Thinking, Doing, Talking Science (TDTS) is a programme that aims to make science lessons in primary schools more practical, creative and challenging.
Led by Bath Spa's Sarah Earle, and based within the Centre for Research in Scientific and Technological Learning (CRSTLE), this project teamed up with Oxford Brookes and Science Oxford to train teachers in a repertoire of strategies that aim to encourage pupils to use higher order thinking skills.
Two teachers from each participating school receive four days of professional development training and simple equipment to allow them to do practical work with their pupils. The training seeks to support teachers to be more creative and thoughtful in planning their science lessons, and teachers are also encouraged to link pupils’ learning in science with their learning in numeracy and literacy.
The project is an effectiveness Randomised Control Trial of Thinking, Doing, Talking Science, testing a scalable model under everyday conditions in a large number of schools. This includes a group of 30 schools linked to Bath Spa University.
"Pupils are posed ‘Big Questions’, such as ‘How do you know that the earth is a sphere?’ that are used to stimulate discussion about scientific topics and the principles of scientific enquiry."
Project outcomes and impact
Half of the schools received their training during the intervention year (2016-17), with the other half receiving training in the control year (2017-18). The project will look at the impact of the programme on a science test delivered at the end of Year 5 and on pupils’ attitudes towards science.
The evaluation report collating all of the results from the seven regions across England will be published in Autumn 2018.
"The children have a 'buzz' about science - very confident to express opinions, speculate and give justifications as to why they think as they do."- Project participant
The entirety of the project ia funded by the Education Endowment Foundation, including £74,500 for Bath Spa University training and school grants.
Press and media
You can find more information regarding details of this study, as well as its outcomes and reports, via the Education Endowment's website.