AusVELS Science presentation F to 10

An inquiry approach across
Science Levels 5–8
Maria James
3 September 2013
Session aims
• To share ideas in developing a sample snapshot
unit/sequence of lessons for Years 5–8 based on
generation of questions (an important element
of an inquiry approach to science learning)
• To share ideas in planning a sample snapshot
unit of work integrating the three strands of
the AusVELS Science curriculum (SU, SIS and
Use the ‘vote’ button to indicate whether you
are primarily interested in:
Levels 5 & 6
Levels 7 & 8
Levels 5–8
Where can I find AusVELS?
VCAA websites
AusVELS curriculum website:
AusVELS resources and support website:
Inquiry-based curriculum
Levels F–4
Level 5-6:
With guidance,
methods to
questions or
solve problems
… decide which
variable should
be changed and
measured in fair
The Australian Curriculum: Science emphasises inquiry-based
teaching and learning
Teacher driven
Semi structured
Student driven
Opportunities for student-led open inquiry should be provided
within each phase of schooling
Level 7–8:
Collaboratively and individually plan and conduct
a range of investigation types … in fair tests,
measure and control variables, and select
equipment to collect data with accuracy
appropriate to the task
Levels 9–10
A model for examining ideas about inquiry
1. Level of integration of skills and domain knowledge:
• Skills taught as separate unit ‘the scientific method’
• Science skills used to reinforce application of knowledge
• Content and skills integrated through the unit
• Context provided for content and skill integration
2. Level of student direction or choice/level of scaffolding needed:
Prescribed processes  independent task
• Focus on reasoning ability
• Focus on identifying variables
• Assessing evidence and developing understanding
• Report writing
Age-relevant curriculum
Curriculum focus
• Foundation – Level 2: awareness of self and the local
• Levels 3 – Level 6: recognising questions that can be
investigated scientifically and investigating them
• Levels 7 – 10: explaining phenomena involving
science and its applications
Stimulus material – e.g. media articles
Sharks? No need to cry
for kelp, says ocean
Lawrence Money
The Age
Tuesday September 3, 2013 p.8
“Sharks? No need to cry for kelp, says ocean expert”
…Aquatic scientist Sheree Marris (has) good news…there are lots more sharks…“It’s a great
sign…Sharks are top food-chain predators and increased numbers in the protected areas is a
healthy sign”… “They don’t eat you…You have more chance of being killed by a toaster, a
horse or a vending machine.”
…Marris…says more than 60 marine parks have been set up in the Philippines in the past 10
years and they are monitored by international volunteers. The reason: fish are the prime
food source for most of the population and the protected waters help swell the number and
diversity, leading to better fishing in the adjacent waters.
…“One of the big challenges facing Port Phillip Bay is that people think it’s a marine
wasteland. They don’t realise what an incredible asset we have on our doorstep. It rivals the
tropical reefs in colour and diversity. Eighty per cent of the marine life found here on the
southern shores are found nowhere else in the world. You compare that to the
overglamorised Great Barrier Reef where only 15 per cent is unique.”
…(Matters) says most Melburnians would be amazed at the corals, kelp forests, sponge
gardens, seagrass meadows and rocky reefs that lay beneath the waters of the bay.
Generating questions
What questions
does the
stimulus material
lead you to ask?
Science Understanding strand:
content descriptions
Level 5
• Living things have structural features and adaptations that help them to survive in their environment
• Solids, liquids and gases have different observable properties and behave in different ways
• Light from a source forms shadows and can be absorbed, reflected and refracted
Level 6
• The growth and survival of living things are affected by the physical conditions of their environment
• Changes to materials can be reversible, such as melting, freezing, evaporating; or irreversible, such as burning and
• Sudden geological changes or extreme weather conditions can affect Earth’s surface
Level 7
• There are differences within and between groups of organisms; classification helps organise this diversity
• Interactions between organisms can be described in terms of food chains and food webs; human activity can affect
these interactions
• Mixtures, including solutions, contain a combination of pure substances that can be separated using a range of
• Change to an object’s motion is caused by unbalanced forces acting on the object
• Earth’s gravity pulls objects towards the centre of the Earth
Level 8
• Multicellular organisms contain systems of organs that carry out specialised functions that enable them to survive
and reproduce
• Sedimentary, igneous and metamorphic rocks contain minerals and are formed by processes that occur within
11 Earth
over a variety of timescales
Refining questions
Science Understanding
• Biological sciences
• Chemical sciences
• Earth and space sciences
• Physical sciences
Activity: How can looking
across the sub-strands of the
Science Understanding strand
provide breadth and depth?
