Friday, November 30, 2007

Not here. A recent study in the Bay Area confirmed what most people know: elementary students are not getting the science basics they need. Forget high school reform - if you don't develop a love of math and science early in life, you are not going to suddenly find it in high school. From the study:

  • Eighty percent (80%) of K-5th grade multiple-subject teachers who are responsible for teaching science in their classrooms reported spending 60 minutes or less per week on science, with 16% of teachers spending no time at all on science
  • 41% say that are not adequately prepared to teach science -
  • Fewer than half of Bay Area fifth-graders scored at grade level or above on last spring's California Standards Test in science.

Teachers in the study claim that they don't have time to teach science. But other teachers responding to blogs on this topic clearly state that you can teach science while teaching reading and writing - so blaming NCLB is a cop out. The more important point is that if you are not prepared to teach science - how can you teach it and will you teach it if your not comfortable?

We cannot compete as a nation without scientists and we will not have scientists if we don't create a passion for science at a young age. We need more science expertise at the elementary level to create that passion. Focusing just on high school science won't change a thing if the students don't have a solid base to build from.

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