In this guest post, Sir John Holman, advisor on education to the Wellcome Trust and the Gatsby Foundation, makes the case for practical science in the classroom.
A practical necessity
All over the world, hands-on practical work is seen as a vital part of school science – just as speaking and discussion is a vital part of learning languages. An essential feature of modern schools in developed countries is a laboratory facility equipped so all pupils can learn from practice as well as theory.
Practical science is motivating and awakens pupils’ curiosity, but that is not the only reason it is important. Experiments help pupils understand theory by experiencing at first hand phenomena such as magnetism, acidity and cell division. It gives them skills and abilities such as precise measurement and careful observation that employers and universities value and can build on.
The Gatsby Foundation and the Wellcome Trust, two…
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