How can we improve science teaching and learning…..?
THE QUALITY of science teaching and learning continues to be an area of concern. What it is inadequate; it is often the lack of a sufficient number of highly-qualified and dedicated science teachers that is cited as the problem. Subject knowledge is important; we should not neglect the need to be able to get a subject across. Primary school science teachers may not always have the subject knowledge but they are generally adept at using the knowledge that they have to enable students to understand the concepts. The teacher who knows the student or the teacher who knows the subject, its finding the balance between the two. With careful planning and a measure of rigour, integrated learning can be particularly motivating. Bringing subject to gather to address a problem that students see as “Real” can enthuse them as well as helping them see the role of the scientists in society. A network of specialist schools to design and deliver integrated science, technology, engineering, Physics and Mathematics activities. Scientific literacy is important throughout a student life as he or she participate in public policy issues related to “Technology” stays current with advances in areas like Biotechnology, Medicine and space exploration.
“Science and Technology” are tightly interwoven and literacy of both of them is important. Knowledge of Science and mathematics is important to succeed in life. The future strength of the country is dependent on our school, college and university students being inspired by the prospect of pursuing careers in “science and technology”. Diminishing interest in science subjects is amongst several other factors, attributed to, the lack of knowledge and understanding of the real importance, values and contribution Of science to everyday life, gender, the traditional methods of teaching, lack of the availability of sufficient qualified teachers and the general negative attitudes of young People towards science.
A major goal of science education should be to develop in the right attitude to experimentation and using them in solving the problems of the Society, then scientific literacy is achieved. We can improve our science teaching and learning methods by focusing on some major points.
1) One way of improving the attitudes of students towards science is through the use of IT. Although a slight older article “Science then and now” does highlight some ways in which IT might be used to heighten understanding of the basic concepts. Although practical activities remain a priority.
2) Internet help students get acquainted with professional scientists working methods, making ever increasing use of computer, computer software and the internet. with the internet and the world wide web, a wealth of learning materials in almost every subject and in a variety of media can now be accessed from anywhere at any time of the day by unlimited number of people.
3) The government should provide necessary infrastructure for the integration of “ICT” in our secondary school system as provided for in the national policy on education. The government strives to preserve interest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) subjects at secondary and tertiary level education.
4) The training and re-training of Science and Technology teachers and instructors should be encouraged in our secondary schools.
5) Subject teachers in Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Maths and also on other science subjects should be trained on the use of information communication technology (ICT) to be familiar with teaching packages in their subject area for use in secondary schools.
6) Students should be given an opportunity to apply and develop their (Science and Technology) capability through the use of ICT tools to support the learning in “Science”.
7) Science student should be taught the knowledge, skills and understanding through using a range of sources of information and data including relevant soft ware in the various science subjects.
8) Science teachers staff works together towards the common goals. there is a sense for purpose, collegiality and ownership, leading to good co-operation and team work.
9) The most important thing is that “Reverse lesson planning” in which the introduction of new concepts time used for question, instead of the other-way around.
10) The Science and Discovery Centers, museums, books, internet and media all play a significant role in inspiring children and young people by exposing them to renowned scientists lives, discoveries and inventions that exist throughout history.
11) Maybe universities should “adopt” a few schools, and offer to those schools their professors and researchers for a few hours every month, with the goal of conveying the meaning and importance of science for the advancement of knowledge and for the collective good of the human race.
A society aware of the benefits of science and technology will work to ensure it remains scientifically and technologically competitive. Also, a science-literate society will provide the necessary support, funding and promotion to ensure future generations continue to improve upon modern advances that benefit everyone. A good science education helps students “to develop the understandings and habits of mind they need to become compassionate human beings able to think for themselves and to face life head on.
It should equip them also to participate thoughtfully with fellow citizens in building and protecting a society that is open, decent, and vital”. Scientific achievements have led to longer, healthier, better lives. A generation that understands and honors or celebrates past achievements will welcome and pave the way for future discoveries and inventions that will improve physical and mental health. And a healthier society means a more productive society. Science fosters the kind of intelligent respect for nature that can inform decisions on the uses of technology to improve the world for humans and all living things.