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Science Education That Makes Sense


"Demand for students with a solid foundation in science continues to grow. By 2010, jobs in science and engineering nationally are expected to increase by 2.2 million. Equally important, science education needs to ready citizens who do not pursue careers in science to handle dilemmas they will face in their lives, such as selecting treatments for diseases, evaluating messages about climate change, or using new technologies. However, current science education in the United States falls short of these goals. American students continue to languish in international comparisons of science achievement. The situation only grows worse in later grades. In national assessments, U.S. students' performance becomes increasingly weaker at higher grade levels. Reversing this trend and significantly improving science achievement will require coordinated changes in science standards, curricula, laboratories, assessments, professional development, and uses of modern technologies. But as recent studies show, there is a long way to go. ... Fortunately, more than 30 years of research on science learning offers sound recommendations for making these needed changes."