Changes in Science education

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Open University Teach and Learn

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Get down to the core of why we teach science

About. This lesson raises the following questions :

  • What is science and what are the problems teaching the Nature of Science.
  • Science and certainty; Observation and measurement; Scientific methods and critical testing; Cause and correlation.
  • The development of scientific knowledge; Creativity.
  • Who is science education for? Education for democracy; The public understanding of science.
  • Assessing the quality of data; Multiple interpretations in science; Modelling in science.
  • What are the chances that scientific literacy will prevail? Evidence of progress?
  • Science for all; Primary science; Secondary science; Post-compulsory science education.

Pedagogical content. Providing an overview of current issues in UK science education, this unit examines what type of science the curriculum should cover and for what purpose. It introduces students to practical problems in the delivery of an effective science curriculum(topic), and particular questions at all three educational tiers - primary, secondary and tertiary - are touched on. The unit can be used to assist curriculum planning(topic) (edit)

Resource details
Title Changes in Science education
Topic Science curriculum,  Curriculum planning,  Science Education
Learning Objectives
  • Demonstrating an understanding of problems associated with defining the Nature of Science.
  • Writing in an informed way about the purposes of compulsory science education.
  • Being aware of the educational complications and implications associated with the phrase ‘the public understanding of science’.
  • Showing an ability to comment critically on curriculum proposals that aim to promote science citizenship/scientific literacy.
  • Providing examples of how specific scientific understanding might be used by lay individuals in a practical context.
  • Explaining how the uses of the term ‘scientific models’ are variable and complex and the pedagogic implications.
  • Identifying factors that to date have inhibited the wide-scale adoption of curricula geared to the needs of science citizenship.
  • Describing some of the practical problems associated with the introduction of science into the (England & Wales) primary National Curriculum.
  • Having a preliminary understanding of issues associated with the teaching of science at secondary level, especially practical work and problems of teacher support.
  • Distinguishing as far as is possible between vocational and ‘academic’ approaches to science teaching and differences in outcomes.
Format / structure

Web tutorial with six PDF documents; two JPG images and two MP3 audio files

Subject
Age of students / grade


Useful information

Part of the Open University's Teach and Learn series, adapted from their course Contemporary issues in science learning (SEH806)


Files and resources to view and download



Preview image:

Changesinscienceeducation.png