Science is a Way of Thinking: So, Why Do We Try and Standardize it?

  Figure 1. Carl Sagan and the Universe. Copyright sillyrabbitmythsare4kids, Creative Commons Science has been prominent in the media recently.  Stories and programs including the Bill Nye-Ken Ham “debate” on origins, anti-science legislation in Wyoming banning  science standards that include climate science, a new science program on the Science Channel to be hosted by Craig […]

NSTA's Uncritical & Authoritarian Position on the Next Generation Science Standards

The National Science Teachers Association released a position statement on the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS).  The NSTA statement is  uncritical and authoritarian.  It granted outright compliance with the NGSS, even though there is a groundswell questioning the use of standards, the Common Core State Standards, and the Next Generation Science Standards.  Should we endorse one […]

NSTA’s Uncritical & Authoritarian Position on the Next Generation Science Standards

The National Science Teachers Association released a position statement on the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS).  The NSTA statement is  uncritical and authoritarian.  It granted outright compliance with the NGSS, even though there is a groundswell questioning the use of standards, the Common Core State Standards, and the Next Generation Science Standards.  Should we endorse one […]

Fordham Institute's Evaluation of Next Generation Science Standards Rated as Junk Science

Fordham Institute’s Final Evaluation of Next Generation Science Standards (Fordham Evaluation) Rated as Junk Science. In this post I am going to provide evidence that the Fordham Evaluation of Next Generation Science Standards is junk science, and does not meet the basic standards of scientific research.  Figure 1 is the Junk Science Evaluation and Index Form that I designed to assess […]

Fordham Institute’s Evaluation of Next Generation Science Standards Rated as Junk Science

Fordham Institute’s Final Evaluation of Next Generation Science Standards (Fordham Evaluation) Rated as Junk Science. In this post I am going to provide evidence that the Fordham Evaluation of Next Generation Science Standards is junk science, and does not meet the basic standards of scientific research.  Figure 1 is the Junk Science Evaluation and Index Form that I designed to assess […]

Why We Should Reject The Fordham Institute's Opinion of the Next Generation Science Standards

In this post I am going to give evidence that the Fordham Institute’s evaluation of the Next Generation Science Standards should be rejected. The Thomas Fordham Institute is a conservative advocacy think tank which issues opinion reports written by “experts” on science education (other education issues as well).  I have reviewed earlier reports released by […]

Why We Should Reject The Fordham Institute’s Opinion of the Next Generation Science Standards

In this post I am going to give evidence that the Fordham Institute’s evaluation of the Next Generation Science Standards should be rejected. The Thomas Fordham Institute is a conservative advocacy think tank which issues opinion reports written by “experts” on science education (other education issues as well).  I have reviewed earlier reports released by […]

Warning: If You Believe the Fordham Foundation on Their View of Science or NCTQ's View on Teacher Education, You Should Check Your Eyesight. Really.

Warning: If You Believe the Fordham Foundation on Their View of Science or NCTQ’s View on Teacher Education, You Should Check Your Eyesight.  Really. On this blog, I have reviewed earlier reports put out by these two oxymoronic organizations, the Thomas Fordham Institute: Advancing Education Excellence (Fordham), and The National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ).  You need to […]

Warning: If You Believe the Fordham Foundation on Their View of Science or NCTQ’s View on Teacher Education, You Should Check Your Eyesight. Really.

Warning: If You Believe the Fordham Foundation on Their View of Science or NCTQ’s View on Teacher Education, You Should Check Your Eyesight.  Really. On this blog, I have reviewed earlier reports put out by these two oxymoronic organizations, the Thomas Fordham Institute: Advancing Education Excellence (Fordham), and The National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ).  You need to […]

Are the Common Core and the Next Generation Science Standards Progressive Ideology?

