EDUC 4529A - Science Curriculum & Methodology A (UG)

North Terrace Campus - Semester 1 - 2016

The course aims to present information on a range of methodologies and develop a variety of pedagogical skills to help students to be better prepared for the start of their teaching career.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code EDUC 4529A
    Course Science Curriculum & Methodology A (UG)
    Coordinating Unit School of Education
    Term Semester 1
    Level Undergraduate
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 3
    Contact 2 hours per week, in addition to a 2 hour common lecture focussing on Planning and Teaching
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange N
    Prerequisites Pass in four courses of Science over a range of Science topics
    Restrictions Available to B Teaching students only
    Course Description The course aims to present information on a range of methodologies and develop a variety of pedagogical skills to help students to be better prepared for the start of their teaching career.
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Bruce Baker

    Course Timetable

    The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.

  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes
    On Successful completion of this course student will be able:

    Course Learning Outcomes


    GA Arts
    GA Uni
    Both Semesters
    Assemble a range of subject-appropriate resources, including online, that engage a diversity of students in their learning. 2.6 & 3.4 1, 2 1, 2
    Integrate relevant research and theory to develop a broad repertoire of subject-appropriate teaching and learning strategies, including use of ICT. 3.2 & 3.3 2 2
    Demonstrate a commitment to work ethically and collaboratively so as to meet the professional expectations required of teachers. 6.2, 6.3, 7.1, 7.2, 7.3 & 7.4 6 6
    Demonstrate communication skills to present a clear and coherent exposition of knowledge and ideas to a diverse range of students. 3.5, 4.2 & 5.5 3, 5 3, 5
    Develop a broad repertoire of subject-appropriate teaching and learning strategies, including use of ICT. 2.1, 2.6, 3.2 & 3.3 2, 3 2, 3
    Semester One
    Demonstrate thorough knowledge and understanding of the complexity of the discipline and the teaching strategies of the learning area. 2.1, 3.2 & 3.3 1, 2 1, 2
    Design and sequence unit and lesson plans based on essential content of the subject area, curriculum and assessment principles. 2.2, 2.3 & 3.2 1, 2 1, 2
    Assemble relevant and appropriate sources of professional learning for teachers including subject professional associations. 6.2, 6.3 & 7.4 4, 6 4, 6
    Semester 2
    Demonstrate broad knowledge of strategies that can be used to evaluate teaching programs to improve student learning. 3.6 & 5.4 3, 4, 6 3, 4, 6
    Identify and interpret student learning needs and design learning strategies so as to respond to student diversity. 5.1 & 5.2 2, 3, 5 2, 3, 5
    Formulate a range of feedback and assessment strategies, including informal and formal, diagnostic, formative and summative approaches to assess student learning in the subject area and for various curricula eg SACSA, SACE, ACARA, IB. 5.1, 5.2, 5.5 & 7.2 2, 3, 5 2, 3, 5
    Demonstrate understanding of assessment, moderation and its application to support consistent and comparable judgements of student learning. 5.3, 5.4 & 5.5 2, 3, 5 2, 3, 5

    Australian Professional Standards for Teachers (APST): 

    Graduate Attributes: Faculty of Arts Graduate Attributes:

    Graduate Attributes: University of Adelaide Graduate Attributes:
    University Graduate Attributes

    This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attribute(s) specified below:

