Major Changes Needed To Boost K-8 Science Achievement

This is the title of a press release put out by the National Research Council (specifically the Board on Science Education). Our coverage of science topics is too broad and superficial. Standardized testing has students memorizing disconnected facts about science. Professional development is criticized as well. Teachers need more knowledge of the subject they teach. I don’t think that goes nearly far enough. Teachers need to learn about the real nature of learning & understanding. Schools really need learning specialists just like they need technology, reading, and other specialists. Every teacher should watch A Private Universe and Minds of Our Own, for example (you can watch them online for free or get a free dvd). This press release is really about an upcoming book by the NRC entitled Taking Science to School: Learning and Teaching Science in Grades K-8, which will be available to purchase or read online free probably within the next 6 months. Rick Duschl, who I briefly collaborated with before, led the report. See also How People Learn, led by John Bransford, and Knowing What Students Know, led by James Pellegrino, both of whom I have also collaborated with before.

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