ERIC Number: ED356940
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1991-Sep
Reference Count: N/A
Improving the Outcomes of Science Education for the Pacific Northwest. Science and Mathematics Initiatives. Program Report.
Northwest Regional Educational Lab., Portland, OR.
This report represents an effort to stimulate regional discussion and delineate issues of relevance for educators concerned with science education in the Pacific Northwest. It suggests topics of inquiry germane to the context of national initiatives and regional, state, and local challenges. Information is needed to understand "where we are" in order to make sound policy judgements and rational curriculum choices in determining "where we want to be." In the opening section of the report entitled "National Priorities and Context of Science Education," initiatives grounded in reports by the National Education Goals Panel are presented, and regional collaboration is suggested as a sound approach to enhancing the outcomes of science education. In addition, it is suggested that these caveats enumerated by staff of the Sandia National Laboratories may assist educators and policy makers in deciphering the plethora of national reports on the state of U.S. education and arriving at sound decisions. These caveats warn against the following practices and habits of thought: "Crisis" rhetoric; misuse of simplistic measures of dubious value; and pre-occupation with the link to economic competitiveness. A discussion of regional context and associated policy questions is provided in the second section, "The Northwest Region and Its Needs," and state science curriculum frameworks and the importance of teachers are analyzed in the third section, "State Influence and Local Reform." The next section "Recommendations for the Improvement of the Quality of Student Outcomes in Science" contains a comprehensive discussion of the following topics: Northwest consortium for math and science teaching design concepts; Northwest consortium for math and science teaching activities; curriculum renewal structure; framework for systemic reform; regional collaboration and equity concerns; and the evaluation of regional efforts. The fifth section, "Toward Scientific Literacy and Applied Academics," provides a detailed analysis of scientific literacy and an examination of current practices in applied academics. The final section, "Recommendations for Action," invites the reader to explore patterns of connections and roles of salient organizational and systemic concepts in science education. Concepts and recommendations are given in narrative style under the headings of Curriculum Design, Policy Analysis, and Teaching Enhancement, and a brief concluding section called "Beginning a Course of Action" lists three tangible steps known to be essential for planning systemic reform. Appendixes contain testimony of two researchers from the Sandia National Laboratories and a list of sample definitions that make for scientific literacy. (Contains 50 references.) (PR)
Descriptors: Curriculum Development, Educational Change, Elementary Secondary Education, Outcomes of Education, Regional Laboratories, Regional Planning, Science Curriculum, Science Education, Science Instruction, Scientific Literacy, State Standards
Northwest Regional Educational Laboratory, 101 S.W. Main Street, Suite 500, Portland, OR 97204.
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Northwest Regional Educational Lab., Portland, OR.