Study-Unit Description

Study-Unit Description


TITLE Curriculum Knowledge: Secondary Years (Math and Science)

LEVEL 03 - Years 2, 3, 4 in Modular Undergraduate Course


DEPARTMENT Inclusion and Access to Learning

DESCRIPTION This study-unit introduces students to basic ideas, methods and techniques encountered in the mathematics and science classrooms. Through discussion, problem solving and activities that encourage reasoning, students will be introduced to core mathematical and scientific principles linked to everyday life experiences. Together they will reflect on potential difficulties encountered and on how students may be supported to participate fully in lessons.

In this study-unit, participants will learn about content and pedagogical approaches to teaching, learning and assessment in mathematics and science in the secondary years. In addition, the implications that these have on the curriculum and on the learning of mathematics and science will be dealt with. Of particular importance are aspects related to student-centred approaches to teaching, formative assessment and the learning outcomes framework.

Study-unit Aims:

This study-unit aims at providing students with an understanding of student-centered approaches in the delivery of core concepts and principles relating to secondary level Math and science topics. It also aims to introduce participants to math and science content and to optimal pedagogies that would facilitate learning. Finally this unit aims at giving participants an understanding of the difficulties students may encounter in Math and science and develop skills for supporting students’ learning.

Learning Outcomes:

1. Knowledge & Understanding
By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:

1. Distinguish between teacher-centred and student-centred approaches, identifying strengths and limitations and implications on curriculum;
2. Identify how students may be supported to learn the mathematical and science content offered;
3. Identify 21st century skills and competences as outcomes of mathematics and science education;
4. Discuss strengths and limitations of different pedagogies, teaching strategies and techniques in mathematics and science;
5. Differentiate between various types of practical work and the role of each type in teaching and learning science;
6. Identify challenges encountered when learning through inquiry and plan suitable support for students to help them develop inquiry skills;
7. Apply the universal design for learning in the context of mathematics and science;
8. Discuss the use of inquiry based learning as an inclusive pedagogy that encompasses differentiated learning.

2. Skills
By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:

1. Discuss appropriate strategies for the implementation of inquiry-based and student-centred approoaches to learning;
2. Explore opprtunities and practices that would be beneficial for students to learn mathematics and science;
3. Identify areas related to content that students may need support in;
4. Collaborate with teachers in the preparation of resources and materials and support teachers in learning activities, making use of a variety of resources and teaching techniques that encourage student involvement;
5. Design support materials for students keeping in mind their age, ability, learning difficulties, prior knowledge, topic concerned and school context;
6. Support students in inquiry activities with the appropriate level and type of scaffolding in ways that promote learning and encourage reasoning;
7. Assist the educational development of students in mathematics and science lessons;
8. Assist in the preparation, setting up, as well as the actual mathematics and science lessons enabling full participation of all students.

Main Text/s and any supplementary readings:

Main Texts

- Black, P., & Wiliam, D. (2010). Inside the black box: Raising standards through classroom assessment. Phi Delta Kappan, 92(1), 81-90.
- Michel, N., Cater, J. J., & Varela, O. (2009). Active versus passive teaching styles: An empirical study of student learning outcomes. Human Resource Development Quarterly, 20(4), 397-418.
- Ministry of Education. (2012). Handbook for the Teaching of Mathematics. Malta: Curriculum Management and eLearning Department.
- Ministry of Education. (2012). Handbook for the Teaching of Integrated Science. Malta: Curriculum Management and eLearning Department.
- Ministry of Education and Employment. (2012). A National Curriculum Framework for All. Malta: Salesian Press.
- Ministry of Education. (2015). Framework for the Education Strategy for Malta 2014-2024: Sustaining foundations, creating alternatives, increasing employability. Floriana, Malta: Ministry of Education and Employment.

Other texts will be provided by tutors.


Assessment Component/s Assessment Due Resit Availability Weighting
Assignment SEM1 Yes 100%

LECTURER/S James Calleja
Josette Farrugia

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The availability of optional units may be subject to timetabling constraints.
Units not attracting a sufficient number of registrations may be withdrawn without notice.
It should be noted that all the information in the description above applies to study-units available during the academic year 2020/1. It may be subject to change in subsequent years.