Science provides a distinctive view and way of thinking about the world.
The study of science has led to an evolving body of knowledge organised as an interrelated set of models, theories, laws, systems, structures and interactions. It is through this body of knowledge that science provides explanations for a variety of phenomena and enables sense to be made of the biological, physical and technological world. An understanding of science and its social and cultural contexts provides a basis for future choices and ethical decisions about local and global applications and implications of science.
Through the study of science, students investigate phenomena that occur over a range of scales, from the subatomic to the cosmological, from events that take place almost instantaneously to processes occurring over billions of years, from the origins of the universe to contemporary phenomena. As an important part of their science education students examine the historical and ongoing contributions of Australian scientists to international scientific research. The study of science provides students with the opportunity to examine the impact on their lives of scientific knowledge and its application to their communities and surroundings. This study provides opportunities for students to become independent learners and promotes their development of informed attitudes towards science and the environment.
The study of science provides opportunities for students to develop the skills of working scientifically by engaging them in thinking critically and creatively in problem-solving processes. Students work individually and in teams in planning and conducting investigations. They are encouraged to critically analyse data and information, evaluate issues and problems, develop questions for inquiry and investigation, and draw evidence-based conclusions. Students are called on to apply and communicate their findings, understanding and viewpoints in a scientifically literate way when making decisions about the environment, the natural and technological world.
By engaging students in a range of learning experiences that build on prior learning and are set in meaningful and relevant contexts, they are led to a more scientific understanding of their world and the way that scientists work. It is through this inquiry and investigation that students develop a deeper appreciation of scientific endeavour, of science as an evolving body of knowledge, of the provisional nature of scientific explanations and of the complex relationship between evidence and ideas.