Bioscience

Global efforts continue to improve science education

March 6, 2009

By Flinn Foundation

Education Forum

THE PIPELINE:

Science Faculty with Education Specialties S. D. Bush,1* N. J. Pelaez,2* J. A. Rudd,3*† M. T. Stevens,4* K. D. Tanner,5* K. S. Williams6*

Globally, efforts to improve science education continue (1, 2).

In the United States, primary and secondary (K-12) science education lags on international assessments and struggles to sustain qualified K-12 science teachers and to prepare the next generation of scientists and engineers (2).

At U.S. colleges and universities, more than half of entering science majors leave the sciences, most (90%) complaining of ineffective teaching (3).

Of those who remain in science, 74% express the same complaint (3).

Further work is needed within specific science disciplines on how students most effectively learn that discipline (4).

To address K-12 science education, undergraduate science education, and discipline-specific science education research, one approach is seeding university science departments with Science Faculty with Education Specialties (SFES), scientists who take on specialized science education roles within their discipline (5).

We present data on SFES in science departments throughout the 23-campus California State University (CSU) system (6), the largest U.S. university system (annual enrollment ~450,000 students).

To read the full report, click here: http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/reprint/322/5909/1795.pdf