Poverty, Learning and Nathan Deal’s Georgia Opportunity School District Assumes…

Poverty, Learning and Nathan Deal’s Georgia Opportunity School District Assumes… Georgia Governor Nathan Deal’s Georgia Opportunity School District (OSD) assumes that replacing public schools with charter schools will improve the test performance of students in “chronically failing” schools.  Georgia governor Deal’s OSD is a copy of the New Orleans Recovery School District (RSD). However, research presented […]

Infinity & Beyond: Unbounded Learning and Human Potential

  Figure 1. Unbound Learning Learning is limited by the test-based and standards-based accountability system that holds the reins on the curriculum of American schools. One of the consequences of this system of accountability is the limitations it has imposed on the real curriculum that emerges in the classroom.  Learning is limited, and restricted to […]

Infinity & Beyond: Unbounded Learning and Human Potential

  Figure 1. Unbound Learning Learning is limited by the test-based and standards-based accountability system that holds the reins on the curriculum of American schools. One of the consequences of this system of accountability is the limitations it has imposed on the real curriculum that emerges in the classroom.  Learning is limited, and restricted to […]

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 […]

Why Cooperative-Communal Classrooms Trump Competitive-Corporate Classrooms?

There are a lot of people in the U.S. who think that the only way you can decide whether students learn is with a test.  In fact, Jeb Bush, former Governor of Florida, has decided to get involved in education in Texas.  Being a guru on testing, he backs the State of Texas Assessments of Academic […]

Why Cooperative-Communal Classrooms Trump Competitive-Corporate Classrooms?

There are a lot of people in the U.S. who think that the only way you can decide whether students learn is with a test.  In fact, Jeb Bush, former Governor of Florida, has decided to get involved in education in Texas.  Being a guru on testing, he backs the State of Texas Assessments of Academic […]

Guest Post by Ingvar Stål: Humanistic Science Inquiry-Oriented Teaching in Finland

Note: This is the second post by Dr. Ingvar Stål, Senior lecturer in physics, chemistry, and science at the Botby Junior High School. In his first post, which you can read here, Dr. Stål gave us an overview of the Finnish educational system, which provides a basic education to all Finnish citizens ages 7 to 16, as well as […]

High Hopes for Science Inquiry: Fewer Opportunities

The No Child Left Behind Act is linked to data that shows schools in California are teaching less science because teachers are pressured to prepare students for the required math and English high-stakes tests. Valerie Strauss writes that Virginia is moving to require that students would only be required to take tests in math and English.  Students would […]

4 Aspects of the Artistry of Science Teaching

In our view, teaching is professional artistry.  As such, not only is your work as a science teacher an artistic one, but the way teachers are educated should also embrace professional artistry. Many years ago, I was working on a book with Joe Abruscato entitled The Whole Cosmos Catalog of Science Activities, and during this […]

9 Questions About Science Teaching I was Asked by a High School Student

An email from a high school student resulted in my taking a final examination about science education.  A student from a high school in Long Island wrote and asked if I would be willing to be interviewed for a book the student was writing about education. Here are the questions and my answers.  The questions […]

Five Important Science Teaching Organizations

  Research in science education is a significant force in impacting the practice of science.  Science educators (researchers and teachers) around the world have created a strong community of practice that contributes to our understanding of how students learn, and the nature of science teaching, pedagogy, and curriculum. You will find on this page links […]

The Superman Hero is actually your 7th Grade “Science” Teacher!

Who travels faster than a speeding bullet?  Who jumps buildings in a single bound?  No, its not superman, its probably your 7th grade science teacher!  I’ve written about a movie which was just released titled Waiting for Superman.  Here is the official movie trailer.  After watching the trailer, you may or may not agree with […]

The Superman Hero is actually your 7th Grade "Science" Teacher!

Who travels faster than a speeding bullet?  Who jumps buildings in a single bound?  No, its not superman, its probably your 7th grade science teacher!  I’ve written about a movie which was just released titled Waiting for Superman.  Here is the official movie trailer.  After watching the trailer, you may or may not agree with […]

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 […]

Education in the Age of Technology

I tuned into a lecture yesterday presented by Allan Collins which was hosted by The Learning Sciences Group at Penn State, and organized by Penn State Professor Richard Duschl.  The title of the talk was Rethinking Education in the Age of Technology, and is title of Collins’ book, co-authored with Richard Halverson.  The lecture is […]

Science Education Conference, Istanbul, Turkey: September 2009

One of the posts that I made last October was the announcement of a science education research conference that will be held in Istanbul, Turkey, August 31 – September 4, 2009.  I head from many colleagues, especially science educators in Africa and the Middle East who indicated strong interest in attending the conference.  All of […]

Science Teaching 3.0: A New Word Sign for Innovative Teaching

In the last post, I introduced the notion that we can look at science teaching, globalization, the Earth, and the World Wide Web using a three-point scale, e.g. 1.0, 2.0, 3.0. In particular, I introduced the use of the word-sign Science Teaching 3.0 as a way of calling attention to the humanistic science paradigm (click […]

