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ERIC Number: ED536795
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Jul
Pages: 27
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 8
Inspiring the Next Generation of Innovators: Students, Parents and Educators Speak up about Science Education
Farris-Berg, Kim
Project Tomorrow
This report presents the findings from Project Tomorrow's 2007 Speak Up Survey, informing international discussions about how to improve science learning in the 21st century through an exploration of student, teacher, parent, and school leader attitudes about science education. Project Tomorrow administered its survey in all 50 United States, the District of Columbia, American Department of Defense Schools, Canada, Mexico, and Australia. The top participating states included: Texas, California, Arizona, Illinois, Alabama, Maryland, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Florida, and Michigan. Project Tomorrow surveyed 319,223 K-12 students, 25,544 teachers, 19,726 parents, and 3,263 school leaders. Respondents were from 3,729 schools and 867 districts. Ninety-seven percent were from public schools; three percent were from private schools. School locations were 32 percent urban, 40 percent suburban, and 29 percent rural. Forty-three percent of the schools were Title I eligible, and 29 percent had a more than 50 percent minority population attending. Highlights from Project Tomorrow's 2007 Speak Up survey include: (1) Fifty-seven percent of K-12 school administrators gave a passing grade to their school for preparing students for jobs of the future, but only 47 percent of teachers and 43 percent of parents agreed. Among middle and high school students who assessed themselves as advanced tech-users, only 23 percent indicated that their schools were preparing them well; (2) While inquiry-based curricula are seen as one means for students to achieve scientific literacy, in 2007 only 25 percent of science teachers used such curricula in their classrooms; (3) Students report that their especially fun or interesting learning experiences using science and math have been hands-on and group-oriented; (4) When asked about the essential features of their imagined ultimate science classroom, the leading answer for students in grades K-2 and in grades 9-12 was "teachers excited about science"; (5) Teachers reported that the 21st century tools having the greatest potential to increase student achievement in science specifically are: (1) animations to help students visualize difficult concepts; (2) interactive simulations to practice scientific expertise; (3) standard lab tools and apparatus (such as microscopes and Bunsen burners); and (6) Most students who participated in the Project Tomorrow Speak Up 2007 survey are open to pursuing a job or career in a STEM field. Selected quotes from Speak Up 2006 are appended. (Contains 5 figures and 1 footnote.)["Inspiring the Next Generation of Innovators: Students, Parents and Educators Speak up about Science Education" was sponsored by Pasco Scientific.]
Project Tomorrow. 15707 Rockfield Boulevard Suite 250, Irvine, CA 92618. Tel: 949-609-4660; Fax: 949-609-4665; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Education; Elementary Secondary Education; High Schools; Middle Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Project Tomorrow