Thinking Science Australia


Further information

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The Thinking Science Australia program has at its core five principles.

Concrete preparation

Involves the teacher establishing a problem for the students to consider and to negotiate any associated ideas and terminology needed for the students to understand the problem.

Cognitive conflict

A process whereby students are encouraged to think about the problem in a way that challenges their conventional ways of thinking. Students are encouraged to consider a range of possible explanations for the problem.

Social construction

The shared development of explanations of and understandings about the problem and potential solutions. Teachers play a role in asking probing questions of students but not offering solutions. Active participation by all students is required, as all are expected to offer explanations and solve problems.

These processes are supported by the current support and commitment by the education community in pedagogy: group work, problem-solving and challenging teaching.


Requires students reflecting on their thinking and articulating their approaches taken to problem solving. This stage enables other students to access other ways of thinking and evaluating.


Involves the student and teacher working together to apply the ideas developed in the lesson to other problems in the real world. Associated science lessons can be used to help reinforce and remind students about the range of problem-solving strategies and ways of thinking they have developed.