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Developing teaching with an explicit focus on scientific thinking

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Taber, Keith S 
Ruthven, Kenneth 
Mercer, Neil 
Riga, Fran 
Luthman, Stefanie 


This article describes an attempt to integrate teaching about an aspect of science ‘content’ with an aspect of the nature of science (NOS), through the development of a practical research-informed teaching module for use in key stage 3 (ages 11–14). The module concerned electrical circuits, and the NOS aspect focused on the role of models and analogies in scientific work. The module offers one example of a general approach that may be adopted in developing curricular schemes of work that build synergy between teaching about NOS and specific science topics. This article reports the outcomes of an evaluation of teachers using the module for the first time, and reflects on the limitations of randomised field trials for determining the efficacy of pedagogic innovations.



nature of science, designing teaching units, analogies and models, dialogic science teaching, evaluating teaching innovations

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School Science Review

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The Association for Science Education

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The work reported here was made possible by ESRC Grant Number: RES-179-25-0003.