Children are naturally curious about the world we live in and are eager to ask questions to develop their understanding. Children should be given the opportunity to explore and discover new ideas for themselves. (Beckley et al, 2009, p. 196) The National Curriculum states that science should be taught in a way that develops the skills, attitudes and ways of working that express their scientific values by be curious, using their imagination, raising questions, working collaborate and performing practical investigations. (https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/national-curriculum accessed on 13.05.2014)
By children raising questions within science enables them to develop valuable problem solving skills. Teachers should aim to use children’s questions as often as possible, questioning as a process skill plays an important part of the scientific process. (Haigh, 2010, p. 76) When children are able to ask questions and investigate the answers, they feel in charge of their own learning and can feel extremely motivated towards learning. However, it is important not carry out investigations to reinforce existing knowledge as children will become disengaged if they already know the answers. Teachers are also able to assess their existing knowledge as well as their question raising ability. (Haigh, 2010, p. 86)
Not all questions will have a practical element to them, however the teacher does not need to do all the answering, group work and other members of the class may be able to answer the question. (Dunne, Peacock, 2012, p. 86) This will develop speaking and listening skills and will create discussions which enhances their critical thinking skills.
Children’s questions can be a positive starting point for helping teachers pla...
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...the questions in their lesson planning in order for children to explore any misconceptions they may have.(Haigh, 2011, p. 32) By allowing a child-led approach to scientific enquiry in a classroom requires flexibility in planning and performing practical investigations. It is important to differentiate within the classroom, children are able to scaffold other children’s learning, by using the KWHL grid will be able to scaffold children’s learning.
Teachers can often feel pressured by children asking questions as they feel that they are expected to know the answers, this can have an impact on allowing the children to begin science lessons with questions.(Ward et al, 2005, p. 46) Time is also a factor, teachers allocate a specific amount of time each week to fulfil the learning objective and feel that they do not have enough time for children to ask questions.
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