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Jack Holbrook and Miia Rannikmae

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1 Jack Holbrook and Miia Rannikmae
Introducing an STL teaching thrust How is the STL thrust expressed in school science curricula? Jack Holbrook and Miia Rannikmae

2 Questions What is the current purpose of teaching science (or science subjects) ? What should it be ? If there is a difference? What can be done to eliminate this ?

3 The agenda Thus let us consider
1. Goals of science education from a scientific perspective 2. Goals of science education from an education perspective 3. The concerns in the teaching of ‘school science’ 4. How might the concerns be addressed?

4 Traditional School Science
Science education in school has remained relatively traditional. The emphasis is put on: conceptual knowledge, grouped into distinct disciplinary strands, the use of key, abstract concepts to interpret and explain relatively standard problems; the treatment of context as mainly subsidiary to concepts, and the use of standard practical work to illustrate, or verify principles and practices.

5 What is science education for?
Reflections on 21st century strive to: Go beyond ‘science for the scientists’ versus ‘science for society.’ Include ‘education for employability’ and promoting interest in science-related careers plus the development of attributes for this. So where is the emphasis – a base for future studies; responsible citizen; preparation for a career?

6 Purposes of Science Education in the compulsory years
Which is it? Or is it - all of these? A Cultural purpose A Democratic purpose An Economic purpose A Personal development purpose A Utilitarian purpose (Symington & Tytler, 2004, p. 1411)

7 Cultural purpose: all members of society develop an understanding of the scope of science and its application in contemporary culture. Democratic purpose: students develop a confidence about science which would enable them to be involved in scientific and technological issues as they impact on society. Economic purpose: the number and quality of people with strong backgrounds in science and technology in business and public life, as well as in science and technology, that are needed to secure the country’s future prosperity. Personal development purpose: all members of society benefit from the contribution that the values and skills of science can make to their ability to learn and operate successfully throughout life. Utilitarian purpose: all members of society have sufficient knowledge of science to enable them to operate effectively and critically in activities where science can make a contribution to their personal wellbeing (Symington & Tytler, 2004, p )

8 Three Possible Justifications for Why Teach “Science” within Science Education
1 Science has news for us (We can gain information) 2. Although Science does not know all the answers, it aids understanding of the world around is (Science is based on observation and prediction. It is not an act of faith) 3. Science offers competence and technical know-how (Scientific skills)

9 Trends The trends in science education can be considered and further explored from: A science perspective (as a subject for learning) An educational perspective (the students learning needs)

10 For the future scientist
Studies show (for all and even future scientists) the need to: communicate effectively to multiple audiences; be able to work in multi-disciplinary teams, having well-developed analytical thinking skills; understand the social and ethical context in which they work, and have developed the desire and ability to be lifelong learners.

11 Teacher views It has been argued that the continuing resistance to curriculum change throughout the 20th century has largely been due to the allegiances of teachers, and to some extent the general public, to a version of science education as disciplinary knowledge and the development of expertise (the economic viewpoint). We need to remember that teachers’ professional identities are forged through their experiences from school and university science, with very few having practised science in a research or professional sense (Tytler, 2007).

12 Goals of Science Education From a scientists perspective , what is the purpose in teaching science?
Science teaching is seen as helping students to : Acquire a broad understanding of important ideas and explanatory frameworks. Sustain and develop curiosity about the natural world. Develop confidence in an ability to inquire into its behaviour.

13 Goals of Science Education (continued) But why not to: .
appreciate why scientific ideas are valued; appreciate an underlying rationale for making decisions (in science); able to understand and respond critically to media reports; feel empowered to hold and express a personal point of view on science related issues; able to acquire further knowledge when required.

14 The Dilemma The dilemma, then, is how to balance the need to teach established scientific knowledge, with the need to represent science as it is practised or has value in contemporary settings. One approach is to select socially relevant, interdisciplinary topics, and then ‘weave scientific understanding and logic’ into the cultural, social, historical, social and ethical perspectives.

15 The World Conference on Science
The World Conference on Science drew attention to the ethical and moral values demanded of scientists. “Ethics and responsibility of science should be an integral part of the education and training of all scientists. It is important to instil in students a positive attitude towards reflections, alertness and awareness of the ethical dilemmas they may encounter in their professional life.” Participants at the conference suggested Science Curricula should include science ethics, as well as training in history, philosophy and the cultural impact of science.

16 Implications for science education.
If democratic values, tolerance and a culture of peace, and ethical values related to science are to be developed, then science education at the school level must surely play an integral part in this. (VALUES AND SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT) And more and more we can be expected to be called upon to solve scientific and technological problems. Thus students need to be able to recognise a problem, put forward an approach to solving the problem, carry out the investigation, analyse the outcomes and then put forward a solution (i.e. be a PROBLEM SOLVER).

17 Relevant Goals for School Science Curricula
Do you agree these need to promote : conceptual science knowledge and problem solving skills. an awareness of what is science and how science has progressed. the development of democratic and ethical values, and instilling tolerance, a culture of peace and social responsibility. PLUS to play a role in developing students’ abilities to communicate their learning from science. AND

18 Relevance Goals for School Science Curricula (contd)
Encompass positive attitudes towards the learning of science Promote the making of decisions geared to societal concerns e.g. ensuring sustainable development and the development of social values where science is involved. Help develop the individual students (e.g. promote creativity, initiative, inquisitiveness, perseverance, safety awareness/responsibility)

19 In Hong Kong The Goal of Education have been stipulated under the headings: Intellectual development; Communicative ability; Social and Moral responsibility; Personal and Physical development; Aesthetic awareness. It is suggested the goals of science education can be placed under the same headings.

