Learning Exercise

Science education reform documents define scientific literacy

The American Association for the Advancement of Science and the National Research Council have embarked on a long-term initiative to reform
K-12 science education nationwide. The California Department of Education also aims to help teachers improve curriculum and instruction in science
education. Each of these organizations publish documents aimed at promoting standards-based reform of science education in order to produce a
more scientifically literate generation of Americans. This assignment asks teachers to identify consensus and conflict among the documents. They practice reading
critically, writing clearly, and arguing persuasively to clarify assumptions about "scientific literacy" according to each document. How do teachers
choose among conflicting guidelines on behalf of their students? Through this assignment, the teachers recognize problems that would benefit from master degree research to resolve
conflicts.
Course: SCED 550: Theoretical Designs in Science Education
Share

This nation has established as a goal that all students should achieve scientific literacy. The National Science... see more

Exercise








Title: Science
education reform documents define scientific literacy


 








Assignment
Goals


The American Association
for the Advancement of Science and the National Research Council have embarked
on a long-term initiative to reform K-12 science education nationwide.
The California Department of Education also aims to help teachers improve
curriculum and instruction in science education. Each of these organizations
publish documents aimed at promoting standards-based reform of science
education in order to produce a more scientifically literate generation
of Americans. Your task is to identify consensus and conflict among the
documents. You will practice reading critically, writing clearly, and arguing
persuasively to clarify assumptions about "scientific literacy" according
to each document. How do teachers choose among conflicting guidelines on
behalf of their students? Your job is to recognize problems that would
benefit from research to resolve conflicts.


 









Source
Material


EACH of the four
science education reformdocuments are hyperlinked both in CPR under Resources
and on our course syllabus. Some may prefer to use a book with index, while
others prefer to search the on-line documents for keywords using the Edit
-> Find function.


 
















































Source
Material Resources: 
California
Science Framework for K-12 Public Schools (DRAFT)
-
California Department of Education (July, 2000) California Department of
Education: Sacramento, CA. 
National
Science Education Standards
-
National Research Council, (1996). National Academy Press: Washington,
D.C. 
Benchmarks
for Scientific Literacy
-
Project 2061 American Association for the Advancement of Science, (1993).
Oxford University Press: New York. 
Science
for All Americans
-
Rutherford, F. J. (1990). Oxford University Press: New York. 
HTML
Tutor
-
This page explains how to use simple html flags to format your essay. It
includes such formatting items such as paragraphs, subscripts, and line
returns. 




 








Guiding
Questions


How does each of
the four documents define literacy? (CA, NSES, AAAS, and SFAA?)

Are distinctions
made in the definitions of scientific literacy in relation to the degree
to which science is projected to be a focus in a person's career?

Is learning science
different from learning other subjects? What learning theory assumptions
are apparent in the perspective of each document about how students achieve
scientific literacy?

What agreement
and what conflicts confront teachers who follow the guidelines from all
of the documents? Is it possible for a good science teacher to align instructional
practice with all of the reform documents?

What research is
needed to help teachers decide among conflicting guidelines on behalf of
their students?


Top









Writing
Prompt


Literacy is an
important issue in contemporary education.



  • How do the major science
    reform documents define scientific literacy?



  • What are the assumptions
    in the major science education reform documents regarding the way in which
    students become literate in science?



  • Is learning science
    different from learning other subjects?



  •  

     

     

     


Compare and contrast
the reform document positions on scientific literacy and how students become
scientifically literate in three brief paragraphs: (1) summarize some ideas
presented in each of the reform documents (2) interpret those ideas, and
(3) as a result of your analysis, identify some burning issue that should
be resolved through research.

Use page numbers
and the following symbols to reference your sources:



  1. CA: California
    Department of Education, (July, 2000). California Science Framework for
    K-12 Public Schools (DRAFT), California Department of Education: Sacramento,
    CA.



  2. NSES: National
    Research Council, (1996). National Science Education Standard, National
    Academy Press: Washington, D.C.



  3. AAAS: Project
    2061 American Association for the Advancement of Science, (1993). Benchmarks
    for Scientific Literacy Oxford University Press: New York.



  4. SFAA: Rutherford,
    F. J. (1990). Science for All Americans, Oxford University Press: New York.


Write your essay using
a word processor to take advantage of the spell check/grammar and word
count functions.



Additional Information: http://cpr.molsci.ucla.edu

Disciplines

Technical Notes

Prior to writing their essays where they define the conflicts among the guidelines, the class is divided into groups to investigate one of four science standards documents: (i) California Science Framework for K-12 Public Schools - California Department of Education (July, 2000) California
Department of Education: Sacramento, CA.
(ii) National Science Education Standards - National Research Council, (1996). National Academy Press: Washington, D.C.
(iii) Benchmarks for Scientific Literacy - Project 2061 American Association for the Advancement of Science, (1993). Oxford University
Press: New York.
(iv) Science for All Americans - Rutherford, F. J. (1990). Oxford University Press: New York. They are guided through the process of using the Find -> search functions to scan each document for key words of interest. Each groups decribes what their document states about science literacy. The essay then provides the opportunity for the students to integrate what they know about the four documents and to define their own position in suggesting an important research project that would resolve conflicts among the documents.

Requirements

All students who complete this assignment are practicing science teachers who are familiar with connections between the programs they teach and the science standards.

Topics

Scientific literacy,
Science standards

Learning Objectives

Goals:

(1) To help the student develop skill in reading critically, writing clearly, and arguing persuasively, using knowledge of major documents that are driving the reform effort in science education.
(2) To help the student identify, initiate, or develop the MAT-S project or thesis.
(3) Using knowledge of major documents that are driving the reform effort in science education, the student will be able to compare and contrast definitions of scientific literacy and analyze the role of the nature of science and science as a process according to various standards.