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, and rely on either their own domain analysis chart of science, or in this case the Framework for K-12 Science Education developed by another prestigious group of educators and scientists.… Read more

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 a higher education.  In the first post, Dr. Stål helped us understand the overall structure of the Finnish educational system, beginning with basic education, grades 1 – 6, followed by lower secondary, grades 7 – 10, and upper secondary, 11 and 12.Read more

Hip Hop Generation: Humanizing Urban Science Education

The current wave of reform in science education is not in the best interests of the diverse cultures that comprise the population of the United States.  The reform is standards- and test-based, and seeks to create schooling that ignores differences in people, and instead creates an outline of what is to learned for all students regardless of where they live.

During my career as a teacher, I have been an advocate for humanistic education, which is a person-centered approach in which teachers create environments that are experiential and ones in which discovering, valuing, and exploring underscore the activities of students.… Read more

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 of the world.

Working Out How Students Learn

During this time, researchers in science education, and in the newly established field of the learning sciences began to work out some of the principles that help us understand how people learn.  … Read more

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 eBooks that were published are free, and available by simply clicking on the links of the titles shown below.  All are in PDF format, except the Enigma of High Stakes Testing, which is in Word.… Read more

The Enigma of High-Stakes Testing in Science: A New eBook

The Art of Teaching Science has just published a new eBook entitled The Enigma of High-Stakes Testing in Science.

The Enigma of High-Stakes Testing in Science is a new eBook published by the Art of Teaching Science Weblog, and made available free. This eBook is based on blog posts that were written over the past few months. The content of this eBook is based on the position that high-­stakes tests, which are used to make life-­changing decisions about students, teachers, and schools, should be banned from use as further research is carried out to design alternate systems that are humanistic and student-centered.… Read more

Does the NCLB Act mean less time for science teaching?

The No Child Left Behind Act is linked to the 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 not take tests in science and social studies.  On the one hand, this is a great idea because I believe high-stakes tests should be banned.  … Read more