Why do kids hate science?Traditionally, many kids profess to "hate science or math".  Why do you think some students have a deep aversion to science where they actually say they hate it?  What is...

Why do kids hate science?

Traditionally, many kids profess to "hate science or math".  Why do you think some students have a deep aversion to science where they actually say they hate it?  What is it about this field that turns many students off, before they ever try it? Please comment if you have ever experienced this before.

Expert Answers
clairewait eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I agree with previous posts on the "why's" behind subject hatred.  Ironically, as a kid I also was under the impression that everyone hated math and loved English/reading (because I did).  As a high school English teacher, the majority of my students (I take regular polls) profess to like math and science BETTER than English because, I have found, by high school, students have lost the love of reading and writing.

One way I try to combat this natural aversion to my class is to show them how all the subjects they profess to love are actually RELATED to English.  It seems every single subject in school has various connections to other subjects, it is just a matter of figuring out how to draw those connections for your students.  Writing a grammatically correct sentence, for example, is very similar to balancing an equation.

If you can get your students to think about science through the lens of their favorite subjects, perhaps you can win them over.

(Sidenote: I learned how to outline properly in 5th grade science, one of the best days of my life!)

booboosmoosh eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I think it has a lot to do with the left brain/right brain thing. Sciences like Chemistry, which was always dry for me, never appealed. It wasn't something that grabbed by attention, or fed my soul, the way English or the arts did. Maybe it isn't flexible enough: it's written in stone. However, I always liked Bio, even in high school, and later in college.

The other reality may be based on what comes more naturally to a student. If it's easy to grasp, kids tend to like it more because so many look for the easy fix. I know that kids in our high school liked environmental science: they got to go outside, interacted with their world and studied nature, which probably didn't seem so foreign to them.

Perhaps the love of any subject depends on engaging the student: if we could all find a way to do this on a regular basis, it would be so much easier. I know plenty of kids who hate English, too. It is a real puzzler, especially for those of us who enjoy the subject we teach!

Susan Hurn eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I've often wondered if, with all good intentions, we as teachers somehow manage to kill a kid's love for a subject. I have a friend whose twelve-year-old son loved art--until he took an art class in middle school! (No offense intended, middle-school art teachers.) I think sometimes we get so focused on trees and the testing of trees that perhaps we miss the forest.

I am reminded of a story I heard a long time ago, and I'm sure you have probably heard it, too, somewhere. A third-grade class is studying quietly when it begins to snow. All the children run to the windows to watch, entranced. "Come back to your seats, children," the teacher says. "It is time for science." I teach English, but I have tried never to forget the lesson in that story.

pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Perhaps you hear this more because you are a science teacher.  I would imagine that every teacher hears that students hate his or her subject.  I know I hear complaints about hating history or government and I do not hear similar complaints about science.  So I think that some students hate each subject simply because different people have different likes and dislikes.

As far as why someone might hate science, it is (for those of us who do not have an innate talent for it) complicated.  It uses a strange vocabulary (moles, titration, precipitates, vectors, etc) and the concepts can be very hard to remember (stages of mitosis...).  It's not a simple subject and those who have trouble with it will tend to say that they hate it.

brettd eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Yeah, I'm a history teacher, so welcome to the club of teachers who hear about kids' academic hatred.  I think they toss the word around pretty loosely.  Any academic subject takes discipline in terms of work ethic and focus, and I believe that it is the focus and time required that kids hate as opposed to any one subject.

To "hate" all of science is a ridiculous notion, just as it is ridiculous to hate everything that ever happened to anyone who ever lived (history).  Finding what piques their interest about my subject is part of my challenge as a teacher, and yours.

kiwi eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I agree that science is no more 'hated' than any other subject. In my curent school we have a progressive head of department who has topics such as the chemistry of food, Harry Potter science (with the whizzbang stuff), forensics and evolution where the kids have to make fire and skin a rabbit (seniors only, this one!). There is a heavy bias towards practicals and our kids adore it. As others have suggested, capitalise on the parts of your discipline which engage us all. Lessons somewhere between Mythbusters and Brainiac would turn even my head!

accessteacher eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Personally, I hated science because I loved the Arts subjects so much more! My own personal experience was that Science and Maths was taught in a way that divorced it from reality. We had no practical application of the issues and were not shown how they could be used in real life. Therefore, why learn it? What is attractive about a page of problems that you need to use equations to work out if you can't see how it can be linked into your life? I am sure Science teaching has changed loads, but this was my experience a few years back.

lmetcalf eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I think as students get older they tend to recognize their intellectual strengths and weaknesses.  I teach all seniors, and they seem to know they "math/science people,"  "English/history/languages people," "technical arts (cosmetology/mechanics/drafting) people" etc.  Because the high school lets students have some freedom to select classes that interest students, the students can play to their strengths and that may also reinforce their attitudes about other classes.

marbar57 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Most kids hate science and math because they're not interesting enough to them.  I've found that if you make it fun, interesting, and hands-on they are more likely to end up liking it. 

Lots of times kids will say they hate something, when in fact they are more bored than anything.  Instead of reading about how clouds are made, let them gather around a teakettle and make clouds for themself! 

That's what we do in our school and it works!

