Background to the Conference

"Active Learning: Science Talk from Classroom to the Dinner Table"

The third series of National Primary Science Education Conferences are to be held in April 2009. This conference follows on from the 2005 conference “Awe, Wonder and Interest in Science” and the 2007 Science and Literacy conference.

The 2009 conference series is supported by a number of organisations;

  • Teacher Refresher Course Committee (TRCC) are co-sponsoring the conference, as well as providing administrative support including managing the registration process
  • The Ministry of Education recognises and supports the conference through the Quality Teaching Partnership Fund.
  • The Royal Society of New Zealand (RSNZ) support for the conference is one part of their partnership with the NZASE, the aim of which is to promote science and science education activities for the young people of New Zealand

Active learning in Science

Relating science learning to everyday contexts has been identified as a key aspect of scientific literacy. The aim of these conferences is to allow teachers to explore and evaluate teaching and learning practices that could enhance student learning. This will be achieved through making clear links between science content and everyday contexts that children experience within their world. Active learning in science is about children been involved in exploring natural phenomena, identifying questions, planning, doing and sharing the process. It requires children to begin to think like scientists, to work together to share and think about each others ideas and, in the process, develop the knowledge skills and attitudes that will allow them to make informed decisions.

Teachers attending will be able to;

  • explore the implications of the changes to the Nature of Science strand of the revised curriculum (2007)
  • identify personal teaching and leaning practices that will provide opportunities for children to think scientifically in every day contexts.

Emphasis will be placed on the communicating aspect of the Nature of Science and the role of thinking and talking in the development of scientific competencies.

The conferences will provide opportunity for teachers to explore how changes in the revised curriculum may impact on the way they implement science in their school.

There will be opportunities for teachers to explore the latest resources available from Ministry of Education initiatives, local and international commercial products.

As in the previous conferences it is hoped that the teachers will continue to become involved in local professional development initiatives, this may include setting up support groups and collaborating with other schools.

All science educators and teachers are invited to attend this conference and if you feel you can contribute in any way please make contact with the organisers. I look forward to meeting and working with you in April 2009

Thanks for your support
Ian Milne
National Coordinator
Primary Science Conference 2009


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