Science communication: The link to enable enquiry-based learning in under-resourced schools

Authors

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.17159/sajs.2023/12819

Keywords:

science communication, science education, enquiry-based learning, science models, STEM skills

Abstract

Improving skills in STEM disciplines has been identified as essential in meeting South Africa’s economic growth targets. Despite this, learner uptake and completion rates within these subjects is currently well below international standards. We therefore examined key stages within the science education system to identify factors contributing to the low throughput in science education. We reviewed how national science policy changes have impacted the curriculum and teaching practices across different education establishments and socio-economic groups. We highlight that 80% of public schools have a lack of resources for practical learning, making it difficult for teachers to implement enquiry-based teaching methods. We explored strategies for effective engagement with science from the science communication literature and present recommendations to improve learner engagement with science in under-resourced school settings. Whilst education reform is needed at a national scale, we make a case for using science communication practices in science classes as a more immediate solution to generate greater interest and understanding, and encourage learners to pursue careers in science.

Significance:

  • We examined key challenges in the science education and training pipeline in South Africa and recommend the use of science communication practices to design resources to enhance science teaching and learning in under-resourced schools. 
  • Exploring ways of integrating informal learning tools into schools could be a simple approach to improve science teaching and learning in developing countries such as South Africa where infrastructural deficit poses a longer-term barrier to learning.

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Published

2023-01-31

How to Cite

Nemadziva, B., Sexton, S., & Cole, C. (2023). Science communication: The link to enable enquiry-based learning in under-resourced schools. South African Journal of Science, 119(1/2). https://doi.org/10.17159/sajs.2023/12819

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Section

Review Article

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