Education ForumScience Education

Introducing Modern Science into Schools

Science  28 Aug 2009:
Vol. 325, Issue 5944, pp. 1077-1078
DOI: 10.1126/science.1171989

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Young people in Europe are becoming increasingly disinterested in science at school and are moving away from studying science at university, making it difficult to recruit the engineers and scientists needed to support technology-based economies (1). Several aspects of contemporary science teaching appear to be discouraging students: The pedagogy lacks variety, the quality of teaching is less engaging than for other subjects, and the content often appeals preferentially to male students (24). Most pedagogy is heavily reliant on transmission of facts and often lacks epistemological learning goals, which seek to offer an understanding of how we know that scientific facts are true. Many current teaching methods and curricula are designed to prepare students to pass tests by rote learning, but fail to develop cognitive skills needed in science (5). Coursework investigations are also widely criticized for being rather artificial exercises, which do not reflect the true nature of science as a process of inquiry (6).