Science is a process of investigating the natural and physical world. Because of this process orientation, science can be considered as a human endeavor that uses critical thinking. As a human activity, science shapes our lives, our environment and our future.
In a global environment dominated by technology, ecological problems, a fragile economy, the exploration of space, energy depletion and health concerns of epidemic proportions, the fundamental role of science in the education of our youth becomes apparent. It is the responsibility of the schools to equip all students with an understanding of the basic content of science and with a command of the skills required to make informed decisions regarding science related issues.
From elementary grades through high school, science education should provide learning outcomes that are relevant to the students' personal needs, societal issues, academic preparation and career awareness. In terms of personal needs, science should prepare individuals to use science to make everyday decisions and to solve everyday problems. When science education helps to produces informed citizens who can deal responsibly with science related social issues, the needs of society are addressed. Specific facts and skills are important in order to vote intelligently on science related issues or to participate in responsible community action. Although the direction of science education has shifted to the development of a scientifically and technologically literate work force, the need for science professionals will always remain a concern. In this respect, both academic preparation and career awareness are other facets of science education.
The science curriculum includes the ideas, perspectives and contributions of woman and men of diverse racial, cultural and ethnic groups.
Science education stresses the process and spirit of scientific inquiry. As a result, the methods of learning science reflect the methods of doing science. Such an approach allows students at all grade levels to become active participants in the exciting process of scientific investigation.