Posted at 01:44h
Ask any kid around these days on what career they want to pursue and the likelihood that it's a science-based one is low especially for young girls. What exactly is the cause of this trend?
Also, with this dwindling interest in science, it comes as no surprise that there is the need for actionable steps towards building a strong scientific interest starting from an early age.
Few steps have been taken toward that direction, the most encouraging of which seems to be inquiry-based science education. Defined by Harlen and Allende (2009, p. 11), “inquiry-based science education comprises experiences
that enable students to develop understanding about scientific aspects of the world
around through the development and use of inquiry skills
.” During inquiry-based learning, hypotheses and facts are not simply presented to the students, but they are tested through conducting experiments. Such experiments vary depending on the scope of the project at hand; from fieldwork to investigation to case studies.
The reason why inquiry-based teaching and learning could make a difference in the way science is perceived, is because it encourages students to develop their own ideas, test their own hypotheses, and conduct their own experiments to justify their outcomes. The student is an active participant and does not sit idle while the teacher tries to infuse some hard-to-grasp scientific knowledge.
On the EU level, a lot is being done to drive more awareness towards interest in STEM courses; some fantastic initiatives
, while some remain questionable
. But how exactly is this process implemented effectively?