To better prepare students for the science and technology of the 21st century, the into their instruction (American Association for the Advancement of Science, Zeichner, for example, argued that teacher action research is an important. of the interrelationship between science, technology and society. The teaching today have witnessed the novelty of radio, for example, evolve from the crystal. To highlight the importance of teachers in science education, these .. This example illustrates the close relationship between teaching and assessment. .. for students to use contemporary technology as they develop their scientific.
Teachers also change their plans based on the assessment and analysis of student achievement and the prior knowledge and beliefs students have demonstrated.
Thus, an inquiry might be extended because it sparks the interest of students, an activity might be added because a particular concept has not been understood, or more group work might be incorporated into the plan to encourage communication.
A challenge to teachers of science is to balance and integrate immediate needs with the intentions of the yearlong framework of goals. The content standards, as well as state, district, and school frameworks, provide guides for teachers as they select specific science topics. Some frameworks allow teachers choices in determining topics, sequences, activities, and materials.
Others mandate goals, objectives, content, and materials. In either case, teachers examine the extent to which a curriculum includes inquiry and direct experimentation as methods for developing understanding.
In planning and choosing curricula, teachers strive to balance breadth of topics with depth of understanding. In determining the specific science content and activities that make up a curriculum, teachers consider the students who will be learning the science. National Science Education Standards. The National Academies Press. Such decisions rely heavily on a teacher's knowledge of students' cognitive potential, developmental level, physical attributes, affective development, and motivation—and how they learn.
Teachers are aware of and understand common naive concepts in science for given grade levels, as well as the cultural and experiential background of students and the effects these have on learning.
Teachers also consider their own strengths and interests and take into account available resources in the local environment. For example, in Cleveland, the study of Lake Erie, its pollution, and Inquiry into authentic questions generated from student experiences is the central strategy for teaching science.
Teachers can work with local personnel, such as those at science-rich centers museums, industries, universities, etc. Over the years, educators have developed many teaching and learning models relevant to classroom science teaching. Knowing the strengths and weaknesses of these models, teachers examine the relationship between the science content and how that content is to be taught. Teachers of science integrate a sound model of teaching and learning, a practical structure for the sequence of activities, and the content to be learned.
Inquiry into authentic questions generated from student experiences is the central strategy for teaching science. Teachers focus inquiry predominantly on real phenomena, in classrooms, outdoors, or in laboratory settings, where students are given investigations or guided toward fashioning investigations that are demanding but within their capabilities.
As more complex topics are addressed, students cannot always return to basic phenomena for every conceptual understanding. Nevertheless, teachers can take an inquiry approach as they guide students in acquiring and interpreting information from sources such as libraries, government documents, and computer databases—or as they gather information from experts from industry, the community, and government.
Other teaching strategies rely on teachers, texts, and secondary sources—such as video, film, and computer simulations. When secondary sources of scientific knowledge are used, students need to be made aware of the processes by which the knowledge presented in these sources was acquired and to understand that the sources are authoritative and accepted within the scientific community. When carefully guided by teachers to ensure full participation by all, interactions among individuals and groups in the classroom can be vital in deepening the understanding of scientific concepts and the nature of scientific endeavors.
The size of a group depends on age, resources, and the nature of the inquiry. Teachers of science must decide when and for what purposes to use whole-class instruction, small-group collaboration, and individual work.
For example, investigating simple electric circuits initially might best be explored individually. As students move toward building complex circuits, small group interactions might be more effective to share ideas and materials, and a full-class discussion then might be used to verify experiences and draw conclusions.
The plans of teachers provide opportunities for all students to learn science. Therefore, planning is heavily dependent on the teacher's awareness and understanding of the diverse abilities, interests, and cultural backgrounds of students in the classroom. Planning also takes into account the social structure of the classroom and the challenges posed by diverse student groups.
Effective planning includes sensitivity to student views that might conflict with current scientific knowledge and strategies that help to support alternative ways of making sense of the world while developing the scientific explanations. Teachers plan activities that they and the students will use to assess the understanding and abilities that students hold when they begin a learning activity.
In addition, appropriate ways are designed to monitor the development of knowledge, understanding, and abilities as students pursue their work throughout the academic year.Science Outreach brings new technology and techniques to the classroom
Individual and collective planning is a cornerstone of science teaching; it is a vehicle for professional support and growth. In the vision of science education described in the Standards, many planning decisions are made by groups of teachers at grade and building levels to construct coherent and articulated programs within and across grades.
Schools must provide teachers with time and access to their colleagues and others who can serve as resources if collaborative planning is to occur. Teaching Standard B Teachers of science guide and facilitate learning. In doing this, teachers Focus and support inquiries while interacting with students. Orchestrate discourse among students about scientific ideas. Challenge students to accept and share responsibility for their own learning.
