In the UK there has been a fundamental change of government policy towards teaching fact-based subjects, with a new impulse to free up the curriculum for more imaginative and cross-curriculum teaching–allowing 20% of teaching time to be at the discretion of the individual teacher.

The recent Government minister responsible for Education, Professor Hepple, has illustrated how this might be interpreted for science, through the subject of Climate in Crisis and the issue of sustainable growth, as this clearly connects with other subjects, such as Geography, History, Physics, Economics, Ecology and current affairs.

In this way, he believes that, at both school level and across all ages, the teaching of science should become:
• more appealing and interesting;
• more relevant to students’ lives, connecting with the wider curriculum;
• more involving, participatory
• and more playful.

The following would, therefore, form the basis of my 20 minute paper to plenary and/or a one hour Workshop.

By taking key controversies behind the objective facts, for example (a) the benefits of the use of nuclear power for the generation of electricity versus the risks or (b) the issue of Designer Babies and the possibility of parents choosing the sex and characteristics for their children, I would explore a variety of approaches that could be applied to a range of students and abilities across the learning spectrum.

Furthermore, I would outline and exemplify a number of drama techniques that could be exploited as transferable teaching and learning strategies for a whole range of subjects within Science. These would include:
• Roleplay–by taking a historical or significant contemporary figure in the scientific sphere, demonstrating that this does not involve ‘acting’ skills on the part of the trainer so much as the representation of the arguments and points-of-view of this figure.
• Hot-seating–this is an extension of role-play, this is also a skill that can be exercised by the students as well as the trainer within the context of the learning situation.
• Simulation–this involves the structuring of a more concerted project, for example for a whole year group over an extended period. This could entail more detailed engagement and research across the curriculum (eg. graphics and displays, History, and Geography etc.).

Please Note: As the workshop would engage the participants practically, and I would be illustrating the techniques employed, I suggest a maximum number of 25 for this session. Plus delegates would be provided with a simple hard-copy of information and a summary of the techniques used within the workshop.

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Public Communication of Science and Technology

 

The uses of drama as a teaching strategy

Richard Pinner  

In the UK there has been a fundamental change of government policy towards teaching fact-based subjects, with a new impulse to free up the curriculum for more imaginative and cross-curriculum teaching–allowing 20% of teaching time to be at the discretion of the individual teacher.

The recent Government minister responsible for Education, Professor Hepple, has illustrated how this might be interpreted for science, through the subject of Climate in Crisis and the issue of sustainable growth, as this clearly connects with other subjects, such as Geography, History, Physics, Economics, Ecology and current affairs.

In this way, he believes that, at both school level and across all ages, the teaching of science should become:
• more appealing and interesting;
• more relevant to students’ lives, connecting with the wider curriculum;
• more involving, participatory
• and more playful.

The following would, therefore, form the basis of my 20 minute paper to plenary and/or a one hour Workshop.

By taking key controversies behind the objective facts, for example (a) the benefits of the use of nuclear power for the generation of electricity versus the risks or (b) the issue of Designer Babies and the possibility of parents choosing the sex and characteristics for their children, I would explore a variety of approaches that could be applied to a range of students and abilities across the learning spectrum.

Furthermore, I would outline and exemplify a number of drama techniques that could be exploited as transferable teaching and learning strategies for a whole range of subjects within Science. These would include:
• Roleplay–by taking a historical or significant contemporary figure in the scientific sphere, demonstrating that this does not involve ‘acting’ skills on the part of the trainer so much as the representation of the arguments and points-of-view of this figure.
• Hot-seating–this is an extension of role-play, this is also a skill that can be exercised by the students as well as the trainer within the context of the learning situation.
• Simulation–this involves the structuring of a more concerted project, for example for a whole year group over an extended period. This could entail more detailed engagement and research across the curriculum (eg. graphics and displays, History, and Geography etc.).

Please Note: As the workshop would engage the participants practically, and I would be illustrating the techniques employed, I suggest a maximum number of 25 for this session. Plus delegates would be provided with a simple hard-copy of information and a summary of the techniques used within the workshop.

A copy of the full paper has not yet been submitted.

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