Assignment 1: Essay 1500 words
Assignment 1: Essay
Word limit: 1500 words
You are required to construct an argument to respond to the following statement:
(In Science) students use critical and creative thinking skills, and challenge themselves to ask questions and draw evidence-based conclusions using scientific knowledge and practices. The wider benefits… include enabling students to engage meaningfully with contemporary issues, evaluate different points of view and make informed decisions.
(Australian Curriculum and Reporting Authority, 2022)
Consider this quote—we live in a world where science is embedded in all aspects of our lives. As teachers, we have an opportunity to empower students through science education. This is critical, as it encourages them to embrace and participate in the world around them.
The purpose of this assignment is to write a 1500 word essay that explores the role of the generalist primary teacher or science and/or STEM specialist in a primary school. These roles nurture student interest in science, prepare students to be scientifically literate, and influence study and career choices.
Respond to the quote, using relevant examples from the Rationale and Aims of the Australian Curriculum Science strand. You can find more information about these in your learning materials in Weeks 1 and 2.
This is an individual assignment. You should use a variety of relevant existing literature to support your argument—literature should range across scholarly sources, such as peer reviewed academic journals and books. You must use APA referencing in-text and include a reference list (which, is not included in the word count and must start on a separate page) with your final submission.
Your essay should include the following sections:
An introduction that provides a broad overview of the topic. This should contextualise the topic and define the key terms you will address in the essay, as you advocate for science in schools. It will demonstrate an insightful analysis of contemporary science teaching practice and the importance of all students being scientifically literate.
It should also include a thesis statement that outlines how you will respond to the consideration of the quote. The thesis statement is one or two sentences that present your position on this main idea. Generally, an introduction should be no more than 10% of the total word count—in this case, no more than 150 words.
The body of the essay will consist of a series of paragraphs asking you to describe science’s relevance in the real world. It will moreover require you to discuss the skills developed through scientific thinking and the importance of learning and teaching the discipline of Science in the Australian Curriculum and/or your state curriculum.
Carefully consider how many issues you are going to cover and how these issues are related to each other before answering the essay question. Make sure you write in the third person and develop a detailed explanation across the essay’s body with well-reasoned points. Each paragraph should begin with a topic sentence that introduces that paragraph’s main idea or theme. Typically, you would then support this topic sentence with research-based evidence. Try and keep to one topic per paragraph. This section should have approximately 1200 words.
A conclusion is where you will sum up the information provided in the essay and then make one final statement about the importance of science for students at the present time. As with the introduction, your conclusion should not be more than 10% of the overall word count—no more than 150 words.
Your essay must be properly referenced with in-text citations and a reference list using the APA style. The reference list will not be included in the word count.
Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA). (2022). Introduction to Science: Aims v.9. https://www.australiancurriculum.edu.au/f-10-curriculum/science/rationale/
Science education is essential for preparing students to understand and engage with contemporary issues, make informed decisions, and participate meaningfully in the world around them. The Australian Curriculum and Reporting Authority (ACARA) emphasizes the importance of science education in nurturing student interest in science, developing scientific literacy, and influencing study and career choices. The purpose of this essay is to explore the role of generalist primary teachers and science and/or STEM specialists in primary schools in promoting science education. This essay will analyze the relevance of science in the real world, the skills developed through scientific thinking, and the importance of teaching science in the Australian Curriculum. The thesis of this essay is that science education is crucial for students’ development of critical and creative thinking skills, preparing them to be scientifically literate and participate in the world around them.
The Relevance of Science in the Real World
Science is embedded in all aspects of our lives, from medicine to technology, climate change to food production, and energy to transportation. Science plays a significant role in addressing real-world problems, such as global warming, environmental degradation, and pandemics. Science education is essential for students to understand the complexity of these issues, evaluate different perspectives, and make informed decisions.
For example, the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the critical role of science in understanding and addressing global health crises. Students who understand the scientific concepts underlying COVID-19 can better understand the importance of public health measures such as mask-wearing, social distancing, and vaccination. Science education also helps students understand the importance of evidence-based decision-making in responding to global challenges.
Skills Developed Through Scientific Thinking
Science education helps students develop critical and creative thinking skills, such as observation, data analysis, problem-solving, and inquiry-based learning. These skills are essential for students to engage meaningfully with contemporary issues and make informed decisions.
Observation is a crucial skill in science education, enabling students to identify patterns, make predictions, and draw evidence-based conclusions. Data analysis and problem-solving skills enable students to interpret data, make connections between scientific concepts, and develop hypotheses. Inquiry-based learning encourages students to ask questions, design experiments, and evaluate evidence, promoting an understanding of the scientific process.
The Importance of Teaching Science in the Australian Curriculum
The Australian Curriculum Science strand aims to develop students’ scientific knowledge and understanding, their appreciation of the natural world, and their ability to engage in scientific inquiry. The curriculum is designed to support students’ development of critical and creative thinking skills and encourage them to participate in the world around them.
The curriculum is structured around three interrelated strands: Science Understanding, Science as a Human Endeavour, and Science Inquiry Skills. Science Understanding focuses on developing students’ scientific knowledge and understanding of the natural and physical world. Science as a Human Endeavour emphasizes the importance of science in human society and culture. Science Inquiry Skills focus on developing students’ inquiry-based learning skills and scientific literacy.
Generalist primary teachers and science and/or STEM specialists play a critical role in teaching science in primary schools. Generalist teachers are responsible for delivering the Science curriculum to students, while science and/or STEM specialists provide additional support and resources to enhance students’ scientific learning. These teachers should provide opportunities for students to engage in inquiry-based learning, hands-on activities, and real-world problem-solving.
In conclusion, science education is critical for students’ development of critical and creative thinking skills, preparing them to be scientifically literate, and participate in the world around them. Generalist primary teachers and science and/or STEM specialists play a critical role in nurturing student interest in science, preparing students to be scientifically literate, and influencing study and career choices. The Australian Curriculum Science strand provides a framework for teaching science in primary schools, focusing on developing students’ scientific knowledge and understanding, appreciation of the natural world, and inquiry-based learning skills. Science