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Reports in brief;Research;Science amp; Technology

Poor knowledge of science and lack of confidence in teaching it, especially at primary level, mean that teachers are demanding too little of their pupils.

A Scottish Council for Research in Education review concludes that teachers could do with more support to help them plan lessons, particularly in integrating information about subject matter with teaching strategies.

The review, commissioned by the Scottish Office in response to poor pupil performance in the first two years of secondary school, also highlights the need to choose suitable practical work carefully, to use information and communications technology as part of scientific investigations, to dedicate time to the "big ideas" that lay the foundations for pupils' scientific literacy and to encourage children to reflect on how they use evidence to come to conclusions and solve problems.'Effective Teaching of Science: A Review of Research' by Wynne Harlen, SCRE is available at: www.scre.ac.ukrienl64l64harlen.html

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