What are the Aims and objectives of teaching general science?

The Major Aims and Objectives

Harmonious development of child's personality and social efficiency etc. are the general aims of education. If science teaching is to be made effective, then its aims should be in consonance with the general aims of education. We deal with the following main objectives of science teaching.

A. Knowledge. This aim has received the top priority as compared to other aims. Pupils studying general science should acquire the knowledge of:

(i) Fundamental principles and concepts useful in daily life.

(ii) Facts for science study.

(iii) Inter-dependence and relationship of different branches of science.

(iv) Knowledge of plants and animals.

(v) Natural phenomena going on.

(vi) Knowledge of general rules of health and human body etc.

B. Skills.

Science students should acquire skills in experimentation,, construction, observation, drawing etc. Experimentation and construction skills include handling, arranging, preserving, and repairing scientific instruments.

C. Abilities.

The general science teaching should develop certain abilities such as ability to

(i) Sense a problem (ii) organize and interpret

(iii) Analyse

(iv) Generalise

(v) Predict

(vi) Organise exhibitions, excursions and fairs

(vii) Discuss, argue and express scientific terminology

(viii) Improvise and manipulate instruments using his acquire knowledge.

D. Attitudes.

Science teaching directly inculcates the scientific attitudes among the students. So the students should be taught directly and systematically and every individual should be paid heed to ascertain that he develops the desired attitudes and practices them. A man with the scientific attitude is

(a) Critical in observation and thought

(b) Open-minded

(c) Respectful of others' view point and is ready to discuss his problems with others and accepts what appears correct.

(d) In search of the answers to 'What's' and 'Whys' and 'How's' of the things he observes and accepts the natural things as such.

(e) Objective in his approach to problems.

(f) Not a believer of superstitions and misbelieves.

(g) Follower of cause and effect relationship.

(h) Truthful in his experimentation and conclusions.

(i) Impartial and unbiased in his judgments.

(j) Adopts planned procedure in solving a problem.

E. Reflective Thinking.

With the above attitudes developed, a science student will handle a problem scientifically. He will sense a problem, define it, collect evidence, organize and interpret the data, formulate the hypothesis, test its validity and finally draw conclusions impartially. The training in the scientific method should be one of the important aims of teaching science.

F. Habits.

Certain socially desirable habits like honesty, truth, tolerance, self-confidence, self-reliance etc. should be inculcated through the science teaching.

G. Interests.

The teaching of science should also aim at developing some interests in reading scioentific literature, in scientific hobbies, in activities of clubs, excursions, in natural phenomena; in drawing, in leadership, etc. The motivational techniques like rewards and punishments, praise and blame, rivalry and emulation etc. should be implied by the teacher.

H. Appreciation.

The appreciation of natural beauty, scientific inventions, scientists, endeavour is the outcome of science teaching. For the purpose the teacher should arrange outings, should relate the life histories of scientists and should keep the students in touch with the new inventions in science.

I. Providing Work for Leisure.

As the empty mind is devil's workshop, a science student should not while away his leisure. He can prepare inks, soaps, boot polishes and other daily useful things or he can keep hobbies of stamp collecting, coin collecting, photography, drawing, gardening, study of plants and animals or of minerals etc. He can learn to improvise certain instruments, learn to play for musical instruments along with its construction knowledge.

J. Training for Better Living.

A science student should know the ways and means of prevention and eradication of diseases to maintain good health, and should be able to adjust himself with his own domestic, social environment and economic and cultural conditions.

K. Forming Basis for Career.

The attitudes and interests of the students should well be adjudged by the science teachers and they should impart them the knowledge accordingly so that they may prosecute the desired professions. An artist can never be a doctor. So nothing should be forced into the minds of the students. Acceleration should be provided in his own direction to get a suitable vocation and fit himself well in society and prove an asset to it.

The aims and objectives differ a bit at different stages. Preliminary knowledge of objectives is required at early stages while complete and complex objectives are needed at higher stages. So capabilities of pupils should be kept in mind.

The aims and objectives of Teaching Science at different stages have been summarized in the proceedings of the All India Seminar on the Teaching of Science in Secondary Schools, published by Ministry of Education in 1956. They are as follows:

1. Primary Level

The aims and objectives of Teaching Science at Primary School level should be

1. Arousing and maintaining interest in nature and in the physical and social environment, arousing love for nature and its sources.

2. Developing the habit of observation, exploration, classification and systematic way of thinking.

3. Developing the child's powers of manipulative, creative and inventive faculties.

4. Developing neat and orderly habits.

5. Inculcation of habits of healthful living.

2. Middle School Level

In addition to the above, the following aims and objectives are suitable for inculcation at the Middle School, level.

1. Acquisition of a kind of information concerning nature and science which may also serve as the basis for a late General Science Course.

2. Developing the ability to reach generalisation and to apply them for solving every problem.

3. Understanding the impact of science upon one way of life.

4. Developing interest in scientific hobbies.

5. Inspiring children by stories about scientists and their discoveries.

3. High and Higher Secondary Levels

At the high and higher secondary stage, the aims of General Science teaching should be,

1. To familiarize the pupil with the world in which he lives and to make him understand the impact of science on society so as to enable him adjust himself to his environment.

2. To acquaint him with the 'scientific method' and to enable him to develop the scientific attitude.

3. To give the pupil a historical perspective, so that he may understand the evolution of the scientific development.

.M. Kothari Commission (1964-66)-10+2 Pattern

The Indian Education Commission (1964-66) has suggested the aims and objectives of teaching science at various levels:

1. Lower Primary Stage

(i) At the lower primary stage the accent should be on the child's environment-social, physical and biological.

(ii) In classes I and II, the accent should be on cleanliness and formation of healthy habits.

(iii) Development of power of observation.

(iv) In classes III and IV the study should also include personal hygiene and sanitation.

(v) In classes IV and V children should be taught the roman alphabets. This is essential as the internationally accepted symbols for the units of the scientific measurement and the symbols for chemical elements and compounds are written in the Roman alphabet.

(vi) Developing proper understanding of the main facts, concepts, principles and processes in the physical and biological environment.

2. Higher Primary Stage

(i) At this stage emphasis may shift to the acquisition of knowledge together with the ability to think logically, to draw conclusions and to make decisions at a higher level.

Hi) Science should be taught as physics, chemistry, biology, and astronomy. A disciplinary approach to science learning instead of general science would be more effective in providing the necessary scientific base to young people.

3. Secondary stage

(i) At the secondary stage science should be taught as a discipline of the mind and a preparation for higher education.

(ii)At the lower secondary class's physics, chemistry, biology and earth sciences should be taught as compulsory subjects.

(iii) At the higher secondary stage there should be diversification of courses and provision for specialisation.