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A 'Science Capital' teaching approach

“ You’re not just bombarding them with information. You’re drawing them in with things that they understand, that are relevant to them. That makes lessons a bit more interesting and more successful.” (Teacher quote, Godec, S., King, H. & Archer, L. 2017)

To address the four areas of Science Capital that we discussed in the previous step, a scheme of learning can start to incorporate ideas that may affect how teachers deliver and engage with the content. There are eight dimensions of science capital which we, as teachers, can help shape and a good curriculum plan can help out:

  1. Scientific literacy.
  2. Science-related attitudes, values and dispositions.
  3. Knowledge about the transferability of science skills.
  4. Science media consumption.
  5. Participation in out of school science learning contexts.
  6. Family science skills, knowledge and qualifications.
  7. Knowing people in science-related jobs.
  8. Talking to others about science in everyday life.

STEM Learning worked with the research teams in schools and the results have been very encouraging, especially for students who might otherwise have become disengaged with science.


Download the Science capital teaching approach pack for teachers (PDF) available from the Institute of Education, UCL.

Choose ONE of the eight dimensions of a student’s science capital (page 39-40).

Give ONE way that this could be supported by a scheme of learning.

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This article is from the free online course:

Curriculum Design for Secondary School Science

National STEM Learning Centre

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