Science Beyond the Boundaries
Scientists increasingly work in areas where interdisciplinary collaboration is important. Yet science in schools can seem cut-and-dried with formulaic correct answers. Science-in-the-making, meanwhile, is dynamic and creative. It deals with the bigger questions facing society today—questions which science alone cannot address.
As part of the Big Questions in Classrooms initiative, Judith Bennett and her team will attempt to bridge this disconnect between secondary school science learning and science in the real world. In seeking to broaden young people's perspectives, they aim to ensure that the next generation of scientists is more aware of what the sciences can—and cannot—do. The project will also show students how working with other disciplines (history, philosophy, politics and religious studies) maximizes the potential of the sciences to benefit society.
A series of frontier science topics—ranging from art conservation to gene editing to human enhancement—will foreground innovative resources, pedagogy, and professional development for teachers in upper secondary school science subjects. These research-informed resources will be disseminated nationally and internationally through a massive online open course (MOOC). The goal is to help teachers and students develop an enhanced appreciation of the links between the sciences and other disciplines.
By the end of the project, the team anticipates that teachers of the sciences at upper high school level will have a broader perspective on science and feel more confident in communicating this to their students. In turn, students will show an enhanced appreciation of science and of its connections to other disciplines.