The Science K-10 Syllabus is up for review and BOSTES is currently holding consultation sessions around the state. I attended the Wollongong session last week and came away impressed by the level of engaged and passionate discussion by those that participated. Session locations are here.
Based on the Draft Directions for Syllabus Development document the main changes being considered are:
- the inclusion of a Connected World content module – this takes on board elements of the Australian Curriculum Digital Technologies. Concepts will include;
- Communications: examine how living things communicate and transmit information.
- Digital systems: recognise and explore how hardware and software components interact.
- Data patterns: recognise different patterns in data including coding. Test predications by gathering data and evidence to develop explanations of events and phenomena.
- Data types: recognise that whole numbers are used to represent data in digital systems.
- Networks: explore components of common natural and digital systems and how they connect to form networks to transmit data.
- the inclusion on a ‘make’ component as an explicit part of the design process – Inquire, Design, Make, Evaluate.
We had an interesting discussion about the order in the syllabus of value and attitudes, skills and knowledge and understandings. Skills is now separate to Knowledge and Understanding. There was general agreement that values and attitudes should be placed first on the page as instilling in students a positivity and curiosity that encourage them to value science was of significance. Without valuing science the lessons and learning experiences mean nothing and simply become another curriculum box ticking exercise.
All in all I’d highly recommend teachers make the effort to contribute to syllabus development. How often do we hear staffroom rumblings about content and outcomes, continuums and rationale. This meeting was an insight into the development process and the BOSTES staff were very keen to hear and capture feedback.