My first love, in terms of subject area, was science. Even though I also love politics and religion, science remains of great interest to me. I’m often excited to head out late at night to watch lunar eclipses, and one of my favorite things to do while camping is to stargaze — and look for meteors. We often go camping around the time of the Perseids, and I’m never averse to going outside to look for showers.
I love learning about the brain, and the ways our bodies work, as well as learning about the environment and the world around me. There is a special place in my heart for theoretical physics, astrobiology, and more. So it’s a matter of interest to me when we see that science literacy in general is lacking in the United States.
The Pew Center has a quiz about scientific concepts, and the answers (I thought) were pretty basic. However, most of the survey respondents couldn’t answer all 13 questions on the quiz correctly. On top of that, many Americans underestimate how well US students do on science testing as compared to students in other countries.
Why Science Education is Important
One of the best reasons that science education is important is due to the fact that science is very applicable to our every day lives. The point of science is to learn about the world around us, and this can help us make better, more informed decisions.
Another good reason that science education is important is due to the fact that science, taught properly, encourages students to learn how to think. The scientific method can provide a blueprint for how to approach knowledge in other areas of life. If you know how to question and research, you are more likely to find information that can help you make knowledge-based decisions.
While we don’t all have to be science experts, a curiosity about the world around us, as well as a solid understanding of basic concepts can help you in numerous ways as you go about life.
Unfortunately, in some circles, knowledge of science, and a basic understanding of concepts, is considered undesirable. There are those who revel in their ignorance, and have no interest in learning about scientific concepts. Sometimes, scientific findings challenge political views and world views. It’s happened to me in the past as well. When something challenges my world view, I like to examine it to see whether or not I need to make changes to the way I see things.
Another thing I like about science is that, in many ways, it’s a process. Scientists, for the most part, are willing to revise hypotheses and conclusions when new information becomes available. So much in life is uncertain, and science is no exception. We can learn so much about the world around us — and there is always more to learn. That’s something that science teaches us. The idea is that there is much to understand, and it’s good to understand what we can. And as we learn more, we can continue to grow. The process, as much as the knowledge, is also an important part of science education.
What do you think about science? How much do you know? And do you think science education is important?