Joel LeBlanc, a science journalist, laments that science is the least taught subject in elementary school. He’s been giving science workshops in schools for 15 years and has found that most teachers decide to put this topic aside because they don’t feel they are equipped enough to teach it.
Most teachers are cautious about practicing science, either because they do not feel competent to do so, or because they do not have the time, or because they do not have it. They don’t have the substance to do that.Joel LeBlanc says.
However, science education is planned in the curriculum of the Ministry of Education, but since this topic is not the subject of an examination for the Ministry, the journalist believes that teachers do not feel obligated to present it.
In a schedule that is already creaking everywhere, the first thing that comes is the one that we are not comfortable with, Joel LeBlanc notes.
He confirms that 40 years have passed since teachers and educational advisors demanded the Ministry of Education a greater place for science at the primary level.
In a society where debates are mostly scientific, if we knew a little better how science is constructed, we might be less resistant.
For Joël Leblanc, there are two ways to tackle the problem: integrate more science into college teacher training or hire science teachers.
The loopholes in high school
Although science is taught in very specific high school courses, tutors who specialize in the subject, Joël Leblanc thinks we can do a better job there too. The main problem, he says, is that the science agenda is too crowded.
We stuff students’ heads and don’t let them practice science, he regrets. We’ve packed the labs where we make them understand how science is built.
He believes that it was the school reform that changed the situation 15 years ago by combining all the sciences (chemistry, physics, biology and technology) in the same cycle. The journalist recalls that before this period, science teachers in high schools were specialists, but suddenly they had to expand their field of expertise to teach all sciences.
To try to reconcile it all, they often turn to textbooks, which have become a bit of a dictatorship.Joel LeBlanc says.
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