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Not the whole truth about science education

Posted By: Janice Koch on April 21, 2007
I was disturbed by John Rudolphj's commentary and need to contribute further data. First, please be aware that the Washington Post article by the producer of An Inconvenient Truth, Ms. David, tells a very skewed and inaccurate picture. NSTA has a thrid party distribution policy prohibiting blanket distribution of science products to its members but has made all of its members aware of all the ways in which they could obtain this DVD and has offered its lists, etc to Ms. David.

Further, the teaching of the nature of science, its processes and how science works has been a huge agenda for science education and for science teacher education. There are dozens of research papers addressing the importance of directly teaching the nature of science (see Norman Lederman, et al). The misunderstanding of what counts as a " theory" for example is one indication of the lack of understanding the public has about the nature and processes of science. The Association for Science Teacher Education (ASTE) has an environmental educational forum with a special sub-section devoted to global warming and teaching future and current science teachers how to address the science behind this crisis in class.

All education, but especially science education, is stymied by the authorizations from local districts to teach to the test! Because there is no formal NCLB driven science assessment prior to middle school, there has been less formal science instruction in elementary school since 2002.In the later school years, the "just the facts, ma'am" approach to science education has been fostered by the nature of the testing- not the nature of science or science education.

Janice Koch, Ph.D.
Professor of Science Education
Hofstra University
President, ASTE 2007-2008
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 Not the whole truth about science education by Janice Koch on April 21, 2007
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