A CONTEXT-BASED APPROACH TO SCIENCE TEACHING
Authors: Jack Holbrook
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It has been traditional to educate students in school, especially secondary schools, through subject domains and within lessons named according to the domain. Today in most countries, science lessons are offered in the curriculum, specified as science, or one of its sub-components e.g. biology, chemistry, physics, or perhaps a combination of these e.g. physical science. It does not have to be this way, of course, as can be amplified by the concept of an integrated day, implemented at the primary level in a number of countries.
So what is intended in science lessons? A traditional view is that they are about information and concepts so as to provide an intellectual background for further subject learning at a higher level. This especially came about when education was selective and not all students were able to successfully compete for the opportunity to progress to the higher levels of learning. But even today, in systems where education is intended for all (and usually compulsory up to 15/16 years of age), content knowledge and conceptual understanding seems to prevail. One look at the standard science textbook will show chapter headings dominated by the subject and with heavy use of scientific terminology.