Educational Sciences

The Center for Mathematics and Science Education Research (CMSER) coordinates research, teacher education, curriculum development and implementation, and dissemination efforts in mathematics and science education, and fosters rich partnerships with educational institutions and organizations throughout the Milwaukee metropolitan area. A science education game developed by a College of Education faculty member wins the 2018 International Serious Play Award. A choice of 24 science majors and minors, spanning physics to plant sciences, biochemistry to geographical science, and psychology to mathematics, will provide you with a rich repertoire of study options. Taken together with your education studies, you can look forward to a highly rewarding career with two teaching specialisations.

Why is science education important in our schools? We are surrounded by technology and the products of science every day. Public policy decisions that affect every aspect of our lives are based in scientific evidence. And, of course, the immensely complex natural world that surrounds us illustrates infinite scientific concepts. As children grow up in an increasingly technologically and scientifically advanced world, they need to be scientifically literate to succeed.

It is thus clear that multiple strategies are needed, some focused primarily on key skills or specific knowledge, others on particular conceptual understanding, and yet others on metacognition. The issues of what children bring to school and of how teaching can build on it to foster robust science learning with this rich multiplicity of aspects are the core topics of this report.

An important opportunity provided by science centers concerns “talking to learn.” Conversation, whether with family members or peer groups leads to that articulation of ideas which is at the heart of assimilating them. Such social learning opportunities cannot readily be achieved in schools. The Government is providing funding for play-based apps that inspire curiosity and interest in STEM among preschool-aged children. The University of Canberra will design, develop, and implement the ELSA pilot , which includes digital learning experiences rich in STEM concepts, delivered on tablet devices. The ELSA pilot will begin in 2018.

In the 2014-15 school year, 24 states operated virtual schools that offered supplemental online courses for students. These schools served more than 462,000 students, who took a total of 815,000 online semester-long courses. Although still a small fraction of the approximately 50 million students enrolled in K-12 public schools, this was a substantial increase since 2012-13, when 721,149 semester course enrollments were recorded.