Osborne J, Science Education for the Twenty-First Century Eurasia Journal of Mathematics, Science & Technology Education, 2007, 3(3), 173-184 (.pdf link)
Abstract: This paper argues that the dominant form of science education that is common across the world rests on a set of values that have no merit. Moreover, such practice has a negative impact on students’ attitudes to science. It makes the case that the primary goal of any science education should be to develop scientific literacy and explores what that might consist of and why such an education is necessary in contemporary society. It concludes by examining some of the challenges that such a change might require.
To be discussed Tuesday 7.30, 24th January @teachingofsci to moderate).
- Which of the ‘seven fallacies’ are most significant in your lessons? How do you overcome them – or do you think the problem of one or more is overstated? Can you suggest simple principles or changes, either in the classroom or within the teaching specification, which would address these issues?
- This paper, like many others, discusses the need for and definition of ‘scientific literacy’. Leaving aside the aspect described as ‘cognitive’, how do science courses test this skill and what tasks do you use to teach it? Do the ideas in the paper suggest new ways in which we could help our students develop scientific literacy?
- Osborne places great importance of the ability to reason in science – critical thinking – and it is hard to disagree, but it is a claim that has been made for other subjects, including Latin and Philosophy. How can we demonstrate the acquisition of reasoning skills in our classrooms and lessons?
- Osborne lists ‘five dimensions of practice’ which describe teachers’ use of pedagogy. Where would you place yourself on each scale and how have you progressed towards (his definition of) the ideal? What have you changed, or what do you aim to change in the future? How would you share this with colleagues?