Are the Common Core and  Next Generation Science Standards Progressive Ideology? A growing criticism of the Common Core State Standards and the Next Generation Science Standards is that its way for progressives to inject their philosophies and ideology onto children and youth in American schools. Ralph Watts, a state representative from Iowa believes this, and […]

Boxed In: How the NGSS Impedes Science Teaching

The major journals of the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) have published articles featuring and explaining to science teachers the nature of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS).  The journals include The Science Teacher, Science Scope and Science and Children.  For the past several issues, each journal has published articles that deal with different aspects […]

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 […]

The Next Generation Science Standards: In the Service of the STEM Imperative or Students?

The second draft of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) was released this week, and you can check it out and give feedback here. Millions of dollars are being spent to write the new science standards. And it will cost even more to carry out them in the Nation’s schools. Why new standards at this time? […]

Dream Document: The Next Generation Science Standards

Achieve, Inc., a corporate sponsored non-profit company, uploaded the 2nd draft of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) on its website for review until January 29, 2013.  A final version will be uploaded in March, 2013. For many educators, the NGSS are just what the doctor ordered to improve science teaching in the U.S.  In […]

Why Do We Promote Consumption And Not Inquiry

Why in a democracy do we promote consumption and not inquiry in science teaching?  Why are we so possessed to have teachers cover the ground and not helping students uncover their connection to the world around them? The second public draft of The Next Generation Science Standards will be released this December by Achieve, the organization […]

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 […]

Some Problems with the Next Generation Science Standards: One Reviewer’s Notes

As you know the first public draft of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) are online and you have until June 1, 2012 to read and provide comments on the NGSS. I’ve decided to participate in the survey, and use this post to share with you some aspects of the survey, especially the surveys on individual […]

Some Problems with the Next Generation Science Standards: One Reviewer's Notes

As you know the first public draft of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) are online and you have until June 1, 2012 to read and provide comments on the NGSS. I’ve decided to participate in the survey, and use this post to share with you some aspects of the survey, especially the surveys on individual […]

Curious Relationship Between NAEP Science Framework and the Next Generation Science Standards

There is a very curious relationship between NAEP Science Framework and the Next Generation Science Standards that I discovered while studying the NGSS and wanting to find out what was emphasized on the NAEP Science Assessments.  I had read on an NSTA list that I receive that someone had questioned the distribution of questions on […]

The Predicted Effects of the Common Core: Implications for Next Generation Science Standards

According to Achieve, the U.S. system of science and mathematics education is performing  below par, and if something isn’t done, then millions of students will not be prepared to compete in the global economy.  Achieve cites achievement data from PISA and NAEP to make its case that American science and mathematics teaching is in horrible […]

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 […]

5 Reasons Why the Common Core Standards are not Good for Teaching and Learning

Standards as a flag to lead us forth contrasts for me with standards as a way of standardizing our minds” Deborah Meier The Common Core State Standards have been adopted by 47 states, and school districts around the country are gearing up by spending millions of dollars on meager staff development training to indoctrinate teachers in […]

The Common Core Arrives in Georgia: Reasons for Caution

The march to standardize and uniform the curriculum is a dangerous movement in a democratic society, and especially in one that is so diverse in cultures, languages, and geography as America.  How can we really think that one set of statements of science objectives written by non-practitioners can be truly be valid for all learners, […]

How Standards are like Brick Walls in the face of Teaching and Learning

Note:  This is the fourth article in a series on the consequences of the authoritarian standards & high-stakes testing. Randy Pausch, author of The Last Lecture, suggested that brick walls are there for a reason.  The brick walls are not there to keep us out; the brick walls are there to give us a chance […]

Why a Single Set of Science Standards in a Democracy?

Why are we supporting the notion of a single set of science standards which has been done in mathematics and language reading/language art?  We live in a democracy.  One the of founding principles of education is that elected school board members for the more than 15,000 school districts are charged with making decisions for each […]

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 […]

Are Science Standards Taught as if they were Bricks?

In the last post we used science education research to show how accountability standards in science education today pose barriers to meaningful learning in science.  Today, we extend this theme, and show that the theory of learning underlying the accountability standards movement is in conflict with contemporary theories used to explain how students learn. Ideas […]

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 […]

Fordham Institute Review of the State Science Standards: Use with Caution!

