If you could make one change to improve science education, what would it be? Science Times asked 19 scientists, educators and students.
Quite a few called for science teachers who know science, math teachers who know math and lessons that ask students to solve real-world problems.
Maria Klawe, a computer scientist and president of Harvey Mudd College wants teachers to “help all students understand that hard work and persistence are much more important to scientific success than natural ability.”
Focus STEM courses on “creativity and invention,” says Sal Khan, creator of Khan Academy. The “traditional skills . . . are tools to empower creativity.”
States aren’t rushing to adopt Next Generation Science Standards, which was developed by a consortium of 26 states, notes the Hechinger Report. California adopted the standards last week, joining Maryland, Vermont, Rhode Island, Kansas and Kentucky.
Paul Bruno, a middle school science teacher from California – a state which got an ‘A’ in the Fordham ratings – has gotten attention for his critique of the NGSS. He said that basic content knowledge was needed before students could understand scientific and engineering practices, or how scientists ‘do science.’
Bruno worries the standards will confuse and overwhelm students by asking them to do too much at once.
California hasn’t decided when to implement NGSS, reports EdSource Today.
Like the Common Core standards, their counterparts in English language arts and math, the new science standards stress problem solving, critical thinking and finding common principles or “cross-cutting concepts” that engineering and various fields of science share. They emphasize scientific thinking and big ideas over memorization in the hope that more students will become intrigued by science.
Implementing Common core standards in language arts and math is sucking up schools’ time, money and “mindshare.”