Primary Science Education

“Primary Science Education – a Cause for Concern?”

In 1988, Bob Hawke introduced the term “The Clever Country” while opening Canberra’s Questacon . While attracting some derision, not least from many of the elite in Australia’s scientific community, the phrase did catalyse wide debate about the opportunities and difficulties confronting the Australian community in an era of enormous technological change. A focus on Education was inevitable.

At the same time, Victorian Education Policy underwent a sweeping revision. A plethora of year 11 and 12 courses were rationalized into the VCE, years 1 to 10 being subjected to the Curriculum and Standards Framework. The framers of the CSF held that the Curriculum could be divided into a small number of Key Learning Areas, and that prescriptive guidelines should commence at Junior Primary level.

Science is a Key Learning area. Victorian Government schools are required to provide a Science education based on the CSFII document, with non-Government schools generally following suit.

There is a wide range of passionately held opinions about the teaching of Science to younger students, but they can be categorized as follows:

  • Is there sufficient emphasis and importance being placed on Primary Science?
  • Who and what is Primary Science for?
  • Is Science being taught well enough in Primary Schools?
  • Should Science be taught at all, at this level?
  • Does it Matter?

Chris Krishna-Pillay, Manager of CSIRO Education in Victoria will address these issues on Wednesday May 21 in The Barton Room, Whitehorse Inn Hotel, 5 Burwood Road Hawthorn.

(Transcript of the talk – May 2003 Talk) Admission is $10 at the door, with refreshments provided.

Chris will commence his presentation at 8.00 pm. We suggest you try the excellent bistro before the talk.

Whitehorse Inn Hotel has plenty of parking space, is a one-minute walk from Hawthorn Station, and is served by tram route 75.

Vic Skeptics are planning more events at this venue in 2003.

Related links

Teachers! There’s a new source of material designed to help you promote critical thinking in YOUR classroom! Australian Skeptics Teacher Resource http://www.skeptics.com.au/features/teachers.htm

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