Do Higher Science Standards Lead to Higher Achievement?

In a recent article in Scientific American, it was suggested that the U.S. should adopt higher standards in science, and that all 50 states should adopt them. When you check the literature on science standards, the main reason for aiming for higher standards (raising the bar) is because in the “Olympics” of international academic test […]

Next Generation Science Standards: Old School?

Sometime ago, we argued that there is little evidence that the National Science Education Standards published in 1996 and the Next Generation Science Standards released for public view by Achieve are any different than the content oriented projects of the 1960s.  The disciplines and content areas of science were seen as fundamental in those earlier […]

Next Generation Science Standards: What's Really Been Achieved?

Note:  This is the second in a series of posts on the Next Generation Science Standards.  You can read the first one here. The Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) are the latest iteration of writing science objectives for the eventual purpose of testing students’ knowledge of science.  The objectives are developed by teams of experts, […]

Next Generation Science Standards: What’s Really Been Achieved?

Note:  This is the second in a series of posts on the Next Generation Science Standards.  You can read the first one here. The Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) are the latest iteration of writing science objectives for the eventual purpose of testing students’ knowledge of science.  The objectives are developed by teams of experts, […]

Next Generation Science Standards Online for Review

The Next Generation Science Standards are available for public view. Follow this link to the Science Standards Survey (feedback) Website. According to Achieve, Inc., the corporation that is writing and publishing the standards: The Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) are distinct from prior science standards in that they integrate three dimensions within each standard and […]

Count Down to the Next Generation Science Standards

UPDATE: The Next Generation Science Standards are available for public view and feedback here.   According to various bloggers, the Next Generation Science Standards are to be released today for public review.  The release has been delayed twice, and hopefully we’ll see the draft of the science standards. According to the Next Generation Science Standards […]

Are the Common Standards & Assessments the Antithesis of Progressive Values?

We think that Common Standards and Assessments are the antithesis of the progressive  values upon which this nation was founded. The idea of having a single set of standards and associated assessments appears to remove individuality, creativity and innovation from American classrooms. Authoritarian & Undemocratic Common standards and assessments were conceived and developed in an […]

Are the Common Standards & Assessments the Antithesis of Progressive Values?

We think that Common Standards and Assessments are the antithesis of the progressive  values upon which this nation was founded. The idea of having a single set of standards and associated assessments appears to remove individuality, creativity and innovation from American classrooms. Authoritarian & Undemocratic Common standards and assessments were conceived and developed in an […]

Peddling Panic: Biased Survey Promotes National Science Standards

Achieve, Inc. stands to make a lot of money for its work creating new science standards. It might not surprise us, therefore, that a survey they commissioned favors the adoption of these standards. But we need to look at these results with skepticism. Does US competitiveness depend on our rankings on test scores? And will new […]

Do Standards Impede Science Teaching and Learning?

Over the next few weeks I am going to focus on standards- and test-based educational reform with an eye toward opening a conversation about how standards and high-stakes tests might actually impede science teaching and learning. We begin by examining the science standards, which have been an integral part of science education since the publication […]

The Fordham Report on Science Standards Gets a “D”

Even reports published by prestigious institutions can be flawed and deserve a low grade.  In my own view, this is the case for the Fordham Institute’s new report entitled The State of State Science Standards that was published recently. Yet when you do a Google search for “Fordham review science standards” there are hundreds of […]

The Fordham Report on Science Standards Gets a "D"

Even reports published by prestigious institutions can be flawed and deserve a low grade.  In my own view, this is the case for the Fordham Institute’s new report entitled The State of State Science Standards that was published recently. Yet when you do a Google search for “Fordham review science standards” there are hundreds of […]

Standards-Based and High-Stakes Science Education: Frivolous, Capricious & Unreasonable?

Science educators, especially during the past 50 years, have been instrumental in developing curriculum and teaching methods that are intelligent, prudent, reflective, and thoughtful.  Underlying science education has been the well-advised and deliberate attempt to encourage inquiry- and problem-based teaching.  Not only has this been on solid ground in the U.S., but in most nations […]

Standards-Based and High-Stakes Science Education: Frivolous, Capricious & Unreasonable?

