"In education argumentative theoretical books are two a penny so it is very good to read Michael Reiss' longitudinal account of 21 children's progress through an 11-16 secondary school learning science, year by year, up to the end of their compulsory schooling.
Reiss includes the views of their teachers, the aspirations of their parents and their own hopes for the future.
It adds up to a book that beginning and experienced teachers and concerned parents will find rewarding." - Professor Joan Solomon, The Open University* What is it like to be a pupil studying Science in a school in England?* How important are home background and school teaching for pupils to succeed?* Why do some children maintain an interest in Science while others don't?Understanding Science Lessons reports the findings of a major five year longitudinal study into pupils' learning of science.
One group of mixed ability pupils were followed throughout their 11 to 16 science education.
A combination of extensive classroom observations and in-depth interviews with pupils, parents and teachers provides a rich mass of data.
These findings are interpreted with respect to such factors as the behaviours of girls and boys in lessons, the importance of the teacher, the purpose of investigations in science education and the effects of the English National Curriculum on classroom teaching and pupil motivation. Throughout, the emphasis is on the individual pupils and their experiences.
All pupil and parent interviews were carried out in their homes and the ethnographic approach allows the reader to gain a convincing insight into what it is like to be a pupil studying science at secondary school.