Presentation on theme: "We teach children. We just happen to teach them about science. -Dana Zeidler I could not teach biologybiology simply could not learnchildren learn, students."— Presentation transcript:
We teach children. We just happen to teach them about science. -Dana Zeidler I could not teach biologybiology simply could not learnchildren learn, students learn, people learn. Biology exists! This is a very important distinction. Love of subject matter being taught is absolutely essential. However, the love and joy of witnessing children/students learning the subject matter far outweighs everything the subject has to offer. -Hans Andersen
The Reform of Science Education: History, Objectives and Challenges
History of Science Ed Reform Sputnik is launched National Defense Education Act Elementary and Secondary Education Act
Reform Results ?? Test scores fell American students score well below other industrialized nations. A Nation at Risk
Simply put, students in our nations schools are learning less mathematics, science and technology, particularly in the areas of abstract thinking and problem solving - Ravitch, 1985
Reform Leaders American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) –Scientists, Social Scientists, Engineers, University Administrators and Science Educators AAAS created Project 2061 to address reform.
Project 2061 Committees Subject Area Panels (practicing scientists) –Biological & Health Sciences –Mathematics –Physical & Information Sciences & Engineering –Social & Behavioral Sciences National Council on Science & Technology Education (Educators)
Reform Leaders (cont.) National Research Council (NRC) Subcommittee of the National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, & Institute of Medicine –National Committee on Science Education Standards and Assessment (NCSESA) –Funded by NSF & US DOE
Reform Documents Project 2061 –Science for All Americans (1990) –Benchmarks for Science Literacy (1994) NRC –National Science Education Standards (1996)
Science for All Americans Mission statement for the reform. Describes nature of science. Defines science literacy Suggests that all American students should be scientifically literate. Argues for the continual reform of science education.
Benchmarks Describes what students should know about science or be able to do by the end of 2 nd, 5 th, 8 th, and 12 th grades. Not intended as standardized curricula, but rather a powerful tool to use in fashioning their own curricula.
Successful Reform Requires An Integrated Approach Efforts cannot be Top-Down or Bottom-Up. All levels must play active roles. Stable School Systems Teacher buy-in
Reform Problems Misinterpretation of the standards. Teachers do not know how to do all the things the reform envisions. Lack of Support –Administration –Other teachers –Materials
Problems (Cont.) Assessment Parents (concerned with college admission) Time-consuming Meaningful reform will take a long time and many stakeholders are very impatient.
Reform Successes Increases in hands-on & lab based instruction. Increases in teacher collaboration. Increases in teacher / administrator cooperation. Local leaders can produce significant changes.
Is Science Education Reform working? Yes and no. Yes, reformers are taking the right steps to improve science education. No, students are not benefiting fully from these reform efforts yet. -Rutherford, 1994
Full embodiment of reform visions... has clearly not been met yet by many, if any, teachers studied closely and... is unlikely ever to be met on a mass scale, at least, not in the near future. -Knapp, 1997
Calls for change in FLA Round 1: Sunshine State Standards –Basis for FCAT –Poor national reputation (Graded: F) Round 2: Proposed Student Performance Standards –Up for approval –Reduction in benchmarks per grade (6530) –HS: science disciplines
New Standards K-8 organized by grade with 18 big ideas 9-12: the big ideas have become standards distributed across science disciplines (plus NOS)
Standards/Big Ideas Nature of Science –The practice of science –The characteristics of scientific knowledge –The role of theories, laws & hypotheses –Science & society Earth and Space Science –Earth in space & time –Earth structures –Earth systems and patterns
Physical science –Matter –Energy –Motion Life science –Organization & development of living organisms –Diversity & evolution of living organisms –Heredity & reproduction –Independence –Matter & Energy transformations
Controversial inclusion: Diversity & Evolution In SSS v.1, no mention of evolution Current version features evolution as one of the 18 big ideas.
Teaching Evolution & the Law 1925 – TN v. John Scopes: Teacher fined for teaching evolution – Epperson v. AR (USSC): Invalidated state statute prohibiting the teaching of evolution (1 st Amendment) 1981 – Segraves v. CA (CA court): Class discussions of evolution do not violate students exercise of religious freedom – McLean v. AR Brd of Ed (Fed court): Creation science is not a science and does not have to receive balanced treatment.
Evolution Court Cases 1987 – Edwards v. Aguillard (USSC): Ruled unconstitutional a statute that prohibited teaching evolution except when accompanied by creation science – Webster v. New Lenox School District (Fed court): A district may prohibit (wo/ violating free speech) a teacher from presenting creation science; creationism is a form of religious advocacy – Peloza v. Capistrano School District (Fed court): A district may require a teacher to teach evolution; evolution is a scientific theory, not a religion.
Evolution Court Cases 1997 – Freiler v. Tangipahoa Parish Board of Education (Fed court): District can not require teachers to read an evolution disclaimer; proposals for intelligent design are equivalent to creation science – LeVake v. Independent School District (Fed court): School may remove a biology teacher when that teacher cannot adequately teach evolution – Selman v. Cobb Co. School District: School may not single out evolution as a single topic for a disclaimer – Kizmiller v. Dover Area School District: ID is an untestable non-scientific theory grounded in religion.
Cobb Co. Sticker "This textbook contains material on evolution. Evolution is a theory, not a fact, regarding the origin of living things. This material should be approached with an open mind, studied carefully, and critically considered"