Recognize and respond to student diversity and encourage all students to participate fully in science learning. Encourage and model the skills of scientific inquiry, as well as the curiosity, openness to new ideas and data, and skepticism that characterize science. Coordinating people, ideas, materials, and the science classroom environment are Page 33 Share Cite Suggested Citation: This standard focuses on the work that teachers do as they implement the plans of Standard A in the classroom. Teachers of science constantly make decisions, such as when to change the direction of a discussion, how to engage a particular At all stages of inquiry, teachers guide, focus, challenge, and encourage student learning.
Teachers must struggle with the tension between guiding students toward a set of predetermined goals and allowing students to set and meet their own goals.
Teachers face a similar tension between taking the time to allow students to pursue an interest in greater depth and the need to move on to new areas to be studied.
Furthermore, teachers constantly strike a balance among the demands of the understanding and ability to be acquired and the demands of student-centered developmental learning. The result of making these decisions is the enacted curriculum—the planned curriculum as it is modified and shaped by the interactions of students, teachers, materials, and daily life in the classroom. Student inquiry in the science classroom encompasses a range of activities. Some activities provide a basis for observation, data collection, reflection, and analysis of firsthand events and phenomena.
Other activities encourage the critical analysis of secondary sources—including media, books, and journals in a library. Students formulate questions and devise ways to answer them, they collect data and decide how to represent it, they organize data to generate knowledge, and they test the reliability of the knowledge they have generated.
As they proceed, students explain and justify their work to themselves and to one another, learn to cope with problems such as the limitations of equipment, and react to challenges posed by the teacher and by classmates. Students assess the efficacy of their efforts—they evaluate the data they have collected, re-examining or collecting more if necessary, and making statements about the generalizability of their findings. They plan and make presentations to the rest of the class about their work and accept and react to the constructive criticism of others.
At all stages of inquiry, teachers guide, focus, challenge, and encourage student learning. Successful teachers are skilled observers of students, as well as knowledgeable about science and how it is learned. Teachers match their actions to the particular needs of the students, deciding when and how to guide—when to demand more rigorous grappling by the students, when to provide information, when to provide particular tools, and when to connect students with other sources.
Page 34 Share Cite Suggested Citation: She plans to do this through inquiry.
Of the many organisms she might choose to use, she selects an organism that is familiar to the students, one that they have observed in the schoolyard. As a life-long learner, Ms. She also uses the resources of the school—materials available for science and media in the school library.
She models the habits and values of science by the care provided to the animals. Students write and draw their observations. Developing communication skills in science and in language arts reinforce one another. Although she had never used earthworms in the science classroom before, and she knew she could use any of a number of small animals to meet her goals, Ms. She called the local museum of natural history to talk with personnel to be sure she knew enough about earthworms to care for them and to guide the children's explorations.
She learned that it was relatively easy to house earthworms over long periods. She was told that if she ordered the earthworms from a biological supply house, they would come with egg cases and baby, earthworms and the children would be able to observe the adult earthworms, the egg cases, the young earthworms, and some of the animal's habits.
Before preparing a habitat for the earthworms, students spent time outdoors closely examining the environment where the worms had been found. This field trip was followed by a discussion about important aspects of keeping earthworms in the classroom: Many postmodernist thinkers reject some of the basic elements of modern science, including its basic epistemological and ontological tenets.
In particular, they reject notions like objectivity and rationality. More extreme versions of postmodernism assert that scientific knowledge claims say more about the researcher than about reality, and that all other 'stories' about the world can be accorded the same epistemological status. In this tradition, notions like 'reality' or 'truth' are seldom used without inverted commas!
They have been met with strong counter-attacks from the scientific community. Book with titles such as The flight from science and reason Gross et al.
Postmodern Intellectuals' Abuse of Science Sokal and Bricmont indicate the tone of the 'conflict'. Scientists, especially those working in the mathematically demanding, physical sciences, are perceived by pupils as authoritarian and boring, having narrow and closed minds, and somewhat crazy.
They are not perceived to be kind or helpful and as working to solve the problems of humankind. It is interesting to note, however, that this somewhat negative image of scientists is found only in the developed and rich countries. Young people in developing countries perceive science and technology as the key to progress and development, and the people working in these areas are correspondingly regarded as heroes and helpers.
Disagreement among researchers perceived as problematic Scientists disagree about and debate many contemporary socio-scientific issues, e. Vigorous debate and disagreement in public may, however, confuse and disappoint those whose acquaintance is limited to the certainties of school science, where scientific knowledge is presented, especially in textbooks, as secure and never as controversial or contested.
