Tag: engagement

  • Practical school science is vital

    Uncategorized | Jackie Hunter

    Last week I was very disappointed to learn that Ofqual had recommended the downgrading of practicals in the new A and AS level syllabus.

    The reasons given for this were primarily that:

    • Predictable assessments have led to narrow teaching, students getting similar results and assessments that don’t give exam boards evidence
    • Marks that don’t reflect students’ overall ability

    I don’t feel that the reforms are the way to address these problems. Predictable assessments, a lack of differentiation of students and the marking of tests should be better addressed by redesigning the practicals rather than removing their contribution to the final grade. […]

  • “Science isn’t finished until it is communicated”

    Uncategorized | Jackie Hunter

    Recently I came across an interesting quote from Sir Mark Walport, the UK Government Chief Scientific Adviser. It was “science isn’t finished until it is communicated” delivered as part of a speech on climate change at a meeting in Cambridge. As scientists, we do have a duty to not only report our research to other scientists (to funders, the scientific community) but also to communicate relevant scientific findings to both the public and policy makers. How the information is conveyed will need to be contextualised in a way that is meaningful to the intended audience and this can sometimes be difficult. For example, my family frequently tell me that I go into too much detail and overcomplicate things when I am trying to explain some interesting science to them (and they are an engineer and an economist!). An informed society will be able to make more considered choices and be more readily able to engage in future public debates about science and its application and to take full advantage of what scientific advances are making possible. […]