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ERIC Number: ED516005
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Feb
Pages: 4
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
Scientific Literacy: The Missing Ingredient. CenterView
Center for the Future of Teaching and Learning
Students' academic success in science is widely seen by political and business leaders as key to the nation's economic rebirth and future competitiveness. President Obama has made clear his belief in the importance of scientific literacy by stating that "our nation's long-term economic prosperity depends on providing a world-class education to all students, especially in mathematics and science." Here in California, strengthening education in science and related fields is seen similarly as critical to the state's future. An extensive report by the California Space Education and Workforce Institute labels education in science, technology engineering and mathematics the "essential ingredient for California competitiveness." But given the newly released results of the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) examining student understanding of science, one has to wonder if science education isn't the missing ingredient in the fight to improve the public schools. The NAEP assessment results show that less than half of U.S. students are proficient in science. Just over one-fifth of 12th grade students (21%) perform at or above proficient levels. This issue of "CenterView" illustrates the large gap between the rhetoric touting the importance of science education and the realities of what is happening in schools in California and across the nation. These dismal scores should serve as a wake-up call that the need to strengthen science education is urgent and the time to act is now. One place to start is to boost enrollment in teacher preparation programs featuring science and to take specific steps to strengthen science teaching practice for those already in the classroom.
Center for the Future of Teaching and Learning. 133 Mission Street Suite 220, Santa Cruz, CA 95060. Tel: 831-427-3628; Fax: 831-427-1612; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Elementary Education; Elementary Secondary Education; Grade 12; Grade 4; Grade 5; Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Center for the Future of Teaching and Learning
Identifiers - Location: California
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: National Assessment of Educational Progress