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ERIC Number: EJ1155184
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016-Mar
Pages: 3
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-0269-2465
How the "I Can Explain!" Project Helps Children Learn Science through Talk
Eley, Alison
Primary Science, n142 p14-16 Mar 2016
The role of talk in developing understanding in science has been well documented and the recognition of this in the new National Curriculum for England is very positive. The curriculum outlines the need for quality and variety of language in order for children to develop their scientific vocabulary and to articulate scientific concepts clearly and precisely. "I can explain!" is a project that has created training materials and resources to support children with explaining their ideas in science. Using high-quality picture cards and language prompts to facilitate rational discussion, children work in small groups to explore scientific concepts. They develop skills to learn effectively through group talk, and using these they make cognitive gains in science. They learn to justify their scientific ideas with evidence and to counter the ideas of others. The challenge of having to reach a group agreement enables the children to recognise the value of critical consideration of the reasons and evidence they give for their ideas. Funded by the Primary Science Teaching Trust, the resource is now being disseminated to schools across the United Kingdom and can be used flexibly with all ages from nursery to year 6 (ages 5-11). In this article, the author describes the methods used in the project to develop scientific literacy.
Association for Science Education. College Lane Hatfield, Herts, AL10 9AA, UK. Tel: +44-1-707-283000; Fax: +44-1-707-266532; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Education
Audience: Teachers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A