The Mount Erin College Science Program aims to provide an approach to learning that engages students physically and cognitively in a rich and rigorous inquiry-driven laboratory program where students operate as “Student-Scientists.” The primary goal of the program is to develop substantive science literacy in all students. The program must provide students with opportunities to expand, change, enhance, and modify the ways in which they view the world. Teachers facilitate an environment that promotes students’ thinking, honesty, curiosity, and questioning. Students will be empowered to express and share points of view, solve problems, and make decisions based on evidence.
The curriculum shall provide a flexible program for the acquisition of knowledge and utilization of the scientific processes appropriate to the level of the student. The science curriculum and instruction presented to students in science classes will be differentiated to provide appropriate rigor and challenge for all learners. Teachers may tailor the depth to which students pursue solutions to these driving questions in order to meet the unique needs of the students in their classes. For example, students enrolled in SEAL science classes will participate in a program that has a level of rigor and challenge appropriate for high ability learners. Other students may require instruction on content and skills that specifically addresses their learning needs. The ultimate goal is to guide all students to intelligent decision-making through the assimilation of scientific knowledge and the application of scientific inquiry.
Science provides an empirical way of answering interesting and important questions about the biological, physical and technological world. The knowledge it produces has proved to be a reliable basis for action in our personal, social and economic lives. Science is a dynamic, collaborative and creative human endeavour arising from our desire to make sense of our world through exploring the unknown, investigating universal mysteries, making predictions and solving problems. Science aims to understand a large number of observations in terms of a much smaller number of broad principles. Science knowledge is contestable and is revised, refined and extended as new evidence arises.
Science provides opportunities for students to develop an understanding of important science concepts and processes, the practices used to develop scientific knowledge, of science’s contribution to our culture and society, and its applications in our lives. The curriculum supports students to develop the scientific knowledge, understandings and skills to make informed decisions about local, national and global issues and to participate, if they so wish, in science-related careers.
In addition to its practical applications, learning science is a valuable pursuit in its own right. Students can experience the joy of scientific discovery and nurture their natural curiosity about the world around them. In doing this, they develop critical and creative thinking skills and challenge themselves to identify questions and draw evidence-based conclusions using scientific methods. The wider benefits of this ‘scientific literacy’ are well established, including giving students the capability to investigate the natural world and changes made to it through human activity.
The ability to think and act in scientific ways helps build the broader suite of capabilities in students as confident, self-motivated and active members of our society.