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Getting the balance right

In the first step this week we asked you to look at where you use demonstrations across your scheme of learning. Now we’d like you to focus in on one demonstration to identify the links between the demonstration and students’ own practical work.

One technique that maintains student engagement is to not reveal the result of the demonstration. This is particularly useful where the demonstration is about how to use the apparatus. Then, students work to discover the result of the experiment, rather than just replicating what they saw the teacher already do.


Choose one demonstration from your scheme of learning. Unpick the learning outcomes for that lesson, and identify how far you should go with the demonstration.

If the demonstration is for a ‘wow’ moment, how does that fit with the learning for the lesson?

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This article is from the free online course:

Managing the Practical Classroom in Secondary School Science

National STEM Learning Centre