The day we made pancakes at university: where is the science in that??

    Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstract


    The authors have taught the general science education specialism unit together for the past 11 years and have taken several opportunities to incorporate new ideas into the unit over that time, many of which they have researched. In this paper, the authors discuss their use of handout called “the day we made pancakes at school” as a stimulus for thinking about what is science and how to explain scientific concepts to students at different levels of science education. Initially, the handout was used only as a handout but as we evaluated its use, we felt it was necessary to actually have the students make the pancakes as an activity in class. Once they the students have made the pancakes, they then fill in the handout for homework and return the following week to submit their responses. An analysis of the students’ responses then takes place during the next lesson, which includes discussion around the use of language, models and concept explanation to support learning in the science classroom. This paper reports on data collected over several years from students in our general science education classes. The data is focussed on their experiences of the task (making pancakes, filling in the handout and the discussion lesson), how they felt, what they learnt and what they felt the purpose of the task was. Findings indicate that: having the students make the pancakes in important, some students struggled to see the science in making pancakes, some students struggled to explain the science concepts involved in the handout and then further, struggled with the notion that they had struggled, pre-service teachers often failed to see the complexity of science explanations and the need for multimodality in explanations to support learning and finally, recognising and acknowledging feelings and emotions as part of learning is important.
    Original languageEnglish
    Number of pages1
    Publication statusPublished - 2016
    EventAustralasian Science Education Research Association Conference 2016 - Canberra, Australia
    Duration: 28 Jun 20161 Jul 2016
    Conference number: 47th


    ConferenceAustralasian Science Education Research Association Conference 2016
    Abbreviated titleASERA 2016


    • science pre-service teacher education

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