Literacy once meant reading and writing words on paper. Today’s science students need to do more than accept information at face value, they need to be able to understand, use and critically analyse texts validity and underpinning points of view. In many ways the NSW HSC challenges students' understanding of the use of models in science and the contestability of science knowledge. Communicating Scientifically skills will empower students provide appropriate responses to HSC questions. Ultimately critical literacy will inform their daily lives.
NSW Science teachers 7-12
The course is conducted through a moodle where resources are located and linked. Participants post products of their learning on forums to share with other participants
This course contributes to 5.0 professional development hours.
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1 hour and 30 minutes
1. Initial reflection of participant understanding of subject specific literacy (moodle forum)
2. Presentation – What is Critical Literacy in Science?
3. Exercise – Critical literacy analysis of a web article about climate change (moodle forum)
Presentation – Describing and explaining
Quiz – The use of conjunctions in scientific explanations (moodle)
Presentation – Instructing, arguing and narrating in science
Structure of a response – exercise - animoto response to HSC questions in Biology
Exercise – nominalisation
Exercise – modality of probability or certainty
1 hour and 30 minutes
What are the literacy demands of the NSW HSC?
Exercise – key verbs and their meaning (moodle)
Exercise – Literacy analysis of a HSC Science paper (moodle discussion forum)
Please note the feedback listed here is unfiltered, and includes all comments and ratings collected.
Didn’t stick to timetable, so a lot of context was omitted due to time constraints. Context covered was very good. Having a small group of participants was very good.
Good resources for future use and strategies to use in the classroom including animoto and ideas with edge and use of conjunctions.
Good strategies for *the effective usage of verbs and trying to avoid the pitfalls in these verbs. *Use of questions to stimulate discussions of science concepts or phenomenon. *Making proper distinctions between verbs such as describe, explore, etc. *Use of persuasive texts in Science.
Improving outcomes through aligned teaching practice synergies.
Jim is a recipient of the NSW Professional Teaching Council’s Distinguished Service Award for leadership in delivering targeted professional learning to teachers.
Jim has written and presented for TTA, UNSW, NSWTF CPL, STANSW and DoE for such diverse topics as literacy, ICT, constructivist programming, assessment task development and assessment reform.
The range of professional learning courses presented by Jim can be found on the TTA website.
Selected NSW Department of Education and Communities appointments
2015 Analytics, Systems and Development Coordinator
2012 – 2013 School Assessment Design and Development Acting Coordinator (ESSA)
2007 – 2010 Head Teacher Science, Newtown High School of Performing Arts
2004 – 2005 Senior Assessment Officer, Computer Skills Assessment (CSA6)
2004 Test Development Officer, Secondary Numeracy Assessment Program (SNAP)
2000 – 2004 Head Teacher Science, Concord High School
1998 – 2000 Senior Assessment Officer, English Language and Literacy Assessment (ELLA)
1993 – 1997 M.Ed. (Hons) University of New England (Thesis: Literacy & learning in Science)
1979 Dip. Ed. University of Wollongong
1976 – 1978 B.Sc. University of Wollongong (Majors in Chemistry and Bioenergetics)