Science Literacy: How To Train Teachers, Engage Students, and Maximize Learning

Saturday, February 20, 2010: 1:30 PM-4:30 PM
Room 3 (San Diego Convention Center)
Scientific literacy is crucial; it is necessary for our future economic competitiveness and the general citizen’s understanding of the value, implications, and limitations of scientific knowledge. So, does our science education system effectively address these equally important outcomes? The answer is complicated by the fact that the ability to successfully produce a relative handful of scientists can obscure gross failures in the education of the public at large. Nevertheless, we can identify key factors that influence science education, including the ability of the system to engage diverse sectors of the population. Among these are the order in which concepts are presented; the methods used to facilitate and reinforce their learning; the strategies used to convince students of their ability to learn; and the methods (i.e., tests) used to monitor their comprehension, competence, and confidence. Are instructors comfortable with what they are called on to teach; are the concepts to be taught presented in an effective sequence and in sufficient depth; do the assessments used measure comprehension and competence; and do methods “turn on” or “turn off” student interest in and appreciation of science? There is substantial data that these goals are not generally met. The speakers will address these issues to promote a critical and cross-disciplinary discussion, and perhaps identify ways forward toward more effective and inclusive science literacy.
Michael W. Klymkowsky, University of Colorado
Melanie M. Cooper, Clemson University
Melanie M. Cooper, Clemson University
Michael W. Klymkowsky, University of Colorado
Preparation of Science Teachers and the Challenges They Face
Eugenie C. Scott, National Center for Science Education
Are Teachers Prepared for Teaching Controversial Scientific Subjects ?
Erin M. Furtak, University of Colorado
Training Science Teachers: Challenges and Opportunities
See more of: Education in the Classroom
See more of: Symposia