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PGCE+ Science Canterbury 2006

Student Resources 2.1.2

CASE, Accelerated Learning & KS3 Strategy


All these approaches use a cyclic approach to learning the easily understood approach is plan, do,
review cycle and in the Accelerated Learning model the cyclic stages are refined to Connect the
learning by describing the big picture, Link this to the expected outcomes, Engage in activity, Review
for recall and retention and all this is accomplished by developing a supportive, stress-free
environment for learning

The CASE approach also adopts a cyclic approach for the construction of the activities in the
procedure that follows:

• Concrete Preparation – introductory activity – sets a real scene for later activities. Learning
objectives interpreted as behavioural objectives making explicit the links to the work. Vocabulary
is established, learning processes are identified and cross-curricular contexts are used to develop
the ideas. Look to the expectations section on the QCA Schemes of Work as guidance.

• Cognitive Conflict – student’s ideas should be challenged by activities set in real-life or novel
contexts. Alternative ways of thinking should be explored, requiring discussion in a group activity

• Construction – students should reconstruct their ideas with the help of the teacher and move
towards appropriate constructs for thinking about the ideas introduced.

• Bridging and Metacognition – directed discussions where strategy or concepts are elucidated,
language and conventions are established, bridging to other situations where the same thinking
strategy can be used. Teachers and students discussing ideas using appropriate language to enable
students to construct their own concepts and make presentations of their solutions accomplish
this.

The Key Stage 3 strategy has also adopted a cyclic approach in the model of A starter to determine
objectives and probe where the student is starting from, Cognitive challenge to develop ideas, and a
Plenary to sum up and relate objectives to outcomes.

Why has this approach been adopted it can be explained using Vygotsky’s ideas. Vygotskyi stresses
the importance of cognition in the learner to enable them to construct their own knowledge systems
and the important role of the teacher as one that must set up situations that cognitively challenges
the student by many different means. To understand the interaction and how important the planning
of an activity is Vygotsky’sii coined the concept of the Zone of Proximal Development - ZPD (the
difference between the actual level of problem-solving displayed by the student and the potential
level that can be developed by careful teaching), the process of learning is a dual action between
language through discussion and the process of cognition – thinking.

The teacher’s role in supporting a student in the ZPD is to provide the student with scaffolds or
schemata – patterns of reasoning that help formal thought. These patterns of thought are not unique
to that problem but can be applied to other similar problems so teacher’s need to examine with the
student those schemata and help the student see where they can apply those ideas in other areas of
science. This approach has been the basis of such work as Wray’s and Lewis’siii writing frameworks and
Shayer and Adey’s CASE (Cognitive Acceleration through Science Education).

The question to be posed is:


Is this highly structured approach always beneficial to the gifted student or does it’s
structuring into a specific time block creating an artificial framework block creativity in
thinking approaches?
PGCE+ Science Canterbury 2006
Student Resources 2.1.2
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