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Enthusiastic comments about what science is, and the part it plays in our lives – the "big ideas" – included:

  • "Driving society."
  • "Benefits society – saves lives."
  • "... is finding the truth and figuring out how the truth will help us to live better."
  • "Science expands the mind through technology, universe, human body."
  • "The meaning of life."
  • "Why the world is like it is."
  • "It's fun – always discovering new things."
  • "Pretty cool if you want a future in it."
  • "Physics – the most easiest of all to learn, probably because I pay attention."

The way science is taught clearly has an impact. Several comments related to teaching:

  • "The teacher does not hold our attention."
  • "Easy with the appropriate teacher and environment."
  • "Lesson variety is important."
  • "Confusing – we start something and then don't finish it."

The specifics of how science is taught indicated a degree of frustration:

  • "I don't like being told what is true – we should be doing the questioning, not being supplied with the answers."
  • "I don't like the fact that there is a right answer – this is against the true nature of science."
  • "Only making connections that other people have already made."
  • "We need more options."
  • "Confusing – too many formulae, equations, vocabulary, names to remember."
  • "The problem is that one set of views becomes dominant."
  • "Want to learn more about electricity."
  • "More lab work."

A group from years 9 to 13 seemed to appreciate the generic skills they gained from studying science, listing these as: general knowledge, making judgments/justifying choices, planning, following procedures, predicting, and technical skills.

Published on: 20 Sep 2007