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 […]

The Conundrum of Adolescence, and the Middle School Science Curriculum

Sixth Article in the Series on The Artistry of Teaching Does neoliberal education reform consider the nature of adolescence and the advances in our understanding of how humans learn?  Is it necessary for every American human adolescent to learn the same content, in the same order, and at the same time?  Why should every student […]

Defunding the Common Core: Back to the Future

Charles Grassley, the Republican Senator from Iowa, has begun the process of removing funding from the Federal Budget that would be used by districts to carry out the Common Core State Standards. The Common Core State Standards have raised the ire of not only Republicans and right leaning groups such as the Heartland Institute, but […]

Whose Next Generation of Science Standards?

The Next Generation Science Standards are on the web for all of us to view and critique until January 29th.  According to Achieve, the developers of the standards, they will use the feedback to revise last version of the science standards, to be published in March, 2013. The new science standards are the scientific and science […]

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, […]

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 […]

Russian Science: From Labs in Pushchino to Protests in Moscow

There was an article in the Washington Post entitled In Russia, The Lost Generation of Science.  The article, by Will England, focuses specifically on Pushchino, a little known city south of Moscow, and the status of science in Russia generally.  Science in Russia has undergone an unfortunate transformation, first right after the collapse of the […]

Review of the NRC's Framework for K-12 Science Education

The Carnegie Corporation of New York, which funded the National Research Council’s project  A Framework for K-12 Science Education, also provided the financial support for the Fordham Foundation’s review of NRC Framework.  Although not a conflict of interest for the Fordham Foundation, it does raise questions about the Carnegie Foundation’s desire to fund an evaluation of […]

Review of the NRC’s Framework for K-12 Science Education

The Carnegie Corporation of New York, which funded the National Research Council’s project  A Framework for K-12 Science Education, also provided the financial support for the Fordham Foundation’s review of NRC Framework.  Although not a conflict of interest for the Fordham Foundation, it does raise questions about the Carnegie Foundation’s desire to fund an evaluation of […]

The Next Generation of Science Standards: Covering Science with Factoids

The Next Generation of Science Standards are under development by Achieve, Inc. and will be published next year.  Achieve will identify content and science and engineering practices that all students should learn from K – 12, regardless of where they live.  The science standards will cover the physical sciences, the life sciences, the earth and […]

Science Teaching at Botby Högstadieskolas: An Experiment in Teaching Science as an Optional Course

Would it be viable to offer science as an optional subject? What would happen to enrollment in science if it were an optional course? Would students sign up for such a course? How could the course be structured to interest students in wanting to take the course? In this post, I am going to feature […]

New Generation of Science Standards: Look to an Earlier Report

In the previous post I talked about the announcement from the National Research Council (NRC) that they will spearhead an effort to develop a new generation of science standards.  One of the major influences on the new effort by the NRC will be a report it published in 2006, entitled Taking Science to School: Learning and […]

Paradigm Shift: Catching Up with Creative Teachers

I have been writing about change recently, and how change is needed in the science curriculum, and the pedagogy that we use to help students learn science.  Indeed, I’ve suggested we suspend high-risk testing until we can show that this type of assessment model tells us what students know, and how well teachers are teaching. […]

Toward a More Open Science Curriculum

There was a very interesting article in the New York Times entitled High Schools to Cultivate Interest.  The article focused in on a school district that is experimenting with “redefining traditional notions of a college-preparatory education and allowing students to pursue specialized interests that once were relegated to after-school clubs and weekend hobbies.”  As one […]

Science Curriculum—A Global Perspective

In this post I want to announce a new website entitled: Science Curriculum—A Global Perspective. In the last two posts I alluded to science teaching from a global perspective.  In the first of these two posts, entitled Infusing Global Thinking into science teaching, I discussed some examples of how educators have developed programs that infuse […]

Why Aren’t Students Interested in a Career in Science?

In a recent NSTA Reports (March 2008, Vol. 19 No.7), a publication of the National Science Teachers Association. the lead article entitled “Steer Your Students to a Science Career” pointed out that science teachers try to inspire their students to careers in science, yet in a very recent major study, the ROSE study, carried out […]

Why Aren't Students Interested in a Career in Science?

In a recent NSTA Reports (March 2008, Vol. 19 No.7), a publication of the National Science Teachers Association. the lead article entitled “Steer Your Students to a Science Career” pointed out that science teachers try to inspire their students to careers in science, yet in a very recent major study, the ROSE study, carried out […]

Breaking from Tradition: Or Rediscovering Ancient Traditions

Odd title, don’t you think. According to a growing number of science educators, the science curriculum, burdened by the overwhelming influence of the Standard’s movement, and high stakes testing, is in need of reform. I know this sounds like a broken record in that since Russia launched Sputnik in 1957, the American government has supported […]

The Value of Student-to-Student Exchanges

For nearly 20 years, I was involved with a project that started in the 1980’s with people to people exchanges between educators and psychologists in North America with colleagues in the Soviet Union. We made annual visits and conducted seminar-type sessions with schools, universities and research institutes. After several visits, we started an exchange program […]

Atlanta Schools Should Be Emphasizing Science

Yesterday I raised the question whether literacy in reading and math was necessary to teach and learn science. I was prompted by the statement made recently by the Atlanta Public School District’s superintendent that she was not concerned that science scores were low when the district needed to emphasize literacy, not science. And of course […]

Beyond The Basics: Solutions for Science Teaching

In the last post I noted that there is a tendency to fall back and retreat when students’ test scores are not up to par according to state, national or international trends. Indeed, over the past 20 years, US students have not compared very well to counterparts in other countries. When this happens, there appears […]

Taking Science to School–A New Report on K – 8 Science

Taking Science to School: Learning and Teaching Science in Grades K-8 is a new report soon to be released by the National Research Council of the National Academies. The report was supported with grants from the National Academy of Sciences and the National Science Foundation. The report attempts to integrate research literature from cognitive and […]

The Year that Evolved by Design

In science education, the year 2005, 100 years after Einstein’s “Annus Mirabilis,” had its own miracles, and that was the decision rendered by the Federal Judge, John Jones in the case brought to his court by parents in the Dover, PA school district challenging the school board’s decision to insist that science teachers read a […]

The People Have Spoken

Whew! What a day. First, the court case in Dover, PA came to a close on last Friday, and then yesterday all of the school board members that supported the inclusion of Intelligent Design into the science curriculum were swept out of office. That’s right they all lost their bid for re-election. Is the Judge […]