The Acting Vice Chancellor of Ignatius Ajuru University of Education, Professor Rosemund Dienye Green-Osahogulu has emphasized that the strongest driver of human societal development is scientific research as applied to and utilized in sectoral technological innovation.
She made this assertion while declaring open the 2013 1st National Conference of the Faculty of Natural and Applied Sciences which held on Thursday 16th May 2013 at the University Auditorium.
Professor Rosemund Osahogulu noted that it behooves on all Science Education Scholars to get more resolutely committed than ever to their occupational calling as the time has come to look up to the Nigerian University system for answers to present day societal challenges which are most readily amenable to the scientific approach.
These challenges she added include flood water control, food security assurance, environmental health preservation in the face of heavy industrial activities such as fossil oil exploration/extraction, control of noise pollution and industrial effluent, waste pollution, pest control, Hiv/Aids control, crop harvest preservation across seasons Science based crime/terrorism control etc.
She also said in science teacher education or science curriculum studies people should look up to the Nigerian University system particularly to the faculties and the Universities of Education for significant advances in the discovering and promotion of effective and efficient technology supported instructional strategies and systems where instruction subsumes curriculum planning, teaching and learning sessional interaction, assessment and follow up responsive actions by the educators and the managements of the school systems or educational institutions concerned.
The Vice Chancellor expressed happiness that the conference planners included science curriculum integration among the topical subthemes for the conference noting that it was rather unfortunate that many students and scholars were yet to come to full grips with the concept of curriculum integration. Curriculum integration she remarked is a response to the realization that science seeks to equip man with sufficient understanding of the natural facts, concept, principles and laws for the understanding and methodical solution of significant problems affecting human health, living life expectancy, longevity, safety, security, work effectiveness efficiency, productivity, comfort, convenience, leisure and even rest.
Curriculum integration according to her is also then a response to the realization that even the apparently simplest of human or societal problems in real life can only be well enough understood from an integrated perspective which draws relevant and enlightening insight from several discrete science disciplinary view points.
This meaning that there is practically no real life human or societal problem which can be perfectly resolved purely by drawing understanding from any one pure science discipline.
The Vice Chancellor stated that this then calls for placing a greater premium on collaborative applied science researches across two to five science disciples at least on the major concerns and questions of pivotal or cardinal interest to man and society.
Curriculum integration in science she said is therefore an attempt to develop a nice blend of relevant scientific knowledge base across the discrete science disciplines with intent to realizing a far more potent informational power base than is ever possible otherwise.
This she stressed explains why such more integrated sciences as computer science, information science, agricultural science, management science or operatives research and health/medical science are far more potent at real life problem solving tasks than their respective pure sciences such as electronics, statistics, biology, mathematics and anatomy or physiology.
This fact she vice-chancellor maintained poses an added challenge for conference participants , the challenge of coming up with very practical systemic schemes for realising more utilitarian science curriculum integration schemes as original contributions to science learning.
Speaking on the theme of the Conference which is Research in Science and Curriculum Integration, the Dean of Faculty of Natural and Applied Science, Professor Jane Onwugbuta Enyi noted that with many researches going on, on a global dimension, it is imperative to discuss results of researches in science and positive approaches towards curriculum integration, which is based on a holistic view of learning and recognizes the necessity for learners to see the big picture rather than to require leaning to be divided into small pieces.
She emphasized that one of the focuses of recently expressed concern with teaching of science, Technology and mathematics (STM) has been the importance of proper curriculum integration. Prof. Jane Enyi hoped that the four day conference will be a platform for participants to share their ideas and views on research findings which may in turn inspire new and practicable standards in the field.
The conference she also hoped will provide an avenue for deliberations and useful recommendations that will provide members with up to date developments in science and curriculum integration.
The Dean remarked that the conference is about getting students interested in studying the many fields of science as they are the ones who will be leading the way in the future of science in the country.
She thanked management for the support adding that members of the faculty of Natural and Applied Science are interested in ensuring that members spend time together in an educative environment where cross pollination of professional ideas that occur in conference as this will make the teaching cohesive despite its diversity .
Professor Sam Abbey gave the keynote address while the lead paper was presented by Prof. E. D. Aguwubuike.