Science's Education Forum

Science's Education Forum provides a voice for the community interested in the multifaceted world of science education and the science of education.

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Most Recently in the Education Forum

2 January 2015:
Rebooting MOOC Research >
Justin Reich
Improve assessment, data sharing, and experimental design.

Previous Articles in the Series

9 May 2014:
Convergence Between Science and Environmental Education >
Arjen E. J. Wals, Michael Brody, Justin Dillon, and Robert B. Stevenson
Citizen science and concerns about sustainability can catalyze much-needed synergy between environmental education and science education.
11 April 2014:
Computer-Guided Inquiry to Improve Science Learning >
Marcia C. Linn, Libby Gerard, Kihyun Ryoo, Kevin McElhaney, Ou Lydia Liu, and Anna N. Rafferty
Automated guidance on essays and drawings can improve learning in precollege and college courses.
20 December 2013:
Open Learning at a Distance: Lessons for Struggling MOOCs >
Patrick McAndrew and Eileen Scanlon
Support for nontraditional students, team-based quality control, and assessment design are critical.
22 November 2013:
Instructional Complexity and the Science to Constrain It >
Kenneth R. Koedinger, Julie L. Booth, and David Klahr
School-researcher partnerships and large in vivo experiments help focus on useful, effective, instruction.
27 September 2013:
Increasing Persistence of College Students in STEM >
Mark J. Graham, Jennifer Frederick, Angela Byars-Winston, Anne-Barrie Hunter, and Jo Handelsman
An evidence-based framework offers a guide for efforts to increase student persistence in STEM majors.
23 August 2013:
Can Rating Pre-K Programs Predict Children's Learning? >
T. J. Sabol, S. L. Soliday Hong, R. C. Pianta, and M. R. Burchinal
Systems intended to rate the quality of early education programs may not actually reflect impacts on learning.
18 July 2013:
Crowdsourcing and Curating Online Education Resources >
Darrell Porcello and Sherry Hsi
The diverse wealth of crowdsourced online tools can benefit from professional coordination and quality control.
19 April 2013:
Opportunities and Challenges in Next Generation Standards >
E. K. Stage, H. Asturias, T. Cheuk, P. A. Daro, and S. B. Hampton
Goals for literacy, math, and science education may increase citizens' capacity to argue from evidence.
19 April 2013:
Driven by Diversity >
Joan Ferrini-Mundy
Evidence is growing on benefits, and approaches, to increase diversity in the science and engineering workforce.
25 January 2013:
Science Learning Progressions >
Ravit Golan Duncan and Ann E. Rivet
New science education standards build upon research-based cognitive models of how learning unfolds over time.
21 December 2012:
Interdisciplinary Graduate Training in Teaching Labs >
Ronald D. Vale, Joseph DeRisi, Rob Phillips, R. Dyche Mullins, Clare Waterman, and Timothy J. Mitchison
Intensive, short-term courses meld students and faculty and new techniques in pursuit of genuine research questions.
29 June 2012:
European Teacher Training Reforms >
Johannes Bauer and Manfred Prenzel
The Bologna Process has contributed to a more academic and research-based orientation in European teacher education.
22 June 2012:
Engaging Teachers, Scientists, and Multimedia to Promote Learning >
Dennis Liu, Satoshi Amagai, and Jennifer Bricken
BioInteractive focuses on scientists and their research, while engaging with teachers to improve educational materials and practice.
23 March 2012:
Entrepreneurship Training for the Developing World >
Iqbal Z. Quadir
Education focused on commercial dynamism, not just policy and bureaucracy, can contribute to economic growth in low-income countries and the world.
13 January 2012:
Better Research Needed on the Impact of Charter Schools >
Julian R. Betts and Richard C. Atkinson
Randomized trials, although a promising approach, reflect impacts of only a limited subset of highly sought-after schools.
16 December 2011:
Teaching Creative Science Thinking >
Robert L. DeHaan
Students' creative insights can be nurtured by promoting peer-peer learning and increasing associative thinking.
21 October 2011:
Rethink Summer Student Research >
Franklin A. Carrero-Martínez
Research and training at institutions serving minority students may suffer as top students leave for other schools each summer.
23 September 2011:
The Pseudoscience of Single-Sex Schooling >
Diane F. Halpern, Lise Eliot, Rebecca S. Bigler, Richard A. Fabes, Laura D. Hanish, Janet Hyde, Lynn S. Liben, and Carol Lynn Martin
Single-sex schooling lacks scientific support and may exaggerate sexism and gender stereotyping.
