Effective science teaching
Science teaching in schools is often criticized, especially by older students, for being too prescribed, too impersonal, too lacking in opportunity for personal judgement and creativity.
Science has become reduced to a series of small, apparently trivial activities and pieces of knowledge, unrelated to the world in which the students are growing up, and inhibiting to their developing personalities and aspirations. And yet, despite the pressures of national curriculum and examination syllabuses, science in schools can be, and often is, much more exciting and stimulating than that.
This book celebrates such science teaching, and the qualities of the teachers who produce it, and argues that doing science should be a holistic not a reductionist activity, involving the affective as well as the cognitive aspects of a student's life. We should be concerned not only with what students know and can do, but also with whether they want to do it.
Furthermore, Brian Woolnough argues that the best form of effective science teaching is through student research projects, in which students take a problem of personal concern to themselves and tackle it, worry at it, persevere in it and, meeting its challenges, produce their own solution. Such involvement in genuine scientific activity is, it is argued, not only possible in schools but essential if school science can do justice to our students and to the scientific enterprise itself.
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