Course Title: Investigating in the Sciences

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Investigating in the Sciences

Credit Points: 12

Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


Bundoora Campus


360H Education


Sem 2 2006,
Sem 2 2007,
Sem 2 2008,
Sem 2 2009,
Sem 2 2010

Course Coordinator: Linda Darby

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 7095

Course Coordinator

Course Coordinator Location: 220.04.07

Course Coordinator Availability: Monday-Wednesday

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities

Not Applicable

Course Description

For many children, exploration of the world is through curiosity, inquiry and wonder. Such processes are fundamental to the development of scientific thinking and understanding.

This course aims to build pre service teachers’ knowledge of learners as investigators. Through this course, students will explore topics which promote children’s knowledge of mathematics, science and technology, and will examine the potential for motivating learners to guide their own learning and understanding of concepts of the sciences in everyday experiences through an inquiry/investigative approach.

Through this course, students will examine the contribution of ideas that particular mathematicians, scientists and technologists have made in their respective disciplines, and how this has influenced the design of curriculum related to the sciences; the ways in which developments in mathematics, science and technology impact on community understandings; and ways in which mathematics, science and technology have been utilised to improve lifestyle. Scientific knowledge and concepts portrayed through popular culture and mass media will be explored, with such material examined as potential resources for investigations and inquiry.

Through this course pre service teachers will be assisted to develop the knowledge and skills to enable them to nurture learners in natural curiosity as investigators. The course will introduce the concepts in mathematical and science processes. The role of the teacher will be explored and pre service teachers will be introduced to curriculum practices that facilitate mathematical, science and technology understanding in learners.

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

Graduate Capabilities:
1. Awareness and Understanding of Self and others: 1.1, 1.3
2. Commitment: 2.1, 2.4
3. Creative Problem-solvers: teaching as inquiry: 3.1, 3.2, 3.3, 3.4
4. Lifelong Learners (autonomous): 4.1, 4.2, 4.3, 4.5, 4.6
5. Communicative competencies: 5.1, 5.4
6. Critical reflective; 6.1, 6.2
7. Professional Knowledge, Understandings and Applications: 7.4, 7.5, 7.8
8. Commitment to Teaching and Learning: 8.2
9. Articulating and Implementing a Vision and Philosophy of the Profession: 9.4
10. Collaborative Decision-making and Action: 10.5, 10.6
11. Organisation and Implementation: 11.1, 11.3, 11.4, 11.6

This course prepares pre service teachers to be able to prepare and implement worthwhile learning experiences particularly in investigating aspects of mathematics, science and technology. Approaches to problem-defining and problem-solving will be transferable to other courses. Students will develop knowledge enabling them to locate and use up to date resources in these fields. They will be aware of how to use a range of assessment techniques to support learning in maths, science and technology.
Pre service teachers will be involved in lectures, tutorials and workshops where they will increase their understanding of how mathematical and science concepts develop in learners. They will experience opportunities to demonstrate an understanding of suitable experiences and strategies for enhancing children’s learning in mathematics, science, technology and environmental education.
On completion of this course, students should demonstrate:
• a belief in the importance of curricula and pedagogy in the sciences, a keenness to improve their knowledge and skills in the sciences, and a positive and confident attitude towards creating learning experiences for children in which mathematics, science and technology is integrated;
• an understanding of the sciences and the importance of mathematics, science and technology in the lives of learners;
• a knowledge of suitable learning experiences and strategies for enhancing children’s development and learning in the sciences, and the capacity to plan, implement and evaluate effective learning experiences in the sciences and to organize appropriate resources;
• an appreciation of the need for an experiential approach for fostering children’s natural curiosity to enhance the development of concepts in the sciences, and a knowledge of current research in key issues within the sciences;
• an ability to effectively use ICT and to communicate in both written and oral forms in a scholarly and academically appropriate manner.

Overview of Learning Activities

Campus based classes involving lecture-discussions, peer presentations and/or practical workshops, development of a personal project and independent research. Students will be expected to share their ideas and experiences with others, be actively involved in planning their learning experiences, particularly the nature of their practical experiences, undertake an on-line information search and contribute to continuous quality improvement through informal discussions with staff.

Overview of Learning Resources

You will use a diverse range of learning resources throughout the program including text and web based resources. Lists of references will be distributed to you during the course.

Overview of Assessment

Assessment tasks will ask you to reflect on your thinking, learning and findings from activities and/or investigations you carry out during the course.