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BSc (Hons) Education with Biological Science

1. The Department for Education forecasts secondary schools will need 15,000 more teachers between 2018 and 2025 to meet a 15 per cent rise in pupil numbers (Foster, 2019), a recent NFER report found the number of in-year vacancies and temporarily-filled posts have doubled in secondary schools between 2010-11 and 2017-18 (Worth & den Brande, 2019). Significantly in 2017, the numbers of teachers leaving the profession exceeded those entering for the first time. The Department for Education (2018a) School Snapshot Survey: Summer 2018 findings revealed that 92% of secondary leaders have difficulty recruiting teachers for at least one of the five EBacc subject areas, with the most difficult being science subjects at 79%. Initial teacher training recruitment to secondary teacher training (2018-2019) is reported to be below the target necessary for maintaining supply (DfE, 2018b). The retention rates of early-career teachers (ECTs) have fallen considerably between 2012 and 2018 (Worth & den Brande, 2019), the percentage of teachers who enter teaching that remain in the state sector at the end of their first year dropped to 85% in 2018. In addition, retention rates of teachers between two and five years into their careers have dropped significantly between 2012 and 2018. These are the critical years where the right development opportunities, nurture and support can make or break a teaching career. These trends in national figures are largely reflective (based on feedback to LA senior officers) of the difficulties faced by secondary school leaders in North Lincolnshire seeking to recruit science teachers to the local workforce. It is highlighted nationally that there is an attainment gap in science at all levels, specifically within secondary school settings (EEF, 2019).

One of UCNL’s aims is to inform the regeneration of Scunthorpe by ensuring local people have the skills required by local employers. Scunthorpe has seen significant growth in the renewables and engineering sector, which requires people to have an interest and understanding of science. We also know that graduates that relocate to Scunthorpe for work, often leave to return home, whilst homegrown graduates tend to work and stay local. If we are to recruit sufficient students to train to graduate level to fill local demand, we need students to arrive with a passion for science. Therefore, training our science teachers to inspire the next generation locally will not only ensure current vacancies are filled, but also help to address the predicted longer term shortage in industry. UCNL recognise that this programme will only ever recruit a small cohort, but the ideology behind the programme makes this financially viable after considering the bigger picture.

2. Developing lifelong critical reflective practitioners, who are independent researchers, is fundamental to development as students need to ‘become agents of their own change’ (Hanson and Appleby, 2012:35). This ‘reflection-for-practice’ will enable application of knowledge within the workplace, ensuring on-going development of pedagogical approach (Thompson and Pascal, 2012:322). Many students will progress from this programme onto teacher training programmes therefore, need the skills to reflect and move on. The nature of science education requires students to continually reflect and develop their practice to enable flexibility and meet the needs of continually evolving education curricula within biology, chemistry and physics. The distinctive features of the programme include: the strong research-based focus and the opportunity for students to engage in individual critical enquiry in important educational issues and practice. Additionally, to develop knowledge, understanding and skills to contribute to research-informed improvement of policy and practice within the education sector. Teachers as researchers is fundamental to the development of practice as it allows experts in the field to focus on what is important to them to secure the best outcomes for the students they work with. BERA (2014) highlights the importance of having teachers as researchers, suggesting their contribution individually or collectively can investigate the impact of interventions or explore the positive and negative effects of educational practice. Research has evidenced that specially trained graduates have a positive impact on practice in school settings (DfE, 2017), and our students are identifying that they would like to progress to postgraduate study. By developing their ability to use research-informed practice they will become specially trained graduates who are able to move practice forward, making a positive contribution to the children and young people locally, potentially regionally or even nationally.