    University Graduate Attribute Course Learning Outcome(s)
    Deep discipline knowledge
    • informed and infused by cutting edge research, scaffolded throughout their program of studies
    • acquired from personal interaction with research active educators, from year 1
    • accredited or validated against national or international standards (for relevant programs)
    1, 6, 7
    Critical thinking and problem solving
    • steeped in research methods and rigor
    • based on empirical evidence and the scientific approach to knowledge development
    • demonstrated through appropriate and relevant assessment
    1, 2, 5, 6, 7, 10, 11, 12
    Teamwork and communication skills
    • developed from, with, and via the SGDE
    • honed through assessment and practice throughout the program of studies
    • encouraged and valued in all aspects of learning
    4, 5, 9, 10, 11, 12
    Career and leadership readiness
    • technology savvy
    • professional and, where relevant, fully accredited
    • forward thinking and well informed
    • tested and validated by work based experiences
    8, 9
    Intercultural and ethical competency
    • adept at operating in other cultures
    • comfortable with different nationalities and social contexts
    • able to determine and contribute to desirable social outcomes
    • demonstrated by study abroad or with an understanding of indigenous knowledges
    4, 10, 11, 12
    Self-awareness and emotional intelligence
    • a capacity for self-reflection and a willingness to engage in self-appraisal
    • open to objective and constructive feedback from supervisors and peers
    • able to negotiate difficult social situations, defuse conflict and engage positively in purposeful debate
    3, 8, 9
  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources
    Junior Science Course Reader/Notes (available through MyUni)
    ACARA (NAP-SL), SACE, Primary Connections Website, OECD (PISA Study) & IEA (rTIMSS) websites. (Replaced resources such as SACSA Framework will be made available during the course as required)
    Recommended Resources
    Web-resources and science-teacher’s resource sites will be provided during the course
    Online Learning
    MyUni – Science Curriculum and Methodology [EDUC 4529A/B & EDUC6529A/B]
  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    The course runs for sixteen weeks across two semesters, and each week comprises of a two-hour lecture on core-topics and a two-hour tutorial workshop. Attendance at all seminars and tutorials are important to gain broader insights and achieving the objectives outlined for this course. Attendance will be recorded during each tutorial group.
    The course adopts the Inquiry-Reflective-Praxis model of learning, which describes a continuous commitment to inquiry, scientific thinking, evidence-based research and knowledge extension. The course challenges students to critique and reframe personal and organisational conceptions of precepts to evaluate, extend and create new knowledge and experience.

    I will be available for consultation during the tutorial sessions and by appointment. I will be accessible via email and encourage the use of this format.


    The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.

    The course requires four hours of contact time for sixteen weeks, and a further three-five hours per week for self-study, reflection and completion of individual and group assignments.
    Learning Activities Summary
    Lectures (Core Course): Please refer to BTch/GDE Handbook for dates/times/venues

    1. What is science? Nature & viewpoints [1]
    2. Scientists, teachers (Prof Standards), teaching and pedagogy [2]
    3. Learners and learning: Conception and misconceptions [3]
    4. Curriculum framework, syllabus, Lesson Planning and Instr. Design [3]
    5. Practicals, Assessment and Reporting [2]
    6. Resources & Support (ASTA/CSIRO/Primary Connections/RiAus) [5]

    Week 1
    Text/Readings & Assessments
    What’s it all about? Nature of Science –viewpoints
    Philosophy of Science –what is it?

    Week 2
    Scientist-teachers or teacher-scientists?
    Teaching and Pedagogy

    National Professional Standards for Teachers

    Professional Standards for Science Teachers (ASTA)

    Teaching Science
    Week 3
    National and International Studies

    NAP_SL, PISA & rTIMSS Studies (readings)
    National Assessment Program: Science Literacy,12181.html

    OECD Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA)

    PISA Computer-based assessment of science

    Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS)
    Week 4
    The Learner & Learning of Science
    Learning theories and models [[Skills Theory, MHC, Concept-Process; Task-Action Interaction Theory]
    Developmental stages and ACARA
    PrimaryConnections 5Es teaching and learning model [Engage, Explore, Explain, Elaborate, Evaluate]
    Week 5
    Piaget, Anderson & Krathwohl (Bloom), Vygotsky, SOLO, and the Dimensions of Learning
    Knowledge forms (explicit, tacit, procedural)
    Week 6
    Concepts, contents, processes, tasks, action
    Concept and Concept Mapping
    Conceptions and Misconceptions
    Week 7
    Learning Models & Curricula Frameworks [ACARA/NewSACE/SACSA]
    Taxonomies & Grids [PLP & Research Project]
    Introduction to Lesson Planning and Instructional Design [Backward Design Model]
    Week 8
    Planning a unit of work
    Classroom activities

    Specific Course Requirements


  • Assessment

    The University's policy on Assessment for Coursework Programs is based on the following four principles:

    1. Assessment must encourage and reinforce learning.
    2. Assessment must enable robust and fair judgements about student performance.
    3. Assessment practices must be fair and equitable to students and give them the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned.
    4. Assessment must maintain academic standards.

