Today’s learning can no longer be satisfied by knowledge acquisition alone, learning to think is becoming increasingly important for learners. This paper reports the effectiveness of the “Accelerating Science Thinking” (AST) project which emphasizes teachers’ initiation of cognitive conflicts. Teachers involved in this project attended the professional development programme and were supported with design of learning activities which can be integrated into the existing primary science education area. The professional programme included accelerating science thinking strategies, activities and materials to enhance teachers’ awareness and ability in stimulating students’ thinking in science lessons. The AST project was implemented in 3 local primary schools with the teaching and learning of the following science topics: classification of natural resources, animal classification, forces and simple mechanics. The analysis of the pre and post-lesson interviews with teachers and students reported the effectiveness of the project in terms of student participation and group interactions. Students’ thinking with reasonable and scientific responses was found to be very different from the common science lessons of providing “model answers”. Suggestions from teachers on the design and materials, the difficulties teachers and students encountered, and the possibilities of implementing the AST in local primary classrooms are discussed.
|Publication status||Published - 2008|