26 August 2011:
Drawing to Learn in Science >
Shaaron Ainsworth, Vaughan Prain, and Russell Tytler
Emerging research suggests drawing should be explicitly recognized as a key element in science education.
19 August 2011:
Protecting Brains, Not Simply Stimulating Minds >
Jack P. Shonkoff
Curricular enhancements in early childhood education that are guided by the science of learning must be augmented by protective interventions informed by the biology of adversity.
12 August 2011:
Value-Added Measures and the Future of Educational Accountability >
Douglas N. Harris
Research has yet to show whether new estimates of teacher performance can be used to improve teaching and learning.
24 June 2011:
Mathematics Teachers' Subtle, Complex Disciplinary Knowledge >
Brent Davis
Development of tacit skills, such as use of analogies and metaphors, should receive more attention in preparing math teachers.
10 June 2011:
Preparing Future Math Teachers >
William H. Schmidt, Richard Houang, and Leland S. Cogan
Poor precollege math abilities, and too little emphasis on college-level math, can reduce the number of highly capable math teachers.
20 May 2011:
Inquiry-Based Writing in the Laboratory Course >
Cary Moskovitz and David Kellogg
Writing lab reports in science classes can be more productive and engaging if the experience is structured well.
11 March 2011:
Impact of Undergraduate Science Course Innovations on Learning >
Maria Araceli Ruiz-Primo, Derek Briggs, Heidi Iverson, Robert Talbot, Lorrie A. Shepard
Despite revealing some positive impacts, studies too often suffer from weak design and inadequate reporting.
28 January 2011:
Defeating Creationism in the Courtroom, But Not in the Classroom >
Michael B. Berkman and Eric Plutzer
Sixty percent of U.S. high school biology teachers are not advocates for either evolutionary biology or nonscientific alternatives.
14 January 2011:
Changing the Culture of Science Education at Research Universities >
W. A. Anderson, U. Banerjee, C. L. Drennan, S. C. R. Elgin, I. R. Epstein, J. Handelsman, G. F. Hatfull, R. Losick, D. K. O'Dowd, B. M. Olivera, S. A. Strobel, G. C. Walker, and I. M. Warner
Universities must better recognize, reward, and support the efforts of researchers who are also excellent and dedicated teachers.
1 October 2010:
Complex Systems View of Educational Policy Research >
S. Maroulis, R. Guimerà, H. Petry, M. J. Stringer, L. M. Gomez, L. A. N. Amaral, and U. Wilensky
Agent-based modeling and network analysis can help integrate knowledge on "micro-level" mechanisms and "macro-level" effects.
3 September 2010:
Growing Roles for Science Education in Community Colleges >
George R. Boggs
To help meet economic challenges, 2- and 4-year colleges must collaborate to improve student completion and transfer.
20 August 2010:
Partnerships for STEM Education >
K. M. Foster, K. B. Bergin, A. F. McKenna, D. L. Millard, L. C. Perez, J. T. Prival, D. Y. Rainey, H. M. Sevian, E. A. VanderPutten, and J. E. Hamos
Schoolteachers and higher-education faculty can benefit one another to improve teaching and student learning.
16 July 2010:
Performance-Based Data in the Study of STEM Ph.D. Education >
David F. Feldon, Michelle A. Maher, and Briana E. Timmerman
Performance-based assessments of student skill development can help inform decisions about improving graduate education.
23 April 2010:
Assessing Literacy Across a Changing World >
Andreas Schleicher
New literacy skills affect educational and labor-market outcomes and can be compared from country to country.
18 December 2009:
The Nation's Report Card: A Vision of Large-Scale Science Assessment >
Alice C. Fu, Senta A. Raizen, and Richard J. Shavelson
The 2009 National Assessment of Educational Progress uses an expanded variety of tasks to probe student science achievement.
27 November 2009:
Educating Scientists About Dual Use >
Jennifer L. Sta. Ana, Mark S. Frankel, and Kavita M. Berger
Harmful misuse of biological research must be addressed through education, but such programs are in short supply and can be improved.
6 November 2009:
Moving Past No Child Left Behind >
Daniel Koretz
No Child Left Behind is a poorly designed program, with serious side effects and little evidence of benefit, in need of fundamental changes.
6 November 2009:
Building on No Child Left Behind >
Eric A. Hanushek
A federally mandated system of test-based accountability for U.S. education can be made even better.
25 September 2009:
Science Education: Revising the AP Biology Curriculum >
William B. Wood
Major, welcome changes to the AP biology curriculum raise questions about implementation and assessment.
