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A model way to explain science to your pupils

Most science teachers employ models to explain topics in class, but they don’t always use them in the most effective way, writes Phil Naylor, who looked at what the research recommended about what he needed to do to model successfully and trialled the techniques in his classroom

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It was a Thursday afternoon, I was teaching Year 9 about electricity, it was raining, and there wasn’t enough equipment to go around the department.

Welcome to the reality of science teaching.

But rather than complain, I saw this as an opportunity. I had been doing some research around the use of models and their application in science teaching. This was the perfect opportunity to apply it.

Modelling in science has a rich history, with the technique being rolled out to explain concepts that may be:

* Too small for students to see (eg, particle model).

* Too abstract to see or understand ...

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