Problematic values and ethos of science The traditional values of science are meant to safeguard objectivity, neutrality, disinterestedness and rationality. These and other values of science were described by the sociologist Merton who coined the acronym CUDOS to represent them. Communalism; Universalism, Disinterestedness, Originality and Scepticism. They have since come to be seen as the core ethos of science.
Taken to the extreme, however, these values may seem to justify an absence of ethical considerations and a lack of empathy with, and concern for, the social implications of science. The search for universal laws and theories may encourage an image of science as abstract and unrelated to, and disconnected from, human needs and concerns.
Ziman has commented upon on the issue of values and ethics in science. He describes how recent developments in the development of science have put even the traditional academic ethos under stress. He calls this new contemporary science 'post-academic science', and he urges the scientific community to become more ethically involved than ever before Ziman Dislike of an over ambitious science?
The achievements of science may call for admiration, but some also prompt also unease, as exemplified in the quotation above from the historian Eric Hobsbawm Many people dislike the image and ambitions of modern biotechnology and have an emotional and irrational fear about scientists who are 'tampering with Nature' or 'Playing God'.
They dislike the notion that individual men and women can be seen merely as instruments for the survival of their genes, as suggested by Dawkins in The Selfish Gene Dawkins They are suspicious of what they read about the mapping of all the human genes through Human Genome Project and they fear the 'progress' relating to cloning and gene manipulation.
Similarly, many people react emotionally when physicists talk about their quest for 'The Final Theory', also called 'The Theory of Everything', or even the search for 'The God Particle' the title of a book by Nobel laureate Leon Lederman. So while the high ambitions and great achievements of modern science may attract some young people, they are likely to scare others. For some, science is also seen as intruding into areas that are to be considered sacred and the notion that, in principle, science can explain everything is unwelcome.
An avoidance of science may thus in fact be a deliberate choice of values and therefore not something that may be remedied by simply providing more information, especially by the scientists. Big Science and techno-science Science used to be seen a search for knowledge driven by individual intellectual curiosity, and, historically, scientists have been rightfully described as radicals and revolutionaries who often challenged religious and political authority.
Contemporary science is different in a number of fundamental ways. The historical shift of scientists from being radical, anti-authoritarian rebels to loyal workers on the payroll of industry, the military or the state can be over-drawn but it is real and had been well described by Hobsbawm pp. The earlier image of the scientist as a dissident or rebel has been replaced with a less exotic image of a worker loyally serving those in power and authority. The previously privileged perception of the scientist as neutral defenders of objectivity and truth is increasingly questioned by the media, by many scholars e.
Zimanand by pupils in schools. Not very long ago, scientists and engineers were considered heroes. The scientists produced progressive knowledge and fought superstition and ignorance, the engineers developed new technologies and products that improved the quality of life. This image is, however, now the stuff of history, at least in the more developed countries.
For many young people in these prosperous, modern societies, the fight for better health and a better material standard is an unknown history of the past.
The present generally high standards of living are taken for granted, rather than understood as fundamentally dependent on advances in science and technology. The fruits of science and technology are there for all to buy off the shelf.
What attracts the attention of these young people are often the present evils of environmental degradation, pollution or global warming. The triumphs of the past are set aside in the readiness to blame science and technology for many of the serious problems of the present. The new role models: Not in science and technology We live in an intellectual, cultural and social world that is in part created by the media. Football players, film stars and pop artists receive global publicity and earn fortunes.
The lives of journalists and others working in the media seem interesting and challenging. Although few young people enter these careers, the new role models on either side of the camera create new ideals. Young people also know that lawyers and some of those trading in the financial markets earn ten or a hundred times more money than the physicist in the laboratory.
The social climate, especially in developed countries, is not one which it is easy to convince young people that they should concentrate on learning science at school or beyond. A communication gap between scientists and the 'public'? The scientific and technological establishment is often confused and annoyed when confronted with criticism, especially when, historically, it has enjoyed prestige and generous finance and experienced few problems in recruitment.
Confronted with public distrust and scepticism, the need now is to justify scientific and technological research and development in public forums. The immediate reaction to this new situation is the search for scapegoats, and too often these are found in the schools and in the media. The fundamental difficulty is often perceived by the scientific and technological establishment as a lack of information.
In some instances, this may of course be the case, but, more generally, there is a need for a greater degree of self-criticism within the scientific and technological community, allied with an awareness that communication is a two-way process. At least some of the 13 points above may have some validity as explanations for the current disenchantment with science and technology, although the weight to be attached each will, of course, vary between countries.
