The purpose of this essay was to evaluate what contribution science makes to the educational experience of the pupils. Based on the definition that education is ‘what is left after most of what you have learned at school is forgotten’, I placed the contribution of science education, in the context of wider society and future use. To do this I used the five point rationale of science education, put forth by the committee of the British Association of the Advancement of Science (BAAS) in 1867 and incorporated evidence from the National Curriculum and my own research to justify the necessity of teaching science to all.
The five rationales of science education
(1) Science encourages the power of rational explanation by promoting logic, honesty and creativity, formulation of questions, interpretation of evidence and coordination of these with theories. Modern Society needs citizens who are skilled rational problem solvers in their daily lives. The ability to research, report, collaborate and communicate, whilst demonstrating ethical principles and negotiation skills, is beneficial for any career.
(2) Enquiry based science, through communication, has been shown to improve reading and writing abilities. Along with the general skills gained in literacy, numeracy and ICT, there are also cross curricular links with health and sex education, citizenship and sustainable futures. In addition there is an interaction between science knowledge and the ability to understand economic, sociocultural, religious, ecological and political connections.
(3) Sustainable development and healthy living are contemporary issues, which are central to solving economic, social and environmental problems. These topics are key concepts learnt in science education.
(4) Although the data from School A and School B is supportive for the rationale of enjoyment of science, it is difficult to decipher the reason for study choice from desire or as a bridge to a professional career.
(5) Science tells us about our past, helps us with our present and creates ways to improve the future. It aids with the acceptance of new technologies and breakthroughs in society, whilst also encouraging the advancement of science by educating the next generation of scientists.
In conclusion, this essay justified the reasons for teaching science through research and DfE documentation. We teach pupils science to promote scientific thinking, to understand societal issues and to prepare them for their future careers. Due to the life skills and cross curricular links, science not only provides the knowledge for advancement of science, but essential life skills which are applicable to our daily lives and careers in any sector. The benefit of science to the educational experience of students, therefore, supports the historical viewpoint that science should be and remain, a compulsory core subject within schools.
 Haydon, G. (2013) ‘The School Curriculum and Society’. In: Capel, S., Leask, M. and Turner, T. (eds.): Learning to Teach in the Secondary School: A Companion to School Experience. Abingdon: Routledge.
 BAAS (1868). Report of the Thirty-Seventh Annual Meeting, Dundee 1867. London: Murray.