innovation, knowledge, and creativity to create undergraduate programs that are consistent with the Standards. The programs must prepare teachers at all grade levels to teach to the Standards for all children. Graduate and continuing education programs for our current teaching force must be based on the content and methods in the Standards for teaching all children at all grades.
Certification policies must be aligned with the Standards and requirements for certification must be aligned with the content standards for students and reflect the understandings that teachers must have in science and in the teaching of science. Continuing professional development certainly is necessary to renew your license to teach. But we need to expect more from the process, and we need to develop an articulated scope that has an impact on student learning. We need a renewal process that reflects on teaching, not just a count of credits.
The National Science Education Standards are designed to guide our nation toward a scientifically literate society. The first morning of the symposium was devoted to understanding the Standards, the criteria for teaching and learning science presented in the Standards, and the implications of the Standards for change in state policies and for institutions of higher education that prepare teachers.
Response to Dr. Forgione
Angelo Collins, Professor of Education, Vanderbilt University; Director of Development, National Science Education Standards Project
Curriculum, assessment, and teaching are the three legs of reform in science education. The focus today is on the most important: teaching. How we select and promote people into the teaching profession is an extremely important task. It is time for teachers to be recognized as professionals. Professionals have both theoretical and practical knowledge of their profession. They have control of that profession and are service oriented. Professionals have professional working conditions. Being recognized as a professional grants status and has rewards.
The National Science Education Standards call for prospective teachers to learn science in the way they are going to teach it: as inquiry and for full understanding. They are to learn to teach science in the places where science teaching happens. They are to be members of life-long communities of learners, and they are to experience coherent and integrated professional development programs. The challenge is to move from national standards that represent a vision to state programs at our colleges and universities in order to work together for the future of education.
The Standards: a Guide for Systemic Reform
Rodger Bybee, Executive Director, Center for Science, Mathematics, and Engineering Education; Chair, Working Group on Science Content Standards
The National Science Education Standards present a thorough, complete, and adequate definition of scientific literacy and give a thorough, complete, and appropriate presentation of science content. But reform is not about standards.