Marking Criteria

Grade Received on Assignment 2:


(cohort mean: 85%)

Assignment Feedback:

You have uploaded a strong artefact. Your statement justifying which Graduating Teacher Standard (GTS) your artefact demonstrated and highlighting the reasons why you selected it was exemplary. Excellent and concise work Trent!

Your response is of exceptionally high quality and shows excellent knowledge and understanding of the importance and potential of science within the curriculum and teaching. You have supported your argument well with an extensive range of evidence. Excellent written communication written in an appropriate register. We are convinced!

– Ruth Lemon, 5 June 2017

Assignment 2 Answer:

Task 2: Artefacts to Demonstrate Graduating Teacher Standards


(Media release was not approved for children’s pictures)

Graduate Teacher Standard: S2A

This artefact demonstrates that I have knowledge of a range of relevant theories and research about pedagogy, human development and learning.

Current literature suggests that effective pedagogies provide students with hands-on activities (Bell, 2008; Daniels, 2016; Skamp, 2011). This picture illustrates a chemical reaction, as the vinegar and baking soda mixed together changes their molecular structure. Physical activities and concrete examples (such as this) build students conceptual understanding (Clements, 2000) and provide opportunities for effective learning (Daniels, 2016).

Furthermore, this image illustrates aspects of a community focused pedagogy. Wenger (1998) explains that social interaction is essential for effective learning. Therefore, each student was provided with the displayed resources (a bag containing vinegar and baking soda), so that they too could participate in the activity. Mercer & Littleton (2007) notes that an efficacious pedagogy requires a community approach, eliciting immersion and support from advanced peers, which in-turn promoting metacognitive strategies (Skidmore & Murakami, 2016).

Human development and learning was also captured in this artefact. Interactions with the physical environment, as illustrated in the picture, are key components of students producing independent development achievements (Kolb, 2014). The artefact shows an activity that was determined (from pre-assessments) to place students in the zone of proximal development, which is where learning occurs (Kolb, 2014; Young, 2007).

Task 3: Your response

Dear Mrs. Smith,

Thank you for your email expressing concern about the difficulty and effectiveness of teaching science at primary school.  I respectfully disagree with this statement.

The science lesson taught on Tuesday demonstrated a chemical reaction, by mixing vinegar and baking soda. This science concept is included in the New Zealand Curriculum (Ministry of Education, 2007) and has been identified as a key competency required for work and life-long learning (Ministry of Education, 2007).

I would like to point out that teachers do not have to know the complexities of science to teach it (Sexton, 2017). In fact, attempting to teach complex (scientific) knowledge can have a detrimental impact on learning as it is no longer authentic for the child (Putnam & Borko, 2000). Moore (2006) notes that teaching practice has a greater impact on teaching the wider relationships between scientific knowledge, society and culture. It is therefore essential to identify what children currently know, so that activities provided can be meaningful to them and learning can take place (Osborne & Freyberg, 1985; Young, 2007).

I’m glad your child enjoyed the science session. Current research suggests that fun activities can be key performance drivers (Bolton & Houlihan, 2009; Hamilton & McFarlane, 2005) that allow students to explore and make sense of their world (Akpan, 2013; Bell, 2008; Obe & Qualter, 2014; Tandogan & Orhan, 2007). Daniels (2001) has found that in teaching scientific knowledge, we are in-fact developing children’s understanding of everyday situations. Therefore, it becomes evident that teaching science is as much about scientific knowledge as it is rationality.

A key component of teaching science is that it allows students to be active in their learning (Michael, 2006). Active participation is known to create more learning opportunities (Fenwick, Edwards, & Sawchuk, 2015; Kolb, 2014) and is an important trait for becoming a life-long learner (Ministry of Education, 2007).

By teaching science, we prepare students for the future. Technology is embedded in society (Rip, 2000). Unfortunately, this means that people who are science illiterate will find it difficult to understand the increasingly technological world (Hodson, 1998). It is therefore essential that children begin to develop their science literacy in primary school so that they have a reservoir of useful skills and knowledge in an increasingly technology driven world (Obe & Qualter, 2014; Rip, 2000).

Please note, that the content within this email, as well as science itself, is tentative, and therefore I am more than happy to discuss any reservations you may still hold toward science being taught at school.
Warm regards,


The Teacher



Akpan, B. (2013). Science Education: A Global perspective. Retrieved from:

Bell, R. L. (2008). Teaching the nature of science through process skills: Activities for grades 3-8. Allyn & Bacon.

Bolton, S. C., & Houlihan, M. (2009). Are we having fun yet? A consideration of workplace fun and engagement. Retrieved from:

Clements, D. H. (2000). ‘Concrete’manipulatives, concrete ideas. Contemporary Issues in Early Childhood. Retrieved from:

Daniels, H (2001). Vygotsky and pedagogy. London: Routledge Falmer.

Daniels, H. (2016). Vygotsky and pedagogy. London: Routledge.

Fenwick, T., Edwards, R., & Sawchuk, P. (2015). Emerging approaches to educational research: Tracing the socio-material. Routledge.

Hamilton, N., & McFarlane, J. (2005). Children learn through play. Putting Children First. Retrieved from:

Hodson, D. (1998). Teaching and learning science: Towards a personalized approach. McGraw-Hill Education (UK).

Kolb, D. A. (2014). Experiential learning: Experience as the source of learning and development. FT press.

Mercer, N., & Littleton, K. (2007). Dialogue and the development of children’s thinking: A sociocultural approach. Routledge.

Michael, J. (2006). Where’s the evidence that active learning works?. Advances in physiology education. Retrieved from:

Ministry of Education (2007). New Zealand Curriculum. Wellington, New Zealand: Learning Media.

Moore, A. (2006). Schooling, society and curriculum. Routledge.

OBE, W. H., & Qualter, A. (2014). The teaching of science in primary schools. routledge.

Osborne, R., & Freyberg, P. (1985). Learning in Science: The Implications of Children’s Science. Auckland: Heinneman.

Putnam, R. T. & Borko, H. (2000). What do new views of knowledge and thinking have to say about research on teacher learning?. Retrieved from:

Rip, A. (2000). There’s no turn like the empirical turn in the philosophy of technology. Retrieved from:

Sexton, S. S. (2017). In The New Zealand Curriculum: Is It Science Education or Education Through Science? One Educator’s Argument. In Science Education: A Global Perspective (pp. 219-233). Springer International Publishing.

Skamp, K. (2011). Teaching primary science constructively. Cengage Learning.

Skidmore, D., & Murakami, K. (2016). Dialogic Pedagogy: An Introduction. Dialogic Pedagogy: The Importance of Dialogue in Teaching and Learning51, 1.

Tandogan, R. O., & Orhan, A. (2007). The Effects of Problem-Based Active Learning in Science Education on Students’ Academic Achievement, Attitude and Concept Learning. Online Submission3(1), 71-81.

Wenger, E. (1998). Communities of practice: Learning as a social system. Systems thinker. Retrieved from:

Young, M. (2007). Bringing knowledge back in: From social constructivism to social realism in the sociology of education. Routledge.