Why is it important to teach and learn Science?


Unfortunately, I missed the most recent #scichat on Twitter about “Assessment in Science”, which included discussion about rubrics, portfolios, “open journal quizzes”, “performance labs.”, oral tests, addressing misconceptions and content vs process. Two of the comments that resonated with me were “shifting away from thinking of students as future scientists to students as future citizens” and “providing an authentic audience”.  This was a timely discussion, as we are finalising a curriculum document at our school at present, and I have been thinking carefully about why it is important to teach science in schools. This is what I have come up with:

As a science teacher I aim to:

1. Improve students levels of scientific literacy to enable:

  • informed debate about scientific and technological issues that appear in the popular media
  • active participation in decision-making policy on a range of scientific issues, including environmental matters (for example: stem-cell research, genetically modified organisms, climate change, immunization)
  • consumer confidence based on rational, scientific thinking

2.  Encourage students to become enthusiastic about learning and about science (increase motivation)

3. Develop student’s confidence in their ability to achieve their goals (in science and more generally)

4. Foster an appreciation for the natural environment and the develop the knowledge and skills to contribute to a sustainable society

5. Develop students knowledge, skills and attitudes that are necessary to establish and maintain a healthy lifestyle.

Why do you think it is important to teach and learn about science? Please leave me a comment if you have any more ideas.

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