anxiety and Coronavirus anxiety

Dr Susan Burke, University of Melbourne co-author of a 2018 paper The Psychological Effects of Climate Change on Children believes the Australian bushfires and storms have caused a large increase in "eco-anxiety" in children.

Read full details... 

Pedacomp has developed a set of specially constructed syllabus mini units of work of 3 weeks duration, one unit for each of Stages 1-3, for schools needing to help support students deal with climate change anxiety.  There is no fee for these units.
The meaning-focused unit of work structure can also be extended to address Coronavirus anxiety.

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Multi-strand units of work

Why each Science unit of work should combine content from multiple strands

Learning the K-6 Science thinking skills beyond Knowledge and Understanding, i.e. Analysis, Synthesis, Scientific, Computational, Design and Systems thinking requires the realism and complexity of real-world Science...

Read full details...


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Augmenting focus questions

Why the syllabus Inquiry and Focus questions need to be augmented with other questions


The syllabus Inquiry and Focus questions provide valuable guidance and structure for teaching Knowledge and Understanding of strand content.   But the
questions are almost all "closed" questions with "correct" and "incorrect" answers, unsuitable for tasks where students must learn, practice and use higher order Analysis, Synthesis, Evaluation Scientific, Design, and Systems thinking skills.

Read full details....



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Guided inquiry-based Science learning for Early Stage 1 and Stage 1 students.

How Guided inquiry-based Science learning is now within the abilities of Early Stage 1 and Stage 1 students


Apple, Google and Microsoft's enormous progress in AI-powered voice recognition and text-to-speech has placed authentic, self-conducted Internet research within the abilities of all primary school children including Early Stage 1 and Stage 1
Read full details...









 

 

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Guided Inquiry-based Science learning

Why Guided Inquiry-based teaching programs are the most effective way to teach Science (and Technology) - the research:

A selection of quotes from research linked to in the full details below:
 
"Guided inquiry-based learning is a strong positive predictor for students’ achievement, and its effect is also positively associated with students’ interest".

  "A guided inquiry learning environment was found to support students with different levels of school science achievement in being highly engaged in science inquiry"

"Guided Inquiry-based learning was identified as taking students from 'why are we learning this' to more exploratory mindsets like 'tell me more about this' and 'this is important for me to know more about'.
  

Read full details....

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Pedacomp NESA accreditation

NESA credit for the Professional Development

NESA approval and accrdeditation details

Completing the 21 hours of professional development Everything teachers need to teach the NSW K-6 Science & Technology syllabus using guided-inquiry teaching will contribute 21 hours of NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) Registered Professional Development
addressing standards:

1.1.2, 1.2.2, 1.3.2, 1.5.2, 1.6.2, 2.1.2, 2.2.2, 2.3.2, 2.4.2, 2.5.2, 2.6.2, 3.1.2, 3.2.2, 3.3.2, 3.4.2, 3.5.2, 3.6.2, 3.7.2, 4.1.2, 4.4.2, 4.5.2, 5.1.2, 5.2.2, 5.3.2, 5.4.2, 5.5.2, 6.1.2, 6.2.2, 6.3.2, 6.4.2, 7.4.2 

from the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers towards maintaining Proficient Teacher Accreditation in NSW

Read full details....

 


Dates and venues

Dates and venues for the 2-day face-to-face Instructor-led workshop held at major centres in each school region (for teachers who's schools are not hosting this component at their school) Dates and venues for the :


  
Read full details....
 
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Unit of work example - content

An actual example of a Pedacomp Guided Inquiry-based unit of work for the NSW Science and Technology K-6 syllabus - Stage 2 

The Unit combines:

Material World content for

  • Changes of state
  • Materials are used for a specific purpose
 Physical World content for
  • Energy makes things happen (heat, light and electricity)
  • Contact and non-contact forces
  • Forces and energy in products and systems
Digital Technologies content for
  • Digital Systems and the transmission of data
  • Representation and analysis of data
  • Visual Programming.

The unit also has scope for inclusion of cross-curriculum content from any or all of Mathematics, PDHPE, English and HSIE.

The theme of the inquiry is Helping a nurse in the village of Chiramba in Mozambique in Africa do her work.  The village has been chosen as the nominated location because of its natural geography which provides wide scope for choice of methods of generating electricity, i.e. sunshine, near a river, and reliable wind.

The Inquiry theme is divided into two questions:

A.    Design a way to generate electricity for a nurse working from her house in a poor village Chiramba in Mozambique in Africa so that she can:  

  1. Keep medicines cold, stored inside a plastic box in the nurse’s home

  2. Have an electric light in her home of low electricity use but good brightness so she can give villagers emergency treatment at night

  3. Have an automatic warning to turn off the night light if there is not enough electricity to use the light and keep the medicines cold  

B.    Design a way to get more natural daylight during the day into the nurse’s inside consulting room

The content working sheets are available for download as pdf files from here, with separate pdf files for Content, Skills and Outcomes covered by the Unit.

