Science education is a highly dynamic field of applied and basic research and of research-based development. 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.
BWF has increased its commitment to science education by creating the North Carolina Science, Mathematics, and Technology Education (SMT) Center in 2004. This non-profit organization serves as a catalyst and facilitator to create an integrated plan to systematically improve the performance of North Carolina secondary school students in SMT education.
Because we know that learning happens everywhereâ€”both inside and outside of formal school settingsâ€”the Department’s 21st Century Community Learning Centers program is collaborating with NASA , the National Park Service , and the Institute of Museum and Library Services to bring high-quality STEM content and experiences to students from low-income, high-need schools. This initiative has made a commitment to Native-American students, providing about 350 young people at 11 sites across six states with out-of-school STEM courses focused on science and the environment.
I am a full-time teacher of science, biology and maths. My work-load varies from day-to-day depending on my timetable. In general, I start with some prep work followed by classes. Corrections, administration work, preparing experiments and marking exams are all part of the job. Teaching also involves liaising with parents, other teachers, guidance counsellors and other professionals. In my non-contact hours, I am involved in pastoral care, coaching, Young Scientist and various extracurricular activities with the students. There are also parent-teacher meetings, exam supervision and many other tasks associated with the teaching life. Though sometimes demanding and challenging, teaching can be very rewarding.
In the 1970s these national efforts to improve school programs and teacher education, including the goals for science teaching, were reassessed. The public had become disillusioned with the expenditures for science teacher enhancement and curriculum development projects. The NSF Project Synthesis effort established four new goals: science for meeting personal needs, science for resolving current societal issues, science for assisting with career choices, and science for preparing for further study.