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Promoting Scientific Literacy in Malta: A Practical Perspective
Ivan Mifsud Bons
Stella Maris College, Malta

Dr. Joseph N. Grima
Dept. of Chemistry, Faculty of Science, University of Malta

Dr. Suzanne Gatt
Dept. of Primary Education, Faculty of Education, University of Malta

Paper presented at the European Workshop on "The Challenges of EUí Enlargement on Science Literacy and Development", 20-22 January 2005, Malta



Abstract:
 
Science education at primary level has been part of the curriculum for a long time, although it was usually treated at a superficial way. With time governments are recognising the importance of promoting scientific literacy from a young age. In Malta, the Education Act of 1988 allowed the Minister of Education to draw up a National Minimum Curriculum which stipulates the minimum level of education each and every child in Malta is entitled to.
The first version of the National minimum Curriculum which was published in 1989 regarded science as part of the primary curriculum. Focus, however, was on content. The second and updated edition of the National Minimum Curriculum shows both further recognition of the importance of science within the primary curriculum as well as a more complete and holistic view of science. One finds reference to the content, process and attitudes to science and an emphasis on how students should be given grounding in content as well and understanding of the way science develops and is applied in our society. In addition, with this added responsibility on primary teachers, teacher training has been reorganised to ensure that graduating teachers have the necessary pedagogical skills to teach science in a modem and innovative approach. Schools have also had the need to adapt their structure and teaching approach to be able to deliver the National Minimum Curriculum
This paper will outline how the delivery of science classes at a particular primary school in Malta has evolved so as to ensure that children receive a scientific education in an appropriate and creative way which will help them relate scientific principles to their everyday life.





Further Information:

This paper was presented at the European Workshop on "The Challenges of EUí Enlargement on Science Literacy and Development", 20th-22nd January 2005, Corinthia San Gorg Hotel, Malta. For further information please contact:


Stella Maris College
University of Malta
Hands on Science
http://www.hsci.info/