    Assessment Summary
    Attendance and Participation in tutorials and lectures 10%
    Percentage deducted for each tutorial workshop absent (Learning Outcomes 1, 8)

    Assignment #1 [Deadline: Week 9, 4.00pm] 50%
    Scientific conceptions and misconceptions (2500 words)
    (graduate attributes 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6) (Learning Outcomes 1, 6, 8)

    Assignment #2 [Deadlines: Weeks 13 – 16, tutorial workshop] 30%
    Small Group Discovery and Presentation (in pairs)
    Unit/lesson Design, Programming and Resources presented in Digital Portfolio format (to include notes, resources and links, presentation slides, lesson/unit plans, worksheets and assessment rubtics)
    (graduate attributes 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6) (Learning Outcomes 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8)

    Assignment #3 [Deadlines: Weeks 13 – 16, tutorial workshop] 10%
    Peer Assessment of Small Group Discovery Presentation (Tutorial Group)
    Unit/lesson Design, Programming and Resources  (using selected APST Standards)
    (graduate attributes 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6) (Learning Outcomes 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8)
    Assessment Related Requirements
    Students are required to satisfy the attendance at tutorials and lectures requirement and complete the two assignments by the stipulated deadlines, and obtain an overall pass to complete the course.
    Assessment Detail
    Assignment #1: Scientific conceptions and misconceptions (50%) [Deadline: Week 9]
    The misconceptions students hold about scientific concepts may prevent students from processing new scientific information, refining or extending concepts. This two-part assignment will enable you to assess student misconceptions, undertake a research project and assist in concept correction/realignment.

    Part A (20 marks): Essay [1000 words]
    Locate FIVE common misconceptions from your own learning of science (elementary/primary school days) or those you found in the literature [it is important you make references to the Australian Science Curriculum (Years 3-9) at
    and indicate explicitly the ‘Content Areas’ these misconceptions could be mapped onto]. Address why they are misconceptions, discuss how students might have these misconceptions, and provide specific ways to help students come to the correct conception. This should be carefully written and provide a detailed discussion. The crucial questions are:

    What are misconceptions and when/why/where/how do they originate?
    Where did the concept fall apart or break down?
    What can the teacher do when the misconception is identified?
    How can the teacher assess concept realignment?

    Part B (30 marks): Research Project [1500 words]
    Undertake an investigation (Research Project) to examine two of the misconceptions identified in Part A. A useful exemplar of this assignment is “An Exploration of Common Student Misconceptions in Science” available at You may want to interview 10-12 of your colleagues in the GDE/BTch-4th Year programs.

    Assignment #2: Unit/lesson Design, Programming and Resources (Small Group Discovery – in pairs)
    Science resources and networks are pertinent in enabling instructional design and delivery of instructions. Moreover, professionals network to share resources, critically evaluate their utility in the classroom and refine further pedagogical elements. With a colleague, identify three science websites/applets/resources (beyond those available in Australia), map them to the Australian Science Curriculum (Years 6-9), and present your findings during your tutorial session.

    In the identification and collation of information and ideas, you are to utilise information and communications technology (ICT) and innovations in engaging your students in enhancing their learning. You may want to critically evaluate these ICTs (Wiki, Blogs, Bulletin Board, Widgets, Apps, Applets) and demonstrate their effectiveness in enhancing student’s learning.

    A pertinent aspect of this presentation and assignment is to link the topic/contents and information to APST standards.
    Lecturer(s)/tutor(s) will guide the process and direct teams (working in pairs) to information and resources.

    Please note: Rubrics for all assignments (1, 2 & 3) will be distributed during Tutorial Workshops 1 & 2
    1. Students must retain a copy of all assignments submitted.
    2. Assignments must be submitted via Turnitin.
    2. All individual assignments must be attached to an Assignment Cover Sheet which must be signed and dated by the student before submission. 
    3. All group assignments must be attached to a Group Assignment Cover Sheet which must be signed and dated by all group members before submission. All team members are expected to contribute approximately equally to a group assignment.
    4. Markers can refuse to accept assignments which do not have a signed acknowledgement of the University‘s policy on plagiarism. 
    5. (Policy on late submission of work – including penalties)
    6. Guidelines for referencing are specific to each School/Program. Reports/essays for this course generally follow the APA format. 
    Assignment Submission and to Late Submission of Work

    The procedure for preparing and submitting assignments is as follows:
    · Assignments are to be accompanied by a completed Assignment Cover Sheet.
    · Under no circumstances should assignments be sent direct to the Course Coordinator/Lecturer. All assignments are to be submitted electronically through Turnitin.
    · Email or faxed assignments will not be accepted (unless by prior arrangement with the Professions Hub Officer).
    · Unless an extension of time has been granted, assignments must recorded electronically on or before the due date. Late submission will invariably result in a penalty (usually a 10% reduction for each day late) being applied.  Any assignment handed in 10 days or more late will automatically record a mark of zero and be directly returned to the student not marked.

