ERIC Number: EJ941471
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Oct
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 55
Science and Technology Education in the STES Context in Primary Schools: What Should It Take?
Journal of Science Education and Technology, v20 n5 p444-453 Oct 2011
Striving for sustainability requires a paradigm shift in conceptualization, thinking, research and education, particularly concerning the science-technology-environment-society (STES) interfaces. Consequently, "STES literacy" requires the development of students' question asking, critical, evaluative system thinking, decision making and problem solving capabilities, in this context, via innovative implementable higher-order cognitive skills (HOCS)-promoting teaching, assessment and learning strategies. The corresponding paradigms shift in science and technology education, such as from algorithmic teaching to HOCS-promoting learning is unavoidable, since it reflects the social pressure, worldwide, towards more accountable socially- and environmentally-responsible sustainable development. Since most of the STES- and, recently STEM (science-technology-engineering-mathematics)-related research in science education has been focused on secondary and tertiary education, it is vital to demonstrate the relevance of this multifaceted research to the science and technology teaching in primary schools. Our longitudinal STES education-related research and curriculum development point to the very little contribution, if any, of the traditional science teaching to "know", to the development of students' HOCS capabilities. On the other hand, there appears to be a "general agreement", that the contemporary dominant lower-order cognitive skills (LOCS) teaching and assessment strategies applied in science and technology education are, in fact, restraining the natural curiosity and creativity of primary school (and younger?) pupils/children. Since "creative thinking" as well as evaluative system thinking, decision making, problem solving and...transfer constitute an integral part of the HOCS conceptual framework, the appropriateness of "HOCS promoting" teaching, and the relevance of science and technology, to elementary education in the STES context, is apparent. Therefore, our overriding guiding purpose was to provide any evidence-based "research" to the vital LOCS-to-HOCS paradigm shift in STES education. The findings of, and conclusions derived from our longitudinal research on HOCS development within STES-oriented and traditional education, suggest that both--science and technology education (STE) and STES education--are relevant to primary school education. Based on this, what it should take to insure success in this context, is thoroughly discussed.
Descriptors: Problem Solving, Decision Making, Creative Thinking, Social Influences, Sustainable Development, Science and Society, Science Education, Information Technology, STEM Education, Elementary School Science, Environmental Education, Critical Thinking
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A