The use of toys in teaching school physics


  • Christine Preston The University of Sydney


This workshop will showcase a range of toys suitable for use in teaching physics in schools and to increase graduate primary education students’ confidence and knowledge in STEM. Participants will engage in observing and discussing toys to identify their potential in developing students understanding of science concepts and skills in working and thinking scientifically. Examples of toys suitable for primary school and above will be explored through interactive segments.

The workshop is based on my research with preservice teachers learning to teach primary science. Toys simultaneously involve teachers & students in pleasurable scientific play as they explore the conceptual aspects of science. Toys also provide opportunities for modelling scientific thinking & using metalanguage that helps to relate science to the world around them.

Intended Audience: Primary and Secondary Educators

Author Biography

Christine Preston, The University of Sydney

Dr Christine Preston is senior lecturer in science teacher education in the Sydney School of Education and Social Work at the University of Sydney, Australia. She taught science in elementary and secondary schools and has been involved in teacher education in early childhood, elementary and secondary science. Chris’s research in science education focuses on children’s learning and teacher development including using toys for teaching and learning in science and technology. Her current research includes multimodal representations, citizen science in schools, embodied learning in early mathematics and science and teacher performance assessment.