The Fordham Institute published The State of State Science Standards 2012, a document that details evaluations of the science standards developed by each U.S. state, the District of Columbia, and even the NAEP.   The 217 page report includes an evaluation of each state’s science standards.  The authors evaluated each state by assigning a score to […]

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 […]

Standardized Testing: Modern Bloodletting?

This is a link to  Standardized Testing: Modern Bloodletting at the Cool Cat Teacher Blog. If you have been reading about banning high-stakes testing, and my criticism of the Common Core State Standards, and more recently the Next Generation of Science Standards, then you will find Vicki Davis’ blog post very pertinent and important.  It […]

New eBook on High-Stakes Testing

A new eBook will soon be published by The Art of Teaching Science Blog with the title: Why Should High-Stakes Testing be Banned? Over the past three months, I have written about the Common Core State Standards, the Next Generation of Science Standards, and the corporate take-over of public education.  Living in the Atlanta area, […]

New eBook on High-Stakes Testing

A new eBook will soon be published by The Art of Teaching Science Blog with the title: Why Should High-Stakes Testing be Banned? Over the past three months, I have written about the Common Core State Standards, the Next Generation of Science Standards, and the corporate take-over of public education.  Living in the Atlanta area, […]

Corporate Science Education Standards—Far From the Classroom

I got a Tweet from Christopher Emdin, Professor at Columbia University Teachers College linking me to his recent article on the Huffington Post entitled 5 Reasons Why Public School Teachers are Occupying Wall Street.  His reasons, which I will list below, resonated with me with regard to the way in which corporate boards, through organizations […]

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 […]

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 […]

Common Corporate Science Standards?

My choice of a title for this blog post is not a play on words, but describes the current effort to write the next generation of science standards.  The next generation of science standards is being developed by Achieve, Inc., a corporate and foundation support-type organization that was established in 1996 by governors and corporate […]

Achieving a New Generation of Science Standards Published!

The latest in a series of science teaching eBooks was published today and is available from The Art of Teaching Science blog. You can download a free copy of Achieving a New Generation of Science Standards here.

New eBook: Achieving a New Generation of Common Science Standards

This week, The Art of Teaching Science will publish its third eBook on science education topics based on blog posts at this site.  The new eBook is entitled Achieving a New Generation of Common Science Standards.  The eBook will be published tomorrow, and will be free to all who visit this blog. The following text […]

Misconceptions about International Math & Science Test Scores

Why is it that the perception of science education in the U.S. (and other countries as well) is driven by rankings of students on international test score comparisons?  The perception is that U.S. students are not competitive in the global market place because of their position in the rankings of the scores obtained on tests […]

Misconceptions about International Math & Science Test Scores

Why is it that the perception of science education in the U.S. (and other countries as well) is driven by rankings of students on international test score comparisons?  The perception is that U.S. students are not competitive in the global market place because of their position in the rankings of the scores obtained on tests […]

In a Liberal Democracy, Can Inquiry Science Teaching Flourish with Common Standards?

Can science as inquiry continue to be a primary goal of science teaching in the burgeoning culture of creating common standards, and common high-stakes assessments? This is a question that I raised about a year and half ago. I am returning to the question now since the National Research Council just released its report entitled […]

Some Problems with the New Framework for K-12 Science Education by the NAS

Why is there little criticism of the Framework for K-12 Science Education that was released by the National Academy of Science (NAS) on Tuesday? The organizing committee of the NAS worked for more than a year to develop a new framework for the teaching of K-12 science education.  It was released to the public on […]

Wake Up Next Tueday July 19 to a New Framework for K-12 Science Education

When you wake up next Tuesday, July 19th you’ll only have to wait until 1 P.M. Eastern Time for the announcement from the National Academy Sciences the publication of A New Framework for K-12 Science Education.  You’ll be able to access the framework here after the announcement. You are invited to go to the meeting […]

Why do we teach science?

