Developing Skills in Science Class



Release Date

March 24, 2014


Diane Pruneau presents her literature review knowledge synthesis on the recommended skills that employers and researchers say will help workers to be successful. She and her research team analyzed elementary school curriculum in Canada to see whether these skills were being taught to students in science and technology classrooms. Pruneau’s results have helped her to recommend changes to the Canadian science curriculum, including an increased focus on skills like entrepreneurship and risk assessment.

Read the transcript

Diane Pruneau
Université de Moncton

Diane Pruneau : What we did was to conduct a literature review on the skills that employers and researchers are recommending workers have in today’s society.

We then analyzed the primary school curriculum in all Canadian provinces and territories to see whether these skills are being reflected there.

We found that some skills that are not found in these curricula, such as entrepreneurship, prospective thinking, futures thinking, risk prediction, planning, assessment—skills such as these are not really reflected in the Canadian science curriculum.

We therefore recommended changes to the Canadian science curriculum. It will be important to think of ways of inserting these new skills into the curriculum. And in the research community, what we need to do is to better understand these skills—what are these skills.

For example, there is one skill that is called “design thinking” that could be very, very interesting to study. We therefore need to better understand these skills, and then to find ways of developing these skills in students.