Also, while it is a relatively straightforward matter to address some of the points, others are more deep-rooted and lie outside the direct influence of political decisions. Contradictory and optimistic trends? It is evident from the points raised above that the issues surrounding recruitment to science and technology are many and varied. Some of the recent trends are also contradictory. A falling enrolment seems to suggest a decline in interest in science and technology.
This, however, is the case only if enrolment in science and technology education is taken as the sole indicator of interest in these fields. Other indicators give other messages. For instance, young people in many countries are more interested than ever in using many kinds of new technology.
It is a paradox that the countries that have the most problems with recruitment to scientific and technological studies and careers are precisely those with the most widespread use of new technologies by young people. Examples include cellular telephones, personal computers and the Internet. There seems to be an eagerness to use the new technologies, but a reluctance to study the disciplines that underlie them.
Popular science and technology magazines have also retained their popularity in many countries, and television programmes about science, the environment and technology continue to attract large audiences.
Furthermore, survey data for the member countries of the EU often including some other countriessuch as the ongoing series of Eurobarometer surveys, do not give support to general claims about falling interest in, and negative attitudes towards, science and technology.
Indeed, to the contrary, these studies indicate a high level of public interest in scientific and technological research and a high level of acceptance of such research as a national priority EU The Eurobarometer studies also document that doctors, scientists and engineers have high esteem, much above that enjoyed by lawyers, 'businessmen', journalists, and politicians EU Scientific and technological skill and knowledge are acquired and developed in many different contexts, and not simply in formal settings like schools.
The media, museums of various kinds, the workplace and even 'everyday life' provide other learning contexts. Most of the impressive skills that young people have in handling personal computers, the Internet, cellular phones and all sorts of electronic devices are acquired in informal out-of-school settings.
When the Eurobarometer asked members of the public where they had acquired their scientific knowledge, television, the press and the radio featured much more prominently than either schools or universities EUp. Young people have often developed more advanced skills in information and communication technology than their teachers at school, even though their understanding of the underlying physical principles may be totally lacking.
Young people, as well as many who are older, demonstrate an impressive ability to learn and acquire new skills that they deem to be of relevance to their daily life. Educational authorities might learn important lessons from these areas of learning, seeking to support them while avoiding gender, economic, social or other inequalities in access.
Likewise, teachers in schools might well utilize the skills and the knowledge of the young in new and inventive ways. An international concern… The growing importance, but increasingly problematic, enrolment in, and status of, science and technology in many countries, provides the obvious background to a growing political concern about science and technology education in schools, higher education, media and the public.
In many countries, the situation has attracted political attention at the highest level, and, in some cases, projects and counter-measures are planned or put in operation. The Swedish NOT-project http: Some of these programmes have also initiated research and prompted discussion and other efforts directed at improving understanding of the dimensions of the problem.
Institutes of scientific and technological research, universities and industrial organizations have also established more or less coordinated intervention programmes. POS, as well as many other such intervention programmes by professional bodies, have seldom undertaken a convincing analysis as to why they are facing the problems of falling enrolment.
Some of their descriptions of the situation lack empirical evidence, and are more emotional than rational. Many institutions seem to be driven by nothing more than a need to 'do something' about the situation. From the available studies in the field, it also seems premature to claim that the public understanding of science and technology is deteriorating, although such claims are often voiced from interests groups on behalf of the scientific and technological establishment. One could, however, argue that the public understanding of science and technology needs to be much better than it is, given the crucial role they play in contemporary society.
General claims about falling standards, however, do not seem to be justified. Who needs Science and Technology — and Why? The problems surrounding recruitment to scientific and technological subjects can be viewed from several different perspectives. These range from industrial and governmental anxiety about national, economic competitiveness to concerns about empowerment at the grassroots level to protect and conserve the natural environment.
Industry needs people with a high level of qualification in science and technology. Modern industry is high-tech, and it is often referred to as a 'knowledge industry'. The need here is for highly qualified scientists and engineers for survival in a competitive global economy. While such survival is also a matter of national economic well-being, young people will not base their educational choices on what is good for the nation.
Universities and research institutions have a similar need for researchers and teachers to maintain research at a high international level and to train future generations of experts, researchers and teachers. Schools need large numbers of well-qualified teachers but many countries face a problem of both quality and quantity in recruiting to the profession.
Science and Technology in Education –
Well-qualified and enthusiastic teachers are the key to any improvement in the teaching of science and technology in schools, not least in laying the foundations for the future development of the knowledge, interests and attitudes of ordinary citizens once they have left school. Science and technology teachers are also influential in recruiting people to the science and technological sectors of employment. The long-term effects of a shortage of good science and technology teachers can be very damaging, although they may not be so immediately evident as a comparable shortage in industry and research.
