chapter  10
12 Pages

Focusing on scientific literacy

The value of professional learning
WithJohn Loughran

The debate about scientific literacy typically draws on arguments that have existed for a considerable period of time in science education around curriculum design, meaningful learning, student engagement, and relevance of science learning in school classrooms. However, when we move from the academic domain to the real world of school, scientific literacy in the (primary) classroom takes on a more pragmatic character. This chapter (based on a longitudinal study of a whole-school approach to scientific literacy) works from the notion that scientific literacy can be a valuable way of encouraging teachers to be more focused on their teaching of science and help them to move beyond an ‘activities that work’ approach.

As a consequence of a number of staff from one school being involved in a professional learning program (STaL) over a number of years, they developed an approach to teaching that dramatically changed their views and practice in science teaching and learning.