Archives for September 2008

Vote on the ScienceDebate 2008 Questions

In two recent posts I wrote about ScienceDebate 2008, a grassroots movement to engage the two presidential candidates in debating their views on science, science education and science in society.  I specifically discussed two of the 14 questions, question 4 on science education, and question 12 on scientific integrity. If you recall, each candidate responded […]

New Environmental Weblog: Green Inc.

There is new weblog on the New York Times website that I want to mention today, and it is called Green Inc.: Energy, the Environment and the Bottom Line.  Developed by three environmental educators and writers, this weblog focuses on the following: How will the pressures of climate change, limited fossil fuel resources and the […]

Panel Calls into Question the use of SATs and ACTs for Admission

I am driving to Texas, where I will be for a couple of weeks. Tonight I read an article in the New York Times entitled College Panel Call for Less Focus on SATs. In an earlier post, I suggested that high school high-stakes examinations be eliminated.  Today’s article only reaffirmed my conviction that high school […]

Making Important Decisons Based on "Sound" Science

Sound: a: free from error, fallacy, or misapprehension <sound reasoning> b: exhibiting or based on thorough knowledge and experience <sound scholarship> c: legally valid <a sound title> d: logically valid and having true premises e: agreeing with accepted views Science: a: knowledge or a system of knowledge covering general truths or the operation of general […]

Making Important Decisons Based on “Sound” Science

Sound: a: free from error, fallacy, or misapprehension <sound reasoning> b: exhibiting or based on thorough knowledge and experience <sound scholarship> c: legally valid <a sound title> d: logically valid and having true premises e: agreeing with accepted views Science: a: knowledge or a system of knowledge covering general truths or the operation of general […]

Science Scores on International Assessments: The Sky is Falling

In yesterday’s post, I described Science Debate 2008, and efforts to engage the two major candidates for President to answer 14 important questions about science.  The one question that focused on science education was as follows: A comparison of 15-year-olds in 30 wealthy nations found that average science scores among U.S. students ranked 17th, while […]

Presidential Candidates Answer Top 14 Questions on Science

You can find the answers to 14 science questions that were submitted to Barack Obama and John McCain at the  Science Debate website.  Starting in 2007, a small group of individuals began working on the possibility of having a debate between the two candidates focusing on the importance of science in American society.  The original […]

Career Changers: Attracting People to Science Teaching

Change is on the minds of everyone these days.  Mike Dias sent me a news release that originated from the Woodrow Wilson Fellowship Foundation, entitled “National Survey Identifies Incentives To Attract Talented Career Changers into America’s Classrooms.”  According to the news release, career changers might be the best way to solve the problem of finding 1.5 […]

Challenge: 1.5 Million Teachers Needed!

Can you believe that figure.  According to a University System of Georgia report, by 2010, Georgia will have to produce more than 2,000 middle school and high school science teachers. In yesterday’s Atlanta Journal Constitution, one of the editors wrote an opinion piece entitled Classroom needs new infusion of applicants.  You would think that this […]

Social Action Projects for Social Justice

One of the leading groups of teachers who have designed action projects and lesson plans that focus on social justice is the iEARN (International Education and Resource Network). I met many of the teachers from iEARN when I was involved as the Director of the Global Thinking Project (GTP), and attended one of their international […]

Teaching for Social Justice the Natural Way

The title of this post is really a play on words in the sense that good teaching is characterized by an emphasis on student involvement, inquiry, and innovation. It happens naturally if we plan lessons that put the student in the center of learning, rather than the curriculum. I was motivated to write this post […]

Research on Social Justice

Today I received a NARST list email from Angela Calabrese Barton (acb@msu.edu) & Bhaskar Upadhyay (upadh006@umn.edu) requesting research papers for submission for an issue of Equity & Excellence in Education on the theme teaching and learning science for social justice.  Requests are due by November 1, 2008. I thought what be interesting to readers on this weblog […]

Social Justice in Science Teaching

I received an email from Nate Carnes, President of the Southeast Association for Science Teacher Education (SASTE) announcing the SASTE’s annual conference entitled: Social Justice and High Quality Science Education for All which will take place at the University of South Carolina, Columbia on October 10 & 11.  Follow this link for details for the conference. […]

Teaching About Global Warming, or Should It Be “Global Weirding”

People who say “drill-baby-drill” are much like people in the 1980s when personal computers came on the scene saying we need more typewriters and carbon paper (paraphrased from Thomas Friedman–see the video in this post).  The “drill-baby-drill” is a mantra of those who are stuck in the past, with their heads in the sand,  and […]

Teaching About Global Warming, or Should It Be "Global Weirding"

People who say “drill-baby-drill” are much like people in the 1980s when personal computers came on the scene saying we need more typewriters and carbon paper (paraphrased from Thomas Friedman–see the video in this post).  The “drill-baby-drill” is a mantra of those who are stuck in the past, with their heads in the sand,  and […]

Hot, Flat, and Crowded: A Revolutionary Paradigm of Teaching for Energy and Environment

In a democracy, there are differing views on how the government and industry should deal with energy, energy sources, and the environment.  I’ve visited the American Presidency Project, and there you can read the complete platforms of the Democrats and Republicans.  You have to go the Libertarian Party and the Green Party websites to read […]

Teaching Science as if your Classroom was a Community

The community, as a concept, is where the action is not only when dealing with environmental, social and political issues, but is one of the most important ideas for us to incorporate into our approach to teaching.  A teacher, in a sense, is a community organizer who works with a group of students to teach […]

Teaching About Hurricane Prediction: With an Eye on Hanna

Teaching and learning about Hurricanes has been a interest of mine for many years, beginning as an Earth science teacher in Lexington, Massachusetts, and then extending to the writing of textbooks for elementary and middle school students.  In 2005, right after Hurricane Katrina devastated the Gulf Coast and New Orleans, I created a website entitled […]

Standards’ Gatekeepers Upset When Georgia Parent Claims New Coursework is Bogus

Last week, in a piece published in the Atlanta Journal (Let’s discuss how bogus new math coursework is), Kimberly Learnard, a Fayette County, Georgia parent took the Georgia Department of Education to task, including Superintendent Kathy Cox, criticizing the Georgia Performance Standards in Mathematics.  She took exception to one of the methods advocated in the […]

Standards' Gatekeepers Upset When Georgia Parent Claims New Coursework is Bogus

Last week, in a piece published in the Atlanta Journal (Let’s discuss how bogus new math coursework is), Kimberly Learnard, a Fayette County, Georgia parent took the Georgia Department of Education to task, including Superintendent Kathy Cox, criticizing the Georgia Performance Standards in Mathematics.  She took exception to one of the methods advocated in the […]

Hurricanes Gustav and Hanna: Double Trouble

In his weblog, Andrew Revkin reported that the dual activity of Hurricanes Gustav and Hanna pose a double threat to the Southeast and to the Gulf Coast.  As seen in this map, the hurricanes are close enough to each other to be considered a double system, perhaps like a double-star system.  As of Monday afternoon, […]