20 Goals for Science Education
Alternatively, the goals can be expressed in terms of five major components that underline the organisation of curriculum and instruction : 1. Empirical knowledge of chemical, physical and biological systems. 2. Scientific methods of investigation. 3. Social development or achieving the aspirations of society. 4. Personal development of the student. 5. Career awareness.

21 A Science Education Philosophy
Acquiring the Nature of Science The Goals of Science Education Social Development (Cooperative, Leadership Skill, Social Values) Individual Development (Intellectual, Aptitudes, Attitudes)

22 The Dilemma But where is the emphasis?
What is required for enhancing STL? Is the emphasis SCIENCE (Inquiry teaching)? Is the emphasis EDUCATION (Generic Skills)?

23 The contrast facing Science Teachers
In the BLUE corner - the developing trends in science teaching when SCIENCE is the focus In the RED corner – the developing trends in science teaching when EDUCATION is taken to be the true focus Do you prefer the developing trends in science education viewed from the blue corner or the red corner ?

24 Trends taking place in teaching when Science is seen as the vehicle for learning
From (old view): To (a more modern view): Pure science knowledge e.g. properties of gas, definition of force, pressure, etc. Relevance in everyday life e.g. why a preference for high voltage transmission lines in the electrical power industry Lower order learning - emphasis on gaining information (memorising) and understanding. More emphasis on higher order learning – analytical thinking, problem solving, making judgements. Teacher centred approach to knowledge acquisition. Practical work of the recipe type (like cookery) Teaching approached from inquiry and values-in-society perspective (largely student centred/investigative or through discussion) Science as a body of knowledge Science as a way of thinking & process - understanding the nature of science

25 Trends that have taken place when Education is seen as the focus of learning
From (old perception) To (new view) Science taught to enable students to become scientists Science taught for its use in society &/or for responsible citizenship Science emphasising “basic” or “fundamental” (19th Century?) cognitive concepts Increased emphasis on relevance, argumentation, working together, socio-scientific meta-cognition Science approached as an isolated school subject Inter-disciplinarity between school subjects (natural science and social science) Teacher centred approach, limited classroom feedback Student centred approaches for maximising student feedback and developing leadership/self-discipline Emphasis on summative tests and examinations (assessment of learning) More attention to formative on-going assessment (assessment for learning)

26 Summarising: the red or the blue
SCIENCE through EDUCATION The emphasis is on the science The target is the specialist EDUCATION through SCIENCE The emphasis is on the education The target is all students

27 Science through Education Education through Science
Learn fundamental science knowledge, concepts, theories and laws. Learn science knowledge and concepts important for understanding and handling socio-scientific issues within society. Undertake the processes of science through inquiry learning as part of the development of learning to be a scientist. Undertake investigatory scientific problem solving to better understand the science background related to socio-scientific issues within society. Gain an appreciation of the nature of science from a scientist’s point of view. Gain an appreciation of the nature of science from a societal point of view. Undertake practical work and appreciate the work of scientists. Develop personal skills related to creativity, initiative, safe working, etc. Develop positive attitudes towards science and scientists. Develop positive attitudes towards science as a major factor in scientific endeavours. Acquire communicative skills related to oral, written and symbolic/tabular/ graphical formats Acquire communicative skills related to oral, written and symbolic/tabular/ graphical formats to better express scientific ideas in a social context. Undertake decision making in tackling scientific issues. Undertake socio-scientific decision making related to issues arising from the society. Apply the uses of science to society and appreciate ethical issues faced by scientists. Develop social values related to becoming a responsible citizen and undertaking science-related careers.

28 Education through science promotes STL
(a) ensuring relevance of school science (develop intrinsic motivation based on the students’ world). (b) incorporating science into social decision making (school science is socio-scientific in nature) teaching students problem solving/inquiry skills (reaching scientific solutions that can then be transferred to issues and concerns in society) (d) guiding students to gain an understanding of the nature of science (appreciate what science can and cannot do; how it can be carried out, what its limitations are; the value of the scientific enterprise; science as a social endeavour).


30 The Issue with Science Education
For the most part, science education is (EC, 2007) Not relevant Boring Too abstract Difficult Let is consider a possible ‘Education through Science’ way forward.

31 The 3 stage model - an approach to the teaching of science
Consolidation of scientific learning through transference to the contextual frame and promoting socio-scientific decision making. Science learning is initiated by a familiar context as the frame of reference, It is linked to a need in the eyes of students. Meeting the science learning need by scientific problem solving learning, giving due attention to NOS. In a science context (non-social) In a social context involving science In a socio-scientific context

32 The 3 stage model Stage THE INITIAL MOTIVATIONAL (CONTEXT-BASED) STAGE All modules start within a context by means of a scenario. Stage 1 is socio-scientific, but recognises a science learning component (& hence a need to determine students’ prior science knowledge). Stage 1 strives for relevance but being familiar to students Stage 1 is intriguing to students by address an issue or a concern that s meaningful to students (Modules are NOT designed to be revision).

(acquiring new science knowledge and skills through an inquiry learning approach & maintaining positive attitudes) The teaching engages students in inquiry learning and is expected to engage students in SCIENTIFIC PROBLEM SOLVING. If PROBLEM SOLVNG IS THE SKILL, then INQUIRY LEARNING IS THE APPROACH Most teaching in science education is associated with this stage. THIS IS THE MAJOR STAGE FOR ACQUIRING NEW SCIENCE CONCEPTS & SKILLS 

The learning needs a science consolidation stage. Students are expected to learn to associate the science they have acquired with society. Students engage in socio-scientific decision making (gaining competencies through utilising the acquired science in a new situation).

35 A flowchart illustrating the learning from stage 1 to stage 3


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