There is widespread concern about the outcomes of science education at school. Industries say that they need more high-grade scientists, technicians, and engineers if they are to compete successfully in technology-intensive global markets. However, contrary to the rising need, too few young people take up science which leads to fewer applications for science degrees and reduces the supply of science graduates. Young people across the world have various motives for studying or avoiding science. There are general perceptions that mathematics is hard, girls don’t do well in science and science requires harder work than other subjects. In many countries science is the preferred subject but only because it offers higher employment opportunities.
British Council, through its multi-faceted programs tries to raise the quality of education in schools and increase the employability prospects of young people, by throwing a spotlight on best international practice and innovation in STEM subjects. Be it the policy dialogue on Science and Mathematics education held in association with UNESCO and NCERT, or the Shell Junior National Science Scholarship Examination in association with Shell India and knowledge partner National Council of Science Museums (NCSM), British Council tries to cater to the extremes of the stakeholders. While policy makers discussed and debated on ways to widen scope of science education, support future-ready learning, and ways to motivate and young people to succeed in science and mathematics, the scholarship examination reached out to more than 250 schools and 7000 students in the first essay.
The teaching going inside real classrooms are supplemented by useful teacher resources in terms of template projects, free downloadable and ready-to-use by the teachers. Commonwealth Class is a special initiative that provides teaching resources, online debates and interactive activities for schools to mark the run-up to the 2014 Commonwealth Games. It celebrates the values of the Commonwealth and connects its schools and young people to learn together about how to be active, responsible global citizens as part of the Commonwealth family. Click on Other education resources option at on this website to gain access to teaching resources ordered by sector (early years, primary, secondary, and community learning and development), curriculum areas (expressive arts, health and wellbeing, languages, mathematics, religious and moral education, sciences, social studies, and technologies) and case studies. How to design a game stadium using the concepts of understanding of measurement, money and shape, position and movement are surely going to excite the new-age learners and provide an impetus towards science learning. Similar application-based resources are present in plenty here for students of all levels to enjoy.
Playing of computer games by school students have been seen as a deterrent to meaningful education. With the Unbox 21 project, British Council in association with Science Learning Centre, At-Bristol and Brighton University stimulated thought, discussion and debate to learn more about the potential of computer games in education and to align the learning learner-centric. The project exploited the combined power of digital media and learning pedagogy to introduce digital games based learning in classroom. With the pilot having successfully completed, British Council soon is set to launch professional development courses for teachers on these lines.
Mathematics Matters, a 3-day international conference at the University of Warwick is the immediate next event of British Council to strive for betterment of Science and Mathematics education in schools.