The terrarium unit: A challenge to teachers' concepts of what is science teaching
This paper discusses how teachers interpret outcomes-based science syllabuses and design open-ended and interesting science units. The study focused on the implementation of a new outcomes-oriented syllabus in Year 8. A tension existed between two groups of teachers. One group was excited and willing to design new content, pedagogy and assessment. The more traditional group focused on how they could adopt the new syllabus but retain much of their previous pedagogy and assessment practices. Qualitative data showed that innovative planning, teaching and assessment are crucial to the success of outcomes-based learning. Despite careful planning, there were discrepancies between the ideal outcomes-based unit and the actual teaching and learning.