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Importance of science education in schools

Importance of science education in schools
How is Science Involved in Students’ everyday lives?
Whether natural or human derived, every aspect of a student’s life is filled with science;
from their internal biology, to the scientific methods used to build the roads, the computer
engineering of their iPads, to the trees outside the classroom that create oxygen for
survival. Perhaps more important than specific examples of science in our lives are the ways
we use scientific thought, method and inquiry to come to our decisions. This is not
necessarily a conscious thing. The human need to solve problems arises from curiosity or
from necessity. Children’s innate curiosity about the world and how it works prompts them
to independently develop rudimentary forms of scientific inquiry and design activities to
find answers to their questions and solutions to their problems. In the fields of science, the
process of inquiry is more direct, question, use evidence to form an explanation; connect
that explanation to existing knowledge and communicate that evidence based explanation
and experimentation based on scientific method follows a similar course. Although inquiry
and the scientific method are integral to science education and practice, every decision we
make is based on these processes. Natural human curiosity and necessity lead to asking
questions (What is the problem?), constructing a hypothesis (How do I solve it?), testing
with evidence and evaluating the result (Did the solution work?), and making future
decisions based on the result. This is problem-solving; using critical thinking and evidence
to create solutions and make decisions. Problem solving and critical thinking are two of the
most important skills students learn in school. They are essential to making good decisions
that lead to achievement and success during and after school.
Critical thinking skills.
Science education is one of the most important subjects in school due to its relevance to
students lives and the universally applicable problem solving and critical thinking skills it
uses and develops. Teaching the scientific methods to students is teaching them how to
think, learn, solve problems and make informed decisions. These skills are integral to every
aspect of a student’s education and life, from school to career.
These are lifelong skills that allow students to generate ideas, weigh devisions intelligently
and even understand the evidene behind public polocy making. Teaching technological
literacy, critical thinking and problem solving through science education gies students the
skills and knowledge they need to succeed in school and beyond.
Yet although they are nearly synonymous, scientific inuiry in schools is not always explicitly
tied to problem-solving and critical thinking. The process students learn when creating,
executing, evaluating and communicating the results of an experiement can be applied to
any challenge they face in school, from proving a point in school to developing a photo....In
this way science is one of the most important subjects students study because it gives them
the critical thinking skills they need in every subject.
Public policy decisions that affect our lives are based in scientific evidence. The natural
world that surrounds us illustrates infinite scientific concepts. Every day, in both our
professional and personal lives, we confront unfamiliar situations in which we have to solve
problems, adapt our own behaviours and make decisions. We do this by utilising and
manipulating the knowledge we already have, drawing upon our experiences and skills to
guide our choices and assist our steps forward. Authentic learning aims to equip students
with these essential life skills, to show the connection between learning and real-life and to
give students the problem-solving abilities that they require for life beyond school.
Furthering this position, Dewy (1915) argued that ‘the great waste in school comes from his
inability to utilise the experience he gets outside and, on the other hand he is unable to
apply in daily life what he is learning in school.’ The outcome from education should be to
send students into the world prepared for both their personal and professional lives,
education and life should not be isolated from each other. Recognising we cannot teach our
students everything, we can teach our students to be adaptable and creative thinkers who
are able to utilise the skills and knowledge they do have to create new solutions to
problems. By giving students the opportunity to learn through authentic, real life, relevant
learning experiences, we are giving them the ability to apply their learning, learn through
doing, to see their abilities, adapt to change, and to form the habits required to do this
successfully in their lives and beyond.
By designing learning experiences with relevance and authenticity, teachers can plan
occasions for the projects, goals or outcomes as guided by the ACARA aims ....goals to be
addressed acquisition, making meaning and transfer (AMT), . Break down the skills the
students need in order to complete the project or reach outcome and may be across a
number of curriculum areas and matched to curriculum statements and objectives. 21 st
century acara outcomes of..... More than anything else, authentic learning experiences
generate engagement with students, further promoting scientific literacy.
Scientific literacy.....
As children grow up in an increasingly technologically and scientifically advanced world,
they need to be scientifically literate to succeed.
Science learning begins long before children enter formal education. Effective teaching
recognises and capitalises on children’s intrinsic interest in science, builds upon the initial
concepts and strategies children have aquired, and provides an educational environment
that allows those concepts and strategies to expand and deepen. The ACARA provides a
framework for science teaching and learning, and recommends important conceptual shifts
in science instruction. The professional standards for teachers supports this new vision and
its application in the Next generation of science standards and recommends all educators
make the transition to three-dimensional teaching and learning, supporting the acquisition
of scientific literacy and connecting 21st century skills learning through inquiry based
Using real-world examples and tackling real-world problems as teaching strategies in the
classroom can make learning about important issues more meaningful to students, and it
can help spark excitement in learning. There is research to support the value of authenticity
when students are engaged in teaching strategies that use real-world problems and
scenarios. Not only does it make it more meaningful for students, but they become
engaged in learning and become more aware of the choices they make in the classroom.
The ACARA aims/rationales...curriculum recognise that big issues happen outside of the
classroom. Creating authentic experiences to apply their classroom knowledge to a real
problem, or issues, students are being engaged in topics that affect, and matter to them
Eg..Reading about real-life issues such as storms helps students connect better to what they
are reading. Guest speakers, field trips, simulation of real life experiences
Students thrive with teachers who consider physical, socio-emotional and intellectual space
for creative and in depth learning. Such an environment provides children with
opportunities to engage in
Teaching scientific methods to students is teaching them how to think, learn, solve
problems and make informed decisions. These skills are integral to every aspect of a
student’s education and life from school to career.