Search Results for: science education

Science education and market needs

This article was published on the Guardian’s Comment is Free website on 11 July 2006. In his recent comment on the state of science teaching, Boris Johnson makes some very good points, and I have to agree with him that science education in the state sector is poor. I’ll come to that later, after challenging […]

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Flat science funding shows flat earth thinking

State funding for science in the UK is to remain fixed, under public spending plans revealed today by chancellor George Osbourne. That is, the resource budget is unchanged at £4.6bn, while the capital infrastructure fund is set to increase from £600m to £1.1bn. This is being spun in glowing terms… “Investment in science is an […]

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Lords and Ladies to consider the UK science base

A press release issued today from the House of Lords announces that the science and technology subcommittee of Britain’s unelected, senate-like parliamentary body is inviting contributions to a new inquiry which will ask how the UK “builds the educational foundations it needs to face the challenges of the future”. That broad-brush question is designed to […]

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Is the sun really setting on British higher education?

One cannot help but be impressed with the way in which Britain’s university sector defends its corner. Take, for example, the article in yesterday’s Guardian by Russell Group chairman Michael Arthur and director general Wendy Platt. The Russell Group represents the UK’s 20 leading research-led universities. The BBC describes as “strongly worded” and “a dire […]

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Slippery slopism in the British Science Association?

For those Internet-addled readers with shortened attention spans, I should explain that the title above is a cynical wind-up guaranteed to garner extra hits for this post. Back in September of last year I commented on the unwarranted attack levelled against the respected science educationalist Michael Reiss by a powerful faction within Britain’s Royal Society. […]

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Science beyond playtime

Back in January, celebrity petrol head Richard Hammond – he of Top Gear and crashing jet cars at 464 kilometres per hour infamy – wrote for New Scientist magazine on the challenge of teaching science to children. Hammond made a few reasonable points in his chatty opinion piece, but I was unimpressed with the advocacy of […]

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“Science Teacher’s”

From a job advert published on the Guardian Jobs website: “Science Teacher’s” “We are currently looking for Secondary trained teachers, living in the South London area which are able to teach Science from levels Key Stage 3 to A-Level teaching either Chemistry, Biology, Physics or General Science.” The advertiser, Protocol Education, holds the “REC award […]

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RIP adult education

The UK government has responded to the unanimous criticism of the parliamentary Innovation, Universities, Science and Skills Committee of its plans to withdraw funding for students in higher education taking courses at a level equivalent to or lower than the qualifications they hold already. These are known in the trade as “ELQs”. This would affect, […]

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Improving climate change communication, or dumbing down the science?

Appealing to the lowest common denominator and expunging doubt and uncertainty from science outreach and debate is not the way to deal with public misunderstanding of climate change. In a recent issue of the American Geophysical Union‘s Eos newspaper, science communication consultant Susan Joy Hassol argues that climate researchers are failing in their efforts to […]

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Back to the bunker in UK higher education

In September of last year, the UK’s Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills wrote to members of the Higher Education Funding Council for England. In his letter, John Denham declared that the government would cease funding for students who take university and college courses for qualifications at the same or lower levels than […]

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