Understanding the Assessment Standards in Science Education
Science is an organized venture which builds and regulates information in the form of predictions and testable logical deductions about the natural world. It is empirical in nature and derives from observation, experimentation, measurement and control. It is also descriptive and refers to the methods by which a particular class of objects or phenomena is understood. Science is the systematic understanding of nature as it manifests itself in particular instances. It is a discipline which has achieved great significance through the progress made in medicine, physics, chemistry, biology, and other branches of the natural sciences.
In view of the importance and success gained through the study of nature, the education sector needs professionals who are well equipped with knowledge on scientific methods, theories, models and laws. At the same time, the learners need to understand the scientific concepts and relate them to real life situations. This has led to the growth of subject areas like psychology, biology, physics, chemistry, and other branches of the natural sciences that are taught comprehensively in schools to enhance students’ understanding and provide them with effective science learning.
The major objective of science learning is for learners to be able to use scientific methods, observations, data and analysis to solve the problems they come across. At school, science lessons are often incorporated with physical activities such as drawing, studying maps, making calculations, and so on. Some other types of science lessons may include the study of living organisms, properties of physical sciences, and application of scientific methods to real world situations. Some schools focus more on the practical side, while others put more importance on the theoretical side. Some of the other subjects that teachers commonly teach in science classes are biology, chemistry, and physics. The number of required science courses in school varies according to the subject and the state.
One of the most common ways of teaching science at school level is through teaching the four basic elements of science, namely, observation, evaluation, and synthesis. There are many assessment tools that are used in science education. Teachers may integrate multiple forms of evaluation in their lessons such as tests, experiments, simulations, and the like. In the assessment part, students are required to demonstrate how their understanding of a concept has developed from their observations. Evaluation of science concepts usually involves different kinds of experiments based on real world cases.
The process of evaluation involves the use of measurements, calculations, and simulations to determine how a concept evolved from observation. Most common evaluation instruments in science classes include scales, pie-charts, and the like. Another type of tool used in the assessment process is the use of graphs. Students are also evaluated on their writing skills in the science education system. Students are assessed on their understanding of the concepts being taught, on their general progress towards their desired end goal, and their level of diligence when it comes to researching for further information.
SCIENCE education helps students develop the skills needed to critically think about and evaluate scientific information. It also helps them to become well-informed citizens ready to embrace new scientific discoveries and apply them to the world. Thus, the assessment standards applied in science classes serve as a guide for the development of a scientifically well-rounded individual ready to deal with the many challenges the natural world presents. Learning science is not only fun; it also brings rewards.