Note:  These working sheets do not include detailed Unit of Work programs or lesson plans.  Those are made available to participants in our courses and workshops upon enrolment in the professional development.

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  What the professional development includes

What the professional development includes
  • 9 hours (3 x 3-hour sessions) at-your-school group self-study
  • 12 hours (2 x 6-hour days) live, face-to-face instructor-led sessions*
The 9 hours (3 x 3-hour sessions) at-your-school group-self-study

Provides teachers with the skills and knowledge they need to prepare for and get the most out of the follow-up hands-on instructor-led workshops:
  • Completed in groups of 3-5 teachers in 3-hour sessions at your school
  • Scheduled by your teachers for times that suit them
  • Uses Pedacomp's Learning for Groups interactive Moodle Learning Management System
  • Includes:
    • The 16 Units of work  i.e. 4 x units of work for each of ES1, Stage 1, Stage 2 and Stage 3, including teaching programs and lesson plans
    • Overview of and engagement with resources on current and future applications of technology (required by the syllabus in the Living World, Material World and Earth & Space strands)
    • Hands-on practice with speech recognition and text-to-speech apps included in the DoE’s standard operating environment (allows ES1, Stage 1 and Special Ed students to participate in and do useful, effective Internet research)
    • Hands-on practice with web-based tools that support and enhance student acquisition of Higher-order cognitive thinking and Computational, Scientific, Design and Systems thinking skills from ES1 through to Stage 3
    • Hands-on practice with evaluation rubrics used to assess Guided Inquiry/project-based units of work
  • All necessary equipment and technology pre-supplied by us
  • If it is not feasible for your school to organise groups of 3-5 teachers in 3-hour sessions at your school, your teachers can join with teachers at a nearby participating school
  • If your school is a small school in a remote or isolated area your teachers can participate via Pedacomp’s Virtual Classroom video-link system 
The 12 hours, live, face-to-face instructor-led sessions
  • Teachers in groups, under the hands-on guidance of Pedacomp’s instructor, test, experiment with and workshop the Guided Inquiry-based units of work
  • Three-hour sessions devoted to each of ES1 & Stage1, Stage2, Stage 3, and generic (4 x 3-hour sessions)
  • Hands-on practice with activities integrated into the Guided Inquiry-based units of work including fair test science experiments, and digital technology coding
  • Scientific experiment materials, programmable robots and other necessary equipment and technology provided by Pedacomp
There are two options for completing the 12 hours, live, face-to-face instructor-led sessions:
  • A two-day external workshop
  • Four 3-hour at-your-school, real time Virtual Classroom workshop sessions
Two-day external workshop
$750 per person including GST.
Held at multiple venues across NSW regions. See dates and times in the schedule below.
All equipment and technology provided.
Includes full morning and afternoon teas and lunches.

Four 3-hour at-your-school live, real time Virtual Classroom workshop sessions
The at-your-school virtual classroom workshops can be scheduled either over four after-class weekday afternoons (3:15pm - 6:15pm) or over two weekend days (9:15am - 4:15pm each day).
Our instructor is “at your school” via our interactive, real-time, Virtual Classroom Video Conferencing system. Your teachers and our instructor interact with each other live, seeing, conversing and relating with each other as if they were in the same classroom.

 There are two fee components to the at-your-school, Virtual Classroom workshop :
  • Per-teacher fee
  • Scientific experiment and technology kit fee
Per teacher fee:
1-5 teachers: $145 per teacher
6-10 teachers: $725 plus $105 per teacher over 5 teachers
11+ teachers: $1250 plus $75 per teacher over 10 teachers.

Scientific experiment and technology kit:
$245 per kit
The Scientific experiment and technology kit contains Science experiment equipment and technology, robot technology, and other equipment & technology required for a group of up to 5 teachers to participate in the workshop.
One Scientific experiment and technology kit is required for each group of up to 5 teachers.

The Scientific experiment components in the kit are your school's to keep after the workshop is complete. 
The technology components i.e. networking equipment, laptops and tablets are returned by you to Pedacomp

Neither the cost of sending the kit to your school nor the cost of your returning the technology components to Pedacomp is included in the above Scientific experiment and technology kit price. 
Pedacomp arranges shipment via Australia Postof the kit(s) required for your school .

The per-kit shipping cost to your school is: 
Sydney Metropolitan and Wollongong region schools: $45
Schools not in Sydney Metropolitan and Wollongong regions: $120
Shipping the kit back to Pedacomp and the cost of that is the responsibility of your school.

Australia Post's price does not include reduced pricing for multiple kits to the same location, i.e. the per-kit fee applies regardless of the number of kits being shipped.
 

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Pricing

Pricing
Nine hours group self-study
There is no separate fee for the Pedacomp Learning Management System 9 hours at-your-school group self-study.  It is included at no additional cost with the  Instructor-led workshops.

