Progress In Science Education (PriSE)

Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Web Site. Another trend is the open inclusion of technology with the study of science. Contrasting the two can help develop an awareness of the history, philosophy, and sociology of both. Since more students are interested in technology than in science, including technology within science education can provide a vehicle for getting students more involved with basic science. Instead of authorities proclaiming science as important and useful, students discover that for themselves as they develop and use new technologies.

The science curriculum in the elementary grades, like that for other subject areas, should be designed for all students to develop critical basic knowledge and basic skills, interests, and habits of mind that will lead to productive efforts to learn and understand the subject more deeply in later grades. If this is done well, then all five of the reasons to teach science will be well served. It is not necessary in these grades to distinguish between those who will eventually become scientists and those who will chiefly use their knowledge of science in making personal and societal choices. A good elementary science program will provide the basis for either path in later life.

Thus, another source of confusion for the public understanding of science is the use of the term theory” to represent promising ideas as well as core explanatory theories. Core explanatory theories are those that are firmly established through accumulation of a substantial body of supporting evidence and have no competitors (e.g., cell theory, periodic law, theory of evolution, theory of plate tectonics). For much of science, theories are broad conceptual frameworks that can be invalidated by contradictions with data but can never be wholly validated.

The book also provides a detailed examination of how we know what we know about children’s learning of science-about the role of research and evidence. This book will be an essential resource for everyone involved in K-8 science education-teachers, principals, boards of education, teacher education providers and accreditors, education researchers, federal education agencies, and state and federal policy makers. It will also be a useful guide for parents and others interested in how children learn.

As the twentieth century ended, it was clear that science and technology played significant roles in the lives of all people, including future employment and careers, the formulation of societal decisions, general problem solving and reasoning, and the increase of economic productivity. There is consensus that science and technology are central to living, working, leisure, international competitiveness, and resolution of personal and societal problems. Few would eliminate science from the curriculum and yet few would advance it as a curriculum organizer. The basic skills that characterize science and technology remain unknown for most.