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What can we do to help improve science education in the US?

 
 
plainoldme
 
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Reply Wed 27 Sep, 2006 02:23 pm
real life wrote:


Yes, POM, that surely is a radical idea.







I was trying to agree with you. Are you saying that doing so is a stupid idea?[/quote]

You sarcasm is so pervasive that you would never appear to be in agreement with anyone.

BTW, those teacher tests are, like most standardized tests, a stroll in the park.
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plainoldme
 
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Reply Wed 27 Sep, 2006 02:29 pm
Traditionally, kindergarten was taught in two half-day sessions, with the same teacher handling both groups. The group that began in the morning in the fall switched to the afternoon session for the spring semester.

So, what has all this nonsense to do with improving science education?

If science teachers majored in biology or chemistry or physics rather than the teaching of science, maybe they wouldn't fail these so called tests.

Besides, what about parents who ridicule science in the home? Who fail to expose their children to science?

My kids sat beside me to watch Nova every Tuesday night and they progressed from Ranger Rick to Discover to Scientific American by the time they were in middle school. They took courses for kids at MIT and "kitchen chemistry" at a summer camp for gifted children. While the latter was for kids with an IQ of more than 125, the former was open to anyone interested. It's the parents responsibility to set a kid up to learn.
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real life
 
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Reply Fri 29 Sep, 2006 12:43 am
plainoldme wrote:


BTW, those teacher tests are, like most standardized tests, a stroll in the park.


Then I've got to wonder how so many that are hired as teachers can fail them multiple times, yet still retain their teaching position.

I can find articles like this for dozens of states, detailing how hundreds , even thousands , of teachers fail these tests.

Are the teacher's unions really THAT successful in helping their constituents, or are the school administrators really just willing to hire about anything that can walk in the door?
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rosborne979
 
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Reply Fri 29 Sep, 2006 07:18 am
plainoldme wrote:
Besides, what about parents who ridicule science in the home? Who fail to expose their children to science?


I'm certain this is part of the problem. And not just with parents, but US society itself seems to have an undercurrent fear of science.

Teenage society in particular tends to idolize sports figures and "bad boys" more than those with academic achievements.

Maybe it all starts with the parents. I'm not sure. But how do we 'fix' the parents? Do we expect the kids to be wiser than the parents now?
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plainoldme
 
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Reply Fri 29 Sep, 2006 03:04 pm
real life -- I suspect that you're no more than 24 or 25. First of all, I have never read one story about hundreds of teachers failing those mandatory tests.

Second, those tests are something rather new. They're a product of Republican education reform and the sooner (but, let me tell you why they worked to my advantage below) we get over this testing mania and come to our senses, the better.

Third, consider that most people who go to college take the SAT and pass.
When I was in high school (1961-65), we actually had to take more tests to get into college than kids do today. The National Merit Scholarship test was a separate test and not the PSAT. The NMS was difficult. I have never scored below the 90th percentile on a test. OK. Can you see where I am going with this? If people are able to pass the SATs, why wouldn't they be able to pass those teacher tests? Don't assume what you read from whatever mystery publications is true. During the 60s and 70s there were stories circulating, by word of mouth, about law school grads failing the Bar. I worked for a legal paper in the 1970s and those stories are largely untrue. Some people do have to take the Bar a second time, but to get to law school, they passed the SATs, the Law School Admission Tests and the Graduate Record Exam.

I'm going to put this through because this computer is timing out.
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plainoldme
 
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Reply Fri 29 Sep, 2006 03:13 pm
Four, back in the 1950s and 60s, there were many teachers who did not have liberal arts degrees with subject majors but teaching degrees with education majors. It is my opinion and the opinion of many highly respectable and respected people that one can not be taught to teach. One needs to learn one's subject.

Five, had I been educated in Massachusetts during the 1960s and had I moved to Michigan and tried to teach, I would not have been given a test. I would have been sent to graduate school, perhaps to earn the then popular MAT, or master of arts in teaching, which included 10 hours each in a major, a minor and ed classes.
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plainoldme
 
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Reply Fri 29 Sep, 2006 03:21 pm
Six, I earned a teaching certificate in Michigan by taking the minimum: general psych; educational psych; two methods classes; educational philosophy and student teaching. I paid $5 and got my certificate, which was simply the state of Michigan verifying that I had taken the required courses and passed. Michigan specified that English teachers take AMer. Lit. 1830-65, Shakespeare, and one course each in grammar and expository writing beyond the sophomore level in addition to 30 hours of assorted lit classes covering Brit and Amer lit and all the genres. That's more strigent than the Massachusetts requirement today, which will allow some sweet young thing to major in teaching English.

Seven, although I was certified in Michigan and had earned a master's degree in English there and then a second master's degree in another subject at Harvard, all I had to do to be certified was to take and pass a general test for literacy; a test in English; forward my transcripts and pay $100.
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