Science educators, especially during the past 50 years, have been instrumental in developing curriculum and teaching methods that are intelligent, prudent, reflective, and thoughtful.  Underlying science education has been the well-advised and deliberate attempt to encourage inquiry- and problem-based teaching.  Not only has this been on solid ground in the U.S., but in most nations […]

2011 Science Education E-Books from the Art of Teaching Science

This blog was begun in 2005 with the publication of the first edition of The Art of Teaching Science.  Six hundred or so posts later, we find ourselves in at the end of 2011. This year, we published four eBooks based on blog posts made during 2011.  More eBooks will be published in 2012.  The […]

Why in a liberal democracy are we centralizing education reform?

Why is the United States moving toward a centralized reform of education in a society that is based on democratic principles, and at a time when other countries are moving in the opposite direction? In his book, Catching Up or Leading the Way, Yong Zhao, Presidential Chair and Associate Dean for Global Education, the University […]

When It Comes to Science Education Reform, Are We Stuck in the Muck?

Education reform in general, and science education specifically is based on a standards-based reform (SBR) model that has its roots in outcome-based education (OBE).  The intent of OBE  in science education was largely student-centered, in that education was focused on measurable student performances, that are called outcomes.  In fact, many of the progressive models that […]

4 Reasons We Need New National Science Education Standards

As you know, there are new science standards coming your way, and they are being developed by Achieve, Inc., with funds from the Carnegie Corporation, and other large corporations and foundations.  According to Achieve, 20 states are leading the effort, and about 40 teachers have been selected to write the new standards.  The teachers have […]

Why do we teach science?: The Cultural Argument

In four of the last five posts, I’ve explored the question, Why do we teach science? from four points of view. Using a template by R. Stephen Turner, I’ve presented the arguments for teaching science from economic, democratic, and skills points of view. In this post, I want to use the cultural argument as the […]

Why Do We Teach Science? The Skills Argument

In the last two posts, the economic and democratic arguments have been discussed, respectively.  We now turn to a third argument, the “skills argument.” According to R. Stephen Turner, the “skills argument” is second to the economic argument as the reason we teach science. According to Turner, the skills argument provides the rationale that the study […]

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 […]

Progressive Science Education

I have been reading and have referenced on this weblog the October 2009 special issue of the Journal of Research in Science Teaching (JRST) on the topic/theme “Scientific Literacy and Contexts in PISA Science.”  The articles in the special issue provide a broad view of international testing as conceived in PISA, as well as the […]

Holistic Teaching: Integrating ideas of Vernadsky & Lovelock into science teaching

The opening sentence in John Miller’s book, The Holistic Curriculum is that holistic education attempts to bring education into alignment with the fundamental realities of nature. Nature at its core is holistic,interrelated and dynamic. As such we have much to learn about curriculum from environmental education, and the science-technology-society (STS) movement (each developed In previous […]

Holistic Teaching: Integrating ideas of Vernadsky & Lovelock into science teaching

The opening sentence in John Miller’s book, The Holistic Curriculum is that holistic education attempts to bring education into alignment with the fundamental realities of nature. Nature at its core is holistic,interrelated and dynamic. As such we have much to learn about curriculum from environmental education, and the science-technology-society (STS) movement (each developed In previous […]

Are Reformers Willing to Involve Students in “Cultivating a New Culture of Accountability?”

With the election of a new administration in Washington, one of the major areas of “change” will be education. More than $100 billion will be invested in education as part of the Economic Recovery and Reinvestment Act. In a speech earlier this week, President Obama has called for sweeping changes in American education calling for […]

Are Reformers Willing to Involve Students in "Cultivating a New Culture of Accountability?"

With the election of a new administration in Washington, one of the major areas of “change” will be education. More than $100 billion will be invested in education as part of the Economic Recovery and Reinvestment Act. In a speech earlier this week, President Obama has called for sweeping changes in American education calling for […]

The Politics of Humanizing Science Education

One of the major themes that has dominated the literature of science education since the late 1980s is the notion of “Science for All.”  Although possibly used before, Project 2061 of the AAAS used the term “Science for All Americans,” as the title of its 1989 book and from the date of that publication, the […]