Evidence-Informed Practice in Science Teaching
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Evidence-Informed Practice in Science Teaching


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a) Drawing upon your experience of teaching to what extent is the EEF's (2017) research evidence being used?
b) Consider the evidence and reasoning for the approach taken
c) How might the evidence be effectively put into practice?


1. Introduction

Many scholars (Davies, 1999; Mann, Sander & Weightman, 2006; Picardo, 2017) and public commentators have argued that teaching cannot merely be a static process based on fixed principles that are acquired once in their lifetime by teaching professionals and repeated for the rest of their life. Not only do educators have to be responsive to the diverse needs of their students, but also to the changing nature of society around them. For example, Picardo (2017, n.p.) has shown the reasons why referring to scholarly material on education can be really useful for a professional educator, and how this is so because effective teaching is always context-driven. He demonstrates five strategies for teaching which have been observed by scholars of pedagogy and proved useful in enhancing practice. These strategies include dual code explanations, interleaving, building on learner knowledge, and so on. Similarly, Mann, Sander, and Weightman (2006) have narrated the benefits of evidence-informed practice among teachers of information sciences. What these writers seem to be suggesting is that teaching, as an activity, is only in part a performance of internalized roles. To a substantial extent, teaching also necessitates that the teacher set out goals for themselves to evaluate the efficiency of their task, and judge how far this efficiency is being achieved. For doing this, evidence from scholarly writing on pedagogy provides what they consider essential 'signposts,' indicators about what the task of teaching is, and how far a teacher has accomplished it. This linking by the teacher of his external role as an educator, and his internal responsibility of review and experiment has been referred to as evidence-informed practice.


The subjects I teach students are Biology, Chemistry, and Physics. Not only does my responsibility as a teacher encompass teaching students' scientific concepts and theories in the classroom, but also conducting practical classes in which the students see and attempt hands on activities involving demonstrations of scientific concepts in laboratory conditions. Thus, one of the most recurrent pedagogical issues that I face in my classes is maintaining focus on the autonomous nature of both theory and practical classes. In other words, while many students do well in practical, in which they show a better grasp, the same cannot be said about theory classes, which seem not only difficult to many, but also boring. These are observations from students of 7th, 8th, and 9th grade classes, and they have been collected over a period of two months.

This essay will look at these questions keeping as its base critical evaluation of two studies conducted with the above issue in mind. The appendices have the description of three teaching plans based on evaluation and a medium-term plan that deal with the issue of competence in theory and concepts, as well as the effects of the evidence put into practice. In the body of this essay below, there will be a discussion of the plans and their evaluation in light of the scholarly literature referred to in the course of this study. First, this paper will discuss EIP and its advantages/disadvantages. Second, it will proceed to show how EIP is relevant for the issue outlined above. Lastly, it will outline an epistemology for EIP in the issue outlined, after which it would summarize the findings of this essay. It will be seen how EIP is a successful way of addressing even the most complicated problems that arise in the classroom context in a systematic and constructive way.

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