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Course Description

Primary science is undergoing rapid change driven by global trends in curriculum design and implementation. Teachers are required to design concept-based science programs that engage students in developing their scientific literacy by learning about science concepts, laws, theories and principles through first-hand investigations, and applying their literacy and numeracy skills. As a result, teachers must leverage their existing scientific technology, pedagogy and content knowledge (TPACK), and combine this with evolving pedagogy and deep conceptual understanding, to design programs that enable students to experience powerful conceptual change and development.

Through this course, participants will learn about how to develop and deliver concept-based science teaching, learning and assessment that is evidence-based and high-impact. They will learn how to develop concept maps and use these to plan for conceptual development, identify alternative conceptions in science, and review existing pedagogies that support conceptual development by examining and evaluating existing programs.

By reflecting on their conceptual understanding of science, participants will use a variety of social and collaborative teaching and learning tools, including the pSTEM network, to plan and conduct first-hand investigations, and use a range of scientific representations to identify and validate evidence of scientific literacy and conceptual development. They will use this and follow a design method to plan a learning sequence for their students.

Participants will be encouraged to continue their development as designers of science conceptual growth through learning about opportunities to form alliances with other schools and partner organisations by becoming a Science Key Learning Area Champion.



This course is suitable for primary school principals and teachers.

Teaching Standards 

1.2.2 Proficient Level - Know students and how they learn - Understand how students learn:  Structure teaching programs using research and collegial advice about how students learn

2.1.2 Proficient Level - Know the content and how to teach it - Content and teaching strategies of the teaching area:  Apply knowledge of the content and teaching strategies of the teaching area to develop engaging teaching activities

3.2.2 Proficient Level - Plan for and implement Effective Teaching and Learning - Plan, structure and sequence learning programs:  Plan and implement well-structured learning and teaching programs or lesson sequences that engage students and promote learning

Do you teach in NSW? If so, this is relevant to you:

This course may contribute towards Elective PD hours. Visit for more details.


Course curriculum

  • 1

    Module 1 - Introduction

    • Introduction

    • Course Contents

    • Course Rationale

    • Learning Outcome

    • Getting Started

  • 2

    Module 2 - Science Curriculum Reform

    • Background

    • Wonderings

    • The pSTEM Network

    • Assessment Task 1 - Curriculum Review

    • Quiz 1

  • 3

    Module 3 - Introduction to Conceptual Development

    • Concepts

    • Word Concepts and Referents

    • Concepts are Hierarchical

    • Conceptual Development promotes Learning

    • What is Concept-based Learning?

    • What does the Research say?

    • Comparative Analysis

    • Threshold Concepts and Problematic Concepts

    • Assessment Task 2 - Threshold Concepts

    • Quiz 2

  • 4

    Module 4 - Planning for Conceptual Development

    • Real World Examples and Contexts

    • Concept Maps

    • Concept Map Tutorial

    • Assessment Task 3 - Create a Concept Map

    • Quiz 3

  • 5

    Module 5 - Teaching Scientific Literacy through Conceptual Development

    • Why do Students learn Science?

    • What is Scientific Literacy?

    • Assessment Task 4 - Scientific Literacy

    • Quiz 4

  • 6

    Module 6 - Teaching the Concept of Scientific Inquiry

    • Students Learn Science

    • Discussion Time

    • Scientific Thinking and Scientific Inquiry

    • Assessment Task 5 - Scientific Thinking

    • Learn more about the Scientific Inquiry Process

    • Step 1 - Question and Predict

    • Step 2 - Plan and Conduct

    • Step 3 - Process and Analyse

    • Step 4 - Communicate and Evaluate

    • Assessment Task 6 - Scientific Inquiry

    • Quiz 5

  • 7

    Module 7 - Types of Scientific Investigations

    • Scientific Inquiry

    • Observation over Time

    • Pattern Seeking

    • Comparative Analysis

    • Fair Test

    • Research

    • Assessment Task 7 - Types of Scientific Investigation

    • Quiz 6

    • Next Steps

  • 8

    Module 8 - Review

    • Aim of Science Curriculum Reform

    • Concepts

    • Concept Maps

    • Scientific Inquiry

    • Types of Scientific Inquiry

    • Course Review and Evaluation

  • 9

    Course Feedback

    • Copy of Feedback

Features of TTA Online PD

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