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Encyclopedia > Science education

Science education is the field concerned with sharing science content and process with individuals not traditionally considered part of the scientific community. The target individuals may be children, college students, or adults within the general public. The field of science education comprises science content, some sociology, and some teaching pedagogy. Image File history File links Emblem-important. ... Part of a scientific laboratory at the University of Cologne. ... Look up content in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Illustration of a physical process: a geyser in action. Process (lat. ... Sociology (from Latin: socius, companion; and the suffix -ology, the study of, from Greek λόγος, lógos, knowledge) is an academic and applied discipline that studies society and human social interaction. ... Pedagogy (IPA: ) , the art or science of being a teacher, generally refers to strategies of instruction, or a style of instruction[1]. The word comes from the Ancient Greek (paidagōgeō; from (child) and (lead)): literally, to lead the child”. In Ancient Greece, was (usually) a slave who supervised the...


Historical background

Science education in secondary schools began in the UK in 1867 (Layton, 1981). The creation of a science curriculum occurred at that time due to pressure from the British Academy for the Advancement of Science (BAAS) via a formal report published that year (Layton, 1981). BAAS promoted teaching of “pure science” and training of the “scientific habit of mind.” The progressive education movement of the time supported the ideology of mental training through the sciences. BAAS emphasized separately pre-professional training in secondary science education. In this way, future BAAS members could be prepared. In the US, science education was a scatter of subjects prior to its standardization in the 1890’s (Del Giorno, 1969). The development of a science curriculum in the US emerged gradually after extended debate between two ideologies, citizen science and pre-professional training. The National Education Association formed a Committee of Ten in 1892 to formulate a curriculum. This committee supported the citizen science approach focused on mental training and withheld performance in science studies from consideration for college entrance (Hurd, 1991). The BAAS encouraged their longer standing model in the UK (Jenkins, 1985). The US adopted a curriculum that was similar to the UK secondary schools; it included both pre-professional training and mental training. The format of shared mental training and pre-professional training consistently dominated the curriculum from its inception to now. However, the movement to incorporate a humanistic approach, such as is science, technology, society and environment education is growing and being implemented more broadly in the late 20th century (Aikenhead, 1994). Reports by the American Academy for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), including Project 2061, and by the National Committee on Science Education Standards and Assessment detail goals for science education that link classroom science to practical applications and societal implications. This article or section is in need of attention from an expert on the subject. ...


Whilst public image of science education may be one of simply learning facts by rote, science education in recent history also generally concentrates on the teaching of science concepts and the addressing misconceptions that learners may hold regarding science concepts or other content. Research shows that students will retain knowledge for a longer period of time if they are involved in more hands on activities. Rote learning, is a learning technique which avoids grasping the inner complexities and inferences of the subject that is being learned and instead focuses on memorizing the material so that it can be recalled by the learner exactly the way it was read or heard. ... A concept is an abstract, universal psychical entity that serves to designate a category or class of entities, events or relations. ... A misconception happens when a person believes in a concept that is objectively false. ...

One the most approachable and important documents about science education is the volume "How People Think" by John D. Bransford, et al. In this compact and highly digested volume, the fruit of massive research into student thinking is presented as having three key findings:

Prior ideas about how things work are remarkably tenacious and an educator must explicitly address a students' specific misconceptions if the student is to abandon his misconception in favour of another explanation. Therefore, it is essential that educators know how to learn about student preconceptions and make this a regular part of their planning.
Factual Knowledge 
In order to become truly literate in an area of science, students must, "(a) have a deep foundation of factual knowledge, (b) understand facts and ideas in the context of a conceptual framework, and (c) organize knowledge in ways that facilitate retrieval and application."[1]
Students will benefit from thinking about their thinking and their learning. They must be taught ways of evaluating their knowledge and what they don't know, evaluating their methods of thinking, and evaluating their conclusions.

Educational Guru Edward Bodnar has been pioneering new methods of teaching and learning the sciences through technology. His biggest contribution to the pedagogy is the use of the iPod in instructional strategies. No longer is it just a tool for listening to a boring professor talk for an hour over a topic in science, the content provided is now more entertaining as well as being informative. Additioanly Bodnar has been assigning his students to create the content that is posted to the iTunes site, giving the students more opportunity to become hands on in their own science education. iPod is a brand of portable media player designed and marketed by Apple and launched in October 2001. ... This article is about the iTunes application. ...

United States

In many U.S. states, K-12 educators must adhere to rigid standards or frameworks of what content is to be taught to which age groups. Unfortunately, this often means teachers rush to "cover" the material, without truly "teaching" it. In addition, the process of science is often overlooked, such as the scientific method, and critical thinking, producing students who can pass multiple choice tests (such as the New York Regents exams and the Massachusetts MCAS), but cannot solve complex problems. Although at the college level American science education tends to be less regulated, it is actually more rigorous, with teachers and professors fitting more content into the same time period. K-12 (Pronounced Kay through twelve or just Kay twelve) is the North American designation for primary and secondary education. ... Look up Framework in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Scientific method is a body of techniques for investigating phenomena, acquiring new knowledge, or correcting and integrating previous knowledge. ... are you kiddin ? i was lookin for it for hours ... Multiple choice (MCQ) questions or items are a form of assessment item for which respondents are asked to select one or more of the choices from a list. ... This article is about the state. ... For the insecticide Regent, see Regent (insecticide) A regent is an acting governor. ... This article is about the U.S. State. ... The Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System commonly called the MCAS (pronounced , is the Commonwealths statewide standards-based assessment program developed in response to the lack of stress in the Massachusetts Educations system as well as in response to Massachusetts Education Reform Act of 1993. ...

