Articles tagged with Science

Evolving approach to teaching evolution, undermines scientific rigor

science-laboratory-work_w523_h725It’s a tad disturbing when science teachers don’t teach science.

Yet, according to a survey of 926 high school biology teachers, that’s exactly what’s happening. Most survey respondents admitted they’re not doing a good job teaching evolution.

The findings, published by two Penn State University professors in the January 28 issue of Science magazine, reveal that 13 percent of biology teachers admit they “explicitly advocate creationism or intelligent design by spending at least one hour of class time presenting it in a positive light.”

Another 60 percent of teachers skirt the controversial issue and are “neither strong advocates for evolutionary biology nor explicit endorsers of nonscientific alternatives.”

So what should school board members make of this? Well, for one, suggest Penn State professors Michael Berkman and Eric Plutzar, if teachers give any weight to theories without a strong scientific foundation, “this approach tells students that well-established concepts can be debated in the same way we debate personal opinions.”

Naomi Dillon|February 10th, 2011|Categories: Governance, Curriculum, Teachers, Educational Research, American School Board Journal|Tags: , |

Where does it STEM from?

1009ASBJIt’s another crisis in America, again impacting the country’s competitiveness in the world, and requiring education to step up and meet the challenge.

The push for more STEM curriculum or science, technology, math, and engineeering  instruction in schools is the latest calamity and call to action. It’s also the cover package of October’s ASBJ.

You’ll have to read my colleague, Larry Hardy’s story to get an overview of the issue and whether this really is a crisis.

In doing research and reporting for the accompanying sidebars, however, I discovered there really is some validity to the “crisis” designation— and its buried in the ground.

Game simulations, video conferencing, online learnings— schools have myriad new technology applications available today, enabling to make instruction in STEM subjects (any subjects for that matter) more relevant, dynamic, and customizable to each student.

Problem is, you can’t really access those applications unless you have the technological infrastructure to support them.

Naomi Dillon|September 28th, 2009|Categories: School Buildings, American School Board Journal|Tags: , , , , , |

How do U.S. students compare to their peers in math and science?

In case you missed it results from the 2007 Trends in International Math and Science Study— better known as TIMSS 2007— were released yesterday. Overall, results were quite positive, particularly in math where the U.S. was outperformed by fewer countries in 2007 than 2003. Especially encouraging is that scores for most students increased including both low and high performing students. However results for science were a bit more mixed.

There is a lot more to learn about how U.S. students are performing than these simple rankings — which is why BoardBuzz recommends you check out this quick and easy to read summary of results from our very own Center for Public Education to gain a full picture of how U.S. students really compare internationally.

Furthermore, if you want to learn about how U.S. students compare to their peers in other countries on other international assessments? Want to find out about what students are actually taking these assessments in other countries? Or do you just want to learn more about what the results actually mean? Then check out the Center’s More than a horse race: A guide to international assessments of student achievement.

Jim Hull|December 10th, 2008|Categories: Governance, Educational Research, NSBA Opinions and Analysis|Tags: , , , |
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