The Status of Natural Scientific Education and its Relationship with Exam Systems

Istvan Simonics, Andrea Hetzl

Abstract


According to international surveys (PISA, TIMSS), the mathematical and natural science test results of the Hungarian students have been steadily declining. The number of those who are affected by school dropouts is high. The present educational methods are not able to prepare the students properly for measures requiring application-oriented knowledge. In the hierarchy, natural science subjects are considered to be the least popular and significant ones among students. Compared to the 1970s and 80s, the natural sciences have become the ’great losing side’ due to the lessons’ number changes of the consecutive Nation-al Core Curriculum. The low lesson number is not in balance with the huge amount of educational material to be learned. There is not enough time to perform experiments, to deepen knowledge, to have student-centered methods. Based upon the core points of the new National Core Curriculum, a piece of extensive scientific knowledge and being able to solve problems are the most fundamental skills to be developed, however, the viability of the implementations have not begun to take shape. The Final exam is the most influential output element in our examination system. Presently only a few students tend to choose science subjects for their Final ex-amination, moreover few people take an advanced level ex-am in these fields. Fortunately, from this year it is compulsory to take an advanced level examination of the minimum one subject for entry to higher education. Nowadays there are not any obligatory science subjects for the Final examination, however, their introduction is a prevalent topic among professionals. Several people hope that by the new examination, the level of students' motivation for the subject and the general knowledge of the society could be increased. In 2019 the authors made the survey. They elaborated questionnaires for teachers and students about the effect of the exam on students’ motivation and knowledge. They expected a high level of acceptance of an introduction of compulsory science subjects for the Final examination. It is a promising result that the majority of students and teachers find science knowledge important. Unfortunately, the popularity index of these subjects is still bad; this means that we have to find a solution for improving the teaching-learning process.

Keywords


STEM, Final examination, National Core Curriculum, international surveys, natu-ral science subjects

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International Journal of Engineering Pedagogy (iJEP) – eISSN: 2192-4880
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