    · If you are unable to finish the assignment by the due date you should submit whatever work you have completed.
    · Late submission will result in a penalty being applied. A 10% reduction of the maximum mark achieved for each day (includes weekend) late will apply. For example:
              If an assignment is 1 day late
              Mark achieved 58% - 10% (for 1 day late).
              Final mark = 48%
    Assignments that are 10 days late or more will not be marked and will be returned to student without feedback.

    · Always keep a duplicate copy of your assignments. The onus of proving that lost assignments have been completed will be on you. Proof must be given that the assignment was submitted electronically.
    · Extensions will not be granted under any circumstances on the basis of work related commitments.
    · Extensions will only be granted on exceptional circumstances, such as medical or associated grounds (please see UoA’s policy at Note Clause #5: Student’s responsibilities - Contact relevant academics to negotiate assessment accommodations.
    · If requesting an extension on the above grounds the Course Lecturer must be notified by email before the due date. Appropriate documentation, ie medical certificate etc, MUST then accompany the assignment. If such documentation is not received with the assignment it will be regarded as a late submission, as stated above.
    · It should be pointed out that if you are granted an extension of time to submit your assignment, the delay in finalising your results may prevent you from completing your program in time for graduation (in some circumstances). 

    Assignments will be returned to students as soon as practicable (every effort will be made to do so within three/four weeks of the due date) with written feedback. Assignments will generally be returned during tutorials/lectures or returned via email.

    Students must not submit work for an assignment that has previously been submitted for this course or any other course without prior approval from the lecturer-in-charge.
    Course Grading

    Grades for your performance in this course will be awarded in accordance with the following scheme:

    M10 (Coursework Mark Scheme)
    Grade Mark Description
    FNS   Fail No Submission
    F 1-49 Fail
    P 50-64 Pass
    C 65-74 Credit
    D 75-84 Distinction
    HD 85-100 High Distinction
    CN   Continuing
    NFE   No Formal Examination
    RP   Result Pending

    Further details of the grades/results can be obtained from Examinations.

    Grade Descriptors are available which provide a general guide to the standard of work that is expected at each grade level. More information at Assessment for Coursework Programs.

    Final results for this course will be made available through Access Adelaide.

  • Student Feedback

    The University places a high priority on approaches to learning and teaching that enhance the student experience. Feedback is sought from students in a variety of ways including on-going engagement with staff, the use of online discussion boards and the use of Student Experience of Learning and Teaching (SELT) surveys as well as GOS surveys and Program reviews.

    SELTs are an important source of information to inform individual teaching practice, decisions about teaching duties, and course and program curriculum design. They enable the University to assess how effectively its learning environments and teaching practices facilitate student engagement and learning outcomes. Under the current SELT Policy ( course SELTs are mandated and must be conducted at the conclusion of each term/semester/trimester for every course offering. Feedback on issues raised through course SELT surveys is made available to enrolled students through various resources (e.g. MyUni). In addition aggregated course SELT data is available.

  • Student Support
  • Policies & Guidelines
  • Fraud Awareness

    Students are reminded that in order to maintain the academic integrity of all programs and courses, the university has a zero-tolerance approach to students offering money or significant value goods or services to any staff member who is involved in their teaching or assessment. Students offering lecturers or tutors or professional staff anything more than a small token of appreciation is totally unacceptable, in any circumstances. Staff members are obliged to report all such incidents to their supervisor/manager, who will refer them for action under the university's student’s disciplinary procedures.

The University of Adelaide is committed to regular reviews of the courses and programs it offers to students. The University of Adelaide therefore reserves the right to discontinue or vary programs and courses without notice. Please read the important information contained in the disclaimer.