The ‘great’ (outstanding) science lesson

What makes a great, or dare I say outstanding, science lesson? There is no single answer to this question and I don’t think research will ever identify the one pedagogical strategy that works in all contexts, but there are a few general tools that you can choose from that are discussed in the pages below. This report from the EEF, Improving Secondary Science, is also a great source of ideas.
The great science lesson

First, start with what you want your students to know and do. Introduce, build and apply. And, like any healthy diet, variety is the key and so use a range of pedagogies to teach your intended outcomes, assess, reflect and then try again.

Expert teaching

This paper from the Institute for Teaching presents some fantastic ideas and research to consider what makes expert teaching? 

  1. Planning lessons: the EPIBA approach
  2. Clearly defined lesson objectives
  3. The Do Now
  4. Activate prior knowledge
  5. Challenge your students
  6. Use a context
  7. Challenge all students appropriately 
  8. Use direct instruction to provide clear explanations
  9. Model abstract ideas in concrete ways
  10. Use questioning to probe understanding
  11. Check for understanding – give and get feedback
  12. Troubleshooting – why did it go wrong?