Articles on Science education

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Two new international reports on school performance should be put into perspective. Education image from www.shutterstock.com

Are we headed for an educational disaster? Hardly

The recent release of Australia’s performance in the TIMMS (2011) and PIRLS (2011) test results has sparked much media comment about what this means for the quality of Australian education. The focus so…
Prime Minister Julia Gillard wants Australia to improve its international standing in education performance, setting a goal to be in the top 5 by 2025. AAP

New reports sound alarm on school performance: experts respond

Two new education performance reports released by the Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER) have painted a bleak…
The latest results of international testing in maths, science and reading means Australia’s education outlook does not look good. Test image from www.shutterstock.com

Latest tests show PM’s 2025 education goal is in doubt

Prime Minister Julia Gillard in September set an ambitious goal for Australian education: to be ranked as a top-five country in reading, mathematics and science by 2025. Clearly she is hoping to lift Australia…
We’re underestimating what primary school students can understand in science. Formula image from www.shutterstock.com

Testing the theory: taking Einstein to primary schools

School students today are taught physics based on obsolete theories and outmoded ways of thinking. Instead of the truth, most learn a naive simplification - the 300 year-old Newtonian physics, itself based…
Looking to Asian schools is exactly what we shouldn’t be doing. Chalkboard image www.shutterstock.com

Our Asian schooling infatuation: the problem of PISA envy

It was fun while it lasted Finland, but we’re going cold on you. We thought your schools had the secret but our new infatuation is with Asian school systems. The Prime Minister seems to agree. The government…
A more “authentic” science curriculum can be achieved for schools. aDecorusUniversitas

Teachers note: science and society are intertwined

Is science being taught badly? In the broadest sense, yes. Most Australian school science curriculum documents I see today seem to be about teaching students how different science is from the rest of society…
A passion for science can be contagious. Discover Science & Engineering

National Science Week: stirring the scientist in all of us

Today marks the end of National Science Week, an annual celebration of Australian science. It’s always a fun week in which scientists get to share their research with the public, where museums and universities…
The focus on mathematics and other enabling sciences is diminishing in Australia. Flickr/eriwst

Australian science: healthy but starting to splutter

Australian science is “generally in good health”, but faces major challenges in the form of falling science participation…
Chief Scientist Ian Chubb’s report, released today, presents some serious concerns for the future of Australian science. AAP Image/Alan Porritt

A prescription for healthy science? Chief Scientist’s report points the way

Chief Scientist Ian Chubb’s Health of Australian Science report, launched today at the National Press Club, starts on an optimistic note. Australian science is generally in good health: school students…
The days of ‘sit down, shut up and do your science’ are over. Today’s students ask hard questions. University of Iowa

Teaching kids to think critically about climate

Two recently published books suggest that the public - and school children in particular - are being fed lies about environmental issues such as climate change. The books - “How to Get Expelled from School…
CSIRO CEO Dr Megan Clark. AAP/Alan Porritt

Efficiency tax will stifle scientific work at CSIRO

A $23-million “efficiency dividend” on administrative costs at CSIRO will inevitably affect the quality of scientific research…
Flickr/Discover Science & Engineering

Primary school science education – is there a winning formula?

Australia’s Chief Scientist, Ian Chubb, released a worrying report earlier this year. Unhealthy Science? University Natural and Physical Sciences 2002 - 2009/10 revealed the number of students studying…
Watch your maths: an Australian Academy of Science report looks to be based around mistaken use or interpretation of numbers. Flickr/emdot.

Science not plummeting in schools: report is ‘way out’

The Federal Department of Education says it advised the Australian Academy of Science’s authors of a break in the series…
Ian Plimer says kids are being taught activism, not science. woodleywonderworks

Plimer’s climate change book for kids underestimates science education

The forces of climate science denial have geared down a level. Having failed in their attempt to confuse adults and stop the parliament adopting a timid first step in response to climate change, they are…
Australia ranks poorly for the number of graduates emerging with a science degree. epSos.de

Science, maths and the future of Australia

Australia faces many big challenges – in the economy, health, energy, water, climate change, infrastructure, sustainable agriculture and the preservation of our precious biodiversity. To meet these, we…

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