Scientific Literacy In Education

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IMPACT OF SCIENTIFIC LITERACY ON CAREER CHOICE. DAODU JOSHUA ROTIMI

Abstract

Many countries globally have embarked on reform efforts to their education system in an attempt to increase the scientific literacy level of the population. Achieving scientific literacy, is vital for individuals to make informed scientific decisions and become more productive citizens. It has been observed by the researcher that students tend to perform well on high stakes examinations; however, their scientific literacy appears to be relatively low. Thus, this study examines the scientific literacy level of student’s. The sample consisted of 60 boys and 45 girls between the ages of 11-15 years from an urban school in Akoko South-West Local Government Area of
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This definition implies that Nigeria’s ability to realise its vision of becoming one of the best economies in the world by 2020 is in part dependent on its capacity to transform the youthful population into a highly skilled and competent citizens capable of competing globally in the promotion of acquisition of higher level of scientific literacy by education stakeholders.
In some discussion, the term ‘scientific literacy’ is used as a goal that one completely achieves or does not.
Biological Science Curriculum Studies (BSCS, 1993) gave a description of four levels of scientific literacy and they are:
i. Normal Scientific Literacy Level: Students are literate in name only at this level, recognises scientific items as being related to natural phenomena but cannot provide scientifically valid explanation of the phenomena and shows misconceptions. ii. Functional Level: Students can define terms correctly, but that ability is based on memorisation of facts with little understanding iii. Structural Level: Students can construct appropriate explanation based on their experience within the class and can discuss and explain the concepts in their own
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Analysis of research conducted by the OECD over the last decade indicates that even though more young people in Europe are attending university, they are choosing to study fields that are unrelated to science (Rocard, Csermely, Jorde, Lenzen, Walberg-Henriksson & Hemmo, 2007). This has led to the promotion of two innovative initiatives across Europe known as ‘Pollen’ and ‘Sinus-Transfer’. Pollen currently operates in twelve countries in the European Union while Sinus has been extensively tested in Germany. These two projects adopt a more inquiry-based approach to teaching science (Rocard et al., 2007; Dillon, 2009). They both aim to develop student’s interest in science and to generate excitement in this area. Interestingly, these projects have no intention of changing the curricula or its content but rather they propose an innovative pedagogical approach to science
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