How Relevant are Australian Science Curricula for Rural and Remote Students?
Keywords:science, curriculum, choosing science, student interest
This paper reports findings from the Choosing Science study (Lyons & Quinn, 2010) indicating that Australian Year 10 students in small rural or remote areas tend to regard their science lessons as less relevant than do students in larger towns and cities. Specifically, those in small rural or remote schools were significantly more inclined than their city peers to disagree that what they learned in science classes ‘helped them make sense of the world’. They were also significantly more likely to strongly agree that they found science lessons boring, and to strongly disagree that science was one of the most interesting subjects. Potential explanations discussed include a mismatch between science curriculum content and the everyday experiences of students in these regions, the relative shortage of experienced specialist science teachers in rural or remote areas and a lack of opportunities to demonstrate the relevance of school science, among others. The paper considers the implications of these findings in relation to the Australian Science Curriculum and whether it is likely to better address the needs of rural and remote students.
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Copyright (c) 2023 Terry Lyons, Frances Quinn
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