Instructor-led workshops
The Instructor-led workshops are priced according to the method of participation
Two-day Instructor-led external venue workshop
Over two consecutive weekdays 8:30am to 3:15pm at a conference room venue in a regional city
$750 per person including GST

At-your-school live Virtual-Classroom Instructor-led workshop
over three 3-hour afternoon sessions, or two 6-hour weekend day sessions
There are two fee components to the At-your-school Virtual Classroom workshop :
    .  Per-teacher fee
    .  Scientific experiment and technology kit fee   

Per teacher fee:
1-5 teachers:
$145 per teacher. 
(1 x Scientific experiment and technology kit required)

6-10 teachers:
$725 plus $105 per teacher for each additional teacher over 5 teachers
(2 x Scientific experiment and technology kits required)

11+ teachers:
$1250 plus $75 per teacher for each additional teacher over 10 teachers.
One Scientific experiment and technology kit required for each group of teachers.  Groups can contain a maximum of 5 people.

Scientific experiment and technology kit:
$
245 per kit
The Scientific experiment and technology kit contains Science experiment technology and equipment, robot technology, and other equipment & technology used by teachers during the workshop.
One kit is required for eachgroup of up to 5 teachers.
The Science experiment components in the Scientific experiment and technology kit are your school's to keep after the workshop.  The technology components i.e. networking equipment, laptops, robots and tablets remain Pedacomp's property and are returned by you to Pedacomp.

Shipping the Scientific experiment and technology kit
Neither the cost of sending the kit to your school nor the cost of your returning the technology components to Pedacomp is included in the above Scientific experiment and technology kit price.  We ship the kit to your school via Australia Post Parcel service. 

The per-kit shipping cost to your school is the actual Australia Post fee: 
Sydney Metropolitan and Wollongong region schools: $45
Schools not in Sydney Metropolitan and Wollongong regions: $120
Shipping the kit back to Pedacomp is the responsibility of your school.

Australia Post's price does not include reduced pricing for multiple kits to the same location, i.e. the per-kit fee applies regardless of the number of kits being shipped.

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What you need to host the face-to-face instructor-led component of the professional development at your school via virtual-classroom video-conferencing

What you need to host the face-to-face, instructor-led component of the professional development at your school via virtual classroom video-conferencing

What you need to host an At-Your-School workshop:
  1. A suitable room with a projector and projector screen.  If you do not have a projector and/or  screen Pedacomp can rent you a suitable auto-popup screen and/or easy-to-use projector
  2. Good WiFi access.  If you do not have access to good WiF we can loan you a Telstra 4G mobile broadband modem with built-in WiFi and charge you the fee Telstra charges us for your broadband use.
  3. At least one Apple iPad or Android tablet for each group of teachers. If you do not have suitable tablets we can make suitable tablets available to you at rental cost of $9 per day. 

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Childrens climate change anxiety

How special-purpose, meaning-focused (evidence-based) Science units of work can help children deal with climate change anxiety and Coronavirus anxiety

Dr Susan Burke of the University of Melbourne says that while concern and anxiety around climate change have been normal, the Australian bushfires have been a “tipping point” for many people causing a significant increase in “eco-anxiety” (Burke, S., 2018).   Dr Burke of course did not comment on Coronavirus anxiety in 2018, but her observations would apply to that too.

“Children especially are vulnerable to eco-anxiety”, Dr Burke said.  “More children are exhibiting high levels of concern over climate change, with direct and indirect effects of climate change affecting psychological well-being and placing children at risk of mental health consequences”. 

“The consequence can be significant, including PTSD, depression, anxiety, phobias, sleep disorders, attachment disorders, and substance abuse. These in turn can lead to problems with emotion regulation, cognition, learning, behavior, language development, and academic performance. Together, these create predispositions to adverse adult mental health outcomes”.

MMaria Ojala, Associate Professor Of Psychology at Örebro University in Sweden has conducted research into ways to assist children suffering "eco-anxiety", and has found that Meaning-focused coping "produces highly positive outcomes" (Ojala, M., 2012).

Ojala found that the most common strategy attempted is de-emphasis, where students are taught to de-emphasise the threat by being cognisant of their emotions.  Ojala found that this "has significant negative effects, as it is seen by children as denial, egocentric thinking, and not caring".

“Problem-focused coping where students were helped to focus on and analyse the problem was also found to be detrimental", she said, "as it increased depressive and anxious feelings in everyday life.  It was especially inappropriate for highly problem-focused children who then worried more about climate change”.

Meaning-focused coping strategies were found to be very positive.  "These strategies do not have the goal of emotion de-emphasis; instead their goal is scientifically-based  hopefulness and engagement”. 

“The focus is on realistic reappraisal of climate change i.e. scientific acknowledgement that the climate change threat is real and is a big problem, but also realistic appraisal of how scientists are pursuing and working on hopeful outcomes”.

“Scientific information about the actuality of the climate threat to our children, to those close to them, to their society and to other societies is not avoided.  But scientific appraisal of actions that are already being taken by scientists, and of research currently being undertaken by scientists of actions that can be taken in the future if necessary are also appraised”.

