Practise what you preach, and science will prosper

In countries where science education flourishes, practical experiments are to the fore. But it all hinges on having the freedom to teach, believes Sir John Holman

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This month is special for me: it marks my fiftieth anniversary of science teaching in schools and universities. One thing I’m sure of is that practical work remains the critical but often underrated part of science learning. As a nation, we are relatively well provided for with lab facilities and technical support, so what can we learn from high-performing countries when it comes to the quantity and quality of practical science offered to our young people?

Practical science is important for learning, not just because doing experiments is a good way to learn scientific ideas and theories. It ...

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