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ERIC Number: EJ817837
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Nov
Pages: 18
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 37
ISSN: ISSN-0036-8326
Creativity, Inquiry, or Accountability? Scientists' and Teachers' Perceptions of Science Education
Taylor, Amy R.; Jones, M. Gail; Broadwell, Bethany; Oppewal, Tom
Science Education, v92 n6 p1058-1075 Nov 2008
Although there have been numerous studies that indicate the benefits of teachers and students working with scientists, there is little research that documents scientists' views of science education, science teacher preparation, and the goals of science education. Furthermore, little is known about how scientists' views of science education may differ from those held by science teachers. Through the use of semistructured interviews, the perceptions of 37 scientists from diverse science domains and 21 middle and high school science teachers were explored. Participating scientists expressed concerns about the variability in quality of teaching, programs, and resources available for science instruction. Scientists expressed a desire for teachers to have more experience conducting science research and developing their own critical thinking skills. When asked what goals are most important for science education, 40% of the scientists emphasized that teachers should make science fun and exciting for their students. Science teachers' perceptions of science education were compared with the scientists' perceptions. Thirty percent of the teachers agreed with the scientists that too much variability in program or instructional quality exists in science education. Seventy-six percent of the science teachers also thought there is a need to teach critical thinking skills, but more importantly there is a need to inspire creativity and a desire to learn science in students. Both teachers and scientists expressed concerns about how high-stakes accountability inhibits efforts to improve science education. (Contains 3 tables.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: High Schools; Junior High Schools; Middle Schools; Secondary Education
Audience: Teachers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A