Science Education: Pedagogical approaches in science teaching and learning

MQF Level: 7

ECTS Value: 6 ECTS

Self Study Hours: 72

Contact Hours: 30

Assessment Hours: 48


Overall Objectives and Outcomes

The way science is taught inevitably provides implicit messages to learners concerning the nature of science. Furthermore, explicit messages about questioning, experimentation or evidence are undermined if these processes are not central to the learning process. In our modern world science and its applications are so pervasive and powerful that they impinge on virtually every facet of life including: ethical, political, legal, economic, environmental, geographical, cultural, social, medical, spiritual and religious aspects. Science education is thus pivotal in nurturing students to become active citizens, critical thinkers and problem-solvers. The module aims to develop a deep understanding of the pedagogical approaches and strategies necessary to create engaging and effective science teaching and learning experiences aligned with the principles of Science Education. It also aims to lay the fundamentals for the other science methodology modules forming part of this qualification programme. 

By the end of this programme, participants should be able to:


a. Organise the respective science curriculum into meaningful episodes of learning for one’s students;

b. Develop a critical understanding of the underpinning methodological framework of science teaching;

c. Develop various pedagogical approaches and use appropriate strategies that are relevant and contextualised for one’s students, and that challenge established methodologies and pedagogies as necessary.

d. Develop pedagogical content knowledge, that is, develop ways of representing the subject to make it comprehensible to students and become aware of subject content learning difficulties.

e. Design and implement assessment strategies that inform instructional decision-making.

f. Engage in reflective practice and professional dialogue to evaluate teaching methods and assess their impact on one’s students’ learning.

g. Apply contextual analysis skills to understand how implicit messages in scientific content can vary across cultural, social, and historical contexts, fostering a more inclusive and globally perspective.


a. Demonstrate an understanding of pedagogical theories and their application in science education to promote student engagement and meaningful learning;

b. Understand the methods of science and why current scientific knowledge is both contestable and testable by further inquiry.

c. Recognise that there is no singular method of science although there is an underlying structure to the nature of scientific reasoning.

d. Appreciate the need for flexibility and adaptation in alignment with lesson dynamics.

e. Identify implicit messages embedded within scientific content, including underlying assumptions, biases, and cultural influences.


a. Interpret the effectiveness of the various science teaching methodologies;

b. Create relevant schemes of work and lesson plans that address the different learning needs, styles and abilities in the classroom;

c. Employ various forms of assessment practices in line with the teaching and learning process.

d. Develop well-structured schemes of work and coherent lesson plans that outline clear objectives, teaching strategies, assessment methods and resources for effective teaching and learning.

e. Adapt teaching approaches, materials, and assessments to meet the diverse needs, learning styles, and abilities of students, ensuring equitable access and engagement for all learners.

f. Create an inclusive environment that is conducive to learning, where students are open to learning new ideas, collaborate and learn from each other.

g. Develop effective communication skills that engage the learners and promote interactivity.

h. Generate thoughtful and informed questions about implicit messages in scientific content encouraging a curiosity-driven approach to knowledge acquisition.

Assessment Methods

This module will be assessed through: Presentations; Assignment.

Suggested Readings

Core Reading List
  1. Osborne, J. & Dillion, J. (2010) Good Practice in Science Teaching: What Research has to Say. (2 ed.) Maidenhead: McGraw-Hill.
  2. Toplis, R. (Ed.). (2015). Learning to teach science in the secondary school: A companion to school experience. London: Routledge
  3. J, & Ireson, G. (2018). Science Learning, Science Teaching. (4th ed.) London: Routledge.
Supplementary Reading List:
  1. Kind, V. & Aston, K. (Ed.). (2022). Teaching Secondary Chemistry. 3rd Hodder Education.
  2. De Winter, J. & Hardman, M. (Ed.). (2021). Teaching Secondary Physics. 3rd Hodder Education.
  3. Reiss, J. & Winterbottom, M. (Ed.). (2021). Teaching Secondary Biology. 3rd Hodder Education.
  4. Toplis, R. (Ed.). (2011). How Science Works: Exploring Effective Pedagogy and Practice, Abingdon: Routledge.
Skip to content