Learning to Teach About Ideas and Evidence in Science: The Student Teacher as Change Agent

M. Braund, B. Campbell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A collaborative curriculum development project was set up to address the lack of good examples of teaching about ideas and evidence and the nature of science encountered by student teachers training to teach in the age range 11-16 in schools in England. Student and teacher-mentor pairs devised, taught and evaluated novel lessons and approaches. The project design required increasing levels of critique through cycles of teaching, evaluation and revision of lessons. Data were gathered from interviews and students' reports to assess the impact of the project on student teachers and to what extent any influences survived when they gained their first teaching posts. A significant outcome was the perception of teaching shifting from the delivery of standard lessons in prescribed ways to endeavours demanding creativity and decision-making. Although school-based factors limited newly qualified teachers' chances to use new lessons and approaches and therefore act as change-agents in schools, the ability to critique curriculum materials and the recognition of the need to create space for professional dialogue were durable gains.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)203-222
Number of pages19
JournalResearch In Science Education
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2010

Bibliographical note

© 2010 Springer Verlag . This is an author produced version of a paper published in RESEARCH IN SCIENCE EDUCATION. Uploaded in accordance with the publisher's self archiving policy.


  • Curriculum development
  • Ideas and evidence
  • Nature of science
  • Pre-service teacher education

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