Education In Science

The Science Education MA aims to reflect contemporary theory in all aspects of practice in science education: international, formal and informal. The course requires you to complete a major in a science teaching area. Science teaching areas available include biology, chemistry, earth and environmental science, geography, and physics. You also need to complete at least two years of a second science teaching area, which can include mathematics. All students need to take one year of mathematics and chemistry or physics as part of this course.

As in England and Wales, science education in Australia is compulsory up until year 11, where students can choose to study one or more of the branches mentioned above. If they wish to no longer study science, they can choose none of the branches. The science stream is one course up until year 11, meaning students learn in all of the branches giving them a broad idea of what science is all about. The National Curriculum Board of Australia (2009) stated that “The science curriculum will be organised around three interrelated strands: science understanding; science inquiry skills; and science as a human endeavour.” 29 These strands give teachers and educators the framework of how they should be instructing their students.

Science centers have exceptional potential, but to measure their long-term impact is complex. The key difficulty is that there will always be an indeterminate time period and physical distance between the science center experience and the context within which it is subsequently assimilated and applied. What is more, we know little about the starting point from which individual visitors acquire their science center experience, given that they are not necessarily members of a school class which has followed a known curriculum.

Taylor Frye, a former Higher Education Research Experiences participant at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, transitioned from an intern to a full-time water compliance specialist. Since becoming a staff member, Frye has continued to broaden his expertise and knowledge. He has attended conferences, received Clean Water Act Manager training and taken on additional responsibilities to benefit his group.

These strands of scientific proficiency represent learning goals for students as well as providing a broad framework for curriculum design. They address the knowledge and reasoning skills that students must eventually acquire to be considered fully proficient in science. They are also a means to that end: they are practices that students need to participate in and become fluent with in order to develop proficiency. Evidence to date indicates that in the process of achieving proficiency in science, the four strands are intertwined, so that advances in one strand support and advance those in another.