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This content is taken from the National STEM Learning Centre's online course, Managing the Practical Classroom in Secondary School Science. Join the course to learn more.

Skip to 0 minutes and 11 secondsHello, my name is Adam Little, and my name is Tim Bradbury and we are Professional Development Leaders here at the National STEM Learning Centre here in York. In this course we will be looking at the best practice when it comes to managing the practical science classroom. This course is aimed at newly qualified teachers, early career teachers or teachers who have been asked to teach science outside of their specialism with little experience of teaching in a science laboratory classroom. Over the next three weeks we will be looking at departmental processes for practical work, the importance of behaviour management in the laboratory, health and safety policies and room layout, routines and departmental rules.

Skip to 0 minutes and 50 secondsIn the second week we explore creating a classroom culture for practical work, where we will get you to establish the purpose of practical work, as well as, creating a climate for learning, looking at areas like behaviour, respect, attitudes, inclusivity and diversity. For the final week we will bring these ideas together to maximise learning through practical work. This will cover demonstrations in practical lessons, how we provide instructions and thinking about how this can be altered, and finally looking at group and individual work. The overall goals of this course are to help you reflect on your current laboratory management, and where you can develop, by adding to your toolkit of strategies and techniques to manage students safely.

Skip to 1 minute and 25 secondsYou will also build a practical learning environment that facilitates independent learning and resilience to maximise student learning. We look forward to hearing your thoughts and ideas and discussing these with you as you work through the course. Please introduce yourself and tell us a little about where you teach in the comments below.

Welcome to managing the practical classroom

Welcome to Managing the Practical Classroom in Secondary School Science. This is a professional development course from the National STEM Learning Centre for teachers of students aged 11-19 years. This course id designed for newly qualified, recently qualified and experienced teachers of science who don’t have a science background. Teaching assistants and technicians may also find this course useful to consider the wider context in which practical science is taught.

Course support

To get the most out of this course, you’ll collaborate with other teachers, both in your workplace and with others online, to take the ideas from this course into practice.

Download our Quick Guide to Effective Online CPD, which includes a useful reflection grid to use throughout the course. You can download the reflection grid template or copy a Google Doc version to complete each week.

All courses from the National STEM Learning Centre are supported by expert educators and mentors. We’ll be supporting your professional development between 16 March - 10 April 2020 in the discussions throughout the course. There is also a question and answer opportunity with Adam Little and Tim Bradbury, post your questions in the Q&A step at the end of Week 3 before 8 April 2020

Self-audit of your understanding of curriculum design

This self-audit task is for teachers and educators, to help you review your current practice and thinking on curriculum design. Setting a development goal and being able to assess your own development is a crucial part of professional practice, so we will be revisiting your responses to the self-audit later. It does not affect completion of the course on FutureLearn.

When completing the self-audit, there are no right or wrong answers. Answer honestly about where you are now, not where you want to be. Your answers will help you to identify what areas of practice you need to focus on the most as you progress through the course.

Self-audit task

  1. Access the self-audit task and complete it.
  2. At the end of the self-audit, click My responses.
  3. Click Download as PDF.
  4. Save the PDF where you will be able to retrieve it to review at the end of the course and acts as a record of your professional development

Introductions and goals

After completing the self-audit task, in the comments below:

  • Introduce yourself to the rest of the group, saying your role and where you teach.
  • Share your professional development goal from the self-audit. You may find other teachers have similar goals, and you can discuss the ideas in the course with them over the next few weeks.

Tip: Click Mark as Complete at the bottom right of each step you complete on this course to help you keep track of your progress. Mark over 90% of the course steps complete and you’ll be eligible for a Certificate of Achievement and a STEM Certificate digital badge when you Upgrade. See step 3.14 for more details.

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This video is from the free online course:

Managing the Practical Classroom in Secondary School Science

National STEM Learning Centre