The “Big Ideas of Science” for the school classroom: Promoting interdisciplinary activities and the interconnection of the science subjects taught in primary and secondary education
This paper presents the “Big Ideas of Science” set as an alternative means of organizing science educational content in an interdisciplinary way that goes beyond the traditional subject-based organizational structures. The “Big Ideas of Science” refers to a set of phrases which overarch all science subject domains and briefly describe our world; from the macrocosm to the microcosm. Building upon previous work done in the field, we introduce a set of phrases (eight) which constitute our proposed “Big Ideas of Science”. Our team carried out a research with teachers in primary and secondary education, and a small group of stakeholders, so as to examine the degree to which this set of phrases could facilitate science teaching and learning. In our research, we introduced to participants the “Big Ideas of Science” as an organization scheme that promotes interdisciplinary learning and it allows students to build more effectively on their existing knowledge by making connections between concepts and principles taught in different science disciplines. Our results indicate that such an organization scheme could be beneficial to teachers and students, as it can play or act as a backbone structure that promotes interdisciplinary science learning, and enable students to make easy connections between subjects taught. In addition, based on the feedback from stakeholders, the “Big Ideas of Science” could be helpful in promoting interdisciplinary learning, as they can be used to organize science content in schools in a sustainable way that is not affected by curriculum changes.