EDF5030 - Science education in the primary years - 2018

6 points, SCA Band 1, 0.125 EFTSL

Postgraduate - Unit

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.



Chief examiner(s)

Kathy Smith


Jennifer Mansfield (Semester 1 Clayton)
Kathy Smith (Online)
Sarika Kewalramani (Peninsula)
Roland Gesthuizen (Summer Semester A Clayton)

Unit guides



  • First semester 2018 (On-campus)
  • Summer semester A 2018 (On-campus block of classes)


  • First semester 2018 (On-campus)
  • First semester 2018 (Online)


This unit explores science within four broad frames: science as a way of thinking and acting, learning about learning science, teaching as the transformation of knowing science, and the engagement of learners and communicating science. The unit focuses on how science knowledge shifts and changes over time and through technological and social change. The unit adopts a constructivist perspective by exploring strategies that include the use of prior knowledge, questioning and inquiry learning. An emphasis is placed upon hands-on approaches, scientific investigations and student-owned/student-centred investigations. The relationship between science, technology and society, different science curriculum and the nature of science as a discipline is also considered. Students build understanding of science learning and teaching through collaborative participation in a range of contexts and critically reflect on these.


Upon successful completion of this unit students should be able to:

  1. appreciate science as a way of thinking and acting that generates knowledge and which represents cultures and societies
  2. demonstrate an understanding for the ways in which science responds to changing technological and social change
  3. critically reflect on their experiences as science learners and identify implications for their professional identities
  4. develop strategies to establish, monitor and develop student understanding of science and the importance of evidence, reasoning and critical thinking skills in this knowledge development
  5. communicate science understanding in multiple ways and to multiple audiences.


Reflective critique (2000 words, 50%)

Science learning investigation (2000 words, 50%)

Workload requirements

Minimum total expected workload equals 144 hours per semester comprising:

  1. Contact hours for on-campus students:
    • equivalent to 24 hours engagement in online, face-to-face or blended platforms
  2. Contact hours for off-campus students:
    • equivalent to 24 hours engagement in online or blended platforms
  3. Additional requirements (all students)
    • independent study to make up the minimum required hours per semester

See also Unit timetable information

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study