Lori Steinbach eNotes educator| Certified Educator

"Hate" is so easy to say and is probably not actually what is generally meant. I watch my young nieces and nephews inspect bugs and ask questions and wonder about how things work--all science--but I know one day they may also "hate" science. There is obviously a disconnect, and the best teachers manage to bridge that gap.

lrwilliams eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I would say that most of the students you hear say that they hate science is, as stated in previous post, a lack of understanding the concepts and vocabulary. I think once students are able to experience science through a more hands on lab type class they begin to enjoy it more.  

julia-renee | Student

Well, to be honest, science and math are hard subject because they require more thinking than most subjects because you're always dealing with numbers.

mweisenberger | Student

I feel that the hate toward science and math is getting less and less based of the way the students receive the information. today science should be extremely hands on. I feel if students must only read out of a book and answer worksheet questions they would hate to engage in a class like that. if the teacher makes the world around them their classroom students would be much more excited. physical labs and hands on learning. students should be exploring outside and investigating together, using fun equipment, and creating mini simulations of events that happen around them. the more involved the  students is in their learning and  feels in control of the way they learn the more excited they are to engage and reveal their success.

udonbutterfly | Student

I think the reason why so many have a disconnect with science is the same reason why so many people do not like math. Just like math, science is an abstract concept that relies on your ability to comprehend a set amount theory's that helps you solve a problem. Unlike reading, where can visually see things play out interpret from many angles, there is really only one answer and for many who think visually they will have a difficult time grasping such an abstract concept.

cookiee-monster | Student

PERSONALLY, I HATE SCIENCE TOO, IT'S BECAUSE I NEVER GOT VERY HIGH MARKS IN SCIENCE. THIS IS ME, I LIKE STUFF BECAUSE I'M GOOD AT, I HATE STUFF BECAUSE I SUCK AT IT.

frizzyperm | Student

Perhaps subconsciously, kids revolt at being forced to learn about something they can't see or feel. Science is a religion - man's attempt to be gods. - Laurasdad

...said the man happily posting his religious opinions on the Internet, which happens to be one of the human race's greatest scientific achievements. Biting the hand that feeds you is ungracious, Laurasdad.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=agTHok-W_PI

Little kids love science. Some adults hate it, because it's difficult and produces uncomfortable truths.

 

laurasdad | Student
Why do kids hate science?

Traditionally, many kids profess to "hate science or math".  Why do you think some students have a deep aversion to science where they actually say they hate it?  What is it about this field that turns many students off, before they ever try it? Please comment if you have ever experienced this before.

Perhaps subconsciously, kids revolt at being forced to learn about something they can't see or feel.  Science is a religion - man's attempt to be gods.  Just as a person is uncomfortable when approached by someone who wants to convert them, students may need to experience something first before having faith in it. 

doni2633 | Student

I agree with the answers. The teachers are playing the main role in interests of students on subjects. Because, they can create a scientist by explaining what is what. Since science had very close connection with all, we neither know nor try to know. This is the main thing why many of the students hate science.

One of the biggest diference you can ever note,is when you try to compare the potential of student that want to learn more in a poor country and countires wich are rich.Its such a big diference between them while the poor country doesnt focus on learning but hard working,so student learn more,but the qualification of teachers is minumium.

nathbadri | Student

I agree with the answers. The teachers are playing the main role in interests of students on subjects. Because, they can create a scientist by explaining what is what. Since science had very close connection with all, we neither know nor try to know. This is the main thing why many of the students hate science.

doni2633 | Student

Every student in this world has its own character,but lets be more focused on a class made of students who do not like science,and belive me or not even i as a studnet hated math,but now im grown up im understaning the mainly imporance of it.

doni2633 | Student

Well.let us be more based on a more important fact here,children just do not get it what it really means to understand the joy of knowing how theire computers mobile phones,or anything like radio recirver,or transmitters etc etc.So just think abou how the world will look like 200-300 later.

Guess what,it will look like a land full of dust,and with no technology at all.

tradecraft | Student

Students hate science and math because teachers often teach it in a very "clinical" manner as opposed to teaching these subjects in a way that the student understands the subjects importance and relevance.

When a student says, "I'll never use that" the teacher should interpret that as a code phrase meaning that the teacher needs to make the lesson relevant to the "real world."

doni2633 | Student

I would say most kids hate science for two reasons.  Because it involves their abilty to study something and make observations, which at times could involve a lot of work.  Students are also a little hesitant to want and do disections, in fear of getting their hands dirty.

I also believe it also depends on the type of science teacher the student had or has that sets him or her up to having a liking for science.  My father was a Physics teacher, and made it very hands on in the activities we did in class.   We did a lot of labs which made it a lot more interesting then studying a bunch of usless material...Apply the formulas in the use of labs, instead of just memorizing them without any application!

The best way children would like to be more intersted in science is to show them the fundamental meaning of science and the positions wich science has taken in the modern world.Personally i live in a poor country, but the most of the students in my class hate science at all,especially because they think its hard,but no,it isnt its the only reason because the students that wont like science for the reason its hard,is beacause they are too busy wasting time.This is a good statmant you are making sir,even the fault doesnt fall only on the students but sometimes on the teachers and them lectures wich they make,just for money.

saville12 | Student

I would say most kids hate science for two reasons.  Because it involves their abilty to study something and make observations, which at times could involve a lot of work.  Students are also a little hesitant to want and do disections, in fear of getting their hands dirty.

I also believe it also depends on the type of science teacher the student had or has that sets him or her up to having a liking for science.  My father was a Physics teacher, and made it very hands on in the activities we did in class.   We did a lot of labs which made it a lot more interesting then studying a bunch of usless material...Apply the formulas in the use of labs, instead of just memorizing them without any application!