Main menu


Correcting Science Education – The 74

featured image

SIGN UP HERE For The 74’s daily newsletter. Donate here Support the independent journalism of The 74.

Americans are skeptical of science. The public’s ambivalence is clearly demonstrated in their concerns about vaccine safety and need, and their rejection of public health guidance designed to curb the spread of COVID-19. Given the poor state of science education in the United States, this is not surprising.Too many young people experience science only as a rote exercise, an investigation that requires exploration, investigation, and problem-solving. Not as a field. Moreover, serious and persistent inequalities have kept far too many students out of the quality science learning experience for too long.

Science education must therefore be a national priority.

As a nation, America needs to get serious about improving the state of science education through strategic policies and investments. Her 2021 call to action report from the National Academies ensures that science is relevant and taught in ways that are relevant for all, and that students of all races, ethnicities and economic circumstances ,future.

Although the demand for a skilled scientific workforce is enormous, the benefits of science education extend far beyond the job market. A scientific mindset is essential to solving tomorrow’s problems. Countries should provide resources to create quality learning opportunities that enable science to be taught as a foundational subject for future generations.

Below are three key ways to enhance science education.

Qualified, well-trained and diverse teachers

Strengthening science education requires well-trained, well-supported and diverse teachers in the classroom. Countries like China and India have achieved remarkable results in science education by investing in educators. However, in the United States, a recent survey found that 69% of elementary school teachers and more than 20% of middle school teachers feel unprepared to teach science. These feelings are felt more acutely by teachers in high-need districts with a high proportion of students of color. To foster continued professional growth, K-16 science educators deserve consistent professional development opportunities that build knowledge and skills.

It also requires a positive and sustained effort to attract and retain educators of color. Currently, 80% of public elementary, junior high and high school science teachers are white. Countries must strengthen pathways to motivate individuals from all backgrounds to become science educators, while providing adequate support for the maintenance of diverse talent in schools.

Creative, student-centered materials

One of the biggest farces, especially in the elementary grades, is that science classes are not a regular part of the curriculum. On average, an elementary school student spends only 20 minutes per day on science, while on English language arts he spends only 90 minutes. And when touched—given the right amount of time and materials to learn science in and out of school—many students find the vibrant, engaging, and engaging characteristics that characterize good science education. We are still experiencing a version that falls short of hands-on experience.Science is taught primarily as a rote exercise. For example, ask students to memorize the cell part, although in reality it is a very experiential field.

Countries must embrace a vision along which K-12 Science Education Framework, is the foundation for the next generation of scientific standards where scientific teaching comes to life. For example, standards discourage lectures in favor of student-led questioning, problem-solving, and discussion of scientific principles under teacher guidance. Promoting a lasting interest in science means that all instruction and materials support students’ natural curiosity and are rooted in solving problems and asking questions rather than regurgitating facts. means that it must be a thing. To keep students engaged, educators must have high-quality materials that invigorate and support scientific inquiry.

Quality assessment tools to measure performance

Science learning is assessed in much the same way that it is taught. In other words, it will be evaluated as a memorization exercise. At the heart of science is asking questions and challenging accepted theories rather than giving right answers. It’s time for assessment tools to reflect that spirit and challenge students to use their thinking skills in ways that foster scientific thinking and provide tools they can use throughout their lives.

Focusing efforts, policies, and investments to get these three key ingredients right—people, resources, and creative assessment tools—can change the trajectory of science education in the United States. This will make quality science education accessible to all children and ultimately treat it as a national priority.

Get stories like this delivered straight to your inbox. Sign up for The 74 newsletter