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Can anyone tell me how science teaching changed in the last 10 years?

Discussion in 'Education news' started by Sesquipedalian, May 10, 2019.

  1. gainly

    gainly Established commenter

    Sorry I've rather gone away from the original question.

    One change is more emphasis on memorising facts. Notably in physics GCSE they have to remember a lot of formulae which used to be given, which causes problems for some students. Strangely most of the formulae they had to learn for GCSE are then given to them for A level.
    Sesquipedalian and agathamorse like this.
  2. Stiltskin

    Stiltskin Lead commenter

    They wouldn't need to be so reactive? :)
  3. applecrumblebumble

    applecrumblebumble Lead commenter

    On basis of this and other posts, I really hope science does not go the same way as DT with very little practical. By the same token there are more people saying that schools are teaching a too narrow curriculum with less art, music and generally too much thought going into passing exams.
    Sesquipedalian and agathamorse like this.
  4. Sesquipedalian

    Sesquipedalian New commenter

    I have noticed a general disdain for practical work. It makes a total mockery out of science!

    I should also add STEAM and the abolishment of Assessment Levels to the list.
    topquark likes this.
  5. peakster

    peakster Star commenter

    The new Science GCSE is awful and demoralizing to teach.

    Students do not seem to want to do practicals any more

    I'm retiring soon - I can't wait.
    Sesquipedalian and agathamorse like this.
  6. Robfreeman

    Robfreeman Occasional commenter

    The specification is much more detailed and requires far more planning with less room to show originality and creativity. Much more tell them it answer the questions then giving the students the opportunity to find out the answer.

    Also the nature of the teacher coming through the system has changed (I stand by for flak from this comment). Far more accepting less questioning less challenging of the system then there was once. Some may think this is good i dont as sometimes changes only happen when the system is challenged.

    The child also seems to be much less resilient and lacking in the skills for practical work or independent thought. Im not sure how this can be addressed.
  7. theknowledgereview

    theknowledgereview New commenter

    Science is a subject to be studied by experimenting.It is a subject dealing wit the practical knowledge based on the experiments carried out in the laboratories.
    Know more about biomedical colleges: http://bit.ly/2JTB3G7
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 4, 2019
  8. topquark

    topquark New commenter

    I am also getting worried about this trend and I'm working outside the UK! I have noticed a change in attitude from colleagues who have recent UK experience - practical science seems to be at the bottom of their priority list. Whereas, when I started teaching a few decades ago, science teaching was all about demos, investigations, projects, discovery and students would bring in equipment they had prepared at home. These days, if a student did this, they'd probably get arrested on suspicion of making a harmful device.

    In my last three lesson observations, I prepared investigations and demos which I'm sure my colleagues are not capable of preparing and guess what ? SLT did not mention any word of the practical science in their observation notes - it was as if the practical science was a sort of inconvenience like a class register or fire drill.

    Although I must admit - sometimes good/bad practical science can cause unexpected fire drills.
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2019
    border_walker and blazer like this.
  9. JaquesJaquesLiverot

    JaquesJaquesLiverot Established commenter

    I'm not a science teacher, but...

    I was helping some students prepare for GCSE Biology the other week, and it struck me that a lot of questions were nothing to do with Biology. It was almost like a Maths paper - there were questions on interpreting graphs/correlations, and scaling things (e.g. how big the image would be when you looked through a microscope). I pointed this out to a science-teacher colleague and he said, "Well, they wanted the new GCSEs to be harder, and you can't make Biology harder so they just stuck some Maths in it!"

    The other thing that struck me is that I could remember more from my 1985 O level in Biology than they actually needed to know now. All the detail had gone - where we had to know about leucocytes and lymphocytes, for example, they only had to know about white blood cells, and they only had to know what clotting was, where we had to know about thrombokinase, fibrin, fibrinogen, we had to remember the chemical equation for photosynthesis, etc.
  10. border_walker

    border_walker Established commenter

    Not sure if still true, but I recall it being quoted that Biologists were the biggest users fof computers because of the modelling / maths involved.
  11. JaquesJaquesLiverot

    JaquesJaquesLiverot Established commenter

    Yes, computational biology is a thing, but presumably you need to know the biology first?

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