Secondary Science – The Fishing Line

A teacher from Cornwall investigates science success in Finland ‘It’s been great watching a group of students working as scientists,’ says Nigel Bispham after sitting in on a class of 13 year olds dissecting fish.
Nigel, a deputy head from Cornwall, is on a visit to Finland. He’s come to Olari Lower Secondary School, just outside Helsinki to try to understand why Finland’s 16 year olds have done so well in science in the international OECD PISA study. He’s met by deputy head Maija Flinkman.
‘There were many pupils who were quite anxious about doing a dissection,’ Maija admits. One pupil who is not so keen is Jaakko. He dislikes getting his hands dirty, but finds another, part eaten fish inside the perch’s stomach. ‘I prefer theory,’ admits Jaakko.
In conversation with Nigel, Maija explains that the fish dissection is part of a seven-week study of the water eco-system. ‘I think the open-ended investigation that you are doing is the very essence of good science teaching,’ says Nigel.

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