Science Teaching 3.0

In his book The World is Flat, Thomas Friedman used the terms Globalization 1.0, Globalization 2.0, and Globalization 3.0 as a way to compare and contrast three great eras of globalization. In the fabric of the World Wide Web, people have been using the term Web 2.0 to describe the most recent way in which […]

Why we need to re-think NCLB and support a Paradigm Shift

In a recent edweek.org newsletter there was a No Child Left Behind Alert that I found interesting, and provided the starting point for this post.  The forum discussion (a question is posed, and you can submit a response joining you to the discussion) for the day was:  What’s the most important thing President-to-be-Obama could do […]

Girls and Science: Findings from Research

In a study published in the Journal of Research in Science Teaching (November, 2008), Brotman and Moore explore current research (in the past 12 years) in the field of gender and science education.  In their study, Girls and Science: A Review of Four Themes in the Science Education Literature, the authors created a landscape of […]

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 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 […]

Only a Theory

In his new book Only a Theory, Kenneth Miller, Professor of Biology at Brown University, and author of a number of books, including one on high school biology, explores the issues surrounding the teaching of evolution in American schools.  He begins his book in the following way: “In a courtroom even a whisper can catch […]

Humanistic Science Education

In the last post, I mentioned that organizations such as the NSTA support the notion of career education, which might be another way of saying that one of the purposes of studying science is the possibility of future work (in science and related fields). At first glance, this is not a bad idea. How can […]

Teaching The Truth About Global Warming

Teaching Truth. That’s the problem when we discuss and debate the scientific topic of global warming. As Tim Flannery points out, science is about hypotheses (and I would add theories), not truth. One of the long term problems in science teaching is helping students understand the nature of scientific research, and how science develops theories […]

Reform in Science Teaching, What Does Research Tell Us? Look to a New Cadre'

This issue (March, 2007) of the Journal of Research in Science Teaching had two articles that investigated the effects of science education reform in the United States. The first of the two studies, Can professional development make the vision of the standards a reality? The impact of the national science foundation’s local systemic change through […]

Reform in Science Teaching, What Does Research Tell Us? Look to a New Cadre’

This issue (March, 2007) of the Journal of Research in Science Teaching had two articles that investigated the effects of science education reform in the United States. The first of the two studies, Can professional development make the vision of the standards a reality? The impact of the national science foundation’s local systemic change through […]

Paradigms Compared

Education in America has finally reached the 21st Century, chronologically at least, but not pedagogically. Education is still remarkably similar to what education was like in late 19th Century! We still put kids in classrooms of about 30, arrange then into rows and columns, and tell them to study for the test. The paradigm that […]

Wanted!: A Paradigm Shift

In the last post, I wrote that education in American schools needs to change to reflect the new ways of thinking that students will need in a global society. This call for change is not new. Futurists, and other thinkers have been describing the kinds of skills people would need in a “knowledge society.” I […]

Education for Global Thinking

The way we teach kids has not changed very much over the years. Yet all around our schools, society has changed in astounding ways. We are able to put humans into space, and yet, students in America’s urban schools couldn’t explain how a vehicle put into space is able to orbit the earth. The curriculum […]

Science Literacy in Atlanta: Time for Action

This is a follow-up of a post I made a few days ago. Letter to the Editor: Maureen Downey recently quoted Atlanta Superintendent Beverly Hall, who said “There is no way for students to do well on NAEP science if they are not reading and doing math. ” (Editorial, Nov. 20, 2006) I believe Dr. […]

Science Literacy in Letters to the Editor

There has recently been a flurry of letters to editor in the Marietta Daily Journal (Georgia) that were promted by a editorial two weeks ago by a Rev. Price concerning intelligent design. There has also been another subset of letters prompted by a Jeffrey Selman who has for years challenged Cobb County officials (schools and […]

The Law of Evolution

I just purchased a new book by James Watson, Nobel Prize Laureate and co-discoverer of the structure of DNA. Its title is Darwin, The Indelible Stamp: The Evolution of an Idea. Watson includes in this one volume, four of the most important books by Charles Darwin: The Voyage of the Beagle, On the Origin of […]

Teaching Globally: Teaching in Another Culture

Charles Hutchison’s new book, Teaching in America leads me to think about the experiences we’ve had in exchange programs for students and teachers. In the 1990s, many of us were involved with a number of countries, including the USSR (Russia and the other Independent States that emerged from the Soviet State), Spain, Czech Republic, Australia […]

Inquiry: Learning to Open the Mind

One of my favorite columns appears in Newsweek Magazine entitled The Last Word by Anna Quindlen. In a recent piece (May 30, 2005), “Life of the Closed Mind,” Qundlen is concerned that in recent years (after 9/11), America has become a country that sets its young people the terrible example of closed minds. What is […]

Free Minds

“Dogmatism and sectarianism must go, for Almighty God had made the mind free,” said Thomas Jefferson more than 200 years ago (See Edwin S. Gaustad’s book on Thomas Jefferson). For decades, dogmatists have tried to convince us that its okey to teach evolution, as long as it is questioned, and as long as the “theory” […]