“What we found is that this process enabled the children to remind themselves in times of stress that they can have trust in scientists, and in other societal actors.  And perhaps even more significant, meaning-focused coping had the effect of fostering optimism concerning climate change, and a high degree of purpose in life”.

Ojala suggests that in effect the children were using this strategy to activate positive emotions rather than to “get rid of” negative emotions.

Ojala, M., 2012, How do children cope with global climate change? Coping strategies, engagement, and well-being Journal of Environmental Psychology Volume 32, Issue 3, September 2012, Pages 225-233

Pedacomp has developed a set of specially constructed syllabus mini units of work (3 weeks duration), one for each of Stages 1-3, to assist  schools in supporting students experiencing climate change anxiety.  There is no charge for these units.


The meaning-focused unit of work structure can also be extended to address Coronavirus anxiety.

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Why each Science unit of work should combine content from multiple strands

Why each Science unit of work should combine content from multiple strands

Separating content into strands is effective for teaching Knowledge and Understanding, but maintaining that single-strand unit of work focus beyond knowledge and understanding is counterproductive.

A syllabus example helps explain why:

The Stage 3 Material World Focus Questions are:

  • How can the state of materials be changed and manipulated?
  • What is the result of combining materials?
  • Why are the characteristics of materials important when designing and producing?

The project task following the focus question "Why are the characteristics of materials important when designing and producing?"  is:
Design a sustainable product, system or environment individually and/or collaboratively considering the properties of materials.

The inclusion of the word "sustainable" is core to the task.   

However the concept of "sustainability" is meaningless in Material World without reference to Living World and/or Earth and Space.  The sustainability of a material only becomes meaningful in relation to the effects of a its production and/or use on the Living World and/or Earth and Space.

To make the task meaningful (and even doable) the teacher would need to guide the students to that understanding.  But unless the teacher had pre-decided which Living World and/or Earth & Space contexts she was going to limit her guidance to and covered those in a pre-completed separate unit of work, or had covered the Living World and Earth & Space units prior to this unit, the students would not have the required knowledge and understanding in those strands to be able to Scientifically evaluate the question of sustainability.

And even if this unit was studied after the Living World and Earth & Space units, the broadness of the area the students would be looking in to find issues of sustainability  would make the task of identifying sustainability links too broad (all of Living World and 25% of Earth & Space relate to sustainability).

The preferred option is to broaden the focus question so and it and the unit of work incorporate content from teacher-selected areas in other strands.

The focus question used in Pedacomp's Stage 3 Unit 3 unit of work is an actual  example of this.  It draws on content from the Living World and Material World strands, and also includes components of the Digital Technology strand.  The question is:

How can we design and build a sustainable farm in Australia that produces a food, fibre or animal who's habitat in Australia is becoming endangered, using sustainable materials to build and run the farm?

At first glance this may seem too complex for Stage 3.   But that is where the teacher guidance part of "guided inquiry-based" units of work has effect.

The teacher explains and models to the students:

  • the use of decomposition (Computational Thinking) to simplify the task into steps

  • determining an algorithm (Computational Thinking) for each step which plans how to achieve that step

  • finding the connections between the different content areas in realtion to the question (Systems thinking)

  • using analysis (Cognitive thinking) to understand those relationships

  • planning fair tests of materials that might satisfy the requirements of the Living World problem embodied in the Focus question (Scientific thinking)

  • running the tests and evaluating the results (Scientific thinking)

  • creating new ideas and possible solutions from the results of the Analysis, Systems Thinking and Scientific Thinking (Synthesis - Cognitive thinking

  •  prototyping, testing and improving those ideas and solutions (Design thinking)

  • evaluating (Cognitive thinking) what has been achieved and whether it needs to be improved (the Design Thinking cycle)

Which is what the Pedacomp professional learning and our set of Units of work enables teachers to do.

The following table shows the segments of content from the  Living World, Material World and Digital Technology strands that make up this example unit of work.

 

