Saturday, June 16, 2012

STEM Quotes and Commentary

Post under development. Check back later.

"Anyone who’s done work in STEM education has a special spot on their bookshelf for copies of the Holy Grails of science ed standards: the National Research Council’s National Science Education Standards and the American Association for the Advancement of Science’s Science for All Americans and Benchmarks for Science Literacy. But as valuable as these documents are, they are getting a little dogeared and in need of being spruced up."
Source:, Accessed 4-30-2011.

When teaching with research in the classroom, the year Science for All Americans was first published, students were saying, You're not teaching us. Why do we have to do this? Why don't you lecture more?" When I gave them assignments to read in Science for All Americans, the students did a complete turn-around. You are exactly like this book. They then loved the class.

 They started designing and doing experiments. The book helped them with a necessary attitude change.

Unfortunately, at that time, not every college was ready for the research-supported teaching methods. Even today, teachers are being told, "Why don't you lecture more? Why are the students out of their seats? (Getting lab supplies), Why don't you just have them copy things from the book?" Can you believe it? The lesson here is that teachers who adapt research-supported new science education techniques should be supported so that their careers don't get off-track by administrators and parents who are not yet current with the successful new pedagogies. Good teachers were lost by their not getting support as they taught science well.

"Exploring the NAS Framework for New Science Education Standards
"On July 12th, the National Academies of Science released a draft of the Framework for New Science Education Standards. The framework consists of seven chapters and almost 200 pages. It clearly identifies three “dimensions” of science education that must be woven together into standards, instruction and assessment: 1) Disciplinary core ideas in life science, earth and space sciences, physical sciences, and engineering; 2) Cross Cutting Elements including cross-cutting scientific concepts and topics in science, engineering, technology, and society; and 3) scientific and engineering practices.
"Learning progressions are central to the framework. Learning progressions provide a coherent description of how core ideas in science and engineering build throughout K-12.
The framework embraces the mantra, less is more, and states, 'Reduction of the sheer sum of details to be mastered give time for students to engage in scientific investigations and argumentation and to achieve depth of understanding of the material that is included.'"
Source: Eric Brunsell,
Learning progressions are important. Let's first explain what they are so that everyone reading starts with the same concept in mind:

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