Archives for September 2010

Why are more students relying on tutors in mathematics and science?

Last week I was asked to contribute to the Room for Debate discussion site on The Opinion Pages of the New York Times.  On a nearly daily basis, Room for Debate posses a questions, and solicits contributions from four or five individuals.  The Room for Debate topics that I contributed to was entitled “Why are […]

What are the implications of a new generation of science standards?

In the early 1970s, while at Georgia State University, a team of science educators (professors, science education graduate students, and classroom teachers) spent two years developing a comprehensive set of objectives and test items for elementary science, grades K-6 for the Florida Department of Education, called the Florida Elementary Science Assessment Project. In the year leading […]

Advancing STEM: Conflict Between Standardization and Innovation

There was a government report on Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) education released over the past few days.  The report, combined with the National Research Council’s project which has developed a Conceptual Framework for a New Generation of Science Standards set the tone for STEM education over the next few years. The National Science […]

Reform From Teachers' Points of View

In today’s culture of reform, it is governors, corporate leaders, politicians, and a few organizations founded and funded by the previous mentioned groups–people who know little of teaching and learning–that are determining the direction of reform. And that reform is one of standardization, holding schools and teachers accountable by testing the “heck” out of kids […]

Reform From Teachers’ Points of View

In today’s culture of reform, it is governors, corporate leaders, politicians, and a few organizations founded and funded by the previous mentioned groups–people who know little of teaching and learning–that are determining the direction of reform. And that reform is one of standardization, holding schools and teachers accountable by testing the “heck” out of kids […]

How Does Student Motivation Factor into Assessing Student Achievement and Teacher Performance

For several days, I have been writing about the movement to standardize the curriculum, indeed, to develop a single set of standards for the entire nation—15,000 school districts. So far, Achieve.org has written the Common Core Standards in Mathematics and Reading, and by next year will have completed the New Generation of Science Standards. This […]

If Science Courses Were Optional, Would Students Enroll?

Yesterday I wrote about the drive to “standardize” curriculum in the U.S. through the implementation of Common Core Standards.  Already, we have the Common Core Standards in Mathematics and Reading, and National Research Council has hired Achieve (the same organization that wrote the Math and Reading standards) to write the new generation of science standards. […]

Some Questions About the NSTA Position on the New Generation of Science Standards

In the most recent issue of NSTA Reports (National Science Teachers Association), Francis Eberle, NSTA Executive Director wrote an opinion piece entitled First Steps Toward New Science Standards. Although not an official position of the NSTA membership, the article does outline the general attitude of the organization toward the recent effort to develop a Conceptual […]

Waiting for Superman: A Documentary Film on Educational Reform

Yesterday I wrote about the documentary film The Race to Nowhere: The Darkside of America’s Achievement Culture by filmmaker Vicki Abeles.  The film, which will be shown Nationwide later this month, challenges the Federal and corporate reform efforts of standardization and high-stakes testing.  One statement made by Abeles sets the tone: We cannot wait for […]

The Race to Nowhere

Yesterday I talked about curiosity in science teaching, and included a brief movie of images that were designed to help us think about inquiry and creativity in science teaching. I was checking my blog list last night, and I noticed on The Cool Cat Teacher blog an entry that showed a trailer for a new […]

Curiosity in Teaching Science

The most recent issue of The Science Teacher was entitled Science and Creativity, and according to the editor of the journal, “to develop 21st-century skills, we must create classrooms that foster creativity and encourage divergent thinking—through student inquiry, complex problem solving, and open-ended research.” Creativity in science teaching has been a theme—or a goal if […]

Linking Research and Practice in Science Teaching

For many years I was fortunate to conduct seminars for the Bureau of Research in Education (BER), an organization that provides staff development and training resources for educators in North America.  One of the principles that provided the framework for the seminars that I did, and others that the BER offers is the link between […]