3. Linking theory, policy and practice enables students to understand how education has evolved in its current format and how proposed legislative changes can directly impact on their day to day practice. Students often struggle to understand the potential impacts of proposed change, therefore looking at past theory, policy and practice supporting the students to identify past impacts, will help overcome this troublesome concept. As Penn (2008:113) discusses; ‘studying history is a means of exploring the past, of understanding the continuities, and the wider context of what we do and how we behave’. The shift in focus within scientific study from theoretical concepts to a practical-based curriculum has resulted in the need for science educators who possess a fundamental knowledge of theoretical concepts alongside a broad range of practical skills within a laboratory setting. The enhanced focus on laboratory skills requires educators to understand the safeguarding, health and safety implications of teaching in a practical setting.

4.Students will complete a wide selection of laboratory sessions to enhance practical skills in this field. In addition to academic study, the student will complete extensive work experience within a school setting to ensure preparedness for their future careers. It is recognised that there is a shortage of general science teachers within the North Lincolnshire area. The key idea of the Education with Biological Science programme revolves around decreasing the deficit of science teachers within the local area by raising the aspiration of local community members to teach in schools. This programme also supports students to teach across all of the sciences, as trainee science teachers specialise in for example; Biology or Chemistry. Trainee teachers that have studied one science in isolation often struggle to teach general science lessons that involve physics, chemistry and biology. The study of Bioscience helps to make the students more comfortable in their wider scientific knowledge and therefore better placed for general science teaching.

5. Intrinsically embedding emerging fields of interest throughout the Education with Biological Science programme will ensure students are equipped with the knowledge and skills that will give them a competitive edge in a difficult economic climate, especially considering only one in three graduates are in graduate and skilled jobs (Steed, 2018). By covering emerging fields, students will leave the programme with the most current and up-to-date knowledge that will not only be a benefit should they wish to undertake further educational study, but also if they choose to enter employment. As such, students will be equipped with practical experience and an understanding, of the most current and emerging areas within this field, an important factor and attractive prospect for employers (Lowden et al., 2011).

BERA. (2014). Research and the teaching profession. Building the capacity for a self-improving education system. Final report of the BERA-RSA inquiry into the role of research in teacher education

UCAS Course Code: F164

Course Information

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    -Pedagogy in Science Education: This module will introduce students to the National Curriculum’s Science Programme of Study; and students will learn how to plan science lessons. Learning theory such as; Vygotsky, Piaget, Bruner and Bandura will be covered, preparing students for the teaching environment. A key focus around the methods of practical assessment commonly employed within a laboratory are embedded throughout the module. Students will undertake practical sessions in biology, chemistry and physics with emphasis on methods of formative and summative assessment.
    -Safeguarding and Health & Safety: Safeguarding is everyone’s business (DfE, 2015); this module will consider the core skills and knowledge students need to promote safe, effective practice in their roles. All practitioners have a duty to comply with the safeguarding and welfare requirements and work within current policy and legislation. Students will explore their own role and responsibilities in safeguarding and protecting children, developing an understanding of the power of assumptions, stereotypes and personal values which can have an impact on practice.
    Considering the enhanced focus on laboratory skills within curricula, the need for educators to have a sound understanding of safeguarding and health & safety within a laboratory setting has never been more important (HSE, 2016). Through practical delivery of sessions within a laboratory setting, students will be required to consider safeguarding children of different levels, ages and abilities, whilst meeting the requirements of health & safety when working within a working science laboratory.
    -Contemporary Issues in Science: An important aspect of this module is to enable students to gain an insight into recent advances in science, across a range of contexts, with a global perspective. Focus will be given to current, common and future issues facing professionals in the sector. The landscapes of science is ever changing, and this module enables students to engage with emerging fields of interest relevant to the field of science.
    -The Reflective Science Educator: This module will draw together and develop the key aspects of professionalism extending the students’ knowledge gained whilst studying for the FdSc Bioscience/Biochemistry. Consideration will be given to reflective, critical and ethical practices, where students will explore relevant theoretical perspectives such as; Gibbs, Kolb, Schon, Dewey and Brookfield. This module is supported by the extensive placement where students will engage with a broad range of science topics linked to the National Curriculum. Students are required to keep a portfolio of evidence from all aspects of their placement to demonstrate development throughout the academic year. Students will be required to demonstrate their development in accordance with the National Occupational Standards (NOS) to ensure preparedness for their future career in science education. The research-focus of the programme will enable students to share emerging aspects of science education within their setting. This will enable knowledge-transfer between the students and placement.
    -Individual Research (Dissertation): Building on the FdSc Bioscience/Biochemistry Research Skills module and acting as a culmination of their studies, this module provides the opportunity to carry out a research project in the form of a dissertation. Students will build on the work of earlier levels and choose a topic pertinent to their future career. They will review the range of research designs, methodological approaches, carry out field work and collect data through appropriate methods in relation to educational research. Ethical issues will be addressed, including the key principles of anonymity, confidentiality and informed consent.