There is a new generation of science standards on the way. The Conceptual Framework for New Science Standards has been developed by a committee selected by the National Research Council, with funding from the Carnegie Foundation. The Framework will guide the development of new standards, which will be written by Achieve, a non-profit organization established […]

Voluntary, nationwide education standards in science. Voluntary?

“Standards as a flag to lead us forth contrasts for me with standards as a way of standardizing our minds” Deborah Meier Voluntary, nationwide education standards in science! Voluntary? I don’t think so. But that is the language being used to describe the National Research Council’s effort, with financial support from the Carnegie Foundation, to […]

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 […]

In a Liberal Democracy, Can Science Education Flourish With Common Standards?

Over the past two years, there has been a movement to develop a set of common standards in mathematics and reading, and the Carnegie Corporation announced that they would be collaborating with the National Research Council to develop a conceptual framework for a “new generation” of science standards.   Will these developments advance students understanding of […]

New Generation of Science Standards: Part of the Common Standards Movement?

The National Research Council has received funding from the Carnegie Corporation of New York to develop a framework for a new generation of science standards (K-12) based on the idea of disciplinary and cross-disciplinary core ideas. A committee of experts has already met (January 28-29) to begin the process of developing the conceptual framework. The […]

You’ll Never Use This Again, or What Knowledge is of most Worth?

There was a very interesting editorial in today’s Atlanta Journal-Constitution entitled You’ll never us this math again.  It was written by Ken Sprague Sr., a high school math teacher.  Mr. Sprague, in his own words says: I’m not advocating an end to math, only an end to math for math’s sake.  I am advocating for […]

You'll Never Use This Again, or What Knowledge is of most Worth?

There was a very interesting editorial in today’s Atlanta Journal-Constitution entitled You’ll never us this math again.  It was written by Ken Sprague Sr., a high school math teacher.  Mr. Sprague, in his own words says: I’m not advocating an end to math, only an end to math for math’s sake.  I am advocating for […]

Strengths and Weaknesses of Evolution May Be Out of Texas Science Standards

UPDATE: The Texas Board of Education approved the science standards BUT teachers will be required to have students “scrutinize” all sides of the theories. Read more here for more details. We are in the Round Top Texas area for two weeks participating in a very large collection of antiques shows held twice a year in […]

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 […]

Standards’ Gatekeepers Upset When Georgia Parent Claims New Coursework is Bogus

Last week, in a piece published in the Atlanta Journal (Let’s discuss how bogus new math coursework is), Kimberly Learnard, a Fayette County, Georgia parent took the Georgia Department of Education to task, including Superintendent Kathy Cox, criticizing the Georgia Performance Standards in Mathematics.  She took exception to one of the methods advocated in the […]

Standards' Gatekeepers Upset When Georgia Parent Claims New Coursework is Bogus

Last week, in a piece published in the Atlanta Journal (Let’s discuss how bogus new math coursework is), Kimberly Learnard, a Fayette County, Georgia parent took the Georgia Department of Education to task, including Superintendent Kathy Cox, criticizing the Georgia Performance Standards in Mathematics.  She took exception to one of the methods advocated in the […]

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 […]

Kansas Reverses Science Standards on Evolution

Science education is in the news again in Kansas. The Kansas State Board of Education has changed the language in the science standards suggesting that basic evolutionary concepts were controversial and being challenged by new research. Now this statement is out, and the definition of science has reverted to its earlier version limiting science to […]

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 […]

Kansas Science Standards Under Scrutiny

The Kansas Board of Education is publishing its new Science Standards, but two leading science organizations, The National Academy of Sciences and the National Science Teachers Association have denied the Board use of any of its copyrighted materials in its Standards. Using the same arguments as are being used in the Dover, PA court case, […]

Putting Science Back into the Curriculum

The State of Alaska put a “bit of science” back into its state science curriculum standards. And what was that “bit”? Evolution! It turns out that the Anchorage School District made the proposal to change the life science standard to read: “…an understanding of how science explains changes in life forms over time, including genetics, […]