19
Sep
09

Americans Are Abysmal Science Teachers

…and other tough love concepts designed to inspire our teachers to Go Get ‘Em!

If we teach science without scaring kids, they’ll love it. Kids are natural problem-solvers. They love a good puzzle, but if they’re told it’s too hard to do, they believe the adults that are entrusted with their futures. Instead, remind them why science is more fascinating than tripping the kid who you’re mad at during recess. Read these:

Adults are like kids. When you tell us how crummy we’re doing teaching science to children, we believe it. When you tell us that our best efforts are so far short we might as well outsource it to the Chinese, you convince us to give up, become… Well… the experts tell American teachers they do crummy at every part of teaching.

While I try to buck up, go ahead and read this from The Experts:

A New Vision for Teaching Science

We face a real crisis in science education in America. Representative Bart Gordon of Tennessee, chair of the House Committee on Science and Technology, has warned that countries such as China and India will trample the U.S. economy in the near future without major improvements in teaching. Indeed, our schools are falling behind. In the 2006 Program for International Student Assessment (PISA)—a respected measure of achievement around the globe—the average science score of U.S. 15-year-olds dropped below that of teens in 28 out of 57 participating countries. (In math, U.S. students fared even worse, lagging behind their peers in 34 nations.)

If that much didn’t make me stick my head in the toilet and flush, the next part will…

Despite decades of reform, America has made only modest gains in the science classroom, particularly in high schools. Two recent reports from the National Research Council (NRC), however, offer novel strategies. Entitled Taking Science to School and Ready, Set, Science! , they call for changes in the way science is taught beginning in elementary school. Unlike previous recommendations, the new suggestions reflect recent findings from neuroscience and psychology about how young children think and how they acquire knowledge. (more)


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2 Responses to “Americans Are Abysmal Science Teachers”


  1. September 20, 2009 at 1:27 am

    A very interesting post, lucky americans i guess 🙂

  2. September 20, 2009 at 2:09 am

    Sometimes I think it’s all in the measurement that’s selected. Sometimes I see a self-loathing among Americans for themselves that colors their perception of accomplishments by their own people. I need to do more research to determine which applies here. Thanks for the comment.


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Discover the sizzle in science. It's not that stuff that's always for the smart kids. It's the need to know. The passion for understanding. The absolute belief that for every problem, there is a solution. The creative mind seeking truth in a world of mystery. The quest for the Holy Grail.

That's science.

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