Learned Societies' Group on Scottish Science Education

Learned Societies' Group on Scottish Science Education

The Learned Societies’ Group on Scottish Science Education was formally launched at the RSE on 28th May 2012. A summary report of the launch event is available here.

Details about the Group's activities are provided below along with links to its responses and papers.

Purpose 

The establishment of the Group has purposes arising from concerns about, and a need to contribute to, the major reforms in the delivery of science education in Scottish schools. It was recognised that while the member organisations are individually active in this area, it is likely that more can be achieved by a formal collaborative grouping that identifies, discusses and takes action on common issues.

Remit

The Group has the following three-fold remit:

  • To be proactive in identifying and promoting priorities for school science education in Scotland and to liaise, where appropriate, with other relevant organisations and groups.
  • To consider and monitor school science education initiatives or developments, particularly those from Government and its agencies, and respond to these where appropriate.
  • To organise, where appropriate, meetings or other events that stimulate debate on school science education in Scotland.

Implicit in the Group’s remit is the intention to foster relationships, share events and provide advice to policy makers and other relevant bodies in co-operation with a broader range of science-related learned societies and professional associations. 

Membership

Collaborative interdisciplinary learning is a major strand of Curriculum for Excellence. This has been important in terms of influencing the scope of the group and its membership. The Group currently comprises representatives from the:

-          Royal Society of Chemistry

-          Institute of Physics

-          Society of Biology

-          Association for Science Education

-          British Computer Society

-          Royal Society of Edinburgh

-          Engineering Policy Group Scotland

The Group has established a connection with STEMEC, an independent group which has been formed to take forward work arising from the Science and Engineering Education Advisory Group (SEEAG) report. More details about this are available from here

Activity & Responses

In May 2013, the Group responded to the GTCS consultation on entry requirements to programmes of initial teacher education for primary teaching in Scotland. The response is available here.

In January 2014, the Group responded to Education Scotland's Curriculum Impact Update Report of 2013 on learning in the Sciences 3-18. The response is available here. 

In April 2014, the Group responded to the GTCS consultation in relation to how Professional Update will be reflected in the Revised Registratation and Standards Rules Framework. The Group emphasised the need for serving primary school teachers to be supported in extending their knowledge of science and mathematics. The response is available here.

In collaboration with the STEMEC, the Learned Societies' Group has prioritised activity to embed interdisciplinary learning (IDL) more deeply within Scottish education. This includes bringing together senior representatives of organisations from across Scottish education to establish a national programme to support the development of IDL. As part of this process, the group has adopted a paper which sets out the principles for IDL. It is available from here.

An extended paper on IDL, The Why's, What's and How's of Interdisciplinary Learning, encompasses views from education, training and employment. It also considers how the delivery of IDL in schools can be further supported. The paper is available from here. It will be supplemented with examples of good IDL.

Contact

For further information about the work of the Learned Societies' Group on Scottish Science Education, contact William Hardie.

 

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