Stage 3, Unit 3
How can we design a sustainable farm-factory in Australia that grows a food from a part of Australia with a climate different from where the farm is located, and is built from and uses on an ongoing basis sustainable materials sourced from the region where it is located?d>
Living World
Inquiry and Focus Questions
ˇ         How do physical conditions affect the survival of living things?
ˇ         Why is it important for food and/or fibre to be produced sustainably?
Content
Growth and survival of living things
Inquiry question: How do physical conditions affect the survival of living things?
Students:
ˇ         plan and conduct a fair test to show the conditions needed for a particular plant or animal to grow and survive in its environment (ACSSU094) SciT 
ˇ         describe how changing physical conditions in the environment affect the growth and survival of living things, for example: 
           Aboriginal Peoples’ use of fire-stick farming 
           temperature of water in aquatic environments
ˇ         test predictions by gathering data and use evidence to develop explanations of events and phenomena (ACSHE081, ACSHE098) SciT 
ˇ         understand that scientific and technological knowledge is used to solve problems and inform personal and community decisions (ACSHE083, ACSHE100) SciT 
Sustainably managing environments to source food and fibre
Focus question: Why is it important for food and/or fibre to be produced sustainably?
Students:
ˇ         explore examples of managed environments used to produce food and fibre, for example: SysT 
           cattle farms
           fish and oyster farms
           timber plantations
ˇ         investigate how and why food and fibre are produced in managed environments (ACTDEK021) SciT 
ˇ         identify and sequence the process of converting ‘on-farm’ food and fibre products into a product suitable for retail sale SysT
ˇ         explore plants and animals, tools and techniques used to prepare food to enable people to grow and be healthy (ACTDEK021) 
ˇ         plan, design and produce a healthy meal, for example: DesT 
           a bush tucker meal 
           sushi
           salad
ˇ         explain a sustainable practice used by Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander communities to manage food and fibre resources 
ˇ         investigate how people in design and technological occupations address considerations, including sustainability, in the design of products, services and environments for current and future use (ACTDEK019) SciT 
Material World
Inquiry and Focus Questions
Focus question: Why are the characteristics of materials important when designing and producing?
Students:
ˇ         investigate characteristics and properties of a range of materials and evaluate the impact of their use (ACTDEK023) DesT SciT 
ˇ         identify and evaluate the functional and structural properties of materials, for example: (ACTDEK023) 
             shade cloth for shelter
             aluminium for playground seats
             canvas for boat sails
ˇ         critique needs or opportunities for designing using sustainable materials DesT 
ˇ         design a sustainable product, system or environment individually and/or collaboratively considering the properties of materials SysT DesT 
ˇ         select appropriate materials, components, tools, equipment and techniques and apply safe procedures to produce designed solutions DesT 
Digital Technologies
Inquiry and Focus Questions
ˇ         How do components of digital systems interact with each other to transmit data?
ˇ         How do we represent decision-making in an algorithm?
Content
Using and Interpreting Data
Focus question: How do components of digital systems interact with each other to transmit data?
Students:
collect, store and interpret different types of data, for example: ComT SysT
        using sensors to collect data
use software to interpret and visualise data
Designing Digital Solutions
Focus question: How do we represent decision-making in an algorithm?
Students:
design a user interface for a digital system, for example: (ACTDIP018) DesT
        developing a storyboard for a game
design, modify and follow algorithms involving branching and iteration ComT DesT SysT
defdefine problems, and plan and implement digital solutions, using an appropriate visual programming language involving branching and iteration, and requiring user input ComT DesT SysT

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Guided inquiry-based Science learning for Early Stage 1 and Stage 1 students.

Why Guided inquiry-based Science learning is now within the abilities of Early Stage 1, Stage 1 and Special Ed students

Over the past two years advances in iPad, Google and Windows AI-enhanced   (Artificial Intelligence-enhanced) speech recognition and voice-to-text has made authentic internet research a reality for ALL primary school aged children, especially Early Stage 1, Stage 1 and Special Ed

Speech recognition is now so advanced it can understand a question from a 6-year old with a speech impediment better than most teachers can.  And it can read the answer back in a benign accent with pauses, intonation, emphasis and emotion.>
TheThe iPad, Google and Windows Optical Character Recognition has also advanced to the point where K-6 students at all levels can have the computer or tablet read to them text on a page or embedded in an image with accuracy and simplicity.

Further, a study of grade 1 students using speech recognition to compose texts found that "speech recognition apps supported the students' abilities to embrace personally meaningful oral language and transfer their linguistic and culturally diverse oral vernacular to sight vocabulary".
(Baker, E, & Bradley, C. (2019), Closing the gap between oral lexicons and sight vocabulary: Examining speech recognition technologies, Journal of Early Childhood, May, 2019, https://doi.org/10.1177%2F1468798419851851
 
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Augmenting focus questions

Why the syllabus Inquiry and Focus questions need to be augmented with other questions

The syllabus Inquiry and Focus questions provide valuable guidance and structure for teaching strand content i.e. Knowledge and Understanding.

But the pan> quequestions, almost all "closed" questions with right and wrong answers, are  unsuitable for creating tasks where students can practice and use higher order cognitive thinking including Analysis, Synthesis, Evaluation and the syllabus thinking skills of Computational, Scientific, Design, and Systems thinking.

The Stage 2 syllabus Inquiry and Focus questions are an example.

