In partnership with the Society of Biology, Royal Society of Chemistry, and Institute of Physics


The trialling study provided formative feedback which was used to improve and refine the resources and teacher guidance. The study was carried out by Dr Ian Abrahams, University of York.

Each pedagogical approach (Model-based inquiry, Argumentation, and Science in the workplace) was piloted separately using the following process:

  • A workshop at which teachers were asked to plan to use the resources.
  • Lesson observations by researchers and project team. Interviews were held with the teachers before and after the lesson observations, using a framework of standard questions.
  • A second workshop where teachers were asked to apply the approach to a new context, testing their understanding of the approach.
  • Analysis of discussions during workshops and lesson observations.

The following research questions led the pilot design and formative reporting:

  • Are the teachers planning to enact the activity in the way the design was intended?
  • Do the teachers get the students to do what was intended?
  • Is the teacher able to use appropriate questioning to scaffold students learning?
  • Are the teachers able to transfer the approach to a new context in the way the design was intended in the original resources?
  • What are the barriers to transferring the design concept to new contexts?
  • In what ways do teachers perceive that the approach is similar or different from their common practice?

22 teachers took part in the trialling study, from schools around the South East of England.