27 August 2009:
Science Education: Introducing Modern Science into Schools >
Julia Willingale-Theune, Alexandra Manaia, Philipp Gebhardt, Rossana De Lorenzi, Matthias Haury
A multinational research institution provides advanced training to help high-school teachers bring inquiry into the classroom.
31 July 2009:
Education: Computing Has Changed Biology—Biology Education Must Catch Up >
Pavel Pevzner and Ron Shamir
Biologists need better computational education so that researchers can benefit from the bioinformatics revolution.
Education: Mathematical Biology Education: Beyond Calculus >
Raina Robeva and Reinhard Laubenbacher
Training in developing algebraic models is often overlooked but can be valuable to biologists and mathematicians.
26 June 2009:
Information Technology: Innovating Education in Croatia >
Dragan Primorac
Reforms that are raising the quality of IT in Croatian science and education aim to create a knowledge-based society.
29 May 2009:
Infrastructure: Tenure and the Future of the University >
Dan Clawson
Tenure has been eroded by structural pressures, but remains vital to universities that value creativity.
24 April 2009:
PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT: Summer Institute to Improve University Science Teaching >
Christine Pfund, Sarah Miller, Kerry Brenner, Peter Bruns, Amy Chang, Diane Ebert-May, Adam P. Fagen, Jim Gentile, Sandra Gossens, Ishrat M. Khan, Jay B. Labov, Christine Maidl Pribbenow, Millard Susman, Lillian Tong, Robin Wright, Robert T. Yuan, William B. Wood, and Jo Handelsman
The goal of the National Academies Summer Institute is to change teaching practices in introductory, undergraduate biology courses.
27 March 2009:
GRADUATE EDUCATION: Professional Science Master's Programs Merit Wider Support >
Rita R. Colwell
A recent study shows the potential of an alternative career path in building a scientific work force.
27 February 2009:
ECOLOGY: A National Ecological Network for Research and Education >
Margaret Lowman, Charlene D'Avanzo, and Carol Brewer
A proposal links continental-scale ecological data with education projects.
30 January 2009:
PHYSICS: Learning and Scientific Reasoning >
Lei Bao, Tianfan Cai, Kathy Koenig, Kai Fang, Jing Han, Jing Wang, Qing Liu, Lin Ding, Lili Cui, Ying Luo, Yufeng Wang, Lieming Li, and Nianle Wu
Comparisons of Chinese and U.S. students show that content knowledge and reasoning skills diverge.
19 December 2008:
THE PIPELINE: Science Faculty with Education Specialties >
S. D. Bush, N. J. Pelaez, J. A. Rudd, M. T. Stevens, K. D. Tanner, and K. S. Williams
Career dynamics for science faculty with interests in education point the way for developing this nascent career specialty.
28 November 2008:
THE PIPELINE: Scientific Teaching in Practice >
Sarah Miller, Christine Pfund, Christine Maidl Pribbenow, and Jo Handelsman
A new generation of university scientists is learning to teach using a scientific teaching approach.
28 November 2008:
ASSESSMENT: Global Sex Differences in Test Score Variability >
Stephen Machin and Tuomas Pekkarinen
International testing results show greater variance in boys' scores than in girls' scores.
31 October 2008:
PHYSICS: PhET: Simulations That Enhance Learning >
Carl E. Wieman, Wendy K. Adams, and Katherine K. Perkins
A library of interactive computer simulations aids physics instruction worldwide.
31 October 2008:
UNDERGRADUATE RESEARCH: Genomics Education Partnership >
D. Lopatto, C. Alvarez, D. Barnard, C. Chandrasekaran, H.-M. Chung, C. Du, T. Eckdahl, A. L. Goodman, C. Hauser, C. J. Jones, O. R. Kopp, G. A. Kuleck, G. McNeil, R. Morris, J. L. Myka, A. Nagengast, P. J. Overvoorde, J. L. Poet, K. Reed, G. Regisford, D. Revie, A. Rosenwald, K. Saville, M. Shaw, G. R. Skuse, C. Smith, M. Smith, M. Spratt, J. Stamm, J. S. Thompson, B. A. Wilson, C. Witkowski, J. Youngblom, W. Leung, C. D. Shaffer, J. Buhler, E. Mardis, and S. C. R. Elgin
The Genomics Education Partnership offers an inclusive model for undergraduate research experiences, with students pooling their work to contribute to international databases.
