Making Sense of Science: A Review in Scottish Further Education

Making Sense of Science: A Review in Scottish Further Education

Nancy El-Farargy (UK National Health Service, UK)
Copyright: © 2015 |Pages: 29
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-6375-6.ch001


This review outlines a research-informed teaching case study based on adult learners of chemistry within the Scottish Further Education (FE) sector. It provides some strategies for success in supporting non-major chemistry students and provides some practical ways forward for improving attitudes to learning chemistry and in studying the subject further. An overview of why science, and in particular chemistry, may be perceived to be difficult to learn is discussed, as well as links to the evidence base that outlines the facilitation of meaningful and relevant learning. Through a chemistry curriculum redesign, discussions on the shift of attitudes, perceptions of learning, difficulties, and preferred topics in lessons are discussed. In addition, a general overview of the science education scene in Further Education is presented. Based on research evidence and educational neuroscience, there are suggested implications for educators in supporting adult students learning non-major science courses.
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Organizational Background

Scottish Further Education

The Scottish educational landscape is distinct from the rest of the UK (Humes & Bryce, 2003), with Further Education (FE) having a long and distinguished history (Paterson, 2003). FE colleges are highly diverse in the nature and range of courses they offer; and subsequently, the students they attract are also diverse in nature. Some students enter FE to embark on courses with strong vocational emphases. Others may study to fill gaps left from school education, whilst some enter FE as adults after a gap of many years of formal learning. FE can also be used as a stepping stone for those wishing entry into formal Higher Education (HE). The emphasis is largely placed on the notion of lifelong learning that is accessible to everyone (Scottish Executive, 2003).

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