Science as a Human Endeavour
Sub-strand: Use and influence of science
Levels 5 & 6
• Scientific understandings, discoveries and inventions are used to solve
problems that directly affect peoples’ lives
• Scientific knowledge is used to inform personal and community decisions
Levels 7 & 8
• Science and technology contribute to finding solutions to a range of
contemporary issues; these solutions may impact on other areas of society
and involve ethical considerations
• Science understanding influences the development of practices in areas of
human activity such as industry, agriculture and marine and terrestrial
resource management
Science as a Human Endeavour
Sub-strand: Nature and development of science
Levels 5 & 6
• Science involves testing predictions by gathering data and using evidence to
develop explanations of events and phenomena
• Important contributions to the advancement of science have been made by
people from a range of cultures
Levels 7 & 8
• Scientific knowledge changes as new evidence becomes available, and some
scientific discoveries have significantly changed people’s understanding of the
• Science knowledge can develop through collaboration and connecting ideas
across the disciplines of science
Refining questions
Science as a Human Endeavour
• Nature and development of science
• Use and influence of science
Activity: How can consideration
of the Science as a Human
Endeavour strand enhance
science lesson/unit planning?
Science Inquiry Skills
Questioning and predicting
Levels 5 & 6
With guidance, pose questions to clarify practical problems or
inform a scientific investigation, and predict what the findings of
an investigation might be
Levels 7 & 8
Identify questions and problems that can be investigated
scientifically and make predictions based on scientific knowledge
Science Inquiry Skills
Processing and analysing data and information
Levels 5 & 6
• Construct and use a range of representations, including tables and graphs, to
represent and describe observations, patterns or relationships in data using
digital technologies as appropriate
• Compare data with predictions and use as evidence in developing
Levels 7 & 8
• Construct and use a range of representations, including graphs, keys and
models to represent and analyse patterns or relationships, including using
digital technologies as appropriate
• Summarise data, from students’ own investigations and secondary sources,
and use scientific understanding to identify relationships and draw conclusions
Other resources related to oceans?
“ … the fundamental purpose of
assessment is to establish where
learners are in their learning at the
time of assessment.”
Masters G (2013), ‘Reforming Educational Assessment:
Imperatives, principles and challenges’, Australian Education
Review, 5-6
Measuring achievement
Achievement Standards (available on
the AusVELS curriculum website)
Progression points examples
(available on the AusVELS Resources
and Support website)
Progression point examples
• Assist teachers in the assessment and reporting of student achievement.
• In AusVELS, the progression point examples are provided in 0.5 increments.
Progression point examples are
designed to:
Progression point examples are NOT
designed to:
• illustrate how a student might show
evidence of progression
• be used in conjunction with other
tools such as annotated student work
• be modified by schools so that the
examples reflect the curriculum
structure and timing of when
knowledge and skills are taught and
• replace standards
• be used as a definitive or mandated
set of progression measures for
student assessment
• be the only resource used by teachers
to assign progression points on
student reports
Measuring achievement: Science inquiry skills
SIS Progression point 4.5: collect data systematically
SIS Progression point 5.0: collect data systematically and begin to draw reasonable
conclusions from the data.
SIS Progression point 5.5: collect data systematically and analyse data to identify some
relationships between variables and to draw reasonable conclusions
Level 6 SIS Achievement standard: They construct tables and graphs to collect and
organise their data, and to identify and analyse patterns and relationships.
SIS Progression point 6.5: systematically collect, and accurately record, experimental data
SIS Progression point 7.0: analyse and interpret collected and recorded experimental
data, consistent with investigation aims
SIS Progression point 7.5: comment on the validity of conclusions drawn from
experimental data
Level 8 SIS Achievement standard: Students summarise data from different sources and
construct representations of their data to reveal and analyse patterns and trends, and use
these when justifying their conclusions .
Levels 5 & 6 achievement: Science as a Human Endeavour
SHE Progression point 4.5: explain how the work of a particular Australian scientist has
benefited society
SHE Progression point 5.0: explain how scientific collaboration has led to developing
knowledge about, or solutions to, science-related problems
SHE Progression point 5.5: compare different approaches to developing scientific
knowledge or solving a scientific problem, including the role of scientific debate
Level 6 SHE achievement standard: Students explain how scientific knowledge
develops from many people’s contributions and how scientific understandings,
discoveries and inventions affect peoples’ lives.
Levels 7 & 8 achievement: Science Understanding
SU Progression point 6.5: use a range of provided simple dichotomous keys to identify a
set of living and/or non-living things.
SU Progression point 7.0: create a dichotomous key to classify a set of provided living
and/or non-living things
SU Progression point 7.5: use a five-kingdom taxonomic classification key to identify,
distinguish between and give the scientific names of a range of living organisms
Level 8 SU achievement standard: They use dichotomous keys to identify and classify
living things. They explain how living organisms can be classified into major taxonomic
groups based on observable similarities and differences.
Maria James
Curriculum Manager, Science
Email: [email protected]
Telephone: 9032 1722
AusVELS Unit
Email: [email protected]

similar documents