The U.S. National Research Council recently released a report that calls on policymakers at all levels of government to elevate science education in grades K-12 to the same level of importance as reading and mathematics.
"We need to help all students become scientifically literate because citizens are increasingly facing decisions related to science and technology--whether it's understanding a medical diagnosis or weighing competing claims about the environment," says University of Wisconsin-Madison professor Adam Gamoran.
The report identifies key elements of high-quality science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education, such as a coherent set of standards and curriculum, teachers with a high capacity to teach their discipline, and a supportive system of assessment. The report also recommends adequate instructional time, equal access to high-quality STEM learning opportunities, and school conditions that support learning. Those districts that want to improve STEM fields also could consider selective STEM schools, inclusive STEM schools, and a STEM-focused career and technical education program, according to the report.
From National Academy of Sciences
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