Subject Name: Didactics of Natural Science in Primary Education
Study: Grado en Maestro de Educación Primaria (Grupo bilingüe)
ECTS Credits: 6
Year and four month period: Fourth year, second four month period
Type of subject: Compulsory
  • Presentation

    In this subject you will get a global conception of what the natural environment is, its relation to society, and the current tendencies in the didactics field.

    You will gain scientific knowledge about natural reality, which is key to design and develop didactic-experimental activities that will facilitate the creation of intervention models, thus you can generate in Primary Education children conceptions, procedures and attitudes specific to the physical-natural world.

    You will know the didactics and organisation of the natural environment knowledge in Primary Education.

    You will master the main resources and activities aimed to the natural environment knowledge in Primary Education

  • Basic competences

    • BC4: Students can transmit information, ideas, problems and solutions to a specialised and non-specialised public.

    General competences

    • GC2: Design, plan and evaluate teaching and learning processes, both individually and in collaboration with other teachers and professionals in the school.
    • GC15: Reflect on classroom practices to innovate and improve teaching.
    • GC17: Know and apply information and communication technologies in the classroom.

    Specific competences

    • SC26: Know the school curriculum of these sciences.
    • SC27: Pose and solve problems associated with science in everyday life.
    • SC30: Develop and evaluate curriculum content through appropriate teaching resources and promote the acquisition of basic skills in students.

    Unit 1. Scientific Knowledge

    • How to study this unit?
    • Initial considerations
    • Science in its current context
    • Characteristics of experimental sciences
    • Scientific method

    Unit 2. Scientific education in Primary education (I)

    • How to study this unit?
    • Is Science in Primary Education a necessity?
    • Strategies for teaching science
    • Strategies for teaching science: experiments

    Unit 3. Scientific education in Primary education (II)

    • How to study this unit?
    • Strategies for teaching science: project work
    • Strategies for teaching science: educational videos

    Unit 4. Scientific education in Primary education (III)

    • How to study this unit?
    • Strategies for teaching science: adapted language
    • Adapted language: analogies
    • Adapted language: metaphors
    • Adapted language: similes
    • Adapted language: transpositions

    Unit 5. A science that teaches how to «do» I

    • How to study this unit?
    • Main strategies in science
    • Observation
    • Experiments
    • Measurement
    • Estimation
    • Enquiry

    Unit 6. A science that teaches how to «do» (II)

    • How to study this unit?
    • Importance of science activities
    • Classification of science activities
    • How to design science activities?

    Unit 7. A science that teaches how to «do» (III)

    • How to study this unit?
    • Laboratory work
    • Field work
    • Field work: excursions and itineraries
    • Field work: Visits to museums, industries and workshops.

    Unit 8. Elements that make up the teaching of science

    • How to study this unit?
    • Initial considerations
    • General objectives
    • Specific objectives
    • Behaviour indicators

    Unit 9. A science that teaches the regulation of a student's own learning

    • How to study this unit?
    • Initial considerations
    • Integration of learning objectives
    • Anticipation and planning of learning
    • Representation of the assessment criteria

    Unit 10. How to design a teaching unit I

    • How to study this unit?
    • Criteria, related to the sciences, that must be taken into account in the design of a teaching unit
    • Definition of objectives
    • Selection of content
    • School science - didactic transposition
    • Content organisation and sequencing
    • Activities selection and sequencing
    • Assessment activities selection and sequencing

    Unit 11. How to design a teaching unit II

    • How to study this unit?
    • Classroom organisation and management
    • Conclusions
    • Resources
    • Criteria for selecting teaching resources

    Unit 12. Pedagogical approaches in the teaching of the sciences

    • How to study this unit?
    • Classical approaches
    • Model-based teaching
    • Science-Technology-Society perspective

    Unit 13. The starting point for teaching sciences: previous concepts

    • How to study this unit?
    • What are previous concepts?
    • Previous concepts: in reality not that heterogeneous
    • Strategies to elucidate previous concepts from students
    • Conceptual change

    Unit 14. Cognitive evolution during Primary Education

    • How to study this unit?
    • Initial considerations
    • Characteristics in children of 6 to 7 years of age
    • Characteristics in children of 8 to 9 years of age
    • Characteristics in children of 10 to 11 years of age

    Unit 15. ICT as a didactic resource in the teaching of the natural sciences

    • How to study this unit?
    • Characteristics of ICT
    • WebQuest
    • Treasure hunt
    • Wikis
    • Educational blogs
    • Digital comics

    The different tasks and activities programmed during the semester have been developed with the goal of adapting the learning process to the different capabilities, necessities and interests of the students.

    The activities included in the subject are:

    • Work. These are activities of different types: reflection, case analysis, practice, etc.
    • Participation in events. Events are scheduled every week of the semester: virtual face-to-face sessions, discussion forums, tests.
    • Reading commentary. This is a very specific type of activity that consists in the analysis of texts of articles by expert authors in different units of the subject.

