A new report from researchers at Bristol and Durham Universities claims student interest in the sciences is being crushed by over focus on passing tests which invariably translates into boring memorization activities rather than stimulating teaching. Students are being taught to pass tests rather than “having their natural curiosity of science cultivated and harnessed.” Professors Wynne Harlen and Peter Tymms argue that while more students are passing tests children’s understanding of science has decreased. Tymms argues, “the purpose of science in primary school should be to foster of sense of curiosity and positive attitudes in the young child. We suspect the current national approach to science in primary school is not impacting on children’s scientific thought and curiosity.”
After teaching for 52 years I never cease to be amazed why reports must be commissioned to report what any teacher already knows who spends time stimulating the creative juices of students. Or, one could simply sit down and have a pleasant talk with some children about science and what was obtained from the report could be secured within an hour.