In 1996, the U.S. National Academy of Sciences of the U.S. National Academies produced the National Science Education Standards which is available online for free in multiple forms. Its focus on inquiry-based science, rather than memorization-based, science education was somewhat controversial at the time, but has been shown to be more effective as a model for teaching science, if less amenable to multiple-choice tests. President Harding and the National Academy of Sciences at the White House, Washington, DC, April 1921 The National Academy of Sciences (NAS) is a corporation in the United States whose members serve pro bono as advisers to the nation on science, engineering, and medicine. ... The National Science Education Standards (NSES) are a set of guidelines for the science education in primary and secondary schools in the United States, as established by the National Research Council in 1996. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged into inquiry-based learning. ...

Concern about science education and science standards has often been driven by worries that American students lag behind their peers in international rankings.[2] One notable example was the wave of education reforms implemented after the Soviet Union launched its Sputnik satellite in 1957.[3] In recent years, business leaders such as Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates have called for more emphasis on science education, saying the United States risks losing its economic edge. [4][5] Public opinion surveys, however, indicate most U.S. parents are complacent about science education and that their level of concern has actually declined in recent years.[6] // See: Category:International rankings IMD International: World Competitiveness Yearbook World Economic Forum: Global Competitiveness Report A.T. Kearney/Foreign Policy Magazine: Globalization Index 2006 Heritage Foundation/The Wall Street Journal: 2005 Index of Economic Freedom Economist Intelligence Unit: 2007 e-readiness rankings International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement... Sputnik 1 The Sputnik program was a series of unmanned space missions launched by the Soviet Union in the late 1950s to demonstrate the viability of artificial satellites. ... For other uses, see Satellite (disambiguation). ... Year 1957 (MCMLVII) was a common year starting on Tuesday (link displays the 1957 Gregorian calendar). ... For other persons named Bill Gates, see Bill Gates (disambiguation). ...

United Kingdom

In England and Wales schools science is generally taught as a single subject science until age 14-16 then splits into subject-specific A levels (physics, chemistry and biology). In Scotland the subjects split into chemistry, physics and biology at the age of 13-15 for Standard Grades in these subjects. Students in Rome, Italy. ... Part of a scientific laboratory at the University of Cologne. ... The A-level, short for Advanced Level, is a General Certificate of Education qualification in the United Kingdom, usually taken by students during the optional final two years of secondary school (Years 12 & 13, commonly called the Sixth Form), or at a separate sixth form college or further education college... A magnet levitating above a high-temperature superconductor demonstrates the Meissner effect. ... For other uses, see Chemistry (disambiguation). ... Biology studies the variety of life (clockwise from top-left) E. coli, tree fern, gazelle, Goliath beetle Biology (from Greek: βίος, bio, life; and λόγος, logos, knowledge), also referred to as the biological sciences, is the study of living organisms utilizing the scientific method. ... This article or section does not cite any references or sources. ...

In September 2006 a new Science programme of study known as 21st Century Science was introduced as a GCSE option in UK schools, designed to "give all 14 to 16 year olds a worthwhile and inspiring experience of science"[1]. This article does not cite any references or sources. ... Year 2006 (MMVI) was a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... GCSE is an acronym that can refer to: General Certificate of Secondary Education global common subexpression elimination - an optimisation technique used by some compilers This is a disambiguation page — a navigational aid which lists other pages that might otherwise share the same title. ...


  1. ^ http://www.21stcenturyscience.org/
  • Layton, D. (1981). The schooling of science in England, 1854-1939. In R. MacLeod & P.Collins (Eds.), The parliament of science (pp.188-210). Northwood, England: Science Reviews.
  • Del Giorno, B.J. (1969). The impact of chaning scientific knowledge on science education in th United States since 1850. Science Education, 53, 191-195.
  • Hurd, P.D. (1991). Closing the educational gaps between science, technology, and society. Theory into Practice, 30, 251-259.
  • Jenkins, E. (1985). History of science education. In T. Husen & T.N. Postlethwaite (Eds.) International encyclopedia of education (pp. 4453-4456). Oxford: Pergamon Press.
  • Aikenhead, G.S. (1994). What is STS teaching? In J. Solomon & G. Aikenhead (Eds.), STS education: International perspectives on reform (pp.74-59). New York: Teachers College Press.

See also

External links

Wikibooks has more about this subject:
School science how-to
  • ERIC: Education related articles online
  • National Science Education Standards
  • Inquiry-based Science
  • Electronic Journal of Science Education
  • National Institute for Science Education
  • [7]

  Results from FactBites:
Science education - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (306 words)
Science education is the field concerned with sharing science content and process with individuals not traditionally considered part of the scientific community.
In many US states, K-12 educators must adhere to rigid standards or frameworks of what content is to be taught to which age groups.
In UK schools science is generally taught as a single subject science until age 14-16 then splits into subject specific A levels (physics, chemistry and biology).
Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation & Corporate Philanthropy - Science Education Reform (1861 words)
The goal of this coordinated reform effort, closely aligned with National Science Education Standards, is to replace traditional textbook instruction with inquiry-centered, hands-on teaching and learning of science, in which students practice problem solving, analysis and critical thinking by the systematic exploration of scientific concepts.
This central concept for systemic improvement of education, developed by the NSRC in response to "A Nation at Risk," is uniformly applicable in both public and independent schools and therefore constitutes a guiding principle in Bristol-Myers Squibb's Science Education program.
BLAST (Building Leadership and Assistance for Science Teaching) is a dedicated science education program element to encourage employees to take an active part in their children's science education, at home and in the classroom.
  More results at FactBites »



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