Desirable School Science Education: The Views of Finnish High School Students

By Tuula Keinonen, Theresa Schulte and Claus Bolte.

Published by The International Journal of Science, Mathematics and Technology Learning

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Published online: October 15, 2015 $US5.00

In this era of globalization, student-centered, culturally sensitive school science should take students’ needs and interests into account, giving relevance to the events and issues occurring in their daily lives. Using an open-ended questionnaire, this study examined the views of Finnish high school students (N=129). Questions under focus were the contexts, the themes, and the qualifications that relate to the sort of science education desired by students. As a starting point for science studies, high school students mostly gave preference to contexts related to managing and spending time outdoors in natural surroundings as well as coping in accident situations. Themes mentioned were; managing in nature, mushrooms and berries, human biology, first aid, dangerous substances, mechanics and health. Desirable skills were related to the contexts and themes: knowledge necessary both to be able to act as well as to have the ability to act. Students’ views of desirable science education reflected Finnish cultural values that are shared by most Finnish people: nature is an important part of our close environment. In addition, issues belonging to daily-life were highlighted. For example, findings from learning environments that are related to nature and commonplace accidents in society, will guide us towards better motivating students in science education.

Keywords: Science Education, Student Preferences, High School

The International Journal of Science, Mathematics, and Technology Learning, Volume 22, Issue 4, December 2015, pp.21-35. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published online: October 15, 2015 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 570.362KB)).

Prof. Tuula Keinonen

Professor, School of Applied Educational Science and Teacher Education, University of Eastern Finland, Joensuu, Finland, Finland

Theresa Schulte

Didactics of Chemistry, Free University Berlin, Berlin, Germany

Claus Bolte

Professor, Didactics of Chemistry, Free University Berlin, Berlin, Germany