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Natural Sciences Learning Area Tasks and Objectives

Science and technology shape our society in essential aspects and thus also determine parts of our cultural identity. Scientific findings serve as the basis for a contemporary and enlightened worldview and provide the basis for significant technical and social advances. Examples of this can be found in the development of new materials and production processes, especially in chemistry, medicine, biotechnology and genetic engineering, environmental sciences and information technology. However, technical progress also includes risks that have to be recognized, assessed and controlled and thus also influence political decisions. A basic scientific education is therefore indispensable for social participation.

The science learning area

The natural sciences learning area is determined by three perspectives, from which nature and its regularities are examined:

  • Biology
    The contribution of biology is in dealing with living things on different system levels from cells to organisms to the biosphere. Biological knowledge affects us humans as part and as creators of nature. Students become aware of the interdependence of people and the environment with the help of biological questions.

 

  • Chemistry
    Chemistry examines and describes the material world and its changes. Material and energy conversions are explained here by particle and structural changes and the remodeling of chemical bonds. The lessons convey knowledge about important substances and chemical reactions and enable pupils to explain phenomena of the lifeworld.

 

  • Physics
    Physics pursues the goal of recognizing and explaining fundamental laws of nature. Students find a variety of opportunities to explore interesting natural and technical phenomena. They recognize how the results of physics shape and change their living environment to a not inconsiderable extent.

Educational standards and basic science education

The subjects in the natural sciences make a joint contribution to the central educational goal of basic scientific education. The present curricula take up the requirements of the educational standards and specify the competencies that are expected as a result of the lessons in two progression levels. Students acquire the basic knowledge and skills they need so they need a solutions for wellness to cope with requirements in numerous professional fields as well as the prerequisites for consistent, lifelong learning.

Networking scientific knowledge via basic concepts

Based on the educational standards, the following basic concepts are assigned to the natural science subjects. Basic concepts have important structuring and orienting functions. They form superordinate structures in the creation process of a multifaceted network of knowledge. Some basic concepts offer special opportunities to network the subjects with one another. For example, the basic concept of Structure of Matter is used in both physics and chemistry. The concept of the system focuses on different, but complementary and not contradicting, points of view.

Interdisciplinary networking
Students network skills and knowledge that were acquired from the perspectives of the various scientific disciplines. Natural sciences also have many points of contact with the subject of mathematics. A coordination between natural sciences and mathematics enables synergy effects in the specific competence development.

Technical language support
Language is of particular importance for the acquisition of a basic scientific education. Cognitive processes of dealing with specialist knowledge and acquisition of knowledge are conveyed in language.

Conditions for teaching science in the comprehensive school
Teaching in the natural sciences is based on the subject teaching of the primary school. Competencies should be developed in contexts that are perceived as meaningful by both female and male students. Attention must be paid to the connectivity of the competence development in order to enable schoolchildren to transition to vocational colleges, upper secondary school and other advanced training courses. According to the training and examination regulations for secondary level I (APO-SI), lessons can also be given bilingually outside of bilingual branches.