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Published on Aug 24, 2011
In a paper, 'Drawing to Learn in Science' published in the leading international Science journal -- Science, the team argues that student drawing should be recognised alongside writing, reading and talking as a key element in science education.
The paper is one of several exciting insights to emerge from the Australian Research Council funded project - the Role of Representation in Learning Science (RiLS). In the paper, evidence from psychology research is coupled with RiLS data to argue five distinct reasons why creating drawings is a powerful way to enhance students' science learning.
The three-year study, carried out by the team which was led by Professor Russell Tytler and included Deakin's Dr Peter Hubber, has shown that when teachers help students generate their own representations of 'expert' science concepts such as Forces, Earth in Space, Animal Adaptations, Cells and Genetics, Changes to Matter and Chemical Change students' understanding of science can move from the superficial to the sophisticated. The project has challenged the way scientific concepts are taught in class.