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The teacher uses an educational excursion to the local Reptile Centre to build on her students’ existing classroom learning. She explains how the excursion will develop and extend previously learned principles of scientific taxonomy. It will also enable her students to develop shared experience about which they can reflect in later learning. During the excursion, the teacher interacts with her students, to focus, test and support their individual and shared understandings.
The teacher has 20 years teaching experience in the central Australian school in which she currently teaches. The majority of students in the school are Indigenous, several come from overseas and many learn English as an additional language. The teacher believes that real life experiences assist these students to make connections in their learning and reinforce the technical language of the discipline. Previously in her year 7 Science class, she has introduced students to the diversity of organisms and the usefulness of classification in organizing this diversity. Following the excursion to the Reptile Centre, she articulates how she will extend the students new knowledge to include global changes and their impact on the local environment.
  • How can one adapt one’s teaching to take account of the different linguistic needs and strengths of students?
  • Why might it be important to ‘unpack’ the language of a subject area for students?
  • What are the characteristics of a carefully planned educational excursion?
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Offline package - Making connections in Science