Scottish Government
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Improving science education

A blueprint for improving the teaching and learning of science in Scotland's schools was launched today.

The report contains the actions resulting from Scotland's first Schools Science Summit and sets out how the Scottish Government plans to improve the pupil experience in science education, engineering and technology.

The proposed actions include:

  • Increasing shared learning between industry, schools and academia
  • Improving the status and image of science through a science careers advertising campaign
  • Working with Skills Development Scotland to develop and promote careers advice in science and engineering
  • Maximising the benefits of partnership with Scotland's science centres
  • Increasing the use of Glow, the schools intranet, to share best practice in science learning
  • Reviewing teacher Continuing Professional Development opportunities in science and engineering
  • Using the Curriculum for Excellence framework to create a seamless transition in science education

Speaking at the Children in Europe Conference at Our Dynamic Earth in Edinburgh - which is focusing on science education - Education Secretary Fiona Hyslop said:

"Science, engineering and technology are key drivers for Scotland's economic prosperity and are at the heart of our new approach to teaching and learning through Curriculum for Excellence.

"I am delighted that the School Science Summit was such a success and based on the energy and outputs of the delegates who attended we have now produced a draft plan of action.

"The summit gave teachers, education and science professionals the opportunity to share their views on where as a nation we need to revitalise the teaching and learning of science. The actions we propose also apply to engineering and technology and I intend to ensure that these areas are fully addressed.

"This report will build on our existing work with both schools and further and higher education institutions, as well as key involvement of Scotland's Science centres, the Royal Society of Edinburgh and other science bodies.

It is critical that we make young people aware of the exciting job opportunities that science, engineering and technology can offer. "Particularly in the current economic climate, we must do all we can to support the career aspirations of our young people. "

The Scottish Government will now work closely with a wide range of professional and scientific bodies to finalise the action plan.

The School Science Summit was held on May 5, 2009 and brought together over 200 key individuals to look at how Curriculum for Excellence can reform and improve science learning and teaching in Scotland.

Scottish Government initiatives aimed at realising the potential in science to make Scotland an innovative and creative country are: the launch of the Science for Scotland framework; the introduction of the Scottish Science Baccalaureate; and £2.1 million investment in Science CPD for teachers.

The University of Glasgow are beginning a course this autumn aimed at upskilling primary teachers in their ability to teach science in such a way that will inspire pupils. The University of Aberdeen will offer a course designed to re-energise mid-career secondary science teachers. The Scottish Government will evaluate these projects as they progress with a view to ensuring benefits are shared as widely as possible.

An advertising campaign was launched in February 2009 by the Scottish Government with the aim of showing young people that science can be rewarding to study and can open the doors to many varied careers.

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