Science Education for Diversity

Module titleScience Education for Diversity
Module codeEFPM323
Academic year2019/0
Module staff

Dr Pallavi Banerjee (Convenor)

Number students taking module (anticipated)


Description - summary of the module content

Module description

This module will examine a range of approaches to the teaching and learning of science that take account of student diversity. It will take a broad view of diversity to think critically about factors such as gender, ethnicity, (dis)ability, culture and social background and the influence these have on student interest in science. You will develop your critical analysis of relevant theories, research evidence and policy that take account of diversity and give students a ‘voice’ in the way in which they are taught. This will be related to practice that recognises the diverse backgrounds of students in your own professional context. To take this module you will normally need to be a practising teacher of science in a primary, secondary or FE context.

Module aims - intentions of the module

develop your understanding of recent research evidence concerning conceptualisations of diversity  and its relationship to current practice in science teaching;

promote critical examination of the relationship between conceptualisations of diversity and your own practice as a science teacher in primary or secondary school or in further education college;

to understand and critically analyse how ‘data’ is used in education settings to think about the relationship between diversity and students’ learning;

enable you to investigate and reflect upon the relationship between student diversity and professional knowledge and practice through carrying out a case study into the planning and teaching of a self-selected science topic, within your own context, that takes account of diversity and gives students a voice in the planning of their lessons.

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)

ILO: Module-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 1. explain the relevance of student diversity to the practice of teaching science;
  • 2. critique and reflect upon professional practice with particular reference to student diversity to improve teaching and learning;
  • 3. demonstrate a critically analytical approach to using research literature to develop effective approaches to teaching science that takes account of student diversity.

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 4. critically evaluate the relevance of educational theory to practice;
  • 5. critically analyse and present data and findings in a form appropriate in educational studies;
  • 6. use research data in support of an argument in education;
  • 7. undertake systematic research and development of professional practice, and use the outcomes to effect change;

ILO: Personal and key skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 8. manage your own learning development;
  • 9. study independently and collaboratively; and
  • 10. demonstrate high level project management and communication skills.

Syllabus plan

Syllabus plan

This module introduces you to different ways of conceptualising ‘diversity’ in relation to science teaching and learning. The module can be studied either online only or face-to-face supported with online elements. Precise content may vary as new research evidence is included, but main elements of the module will be:

Short online videos to introduce key ideas for discussion (for example ‘diversity factors’ such as gender, ethnicity, (dis)ability, culture and social background; the concept of diversity through student voice; how schools and policy-makers use diversity data to explore educational achievement; the relationship between learning theories and planning for diversity; planning for diversity in Science classrooms; case study research).

Face-to-face (on two taught days) or online workshops with a tutor and cohort of students to explore and discuss the material introduced online in depth, facilitated with resources developed by the tutor.

Face-to-face (on two taught days) or online seminars with a tutor and smaller group of students to discuss case study research.

Online peer group support facilitated through directed tasks developing knowledge and understanding of module content and skills.

Online tasks for self-directed study and assessment. Tasks are undertaken in response to your individual needs, identified through completion of an individual needs analysis. This enables you to track your progress through your Masters modules in relation to Level 7 assessment criteria.

Learning and teaching

Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

Details of learning activities and teaching methods

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Guided independent study4Four online preparatory lectures of 30-40 minute duration, watched through ELE, with prompt questions for reflection
Scheduled Learning & Teaching activities12Six two-hour face-to-face or online workshops and seminars facilitated by tutors
Scheduled Learning & Teaching activities3Individual supervision by academic tutor, with face to face or distance options.
Guided independent study3Completion of an individual needs analysis which will be used by tutors to advise on use of online study support modules
Guided independent study20Preparatory reading to prepare for workshops and seminars (approx. 10 articles)
Guided independent study50Preparation of notes on designs of teaching strategies that take account of pupil diversity. Task includes reading about the specific aspect of diversity that will be addressed and the theoretical underpinning of their approach, discussion of project with relevant school/college staff and possible pilot work as well as drafting notes.
Guided independent study50Preparation of notes on their school/college setting, drawing on school/college data and relevant research literature to explore concepts of ‘diversity’ in their setting.
Guided independent study10Preparation of a poster about their ongoing case study for peer and tutor feedback
Guided independent study148Completion of Case Study for summative assessment. Task includes data collection and analysis of pupil’s perspectives on their engagement and progress in a short sequence of lessons, further reading in relation to focus of the project, synthesis of material and drafting/redrafting the final piece of work.


Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Set exercise: Individual Needs Analysis in relation to Level 7 criteria3 hour8, 9Verbal (tutorial) and written action plans
Written notes about design of teaching strategies to take account of diversity1, 500 words1, 2, 3Written formative feedback from tutor
Case Study poster shared with seminar groups. Each student to present your poster to peers, providing an explanation of their context, rationale for design of teaching strategies rooted in research and any initial findings. Research poster and presentation equivalent to 1000 words. 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 7, 8,9, 10 Oral feedback from peers and tutor (face to face); feedback from peers and online tutor (distance).

Summative assessment (% of credit)

CourseworkWritten examsPractical exams

Details of summative assessment

Form of assessment% of creditSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Written case study report1005,000 words1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 7, 10Written


Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
Written case study reportWritten case study report (5000 words)1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 7, 106 weeks


Indicative learning resources - Basic reading


Alsop, S et al (eds) (2004) Analysing Exemplary Science Teaching. (Maidenhead: Open University Press)

Bennett, J (2003) Teaching and Learning Science: A guide to recent research and its applications. (London: Continuum)

Bishop, K and Denley, P (2007) Learning science teaching: Developing a professional knowledge base. (Maidenhead: Open University Press)

Mansour, N and Wegerif, R (2013) Science Education for Diversity: Theory and practice. (Dordrecht: Springer)

Monk, M and Osborne, J (eds) (2010) Good practice in Science Teaching: What research has to say (2nd Edition). (Maidenhead: Open University Press)

Oversby, J (2012) (ed) ASE Guide to Research in Science Education. (Hatfield : ASE)

Rudduck, J and McIntyre, D (2007) Improving Learning through Consulting Pupils. (London: Routledge)

Wallace, J and Louden, W (eds) (2001) Dilemmas of science teaching. (New York: RoutledgeFalmer)

Wellington, J and Ireson, G (2012) Science learning, science teaching (3rd edition) (London: Routledge)

Wilson, E (ed) (2013) School-based Research: A Guide for Education Students. (London: Sage)

Yin, R K (2014) Case study research: Design and methods (5th Edition). (London: Sage)

Module has an active ELE page

Key words search

Science education, diversity, critical thinking, teacher research, research methods, case study, classroom practice, teacher professional development.

Credit value30
Module ECTS


Module pre-requisites


Module co-requisites


NQF level (module)


Available as distance learning?


Origin date