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What was your science classroom like? The textbook was probably written in 1956 and last updated in 1972. The teacher might have read out from the textbook, and you copied what they said into your notebooks. If things were a little better, there might be a presentation with some pictures. Assessments, too, might have been a stressful event, draining the fun out of science. Many incomprehensible assignments that are difficult for students to complete in time deprive them of interest in science. To help them with this, they can always turn to the Edubirdie service with a request “write my essay for me.” This way they can save their time to rest or prepare for exams. An end-year exam is one of the most profoundly terrifying experiences for a young student trying to find something they are passionate about.
With all these ordeals, is it any surprise that students usually have very little love for science?
One of the biggest mistakes curricula and teachers often make is teaching science as a collection of facts and content, rather than teaching science as a process. Understanding and using the scientific method is integral to developing a deeper, richer understanding of the discipline. Mainstays of the scientific method include observing, describing, developing hypotheses, deciding on a method, and running experiments.
Science is our way of understanding the world. Teaching the scientific method itself allows students to develop their own questions about the world, encourages them to explore and find answers, and fosters a passion for investigating their surroundings.
An aspect of the scientific method that merits special attention is experimentation. Experimentation is the primary way scientists test hypotheses and describe the world better. Often, experiments are perceived as costly. Schools assume that they would need a lab with rows of chemicals, glassware, microscopes, and electrical wires. This is anything but true! Experiments can be very low cost, and there are many guides online for limited-resource experimentation. For experiments that simply cannot be done without a lab, there are many simulators available to create the experience without the setup. Even thought-experiments can go a long way to encourage students to use the scientific method. Ask them what they wonder about, how they would test it, and what they would expect.
Ignoring the method of science also has other implications. When we teach famous discoveries, they are presented as a given. An apple fell on Isaac Newton’s head and he discovered gravity! This is not true. Scientists in history also tinkered, pondered, and fiddled before coming up with their theories. Charles Darwin took twenty years to come up with the theory of natural selection! Scientific history is a fascinating aspect of science and learning about the scientists themselves can often be inspiring for young students.
The history of science also demonstrates that science is an ongoing process that scientists actively take part in. Something that everyone accepts as fact might be overturned completely when someone like Albert Einstein comes along! Often, the misconceptions students carry mirror what older ideas of science dictated, so learning about why they were wrong can be very useful in correcting misconceptions.
Another way to highlight science as an ongoing process is to focus on current science. Fascinating breakthroughs take place every year, like the first photos of a black hole, or the sequencing of the human genome in its entirety. Learning about present revelations encourages students to see the field of science as dynamic and ever-changing. It also develops the sense that someday, if they wish, students can make these discoveries too.
Teaching science is not easy, and making students excited about science can be even more challenging. Through experimentation, the history of science, and teaching students about new discoveries, an appreciation of the scientific method can be fostered along with a deep passion for the discipline.