Australasian Science: Australia's authority on science since 1938

Lessons from Abroad

By Stephen Luntz

After teaching science in developing countries, Scott Daniel has returned home to develop teaching strategies for large class sizes here.

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Scott Daniel’s interest in science teaching has taken him to some unusual places, such as Pentecost, the island of Vanuatu where the predecessor of bungee jumping began, and Namibian schools where elephants drunk on fermented fruit sometimes wonder through the grounds. He’s now working on a PhD that may assist science teachers in such locations as well as lecturers closer to home.

Daniel says he was “always interested in science”. He constantly wanted to find out more about the world and would sometimes conduct experiments so unwise that afterwards he would tell himself “curiosity killed the Scott”. One such occasion came when he was racing down the slopes of Mt Kilimanjaro on a mountain bike and wondered if the brake pads were getting hot. He burnt his finger finding out, and spent the rest of the journey splashing water over the pads and watching it evaporate from the intense heat.

The same thirst for knowledge and new experiences has driven Daniel to travel a lot, as well as studying everything from science to Russian. Daniel’s undergraduate major at Macquarie University was in physics, which he says he chose because “it is the essential science that underpins the others”. He followed this up with a teaching degree, also at Macquarie University, and then the Graduate Diploma in Science Communication at the Australian National University and the National...

The full text of this article can be purchased from Informit.