Teachers of science or technology need a broad education: They need broader perspectives and skills in order to cope with the kinds of challenges set out earlier in this chapter. In particular, they need not only a foundation in the scientific or technological disciplines, but also an understanding that places these disciplines in their historical and social contexts.
Achieving this is likely to require significant reforms in teacher training. A modern labour market requires people with qualifications in science and technology. This need is great and growing fast, as knowledge and skills based on science and technology become prerequisites for employment in new or emerging sectors of the labour market.
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It is not only doctors, pharmacists, engineers and technicians who need a scientific or technological education. For example, health workers handle complicated and dangerous equipment and secretaries and office staff need good computer literacy. Likewise, lawyers and juries in court trials have to understand and critically judge evidence and statistical arguments in which knowledge of science and considerations of probability and chance play an increasing role.
New, as well as more traditional, technologies often dominate the workplace, and those with skills in these areas may have a competitive advantage in securing employment or promotion. Many countries have also identified a need for people with scientific or technological skills to replace those retiring in the near future. Beyond this, the general need is for a workforce that is flexible, willing to learn new skills, and able to respond positively to ongoing change.
A good grounding in science, technology and mathematics is important here since many innovations are likely to be derived from scientific and technological research and development. Science and technology education are required for participation as a citizen in a democracy. Modern society is dominated by science and technology, and citizens, acting as consumers and voters, are confronted with a range of science- and technology-related issues.
As consumers, we have to take decisions about food and health, the quality and characteristics of products, the claims made in advertisements, etc. As voters, we have to take a stand and be able to judge arguments related to a wide variety of issues. In such cases, a knowledge of the relevant science or technology has to be combined with values and political ideals. Issues relating to the environment are obviously of this nature, but so, too, are issues relating to a wide range of other matters, including energy, traffic and health policy.
A broad public understanding of science and technology is an important democratic safeguard against 'scientism' and the domination of experts. The above 'democratic argument' for scientific and technological education assumes that people have some understanding both of scientific and technological concepts and principles and of the nature of science and technology and the role they play in society.
Among much else, people need to know that scientific knowledge is based on argumentation and evidence, and that statistical considerations about risks play an important role in establishing conclusions. In short, while everyone cannot become an expert, everyone should have the intellectual tools to be able to judge which expert, and what kind of arguments, one should trust.
A note of caution, however, is appropriate. Addressing the problem of recruiting of potential Nobel Prize winners and researchers to work at CERN or elsewhere may require quite a different educational strategy from that needed to promote a broad public understanding of science or the protection of wildlife and other natural resources. If so, the challenge is to combine these different concerns and strategies within a flexible education system that also accommodates the notion of life-long learning.
The following questions indicate some of the choices that have to be made. There seems to be a broad agreement about the shortcomings of traditional curricula that still prevail in most countries. The implicit image of science conveyed by these curricula is that it is mainly a massive body of authoritative and unquestionable knowledge. Most curricula and textbooks are overloaded with facts and information at the expense of concentration on a few 'big ideas' and key principles.
There seems to be an attempt to cover most, if not all, parts of established academic science, without any justification for teaching this material in schools that cater for the whole age cohort. Many new words and 'exotic' concepts are introduced on every page of most textbooks. Although very few pupils will pursue further studies in science, preparation for such studies seems to be a guiding curriculum principle. There is often repetition, with the same concepts and laws presented year after year.
Such curricula and textbooks often lead to rote learning without any deeper understanding so that, unsurprisingly, many pupils become bored and develop a lasting aversion to science.
Moreover, this textbook science is often criticized for its lack of relevance and deeper meaning for the learners and their daily life. The content is frequently presented without being related to social and human needs, either present or past, and the historical context of discoveries is reduced to biographical anecdotes.
Moreover, the implicit philosophy of textbook science is considered by most scholars to be a simplistic and outdated form of empiricism. It should also be noted as in point 2 in the previous listing that science is often seen by students as demanding and difficult. Scientific ideas are not always easy to grasp, and their understanding sometimes requires concentration and hard work over a long period of time. Many young people today in technologically advanced countries do not readily make the commitment necessary to learn science.
If they are to make that commitment, pupils will need to be strongly motivated and sense that they are learning something worthwhile, interesting and valuable to them. This does not often seem to be the case.
Although science per se can be seen as difficult, the demands of school science can, of course, be adopted to suit the age of the learners. When pupils have a choice, the science curriculum has to compete for popularity and attention with other school subjects. Many of these subjects have qualities that meet the students' needs for meaning and relevance.