Archives for February 2014

The Gobbledygook of Florida Teacher Evaluations

  Figure 1. Words used to describe the statistical model used to evaluate a classroom teacher in Florida! Earlier this week, Florida released the VAM scores of its teachers.  Disturbing to say the least.  The Florida Times-Union released links to teacher VAM data for the past two years. There are 116,723 teachers listed in the […]

Science Ideas Have a History: The Case for Interdisciplinary Thinking

Latest Story Figure 1. How was this tool used to “discover” the background radiation made by the Big Bang? In a piece published on the Chronicle of Higher Education, Alejandra Dubcovsky, professor of history at Yale University, says  “to understand science, study history.” Indeed, science teachers have used some stories surrounding the history of science […]

Changing Public Education from the Ground UP: The Network for Public Education

Latest Story The first conference of The Network for Public Education (NPE) will be held this weekend at the University of Texas.  NPE, formed by Diane Ravitch,  is an advocacy group whose goal is to protect, preserve, and strengthen public education. The March 1 – 2 conference will include keynote addresses, panels and workshops. The […]

Why Are Scientists Abandoning Their Research?

Copyright All rights reserved by Dartmouth Flickr Why are scientist abandoning their research, and if they are what does this say about the looming STEM crisis that the nation faces, at least according to the Obama Administration? In Chronicle of Higher Education survey of American university research scientists, authors Paul Basken and Paul Voosen report […]

Jack Hills Zircon: Evidence of a Very Old Earth

Latest Story In a report published in Nature Geoscience, a scientific team studying rocks in Australia, used Australian zircons in the Jack Hills that are embedded in the rocks to decide the age and history of these rocks. They found evidence that the Earth’s crust first formed at least 4.4 billion years ago.  They analyzed […]

In Teaching, Should We Try to be Objective?

In teaching, should we try to be objective? If you are a teacher, or if you have taught school, you most likely dealt with  this question at one time or another.  As you will see, it’s not as easy to answer as we might think. It’s Not Settled Today, there are groups who are calling for […]

Welcome to A New Web Design for the Art of Teaching Science

Thank you for visiting my blog.  After teaching for forty years, I’ve spent the last ten writing the blog (and a host of other things), The Art of Teaching Science.  For at least five years, I’ve used web themes created by StudioPress (Copyblogger Media) for WordPress, one the most popular programs for designing weblogs and […]

NBC's Climate Debate: Enabling the Deniers

On NBC’s Feb. 16 edition of Meet the Press a “debate” was broadcast between Bill Nye, the Science Guy, Marsha Blackburn, a Republican Rep. from Tennessee and David Gregory, the media enabler. On the one hand, its unfortunate that Bill Nye agreed to go on the program and acknowledge by his presence that global warming […]

NBC’s Climate Debate: Enabling the Deniers

On NBC’s Feb. 16 edition of Meet the Press a “debate” was broadcast between Bill Nye, the Science Guy, Marsha Blackburn, a Republican Rep. from Tennessee and David Gregory, the media enabler. On the one hand, its unfortunate that Bill Nye agreed to go on the program and acknowledge by his presence that global warming […]

In Science Teaching, What Does it Mean to Teach Evolution Objectively?

In a comment about the earlier post on this blog, Evolution Might be a Law, But Student Ideas are Important, Dr. Robert Lattimer, President of Citizens for Objective Public Education, raised an important idea about science teaching.  When evolution is taught in our schools, it should be taught objectively. In context, here is what Dr. […]

Evolution Might be a Law, But Student Ideas Are Important

In this post I am going to claim that evolution is a law, no different from the accepted laws of gravitation or motion.  However, as science teachers, we know that students can be helped to build their own meaning and understanding of evolution, or gravity, or motion if we connect with their prior-experiences, their community […]

Students Choose What to Learn: Freedom to Learn in the Science Classroom by Terrill L Nickerson

Guest Post: Terrill L. Nickerson Terrill Nickerson is veteran high school science teacher with 26 years experience.  His first 15 years teaching science began in the Native American community, beginning on the Hopi Reservation in NE Arizona, and then on to teach at Santa Fe Indian School in Santa Fe, NM.  He is now teaching […]

What Would the Russian Scientist, V.I. Vernadsky Say To Deepen the Debate Between Bill Nye & Ken Ham?

Note: I didn’t lead three lives, but I did go to the Soviet Union more than 25 times!   From 1981 – 2000,  I was part of group of students, teachers and researchers who participated in reciprocal trips to the former Soviet Union as part of the Global Thinking Project (GTP).  During this period I […]

What Would the Russian Scientist, V.I. Vernadsky Say To Deepen the Debate Between Bill Nye & Ken Ham?

Note: I didn’t lead three lives, but I did go to the Soviet Union more than 25 times!   From 1981 – 2000,  I was part of group of students, teachers and researchers who participated in reciprocal trips to the former Soviet Union as part of the Global Thinking Project (GTP).  During this period I […]

Governor Deal's Weather Task Force is More of a Mob Than a Problem Solving Team

To improve the state of Georgia’s response to severe weather, Governor Nathan Deal appointed a 28 member task force.  A few years ago, when Atlanta educators were accused of changing answers on student tests sheets, the Governor (Sonny Perdue) appointed a panel of three to investigate and prepare a report.  Why do we need 28 […]

Governor Deal’s Weather Task Force is More of a Mob Than a Problem Solving Team

To improve the state of Georgia’s response to severe weather, Governor Nathan Deal appointed a 28 member task force.  A few years ago, when Atlanta educators were accused of changing answers on student tests sheets, the Governor (Sonny Perdue) appointed a panel of three to investigate and prepare a report.  Why do we need 28 […]

Bill Nye, The Science Guy, Debates Ken Ham, The Creationism Guy

Bill Nye, The Science Guy, Debates Ken Ham, The Creationism Guy tonight at 7:00 PM which you can watch live on the FORA.tv website. You can visit the site now and participate in a live twitter chat.

Atlanta Snow Storm Fiasco: The Case for High-Stakes Testing of The Georgia Emergency Management Agency

Believe it or not, on Thursday, January 16, more than week before Georgia and Alabama citizens were stranded by a snow and ice storm, Georgia Governor Nathan Deal held a “Severe Weather Awareness Week” proclamation ceremony at the Georgia State Capitol. At that meeting, it was announced that Feb. 7 – 11, 2014 would be […]