    The BSc (Hons) will be characterised by a variety of assessment strategies:
    ? Case studies: Case studies will allow the application of principles and knowledge to real-world situations, achieving multiple results reaching all the way up Bloom’s Taxonomy to synthesis and evaluation, expected by level 6 students. Case studies will help the students develop as critically reflective and ethically aware teachers.
    ? Presentations: Both poster and PowerPoint presentations require students to organise information and deliver in a logical and meaningful way. They will allow the students to develop confidence and refine their communication skills. Being able to organise information, communicate effectively and confidently, are fundamental transferable skills necessary for all aspects of working practice and professional development.
    ? Reflective logs: These will allow the students to critically reflect on practice, both their own and the wider aspects of their workplace. Students will reflect on the relevant National Occupational Standards identifying how their practice has developed during their placement experience and how they continue to move forward.
    ? Report writing: By engaging in report writing, students will come to understand the principles of this format. Through the development of report writing skills, students will learn how to gather, analyse and evaluate material. They will learn to structure material in a logical order and make appropriate conclusions and recommendations; all skills fundamental to practice.
    ? Essays: Essays will provide opportunities for students to link theory, policy and practice. Essays will allow students to delve more deeply into a specific subject area, providing opportunities for study and critical evaluation of the latest research, broadening their perspectives. Essays will encourage the students to think and read widely and deeply; all higher-level skills associated with studying at level 6.
    ? Practical observation: Scientific practical skills will be assessed through laboratory examinations and the creation of laboratory reports to place practical skills within the broader scientific field. Practical assessment enables students’ to critically reflect on their practice and identify areas for further development and enhancement.
    ? e-Creative Book: The use of electronic technology to create a book online will develop students’ skills and confidence in using online platforms. This form of assessment will also enable students to adopt a creative approach to summative assessment.
    Emphasis will be placed upon providing quality feedback which enables the students to develop their academic and practical skills further. Academic staff will ensure that all forms of feedback are aligned with the identified learning outcomes and level descriptors, identifying areas of strength and development. The feedback process will also be aligned with the Academic Advocacy (AA) programme.

    FdSc Bioscience/Biochemistry with a 50% aggregate. UCNL will accept their own students progressing from the FdSc Bioscience/Biochemistry but will also look to enrol students who have studied foundation degrees at other institutions, ensuring that the programme content is comparable.

    On completion of the BSc (Hons) Education with Biological Science students will be able to progress to either a teacher training programme such as; SCITT or the PGCE or they may wish to progress to the Master’s in Educational Research Practice at UCNL or similar post-graduate study at another University. Students could also progress onto a Masters in Science related subject.

     

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    Course Fees

    Your Tuition fees cover the majority of costs associated with your programme (including registration, tuition and assessment).
    There may be some extra costs that you might need to make or choose to pay.
    Books (you will have access to books from your module reading lists in the HE library, but you may want to buy your own copies).
    Printing and photocopying.
    If your programme includes a work placement, you may be required to pay for a Basic or Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check.


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