Nuffield Working with Science
Nuffield Working with Science was developed in the 1970s to meet the needs of ‘the new sixth former’ in schools and colleges. The programme offered teachers a variety of resources as a basis for courses aimed at students staying on in education after the age of 16 for a one-year course.
Students who used the materials, on full time courses in schools and colleges, typically worked through three or four topics (units) which appealed to their own preferences, attitudes, and interests. The intention was that they should learn, in one year, a great deal more about how scientists decide which questions to ask, how to go about answering them, and how reliable the answers may be.
Nearly 40 full units were prepared, tried, and revised and published for the first edition. Each of these was designed to be covered in about eight weeks of the students' time, at half a day per week. Most of them had a compulsory core with optional sections. In addition to the full units, 12 mini-units were also produced, each intended to be two or three weeks' work.
For each unit there is a students' booklet giving objectives, suggestions for investigation, and background information. There are also supporting Teachers' notes, which list the requirements and give teaching advice for individual units.
Teaching and learning
Working with Science aimed to adopt learning methods and topics appropriate to the inclinations, interests, and expectations of young adults. It placed the responsibility for the selection of the topic and processes of learning in the hands of the student,
with guidance from the tutor or teacher. The project team wanted to get away from the strategy of the teacher as the giver and the student as receiver of information.
Revision for CPVE
The materials were revised in the 1980s to meet the needs of groups of students working towards the Certificate of Pre-Vocational Education (CPVE). The revised edition was made up of 23 maxi-units and 10 mini-units.
HEALTH and SAFETY
Any use of a resource that includes a practical activity must include a risk assessment. Please note that collections may contain ARCHIVE resources, which were developed at a much earlier date. Since that time there have been significant changes in the rules and guidance affecting laboratory practical work. Further information is provided in our Health and Safety guidance.
Resource by: Nuffield Foundation