SCIENCE AND MATH TEACHERS’ COLLABORATION: HOW TO DEVELOP IT SEEKING PUPIL’S SUCCESS AT SCHOOL
Authors: Vincentas Lamanauskas
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The importance of science and technology is obviously increasing. Such spheres as biotechnology, environmental security, biochemistry, synthetic biology, neurobiology and other have been strongly affected and even changed by science and technology progress. And that affect is growing. It is paradoxical, but over the last decade a decreased youth interest in science and technologies has been observed in many world countries. One of the first serious research studies on that question was initiated and carried out by IOSTE (International Organization for Science and Technology Education, http://ioste.nmmu.ac.za/). The research “The Relevance of Science Education”, http://roseproject.no/) showed that there are essential differences among various countries. One of the most worrying problems is, that in so-called developed countries (e.g., Japan, Norway, Finland, Great Britain and other) the youth interest in science and technologies is poor, the biggest part of youth do not relate their career with science and technologies. Whilst, in so-called developing countries (e.g., Uganda, Philippines, Trinidad and Tobago, Botswana and other) the youth relate their future career with science and technology development and think that this is a guarantee for better life and success. The first international comparative research was carried out in 2004 and repeated in 2008. The results, basically, were similar. Later, the researchers carried out various comparative research studies applying additional variables, for example, (Human Development index, HDI). Again, the same tendency was confirmed, to be more precise, an inverse correlation relationship was obtained. The countries, whose HDI is high, the youth’s interest in science and technologies is poor, and on the contrary, in the countries whose HDI is relatively low, the youth are interested in science and technology development. Though, these results are quite well known in academia, however, they are very important from the political and practical point of view (Lamanauskas, 2014). PISA and TIMMS research studies showed the same tendencies as well. Though the youth in developed countries understand the importance of science and technologies, however, this does not mean a lot to them. One of the most probable causes of such situation is, that at school it is not shown or (insufficiently shown) the importance of science and technologies for future career possibilities. Why isn’t this shown? Again, a lot of things determine such situation. First of all, science subjects and especially math are taught at school referring to formulas, theorems, blindly following the textbooks. Apparently, there is a lack of practical examples, real situations and problem solutions. It is understandable, that this requires much bigger resources – both material and intellectual. Thus, it is necessary to increase the possibilities for pupils to get acquainted with the practical appliance of sciences and math. This includes the attendance of university, plant laboratories, museums and other.