Dismal results for US science education « Gas station without pumps

May 17, 2012 at 9:48 am 4 comments

I doubt that the NAEP included computing education in its report, but my guess is that such inclusion would only draw the average down further.  I suppose that this post isn’t saying more than what Alan Kay has been telling us all along, but it bears repeating, and is always worth revisiting when more data become available.

The National Assessment of Educational Progress recently released a report on the science achievement levels of 8th graders in the US: The Nation’s Report Card: Science 2011: Executive Summary.

The results are pretty dismal, with only 2% of students scoring at an “advanced” level (which is pretty much where they need to be if they are going to go into a science or engineering program in college) and only 31% scoring proficient or better (which is where we as a society need our politicians and voters to be in order to make reasonable decisions about issues like pollution, climate change, and funding of medical programs).  With fewer than a third of our students having the science understanding that they should have entering high school, our high school science teachers are reduced to doing remedial education, teaching middle school science, and our college teachers then having to teach high school science.

via Dismal results for US science education « Gas station without pumps.

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4 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Tom Hoffman  |  May 17, 2012 at 10:11 am

    Keep in mind that the proficiency levels for NAEP are highly arbitrary and misleadingly labeled.

    Reply
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  • 3. Mark Miller  |  May 29, 2012 at 6:35 pm

    With fewer than a third of our students having the science understanding that they should have entering high school, our high school science teachers are reduced to doing remedial education, teaching middle school science, and our college teachers then having to teach high school science.

    I don’t know if college science professors were complaining about this years ago, but when I took physics in college it was reminiscent of high school physics, just with a lot more material to cover, and using calculus instead of high school algebra. The epistemology was the same. I figure what the author is talking about is the content, but I think what is also of value is the development of epistemology in the students.

    Reply
  • [...] in the percentage of university students interested in majoring in STEM fields.” (p. 23)  Despite our concerns about low scores, the references in Roschelle et al. say that the slope is upward. My guess is that improving [...]

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