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Saying K-8 classes are in "urgent need" of improvement in science education the National Research Council (NRC) last week called for major changes to boost K-8 science achievement and has issued a groundbreaking report that redefines what it means to be proficient in science and provides recommendations on science standards, curricula, assessment and instruction. Read the executive summary to the report Taking Science to School: Learning and Teaching Science in Grades K-8 (http://science.nsta.org/nstaexpress/nstaexpress_2006_09_25_execsummary.htm), or to read the Washington Post article on the report (NSTA Executive Director Gerry Wheeler is quoted), visit http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/09/21/AR2006092101570.html. To learn more at the National Academies of Science website, go to http://www.nationalacademies.org/morenews/20060921b.html.
The National Research Council (NRC) report states that “the next generation of science standards and curricula at the national and state levels should be centered on a few core ideas and should expand on them each year, at increasing levels of complexity, across grades K-8. Today's standards are still too broad, resulting in superficial coverage of science that fails to link concepts or develop them over successive grades.” What do you think, are the science standards in your school too broad? What do you think about the idea of core ideas in science? Take our quick NSTA Express poll at http://science.nsta.org/survey_core_ideas_science_ed, and let us know what you think. Then read this brief discussion paper on the topic (http://science.nsta.org/nstaexpress/anchors.pdf).
Looking for an in-depth conference session for improving your content knowledge or pedagogical understanding? NSTA has just the sessions you’re looking for at our Fall Conferences! Join us for in-depth learning experiences on timely and engaging topics in advancing science learning and teaching at Omaha, Baltimore, and Salt Lake City. These engaging half- and full-day experiences are sure to offer many applications for your classroom.
Preregistration is limited, so act fast!
For more details on the three conferences, visit: http://science.nsta.org/nstaexpress/nstaexpress_2006_09_25_conferences.htm.
Need to fulfill degree, certification or professional development requirements?
Seminars on Science, a member of the NSTA Institute for Professional Development, offers award-winning online graduate courses in the life, Earth, and physical sciences. Designed by the American Museum of Natural History for K-12 educators, each six-week course immerses the learner in an area of contemporary research. Come away from your class with a deeper understanding of both the science and the tools of scientific inquiry. Courses are led by educators and museum scientists and include rich web-based discussions. For more information about courses, visit http://science.nsta.org/nstaexpress/nstaexpress_2006_09_25_amnh.htm.
The Royal Society is making its complete 350-year-old archive of journals available online for the first time. Starting September 14, access will be free of charge for two months. The collection contains every paper published in the Royal Society journals since 1665. The vice president and chair of the Publishing Board, Professor Martin Taylor, described the uniqueness of the collection as holding interest not only for scientists but also for anyone with an interest in history.
“The rich, varied, and sometimes entertaining archive documents the earliest accounts of the seventeenth century’s new experimental philosophy, through which an understanding of the natural world was acquired by experiment and observation.”
To view the collection, visit http://www.royalsoc.ac.uk.
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