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Merging University Students into K-12 Science Education Reform

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Not since the Sputnik crisis has so much public attention focused on improving science education. In the 195Os, concerns were driven by national security fears and focused on increasing the numbers of scientists able to keep the United States ahead of the Soviets during the space race. The current reform impulse springs from the awareness that U.S. society has become increasingly based on science and technology and requires a science-literate workforce that is able to understand and derive benefits from recent scientific advances. In contrast to the earlier movement, which focused on increasing the number of scientists, this movement emphasizes science for all and promotes changes in science education that will ensure that all students have equal access and opportunities to learn. To promote education reforms, a number of initiatives have been developed to encourage changes in teaching practices that will ultimately improve student learning in science. Some of these initiatives include Science for All Americans American Association for the Advancement of Science, Project 2061s Benchmarks for Science Literacy American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the National Science Education Standards NSES. The NSES, released by the National Research Council in 1996, is one of the more prominent sets of guidelines among these initiatives. Known simply as the Standards, the National Science Education Standards encourage an inquiry-based approach to teaching science that enables students to explore learning on their own and encourages teachers to facilitate this process rather than control it.

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  • Humanities and History

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