At the heart of every engineer is a scientist, or at least an interest in science. Pity then that science lessons for teenagers are so boring they are putting pupils off science for life. That’s the finding of the Commons science and technology committee.
GCSE science is based on rote learning of facts of little use and has made practical work a ‘tedious and dull activity,’ while, ‘coursework is boring and pointless,’ says the committee. ‘Teachers and students are frustrated by the lack of flexibility. Students lose any enthusiasm that they once had for science.’
So what hope can our engineering industry have without enthused school leavers entering further education?
The committee blames the exam boards, saying their approach to testing GCSE science is preventing good science being taught in schools. Also poor laboratory facilities, coupled with a shortage of technicians, are to blame for the lack of exciting practical work being done in class.
Love science or hate it, it should always be the class to look forward to because of the infinite opportunities not to do what you’re told. Bored by a Bunsen? Surely not.