The Role of Science to 21st Century Learners
Children are naturally curious and experimental, observant and inquisitive; the urge to learn and search for answers by raising critical questions is an essential attitude of a future scientist residing inside the vibrant young minds of children. In a science classroom, critical thinking is greatly encouraged and aimed to be developed in everyone's mind. Teachers tend to introduce the scientific method to be used in the discovery of things and finding answers to important questions because it gives more valuable insight, comprehensive information, and an in-depth learning experience to students. In doing so, it is necessary to make physical and social interactions with peers as you collaborate and do brainstorming, you have to actualize and execute experiments in testing the hypothesis and draw conclusions based on your factual findings and observations. But with today's modern technological advancements capturing the interest of students, gaining full active participation in scientific operations inside the classroom seems to be a bit of a challenge to science teachers. In a generation where virtual reality is in such hype, it's getting difficult to motivate our learners to engage in scientific researches that push them to think critically out of their observations.
Kids nowadays are getting more hooked on the use of gadgets and devices as means of exploration and discovery. Most children find answers to their questions through searching information in various search engines and applications available on the internet. Having said that, 21st - century learners now have instantaneous access to a vast amount of readily available information which they can use for broader understanding; however, could create negative impacts on learning. Nevertheless, the main purpose of science education remains the same; it aims to describe the role of science and technology in solving current problems we are facing as biological beings and to promote meaningful learning to the students which could only occur when new experiences are related to what they already know. So as science educators, we should encourage student discussion, social negotiation, argumentation, and cooperative learning. Combined with the integration of technology in the teaching strategies, the realization of the practical applications of knowledge also plays a vital role in the more effective facilitation of scientific learning.