What will the spider have for tea?

5th April 1996 at 01:00
Primary teachers face a conflict between the demands of the 5-14 science curriculum and the way younger children learn through a strategy of personalising subjects, known as storying, researchers at Strathclyde University have found.

The problem has arisen because pupils between the ages of three and seven gain an understanding of subjects in a way that is not considered scientific.

For example, if they are studying a spider for "minibeasts in science", they will ask where it "sleeps", where it "lives" and what it will have for "tea".

They use this method to remember the spider, its habits and how the creature differs from other insects. But those who draw up the primary science curriculum, usually specialists drawn from secondary schools, do not con-sider such a strategy to be "proper science".

Sue Kleinberg and Sue Ellis, based at the Jordanhill campus, are now working on a new model of "emergent science" which takes into account the "unscientific" methods of learning used by the young.

"Emergent science for this age-group would give teachers the model they need to make a bridge between infant understanding and more abstract understanding, " Mrs Ellis said.

Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number


The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.

Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.

Subscribe now