May 28, 2020
In this fourth edition of the OWSD Nigeria National Chapter University of Port Harcourt Branch series of scientific communications, Eucharia Oluchi Nwaichi addresses science education.
Science Education, the unique field that brings content and process aspects of science to non-traditional scientists, has made significant positive impact on the world around us. The fields of science, technology, and education hold a paramount place in the modern world, but there are not enough workers globally entering the science, technology, engineering, mathematics and medicine (STEMM) professions. The statistics hover mostly around women, and developing countries bear the brunt more. Science education deals with the goal of organizing science systematically. Many developing countries mix up events and outcomes with superstition, isolate science from day-to-day activities and suffer insufficient funding by governments. Government and the governed need science education to engage in and efficiently explore issues related to their personal and community priorities as well as to better understand how to apply science knowledge for the development of the society. Given the glaring need to harness available technologies and processes, mobilizing diverse students into STEMM education is a matter of social justice.
The standards for science education provide expectations for the development of understanding to the learners that may include heterogeneous public, children, college students, etc. The traditional subjects included in the standards are physical, life, earth, space, and human sciences. It is noteworthy that a chick pecks its way out of the egg, a fingerling fights to get out of the mother-fish’s belly but a human-baby needs a push to get out of the womb. This push in development is the job of science education! Learn from these traditional sciences for effective development:
- Physical sciences: break the rules sometimes;
- Life sciences: people naturally love encouragement, like science prizes;
- Earth sciences: protect nature for it is an amazing thing to do;
- Space sciences: give people some space to innovate;
- Human sciences: the solution to our challenges lie within.
Communities and users need to know about our science. What is keeping us from sharing the content and processes of our science? Are we focusing on our weaknesses? Let’s focus on our half-full cup - our strength! Science is not about why, but about why not. Get up and get doing.
Share your research and connect with other scholars to build mutually supportive networks (like the Organisation for Women in Science in the Developing World) to drive the development of science, technology and innovation in the region and by extension, the world.
This effort will build a vibrant community of scholars committed to brokering connections that enhance their career progression, while also accelerating their contribution to the region’s and global strategy for Research & Development.
Science education fosters curiosity about the world and enhances scientific thinking and could bring and keep more women and girls into STEMM careers.
Taking control of STEMM will develop the potential to enhance the human environment, increase production and improve the standard of living of our people. Otherwise, a waste of resources will emanate, including energy and serious social, health and environmental problems.
Science education creates a climate of public opinion for the better use of STEMM in industrial development that we desire.
- Teach others what you know
- Analyse objectively
- Respect constructive criticism
- Share success stories
- Allow innovation
- Always monitor performance and evaluate
Gilbert, J. K. (2015). International Encyclopedia of the Social & Behavioral Sciences (Second Edition).
Fenichel, M. and Schweingruber, H.A. (2010) National Research Council. Surrounded by Science in Informal Environments. Washington DC: The National Academies Press. doi:10.17226/12614. ISBN 978-0-309-13674-7.
About the author
Dr Eucharia Oluchi Nwaichi
University of Port Harcourt,
Rivers State, Nigeria.