    In the weekly program you can find the specific tasks you need to complete in this subject.

    Download the program

    These activities are combined with the following aspects:

    • Personal Study
    • Tutoring. The tutoring class can be implemented through different tools and means. During the course of the subject, the teacher-tutor plans the individual tutoring on specific days for the resolution of academic-oriented doubts through “Consultation sessions”. Supplementing these sessions, students have also available the “Ask your teacher” forum through which they can formulate questions and check the corresponding answers on general aspects of the subject. Due to the very nature of the media used, there are no fixed schedules for the students.
    • Mandatory on-site final exam.

    The hours dedicated to each activity are detailed as follows:

    Attendance to virtual classes 20 hours
    Master classes 12 hours
    Basic material study 50 hours
    Reading the additional resources 14 hours
    Tasks and self-evaluation tests 29 hours
    Tutoring 16 hours
    Collaborative work, forums, debates, etc. 7 hours
    Final exam 2 hours
    Total 150 hours

    Basic bibliography

    The section Basic Bibliography is essential for the course. If any document (reading, article,…) is not available in the virtual classroom, you will have to find it by other means: UNIR bookshop, virtual library…

    The necessary texts for the study of this subject had been elaborated by UNIR and are available in a digital format for consultation, download and print in the virtual classroom.

    • González, D.; Cuetos, J. and Serna, A. I. (2015). Didáctica de las Ciencias Naturales en la Educación Primaria [Didactics of Natural Science in Primary Education.]Logroño: Universidad Internacional de La Rioja. ISBN: 9788416125494

    The evaluation system is based on the following numerical chart:

    0 - 4, 9 Suspense (SS)
    5,0 - 6,9 Approved (AP)
    7,0 - 8,9 Notable (NT)
    9,0 - 10 Sobresaliente (SB)

    The grade is made up of two components:

    On-site final exam (60%). At the end of the semester, you need to assist a mandatory on-site final exam. You need to pass the final exam so the grade obtained from the assignments (continuous assessment) is summed up to the final grade of the subject.

    Continuous assessment (40%): this type of assessment will be measured through the different assignments you need to complete during the course:

    Remember that you can check the points (value) of each assignment in the weekly program.

    Take into account that the sum of the grades of the assignments included in the continuous assessment is 6 points. You can do as many as you want to until a maximum grade of 4 points (which is the maximum grade you will be obtaining in the continuous assessment). In the weekly program, you can find the grade of each assignment.

    Assessment method Min - Max Score
    Participation in forums, classes, etc. 0% - 40%
    Task, practice cases and activities 0% - 40%
    Self-evaluation test 0% - 40%
    On-site final exam 60% - 60%

    Studying online means you can organize your study as you wish, as long as you meet the due dates of the different assignments (activities, tasks and tests). In order to help you, we propose the following steps:

    1. From our online platform you will have access to each of the subjects you are enrolled. Apart from this, the virtual classroom of Lo que necesitas saber antes de empezar (All you need to know before starting). In this section, you have available all the documents on how to use the different tools included in the virtual classroom, how a subject is organized and you will also have the possibility to organize your study plan with the tutor.
    2. Do not forget to check the weekly program. You will see which part of the content of the course you have to work on every week. You will see which part of the content of the course you have to work on every week.
    3. After knowing your work for the week, go to Temas in your virtual classroom. There, you will have access to the study material (theory and practice) from the unit you need to study throughout the week.
    4. Start by reading the Key ideas of each unit, there you will find the specific study material and it will help you understand the most important points of the unit. Afterwards, check out the sections Specially Recommended and More Information where you will find more resources in order to deepen on the topic of the unit.
    5. Devote some time to the practical cases and tasks in the subject (assignments and test). Remember that in your weekly program you find all the information related to the schedule for each assignment and the maximum grade you can obtain in each of them.
    6. We strongly recommend you to participate in the Events of the course (online classes, forums...). To know the precise schedule of the events, you need to check the communications tools in the virtual platform. Your teacher and tutor will inform you on the updates of the course.

    In the virtual classroom of Lo que necesitas saber antes de empezar (All you need to know before starting) you will always find available information on the structure of the units and information on their sections

    Remember that in Lo que necesitas saber antes de empezar (All you need to know before starting) you can check how the different tools of the virtual classroom work: email, forum, online classes, sending the tasks, etc.

    Please, take into account the following tips…

    • Whatever you study plan is, go often to the virtual classroom so that you are always up to date about the course and you are in contact with your teacher and your tutor.
    • Remember you are not alone: send an email to your tutor if you have any doubt. If you attend the online classes, you can also ask your teacher about the contents of the unit. Also, you can always write your doubts and questions about the contents in the Forum of each subject (Ask the teacher).
    • Be active and participate! Whenever it is possible, attend the online classes and take part in the forums. The exchange of information, opinions, ideas and resources enrich us and the course.
    • And, remember, you are studying online: your effort and perseverance are the key element to obtain good results. Don’t leave everything to the last minute!!!