In the Australian National Curriculum, the science understanding of overarching ideas of matter and energy covers science topics in the conceptual area of chemistry, such as the properties, forms and uses of different materials, the states of matter (solid, liquid and gas), and energy, such as forces, movement and electricity. This chapter focusses on explaining the abstract science ideas related to matter and energy through the use of appropriate vocabulary, examining ways of organising knowledge and linking scientific models and theories to observations and experiences. The particle model of matter is used to explain common observations, demonstrating the value of scientific inquiry and the role of models and representations in scientific thinking. A directed inquiry teaching approach in which there is a focus on the use of representations is recommended for these abstract topics. Representations are a vital component of communicating the abstract ideas of matter and energy. The use of the pedagogical approach in which students construct and evaluate representations of scientific ideas is used in the negotiation and development of their understandings.
Field of Research
130212 Science, Technology and Engineering Curriculum and Pedagogy
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