EDUC5465 Science Curriculum I

6 points
(see Timetable)
Semester 1UWA (Perth)Face to face
This unit focuses on the teaching and learning of science in secondary school. It includes theory necessary to understand the teaching of science such as constructivism, students' conceptions, conceptual change, scientific literacy and the nature of science. The essential, practical aspects of teaching science including science curriculum, planning, teaching strategies, laboratory safety and assessment are covered. The unit explores issues facing science educators today such as the use of analogies and models, motivation, resources, excursions and using information and communication technology (ICT) in the classroom.
Students are able to (1) demonstrate an awareness of the developmental needs and interests of adolescent learners in science; (2) compose a personal philosophy for teaching and learning science which synthesises and critiques competing orientations and theoretical frameworks of the subject; (3) explain children's learning of science in terms of theory including constructivism and conceptual change; (4) demonstrate a repertoire of teaching and learning strategies relevant to the secondary science curriculum; (5) understand the current science curriculum; (6) display sound specialist content knowledge; (7) plan and evaluate student centred instructional sequences (lesson plans and programs) for effective and engaging learning; (8) understand and apply an understanding of scientific literacy and numeracy to the teaching of science in secondary school; (9) display the skills required to evaluate and develop instructional resources for science, including ICT and other educational technologies; (10) understand effective assessment practice in science through the planning of assessment tasks; (11) display an awareness of diverse student learning needs through the planning of differentiated learning and the selection of differentiated resources; (12) communicate effectively and professionally (in writing, orally and non-verbally) with peers, university staff and other professionals; (13) display high standards of professional conduct, including appropriate self-management, when engaging with peers, school and university staff and other professionals; (14) reflect on and evaluate personal and professional development in order to promote continual learning; and (15) demonstrate research and ICT skills.
Typically this unit is assessed in the following ways: (1) oral communication; (2) a series of lesson plans; and (3) a learning program. Further information is available in the unit outline.

To pass this unit, a student must: (a) achieve an overall mark of 50 per cent or higher for the unit; and (b) achieve the requisite requirements(s) or a mark of 50 per cent or greater, whichever is higher and specified in the unit outline, for the oral communication, a series of lesson plans, and a learning program components.

Supplementary assessment is not available in this unit.
Unit Coordinator(s)
Professor Vaille Dawson
Unit rules
enrolment in one of the following: Graduate Diploma in Education; Master of Teaching; Master of Science Communication and Education
Advisable prior study:
at least four units of science such as biology, human biology, chemistry
physics, with at least two units at Level 2
Contact hours
30 contact hours (150 hours total time commitment). Further information available in the unit outline.
Unit Outline

Venville, G. and Dawson, V., eds The Art of Teaching Science, 2nd edn: Allen and Unwin 2012

  • The availability of units in Semester 1, 2, etc. was correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change.
  • All students are responsible for identifying when they need assistance to improve their academic learning, research, English language and numeracy skills; seeking out the services and resources available to help them; and applying what they learn. Students are encouraged to register for free online support through GETSmart; to help themselves to the extensive range of resources on UWA's STUDYSmarter website; and to participate in WRITESmart and (ma+hs)Smart drop-ins and workshops.
  • Books and other material wherever listed may be subject to change. Book lists relating to 'Preliminary reading', 'Recommended reading' and 'Textbooks' are, in most cases, available at the University Co-operative Bookshop (from early January) and appropriate administrative offices for students to consult. Where texts are listed in the unit description above, an asterisk (*) indicates that the book is available in paperback.