Some reflections on SE

Nowadays lots of countries seek to introduce a paradigm shift in scientific education (SE). The latter sin of a lack of relevance and a boring approach where notions should be memorized in short time, when the risk of doubtful abstractness and “difficult tendency” to define the plot raise day after day, in line with the sections of the book.

The point that should be underlined here is that science is not only relevant for the correct and analytical formation of the student as it is a base, a “fortress” for further education choices and a wider and responsible vision on education.

Last time I saw an article, reporting that Estonia is having on-going educational reforms (this is not something new there as the process started since 2011!) that will lead new generations to significant changes in the school system. Probably they’ll arrive soon to the final steps that let national stakeholders capable to bridge the gap between theoretical knowledge and the needs of the modern society where students learn to:

“Use scientific knowledge to solve problems and to make reasoned decisions that impinge on environmental issues, as well as issues associated with life in the home, at the place at work, or in the community; value science as a part of culture, essential for understanding a responsible and sustainable way of life and determining sustainable uses for natural resources”.

Teachers have a difficult role. They need to innovative and empathetic with their class, choosing contemporary and effective materials to convey their discipline in the better and direct was possible with fewer hours at disposition. This aspect is more relevant for students that are following a scientific path on their learning period and require experimental practice and understanding more in depth.

In most of the cases, the teachers that aim to introduce something new (activities, programs, extra material, experiments, games related to their subject) need to act both as learners (on what define the object in reference), teachers (on how transfer knowledge to their audience) and enjoy to be themselves reflective players (recognizing by a meta-analysis which are the strengths and weaknesses of their proposal).

Usually the main problem-solving techniques of science teaching and assessments relate to the indicators of IBSE, a protocol that promote the value of inquiry-based science education. This document should be a stronger reference with whom wants science being meaningfully associated with environmental and common life issues. In fact, it is obvious that main aspects of scientific view are associated with the level of social relevance and the meaningful science education received.

Paradigmatic changes need to be considered from science teachers perspective towards their class and the members that recognize their professional and ethical role. This need is felt not only for a more integrated curriculum, but also for a deeper and connected presentation of the content they need to guarantee taking care on science and technological development, discoveries, partnership achievements (underlying team work, knowledge advancement, self-confidence on progress, etc) and so on and so forth.

I remember that when my science teacher showed self-confidence towards us, being clear and promoting a coherent learning package for each module, we were listen to her. Not only that, we were making other and further considerations to the content provided, and nowadays this attitude is related to the acquisition of key competencies. Thanks to this attitude or provided weekly practice, it can be stated that our experience (of course that there were members that wouldn’t agree to this claim!) in class was an effective and worthwhile setting of learning.

We were stimulated to become more interested and engaged in the process of acquiring the main info embedded in the paragraphs that we should follow in the aseptic book while she was speaking to us, making info graphic on the blackboard and creating somehow an orchestrated theater performance in front of us. In such way, key words were stressed and framed with examples of real-life science.

All of this package were useful…Especially when we were tired for a busy and full day of notions to memorize.

In most of the cases we were listen, interested and attracted by all this approach. There were times when questions arise during the explanation (now that I’m thinking about it, class members were not so polite to wait until the end of the lesson!) establishing the need to know more. The willingness to go deep and explore more fully the context under study. Probably we trust in her abilities, knowing that the peerson in front of us could stand all of this; in the best way ever.

She transfer us the need to desire “context”, but the effective and purpose one, activated beyond general and initial expectancy. The motivation was not conceptualized in order to fit with the usual habit to have good notes, receive the group recognition or attention and establish a sort of strong scaffolding of theories, calculus and problem-solving abilities.

This is why another approach and general trend lead the class.

We wanted to be able to interpret things in the best efficient way possible. The strongest motivation for us was to understand how and why things learned should be useful and  correlated to other disciplines. And probably this tendency let our curiosity growing up.

Of course, as many of you understood, this is only a brief statement of the overall picture.

But I am the idea that with the increases of teachers knowledge, life -long learning procedures, focused training and better technological equipment in schools, young will consolidate their inferences to further stages of learning, gaining confidence in their inner motivation and on the purposeful dialogue, on what assimilated, with their peers.

LH

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