Education

How science can be made both engaging and effective

Create an environment in which students can understand and learn science concepts better.   | Photo Credit: Freepik

Science and scientific concepts hold significance in our everyday life. They have been pivotal in spearheading global innovation and human development. In fact, scientific advances helped us come up with a vaccine in record time when faced by a deadly pandemic.

The dynamic role of science emphasises the importance of creating an environment where students can understand and learn science concepts better. Children are more eager to learn when they are able to study according to their speed, learning style and capabilities. With the appropriate learning tools to study, they can craft their own path and ultimately deliver better outcomes. Here are some simple, engaging and effective tips for students to learn science.

Decode concepts: At its core, scientific concepts offer a systematic representation of the world. Any lesson in science involves concepts and understanding these lays the foundation that will help pursue careers in allied fields like technology and engineering. Formal degrees and qualifications aside, the practice of decoding concepts encourages children to delve deep and quell any misconceptions about the way the world works.

Experiential learning: Learning science begins with curiosity and young children are natural in exploring science through experiments, which not only provide hands-on opportunities to discover the world around them and how things work, but also fosters scientific thinking, observing, questioning and testing data. For instance, when students perform experiments to learn light refraction from a bottle, they visually observe the movement of light rays and verify their theoretical knowledge with real-time results. Do-it-yourself (DIY) experiments such as soaking seeds to learn about germination or making volcanoes at home help them become learners for life.

Tech-enabled learning for better outcomes: Today’s students consume content online from early childhood. It is a natural progression that they learn digitally as well. Elements of technology such as visual learning, animation and gamified content present complex concepts in an interactive and consumable format, thereby making it easy to learn. For a more effective learning experience, it is important that teachers and students use tech-enabled learning in equal measure. Research conducted by McKinsey showed that the learning outcomes are 10% better when both teachers and students incorporate tech while learning science. Moreover, students are able to track their learning progress more effectively with the help of data and tech. They can assess their strengths and areas of weaknesses better and craft their learning journeys.

Ask questions and find answers: The best of scientific minds have always asked questions to understand better. To learn more effectively, students must be encouraged to ask questions and find answers. In the classroom, they can engage in role-playing, discussions and other group activities that enable them to dig deep to research the topic, ask the right questions, and understand corresponding concepts better.

The writer is a teacher and Chief Strategy Officer, BYJU’S.

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Printable version | Apr 20, 2021 9:34:22 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/education/how-science-can-be-made-both-engaging-and-effective/article33948589.ece

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