What aspects or areas of science education do you believe are lacking and should be improved on? How can we achieve a good balance of theoretical and practical teachings and prepare students for the future of science? In other words, how can we improve the science curriculums around the world?
I believe the main issue with current science curriculum is that public school curricula revolve around three main subjects: physics, chemistry, and biology, and students aren’t exposed to the different disciplines of all of the other incredible subjects related to science. By grouping them into these very general areas, there’s very little area to explore interests or understand the premises of what the field studies. By the end of high school, many times you’re expected to already know exactly what you want to study and commit to that major in higher studies, and changing majors may be more difficult.
My personal outlook on primary and secondary studies is that they should not only give a good basis on all subjects, but also focus on more specific areas of specialization. For many high schoolers, there’s a common misconception that there’s a set number of occupations and majors limited to the sciences, history, and english, where in the real world there is so much more than that. The core studies of the general sciences should be kept, but there should be the option to be able to explore the other disciplines; zoology, archaeology, oceanology, meteorology, botany, engineering—the list goes on.
High school should prepare students for the decision of their lives and also excite them about learning. There should be much more interactive elements included in the learning curriculum. Science is hard to understand solely in classroom settings. Science, technology and innovation surround our modern world, and just pointing out the different applications, performing experiments and taking trips to important sites could enhance the learning process and create a better understanding for the students.
In working with younger kids and exposing them to the excitement in science, technology and innovation, I’ve realized that, especially at a young age, the key is to be able to engage them using elements that they find fun, including games, fun activities and crafts. Incorporating science and ending the lesson with the ultimate concept is an effective technique in getting the younger generation interested in the sciences, and can be applied in other age groups, as well.
As someone who has had very little exposure to these fascinating aspects of the sciences, I only realized my passion for astrophysics after I took the initiative to join a research group at my local university. The minimal exposure I received in my own classes along with the book-reliant learning didn’t excite me as much as actually doing hands-on work with real data. The interactive and casual atmosphere I found myself submersed in motivated me to learn and create tangible results.
There are so many perspectives and points of view that can come from the simple question, so I’ll turn it over to you: how do you think we can improve the science curricula in schools?