Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) permeate the modern world. The jobs people do, the foods they eat, the vehicles in which they travel, the information they receive, the medicines they take, and many other facets of modern life are constantly changing as STEM knowledge steadily accumulates. Yet STEM education in the United States, despite the importance of these subjects, is consistently falling short. Many students are not graduating from high school with the knowledge and capacities they will need to pursue STEM careers or understand STEM-related issues in the workf
Evolution is the central unifying theme of biology. Yet today, more than a century and a half after Charles Darwin proposed the idea of evolution through natural selection, the topic is often relegated to a handful of chapters in textbooks and a few class sessions in introductory biology courses, if covered at all. In recent years, a movement has been gaining momentum that is aimed at radically changing this situation.
On October 25-26, 2011, the Board on Life Sciences of the National Research Council and the National Academy of Sciences held a national convocation in Washingt
In 1999, Liping Ma published her book Knowing and Teaching Elementary Mathematics: Teachers' Understanding of Fundamental Mathematics in the United States and China, which probed the kinds of knowledge that elementary school teachers need to convey mathematical concepts and procedures effectively to their students. Later that year, Roger Howe, a member of the U.S. National Commission on Mathematics Instruction (USNC/MI), reviewed the book for the Notices of the American Mathematical Society, concluding that it 'has lessons for all educational policymakers.'
Educators and policy makers in the United States have relied on tests to measure educational progress for more than 150 years. During the twentieth century, technical advances, such as machines for automatic scoring and computer-based scoring and reporting, have supported states in a growing reliance on standardized tests for statewide accountability.
State assessment data have been cited as evidence for claims about many achievements of public education, and the tests have also been blamed for significant failings. As standards come under new scrutiny, so, too, do the assess
Teachers make a difference. The success of any plan for improving educational outcomes depends on the teachers who carry it out and thus on the abilities of those attracted to the field and their preparation. Yet there are many questions about how teachers are being prepared and how they ought to be prepared. Yet, teacher preparation is often treated as an afterthought in discussions of improving the public education system.
Preparing Teachers addresses the issue of teacher preparation with specific attention to reading, mathematics, and science. The book evaluates th
Practitioners in informal science settings--museums, after-school programs, science and technology centers, media enterprises, libraries, aquariums, zoos, and botanical gardens--are interested in finding out what learning looks like, how to measure it, and what they can do to ensure that people of all ages, from different backgrounds and cultures, have a positive learning experience.
Surrounded by Science: Learning Science in Informal Environments, is designed to make that task easier. Based on the National Research Council study, Learning Science in Informal Enviro[more]
Value-added methods refer to efforts to estimate the relative contributions of specific teachers, schools, or programs to student test performance. In recent years, these methods have attracted considerable attention because of their potential applicability for educational accountability, teacher pay-for-performance systems, school and teacher improvement, program evaluation, and research. Value-added methods involve complex statistical models applied to test data of varying quality. Accordingly, there are many technical challenges to ascertaining the degree to which the output of these mod
A strong chemical workforce in the United States will be essential to the ability to address many issues of societal concern in the future, including demand for renewable energy, more advanced materials, and more sophisticated pharmaceuticals. High school chemistry teachers have a critical role to play in engaging and supporting the chemical workforce of the future, but they must be sufficiently knowledgeable and skilled to produce the levels of scientific literacy that students need to succeed.
To identify key leverage points for improving high school chemistry education, the Nationa
The mission of the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS) is to establish "high and rigorous standards for what teachers should know and be able to do, to certify teachers who meet those standards, and to advance other education reforms for the purpose of improving student learning in American schools." In response to a request from the U.S. Congress, the National Research Council developed a framework for evaluating programs that award advanced-level teacher certification and applied that framework in an evaluation of the impacts of the NBPTS. Specifically, this book addr
What types of instructional experiences help K-8 students learn science with understanding? What do science educators, teachers, teacher leaders, science specialists, professional development staff, curriculum designers, and school administrators need to know to create and support such experiences?
Ready, Set, Science! guides the way with an account of the groundbreaking and comprehensive synthesis of research into teaching and learning science in kindergarten through eighth grade. Based on the recently released National Research Council report Taking Science to School: Lea[more]