An interesting study suggests that the most important thing in high school that could help students in college science courses is math. Specific science courses taken in hgh school helped in that same subject in college, but didn’t translate over to other science subjects. For instance, high school biology helped with college biology, but not with physics or chemistry. What did have an impact overall was math. The more math taken in high school, the better students did in all the college sciences.
Science educators debate the effect of the order in which students take science courses. Since the 1890s biology has tended to come first, followed by chemistry and then physics.
Some educators argue that physics should be taught earlier because it will help students understand the other two science areas; others say having chemistry first will help in learning biology.
But in this study neither was the case.
“The most important thing for high school science teachers is to make sure there is lots of math in whatever science course they teach,” Sadler said. “Math is so important in college science.”