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Good Practical Chemistry?

Activity: Conference participationParticipation in workshop, seminar, course

Dr John Hardy - Organiser


Sir Professor John Holman taught in a range of secondary schools, was named by the Science Council as one of the 100 leading practising and inspirational UK scientists, has won a multitude of prizes (Royal Society of Chemistry’s Lord Lewis Award and the Royal Society’s Kavli Education Award), was knighted in 2010 for services to education, and is currently President-Elect of the Royal Society of Chemistry.

Science uses experiments to discover the realities underlying the world, and this practical approach seems to be as intrinsic to young learners as it is to professional researchers. In this talk I will describe an international study which has led to ten benchmarks for good practical science in secondary schools. We visited six countries where science education is highly successful and found that practical science is alive and flourishing, and valued highly by professional scientists, teachers and students. Our study has shown that many of the ingredients of good practical science are the ingredients of all good science teaching. We judge that by world standards the UK is well-equipped with school laboratory facilities, and our benchmarks suggest how to make the best use of them.