The table below contains all the Stage 2 Science and Technology Inquiry and Focus questions.  It lists against the standard for Open and Closed questions  whether it uses the wording of an Open or Closed question which determines which of the cognitive and syllabus thinking skills it supports (Schuman, H. & Presser, S., 2079):

 
Strandd> Type of question: Question Cognition levels required 
LW Inquiry question: How can we group living things?
(Open)
Knowledge & Understanding, Application, Analysys, Synthesis, Evaluation
LW Inquiry question: What are the similarities and differences between the life cycles of living things? (Closed) Knowledge & Understanding, Application, Analysys, Synthesis, Evaluation
LW Inquiry question: How are environments and living things interdependent? (Closed) Knowledge & Understanding, Application, Analysys, Synthesis, Evaluation
LW Focus question: How do we create food and fibre products from animals and plants? (Closed) Knowledge & Understanding, Application, Analysys, Synthesis, Evaluation
MW Inquiry question: How do materials change when heated and cooled? (Closed) Knowledge & Understanding, Application, Analysys, Synthesis, Evaluation
MW Focus question: How do you decide upon which material to use for a particular purpose? (Closed) Knowledge & Understanding, Application, Analysys, Synthesis, Evaluation
PW Inquiry question: How does heat, light and electrical energy make things happen? (Closed) Knowledge & Understanding, Application, Analysys, Synthesis, Evaluation
PW Inquiry question: How can objects affect other objects with or without touching them? (Closed) Knowledge & Understanding, Application, Analysys, Synthesis, Evaluation
PW Focus question: How can we use forces and energy in a product or system?
(Open)
Knowledge & Understanding, Application, Analysys, Synthesis, Evaluation
E&S Inquiry question: How do natural processes and human actions change the Earth’s surface over time? (Closed) Knowledge & Understanding, Application, Analysys, Synthesis, Evaluation
E&S Inquiry question: What occurs as a result of the interactions between the Earth and the Sun?
(Closed)
Knowledge & Understanding, Application, Analysys, Synthesis, Evaluation
DT Focus question: How do digital systems share information and instructions?
(Closed)
Knowledge & Understanding, Application, Analysys, Synthesis, Evaluation
DT Focus question: Why do we represent data in different ways?
(Closed)
Knowledge & Understanding, Application, Analysys, Synthesis, Evaluation
 
 
Eleven of these 13 questions are closed questions i.e. introduced with : "how do, how does, what are, what occurs as a result of, why do, how are".  They support the learning of Knowledge and Understanding but don't facilitate Analysys, Synthesis, Evaluation, Scientific, Design and Systems thinking.

There are two open questions both "How can" questions.  But the first, "How can we group living things" in Living World strand is the strand's opening Inquiry question, asked before the students have embarked on their learning in the strand, i.e. before the students have any Knowledge and Understanding to do any higher-order thinking about.  Most likely the purpose of that question is to obtain students' opening perceptions about the topic.

The second open question "How can we use forces and energy in a product or system"  is an end-of-strand Focus question.  It does support students use of higher-order thinking to analyse, synthesise and evaluate the Knowledge and Understanding they have acquired and then use Scientific, Computational, Design and Systems thinking to formulate their own ideas for using forces and energy in a product or system.

However it can be argued that one higher order thinking-supporting  "open" question in a syllabus with 13 Inquiry and Focus questions across five content strands (including Digital Technology) is insufficient.

Teachers should therefore add their own "open" higher-order thinking questions to provide students with opportunities to develop their higher-order thinking skills.

Schuman, H. & Presser, S., 2079, The Open and Closed Question, American Sociological Review Vol. 44, No. 5, pp. 692-712
 
 
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Guided-Inquiry-based-teaching-programs-research-actual
Why Guided inquiry-based Science learning is so effective: the reseach

Why Guided inquiry-based Science learning is so effective: the reseach


"Guided inquiry-based learning was a strong positive predictor for students’ achievement, and its effect was also positively associated with students’ interest". 
Jingoo Kang &  Tuula Keinonen  (2018), The Effect of Student-Centered Approaches on Students’ Interest and Achievement in Science: Relevant Topic-Based, Open and Guided Inquiry-Based, and Discussion-Based Approaches Research in Science Education  volume 48, pages865–885, https://ui.adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/2018RScEd..48..865K/abstract

"A guided inquiry learning environment in was found to support students with different levels of school science achievement to highly engage in science inquiry".
Cai-Ting, Wena, Chen-Chung, Liua (2020), Students’ guided inquiry with simulation and its relation to school science achievement and scientific literacy, Computers & Education, February 2020, htthttps://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0360131520300324

"Inquiry-based learning was identified as taking students from 'why are we learning this' to more exploratory mindsets like 'tell me more about this' and 'this is important for me to know more about'.
Watanabe-Crockett, L. Inquiry-based learning vs. Direct instruction: 7 important differences, Wabisabi Learning,  https://www.wabisabilearning.com/blog/inquiry-based-learning-vs-direct-instruction

"Inquiry-guided instruction was found to enhance the learning experience for both educators and students".
Oliver-Hoyo, M., Allen D., Anderson, M. (2014), Inquiry-Guided Instruction, National Science Teacher Association Journal, April, 2004
https://www.nsta.org/publications/news/story.aspx?id=49315

"Th"The comparison between the guided inquiry and the traditional method for the teaching of the structure of matter showed a significant supremacy of guided inquiry. These results are confirmed by other researchers (Meany et al.; 2001 & Bindel et al., 1997) in which the guided inquiry method was applied during several courses for different cognitive subjects". 
Vlassi , M., Karaliota, A. (2013), The Comparison between Guided Inquiry and Traditional Teaching Method. A Case Study for the Teaching of the Structure of Matter to 8th Grade Greek Students, Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences 93 ( 2013 ) 494 – 497 https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1877042813033296

