Neighbourhoods, societies, states, countries, nations, have all progressed year on year. It wouldn’t be wrong to also credit this progress to the field of science. Science is forever advancing, welcoming a new breakthrough with every dawn. It isn’t limited to books and laboratories but is everywhere around us. From cooking to lighting a candle to growing a garden, science today has become an inseparable part of our lives. But how far do we understand the importance of true science education?
Science In Everyday Life
All curious minds find a way through science. Children, who are naturally curious, may find science to be an ideal subject for them. Science allows children to explore and discover the unknown, and to appreciate and relate to the world around them.
True science education teaches children more than just the basics; it teaches them to make observations, to collect information, and to use logical thinking to draw a conclusion.
These skills are important in every aspect of our lives.
The Flaws In Science Education
Remember Newton’s laws of motion or the names of the planets in our galaxy that we learned in school? Many of us do, but only a handful would know the story and the process behind these discoveries. We have been taught to ‘learn by heart’, but what we actually study is the end results of an experiment, without even knowing what the experiment actually was. How then, do we articulate the importance of that which is considered true science education?
The Oxford Learner’s Dictionary defines science as ‘Knowledge about the structure and behaviour of the natural and physical world, based on facts that you can prove, for example by experiments’.
Science is largely made up of two fundamental parts – one is the experiment, and the other is the result or the fact that has been obtained from the experiment. The former seems to be, unfortunately, missing from the curriculum, and this half-baked learning process clearly points at the problem with our education system.
Schools and other educational institutions across the country provide materials which focus only on the end result of the experiments. This messes up the fundamental understanding of science that people have, making them sceptical and building an aversion towards the subject. What we fail to realise is that the flaw lies in the pedagogical framework and not in the subject matter.
What Is True Science Education?
To discuss science education and what makes it a true learning journey, we invited our science educator and communicator Obuli Chandran for a chat. Obuli has a degree in textile engineering and is also the co-founder of Mango Education. Currently, he teaches Physics and Maths through Astronomy at Mango.
Obuli’s storytelling style of teaching has become a huge success among students and colleagues alike, and children especially love his classes.
During the discussion, Obuli promptly shared the story of the jump he made from being a full-time textile engineer to a science educator, and the motivations and challenges he faced during that time. Further in the discussion, several other points on ‘the flaw in science education’ are elaborately discussed.
A few questions that you may find discussed during the episode: How did Obuli end up being a science educator? How did Obuli’s journey begin? What is the role of history in science education? Where exactly should science enthusiasts start? What are some of the books that Obuli would recommend for parents and kids to read?
Obuli Chandran has a passion for astronomy which also prompts him to go the extra mile and share what he loves with others. Follow his Instagram for stunning astronomy photographs with educational content.
If you are a science enthusiast or educator who loves to learn and teach then this episode is just the thing for you. It’s also a must-hear for anyone who loves to explore new realms. The episode is in two parts and can be found on our Podcast page. Listen to the entire conversation on Hello Educator.
- Marincola, Elizabeth (2006, Jan 24). Why public science education important, PMC
- Mini-me geology, Why is science education important for kids, Tips Sheets.
- The Importance of Learning Science: Teaching Strategies for Today’s Educators, Walden University.
- Importance of science education in schools, University of Texas (2017, Sept 8)