As research has revealed that many pupils do not find that science education in schools has relevance for their lives, we have chosen to work with a unit that elicits an emotional response and that has clear connection to life in our society. This has proven to be a way of increasing the pupils’ interest. It is also important to be able to talk about disability and handicap in an open manner and that we are conscious of the fact that conditions in the local environment can make a disability more or less disabling. Most pupils have met people with disabilities – in school, their family or where they live. And many pupils themselves have some kind of disability.
The biology content concerns movement – muscles, skeleton and nervous system. It is possible to broaden the content to include more organic systems as, in principle, all of them are involved in movement. To be able perform movement, at a cellular level glucose and oxygen is required. Multi-cellular organisms have organic systems developed to a greater or lesser extent, which can be seen to provide the logistics of supplying the cells with what they need, as well as disposal of waste products. The physics component concerns energy, strength, torque and rest. The technology component concerns rehabilitation.
Causes for muscular disability can be:
- Spinal injury (various)
- Neurological illness such as multiple sclerosis and Parkinson’s disease
Common difficulties with concepts that pupils have Any event in the body can be explained on various levels, ranging from individual to organic systems, on organic, tissue, cellular and molecular levels. Pupils often have difficulty in differentiating between and moving between these levels in thought and explanation. Many pupils do not have a holistic view of the incredibly complex coordination that occurs on various levels. Organic systems in multi-cellular organisms do not work independently of each other. It is common to conceptualize the body as a machine and boys in particular tend to see a disability as a fault in the machinery that can/should be repaired.