Looking Ahead Science Education

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OFFICE OF THE PRIME MINISTER’S SCIENCE ADVISORY COMMITTEE

Looking Ahead: Science Education for the Twenty-First Century A report from the Prime Minister’s Chief Science Advisor
April 2011

Science Education for the 21st Century

Office of the Prime Minister’s Science Advisory Committee PO Box 108-117, Symonds Street, Auckland 1150, New Zealand Telephone: +64 9 923 1788 Website: www.pmcsa.org.nz Email: csa@pmcsa.org.nz ISBN 978-0-477-10336-7 (paperback) ISBN 978-0-477-10337-4 (PDF)

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Science Education for the 21st Century

Contents
Letter to the Prime Minister Looking Ahead: Science Education for the Twenty-First Century 1. 2. 3. 4. Preamble The purpose of science education in the school years Primary school education Secondary schools 4.1. Objectives and life skills 4.2. Pre-professional science education 5. Equity 6. Final remarks

v 1
1 3 4 5 5 6 7 8

ANNEX A: Inspired by Science
1. Introduction 2. A brief history of science education 2.1. Evolution of the curriculum 2.2. Purposes of science education 2.3. In summary 2.4. Notes to Section 2 3. Engagement and achievement in science 3.1. What is engagement? 3.2. What is achievement? 3.3. Assessment tools 3.4. Achievement 3.5. Engagement 3.6. Opportunities to learn science 3.7. In summary 3.8. Notes to Section 3 4. Young people, schooling and science in the 21st century 4.1. Changes in society, work and young people 4.2. Changes in the purposes of schooling 4.3. New theories of learning 4.4. Changes in science 4.5. Notes to Section 4 5. Considering the options 5.1. Scenario 5.2. Advantages and disadvantages 5.3. A way forward 5.4. Notes to Section 5 6. Appendix 1: achievement data

A-9
A-10 A-11 A-11 A-15 A-19 A-20 A-25 A-25 A-26 A-27 A-27 A-30 A-32 A-35 A-36 A-39 A-39 A-40 A-41 A-43 A-44 A-46 A-47 A-49 A-50 A-50 A-51

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Science Education for the 21st Century

ANNEX B: Engaging Young New Zealanders with Science - Priorities for Action in School Science Education 1. Introduction 2. The purpose of science education 3. The increasing complexity of science 3.1. Linkages between schools and science communities 3.2. Utilising ICT – beyond static platforms 3.3. Professional development 4. Integration of science into teaching and learning in primary schools 4.1. Pre-service training 4.2. Access to professional development 4.3. Science champions 5. Providing for the diversity of goals in secondary school classrooms 6. The needs of students achieving below expectations

B-55
B-56 B-57 B-59 B-59 B-60 B-60 B-61 B-61 B-62 B-62 B-63 B-66

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Science Education for the 21st Century

Letter to the Prime Minister
The Prime Minister Rt Hon. John Key Private Bag 18041 Parliament Buildings Wellington 6160

23 November 2010 Dear Prime Minister Re: Science Education In accord with my terms of reference, over the last year I have been evaluating the state of, and future direction of, science education at both primary and secondary school levels. I have engaged in extensive consultation with the relevant stakeholders. In association with the Ministry of Research, Science and Technology and the Royal Society of New Zealand, I commissioned a technical report from the New Zealand Council for Educational Research entitled Inspired by Science. This was subjected to stakeholder consultation and, following this, I formed a small expert group to produce a second paper making recommendations and suggestions for enhancement of science education. Their paper, entitled Engaging Young New Zealanders with Science: Priorities for Action in School Science Education, is attached. This paper was also subject to stakeholder consultation, including with the Ministry of Education. Naturally this paper focuses largely on the current situation and near-term matters. With these as background documents, I have taken a higher level and long term view and projected what are the challenges and opportunities for enhancing science education for the benefit of...
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