on May 18, 2003
When is science taught?
I agree that one of the legacies of the LSC effort (probably more than
the SSIís that preceded them; although all these efforts are
cumulative) is and will be that teachers actually do teach science.
But my experience has been that itís still a second tier subject, not
the core of the curriculum. The most compelling evidence Iíve seen for
this is that as far as I have observed science is usually taught at the
off hours, after time (and increasing time!) has been spent on language
arts and then math.
The developing push to upgrade science may be assisted by the increased
need to add standardized tests in science to the whole collection of
NCLB tests. Of course, that increases the tension between teaching
science to the test and doing inquiry science.
Itís interesting to note Elaine Wooís comments that employers are
complaining that they canít find enough staff with technical skills. I
believe thatís the case, but I also know that the same complaint has
been heard for as long as Iíve been interested in science educationóand
thatís a very long time. How does the US continuously manage to
produce goods and services, including lots of high-tech products, if
our educational system has been so inadequate for decades?