The importance of understanding

Today an understanding of basic science is considered essential for citizenship in a technological society. Here are some of the reasons why:

  • Science is an intrinsic part of the human cultural inheritance. Science is probably the greatest coherent intellectual human achievement.

  • If we are to use natural resources in a sustainable way then we need to understand how the physical world works.

  • Because science underpins virtually all aspects of modern life (medicine, communications, transport, entertainment, the natural environment, climate, housing, industry, energy, etc.) society needs scientifically literate people.

As in the case of other areas of the curriculum it is essential that the teacher has a sound understanding of the content of the curriculum. Without such understanding it will be impossible to ask the kinds of questions that will facilitate the development of the pupils’ understanding.

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