But: "Extensive research has found that children are relatively unequipped to engage in many aspects of scientific inquiry in the absence of guided instruction and frequent scaffolding".
https://cogsci.mindmodeling.org/2019/papers/0429/0429.pdf
Nyhout, A. et al (2019), Thinking counterfactually supports children’s ability to conduct a controlled test of a hypothesis,   Cognitive Science Soviety, Annual Meeing Papers 2019
 
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NESA-credit-details-actual>

 
Pedacomp 
 
NESA credit details for the professional development Everything teachers need to teach the NSW K-6 Science & Technology syllabus using guided inquiry-based learning   
NSWGovernmentLogo
Completing the Group Interactive Self-Study component of this professional development will contribute 6 hours of NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) Registered Professional development addressing standards 
1.1.2, 2.1.2, 5.1.2, 6.1.2, 1.2.2, 5.2.2, 6.2.2, 1.3.2, 2.3.2, 3.3.2, 5.3.2, 6.3.2, 3.4.2, 5.4.2, 6.4.2, 7.4.2, 1.5.2, 2.5.2, 4.5.2, 5.5.2, 1.6.2, 2.6.2, 3.7.2
from the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers towards maintaining Proficient Teacher Accreditation in NSW.

NSWGovernmentLogo
Completing the Face-to-Face Instructor-led component of this professional development will contribute 12 hours of NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) Registered Professional development addressing standards 
1.1.2, 1.2.2, 1.3.2, 1.5.2, 1.6.2, 2.1.2, 2.2.2, 2.3.2, 2.4.2, 2.5.2, 2.6.2, 3.1.2, 3.2.2, 3.3.2, 3.4.2, 3.5.2, 3.6.2, 3.7.2, 4.1.2, 4.4.2, 4.5.2, 5.1.2, 5.2.2, 5.3.2, 5.4.2, 5.5.2, 6.1.2, 6.2.2, 6.3.2, 6.4.2, 7.4.2
from the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers towards maintaining Proficient Teacher Accreditation in NSW.
 
Australian Professional Standards for Teachers addressed by this professional development - Full details
 
Standard 1 - Know students and how they learn
Focus 1.1.2 - Physical, social and intellectual development and characteristics of students
Descriptor Use teaching strategies based on knowledge of students’ physical, social and intellectual development and characteristics to improve student learning.
Focus 1.2.2 - Understand how students learn
Descriptor Structure teaching programs using research and collegial advice about how students learn.
Focus 1.3.2 - Students with diverse linguistic, cultural, religious and socioeconomic backgrounds
Descriptor Design and implement teaching strategies that are responsive to the learning strengths and needs of students from diverse linguistic,
cultural, religious and socioeconomic backgrounds.
Focus 1.5.2 - Differentiate teaching to meet the specific learning needs of students across the full range of abilities
Descriptor Develop teaching activities that incorporate differentiated strategies to meet the specific learning needs of students across the full range of abilities.
Focus 1.6.2 - Strategies to support full participation of students with disability
Descriptor Design and implement teaching activities that support the participation and learning of students with disability and address relevant policy and legislative requirements.
Standard 2 - Know the content and how to teach it
Focus 2.1.2 - Content and teaching strategies of the teaching area
Descriptor Apply knowledge of the content and teaching strategies of the teaching area to develop engaging teaching activities.
Focus 2.2.2 - Content selection and organisation
Descriptor Organise content into coherent, well- sequenced learning and teaching programs.
Focus 2.3.2 - Curriculum, assessment and reporting
Descriptor Design and implement learning and teaching programs using knowledge of curriculum, assessment and reporting requirements.
Focus 2.4.2 - Understand and respect Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to promote reconciliation between Indigenous and non- Indigenous Australians
Descriptor Provide opportunities for students  to develop understanding of and respect for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories, cultures and languages.
Focus 2.5.2 - Literacy and numeracy strategies
Descriptor Apply knowledge and understanding of effective teaching strategies
to support students’ literacy and numeracy achievement.
Focus 2.6.2 - Information and Communication Technology (ICT)
Descriptor Use effective teaching strategies to integrate ICT into learning and
teaching programs to make selected content relevant and meaningful.
Standard 3 - Plan for and implement effective teaching and learning
Focus 3.1.2 - Establish challenging learning goals
Descriptor Set explicit, challenging and achievable learning goals for all students.
Focus 3.2.2 - Plan, structure and sequence learning programs
Descriptor Plan and implement well-structured learning and teaching programs
or lesson sequences that engage students and promote learning.
Focus 3.3.2 - Use teaching strategies
Descriptor Select and use relevant teaching strategies to develop knowledge, skills, problem solving and critical and creative thinking.
Focus 3.4.2 - Select and use resources
Descriptor Select and/or create and use a range of resources, including ICT, to engage students in their learning.
Focus 3.5.2 - Use effective classroom communication
Descriptor Use effective verbal and non-verbal communication strategies to support student understanding, participation, engagement and achievement.
Focus 3.6.2 - Evaluate and improve teaching programs
Descriptor Evaluate personal teaching and learning programs using evidence, including feedback from students and student assessment data, to inform planning.
Focus 3.7.2 - Engage parents/carers in the educative process
Descriptor Plan for appropriate and contextually relevant opportunities for parents/ carers to be involved in their children’s learning.
Standard 4 - Create and maintain supportive and safe learning environments
Focus 4.1.2 - Support student participation
Descriptor Establish and implement inclusive and positive interactions to engage and support all students in classroom activities.
Focus 4.4.2 - Maintain student safety
Descriptor Ensure students’ wellbeing and safety within school by implementing school and/ or system, curriculum and legislative requirements.
Focus 4.5.2 - Use ICT safely, responsibly and ethically
Descriptor Incorporate strategies to promote the safe, responsible and ethical use of ICT in learning and teaching.
Standard 5 - Assess, provide feedback and report on student learning
Focus 5.1.2 - Assess student learning
Descriptor Develop, select and use informal and formal, diagnostic, formative and summative assessment strategies to assess student learning.
Focus 5.2.2 - Provide feedback to students on their learning
Descriptor Provide timely, effective and appropriate feedback to students about their achievement relative to their learning goals.
Focus 5.3.2 - Make consistent and comparable judgements
Descriptor Understand and participate in assessment moderation activities to support consistent and comparable judgements of student learning.
Focus 5.4.2 - Interpret student data
Descriptor Use student assessment data to analyse and evaluate student
understanding of subject/content, identifying interventions and modifying teaching practice.
Focus 5.5.2 - Report on student achievement
Descriptor Report clearly, accurately and respectfully to students and parents/ carers about student achievement, making use of accurate and reliable records.
Standard 6 - Engage in professional learning
Focus 6.1.2 - Identify and plan professional learning needs
Descriptor Use the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers and advice from colleagues to identify and plan professional learning needs.
Focus 6.2.2 - Engage in professional learning and improve practice
Descriptor Participate in learning to update knowledge and practice, targeted to professional needs and school and/or system priorities.
Focus 6.3.2 - Engage with colleagues and improve practice
Descriptor Contribute to collegial discussions and apply constructive feedback from colleagues to improve professional knowledge and practice.
Focus 6.4.2 - Apply professional learning and improve student learning
Descriptor Undertake professional learning programs designed to address identified student learning needs.
Standard 7 - Engage professionally with colleagues, parents/carers and the community
Focus 7.4.2 - Engage with professional teaching networks and broader communities
Descriptor Participate in professional and community networks and forums  to broaden knowledge and improve practice.
 
