Teaching Science through the Science Technology and Society (STS) lens in Zimbabwean High Schools: Opportunities and Constraints
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This paper is an extract from a bigger study that investigated use of Science Technology and Society (STS) approaches in teaching General Science in eight secondary schools in Harare, Zimbabwe. Data were collected from 28 science teachers and 88 lower secondary school level students through interviews, questionnaires, observations and documents. The findings indicate that no deliberate effort has been made to infuse STS in the teaching methods course of teacher training programmes; schools are largely under-resourced and the harsh economic environment prevailing in the country has made it difficult for schools to acquire equipment and contain the exodus of trained personnel. The General Science syllabus has also not been reviewed in a very long time so that it can be responsive to current needs. Opportunities for implementation of STS include the existence of professional associations, a well established teacher education system, school clubs, partnerships between business and the education sector and information and communication technologies (ICTs). The study recommends that STS be infused in the teaching methods course of all teacher training Programmes and that the science syllabus be reviewed regularly so that it responds to current needs. Relevant authorities need [to] inject more resources towards in-service programmes and come up with legislation on in-service programmes, e.g. promotion or salary hikes for those who develop themselves through workshops.