Science Education: The Core Concept Model
Schools often group science concepts into the categories such as biology, chemistry, physics, earth science, and so on. Such categories have existed at the heart of the curriculum for over a century. We have Chemistry and Physics and Biology textbooks. Teachers are certified in Chemistry, Physics, Biology, Physical Science, and so on. Everyone is familiar with and apparently comfortable with this structure.
The problem is that, while this structure for science education is broadly accepted, it is highly artificial. It not only implies that biology is somehow separate from physics, chemistry, and earth science, but it offers no satisfying or logical explanation of the world around us—where physical and biological processes occur without any lines of distinction between them.
One result of this artificial differentiation of science categories is that these different areas of science are often taught in a particular order. This is particularly true—and counterproductive—in high schools, where the order is usually Biology, then Chemistry, and then Physics. Outside of being in alphabetical order, there is little logic to this sequence. In fact, from a conceptual perspective, one could easily argue that the order should be exactly reversed. In middle school a similar system prevails and a common sequence is a year of Earth Science, then a year of Life Science, and then a year of Physical science.
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