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What resources you need at your school to host the instructor-led virtual classoom component of the professional development

What resources you need at your school to host the instructor-led virtual classoom component of the professional development

  1. A suitable room with a projector and projector screen.  If you do not have a projector and/or  screen Pedacomp can hire you a suitable auto-popup screen and/or a easy-to-use projector
  2. Good quality WiFi access.  If you do not have access to good quality WiF we can loan you a Telstra 4G mobile broadband modem and charge you the fee Telstra charges us for your mobile broadband WiFi use after the workshop.
  3. At least one Apple or Android tablet for each group of teachers.  Teacher groups should contain 3-5 teachers per grpoup. Tthe tablet can be iPad or Android.  If you do not have suitable tablets we can make tablets available to you on rent at a rate of $35 per day. 

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Dates and venues for the 2-day face-to-face Instructor-led workshop held at major centres in each school region (for teachers who's schools are not hosting this component at their school)
 
Face-to-face workshop
venues, dates and details
  • The workshop commences each day at 8:30 a.m. and finishes at 3:15 p.m.
  • Full morning and afternoon teas and lunch are provided
City Date Venue
Ballina Tue 26 & Wed 27 May Ballina RSL Club
Blacktown Mon 1 & Tue 2 June Blacktown RSL Club
Coffs Harbour Thu 21 & Fri 22 May Sawtell RSL Club
Dee Why Mon 29 & Tue 30 June Dee Why Builders Club
Dubbo Wed 22 & Thu 23 July Dubbo Sporties Club
Liverpool Thu 25 & Fri 26 June Liverpool Catholic Club
Newcastle Thu 11 & Fri 12 June Stockton RSL Club
North Ryde Mon 8 & Tue 9 June The Ranch Hotel
Hurstville/
Penshurst
Thu 14 & Fri 15 May Penshurst RSL Club
Port Macquarie Wed 17 & Thu 18 June Port City Bowls Club
Tamworth Mon 18 & Tue 19 May Tamworth Wests Club
Wagga
Wagga
Thu 2 & Fri 3 July Wagga Wagga Commercial Club
Wollongong Mon 22 & Tue 23 June Warilla Bowls Club
Sutherland Mon 27 & Tue 28 July Club on East

To book your place on the workshop visit here: Course Registration.

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