26 September 2008:
ASSESSMENT: School Performance Will Fail to Meet Legislated Benchmarks >
M. J. Bryant, K. A. Hammond, K. M. Bocian, M. F. Rettig, C. A. Miller, and R. A. Cardullo
Federally mandated progress goals may translate into widespread failure of California elementary schools.
29 August 2008:
THE EARLY YEARS: Preschool Influences on Mathematics Achievement >
Edward C. Melhuish, Kathy Sylva, Pam Sammons, Iram Siraj-Blatchford, Brenda Taggart, Mai B. Phan, Antero Malin
The advantages of home learning environment and preschool are apparent years later in children's math achievement.
25 July 2008:
DIVERSITY: Gender Similarities Characterize Math Performance >
Janet S. Hyde, Sara M. Lindberg, Marcia C. Linn, Amy B. Ellis, and Caroline C. Williams
Standardized tests in the U.S. indicate that girls now score just as well as boys in math.
27 June 2008:
THE EARLY YEARS: Preschool Programs Can Boost School Readiness >
William T. Gormley Jr., Deborah Phillips, and Ted Gayer
Preschool programs in Oklahoma help children to succeed in school.
30 May 2008:
DIVERSITY: Culture, Gender, and Math >
Luigi Guiso, Ferdinando Monte, Paola Sapienza, and Luigi Zingales
Analysis of PISA results suggests that the gender gap in math scores disappears in countries with a more gender-equal culture.
25 April 2008:
LEARNING THEORY: The Advantage of Abstract Examples in Learning Math >
Jennifer A. Kaminski Vladimir M. Sloutsky, Andrew F. Heckler
Undergraduate students may benefit more from learning mathematics through a single abstract, symbolic representation than from learning multiple concrete examples.
21 March 2008:
THE PIPELINE: Igniting Girls' Interest in Science >
Sheryl A. Tucker Deborah L. Hanuscin Constance J. Bearnes
A partnership between university and Girl Scouts engaged young girls' interests in chemistry.
29 February 2008:
INQUIRY LEARNING: Integrating Content Detail and Critical Reasoning by Peer Review >
Ravi Iyengar, Maria A. Diverse-Pierluissi, Sherry L. Jenkins, Andrew M. Chan, Lakshmi A. Devi, Eric A. Sobie, Adrian T. Ting, Daniel C. Weinstein
Classroom lectures by experts in combination with journal clubs and Web-based discussion forums help graduate students develop critical reasoning skills.
25 January 2008:
ASSESSMENT: Application of Bloom's Taxonomy Debunks the MCAT Myth >
Alex Y. Zheng, Janessa K. Lawhorn, Thomas Lumley, and Scott Freeman
Analyses of questions that evaluate critical thinking, from college placement and medical school admission examinations, suggest improvements to college teaching methods.
30 November 2007:
THE EARLY YEARS: Preschool Program Improves Cognitive Control >
Adele Diamond, W. Steven Barnett, Jessica Thomas, and Sarah Munro
Cognitive control skills important for success in school and life are amenable to improvement in at-risk preschoolers without costly interventions.
21 December 2007:
MENTORING: Linking Student Interests to Science Curricula >
Lauren A. Denofrio, Brandy Russell, David Lopatto, Yi Lu
Explicit networking helps undergraduates get the most out of the diverse curriculum available at a large university.
26 October 2007:
EPIDEMIOLOGY: Outbreak Investigation and Response Training >
Andres G. Lescano, Gabriela Salmon-Mulanovich, Elena Pedroni, David L. Blazes
Short courses that build skills for investigating and responding to disease outbreaks may enhance response to potential epidemics in resource-limited settings.
28 September 2007:
RELEVANCE: Pharmacology in the High-School Classroom >
Nicole C. Kwiek, Myra J. Halpin, Jerome P. Reiter, Leanne A. Hoeffler, Rochelle D. Schwartz-Bloom
Making learning relevant improves students' knowledge of biology and chemistry.
31 August 2007:
RETENTION: Engineering Education Research Aids Instruction >
Norman L. Fortenberry, Jacquelyn F. Sullivan, Peter N. Jordan, and Daniel W. Knight
Fewer students leave engineering studies when education programs link concepts to real-world practice.
27 July 2007:
TRANSITIONS: The Two High-School Pillars Supporting College Science >
Philip M. Sadler and Robert H. Tai
Out-of-discipline high-school science courses are not associated with better performance in introductory college biology, chemistry, or physics courses, but high-school math counts.
29 June 2007:
COLLABORATIONS: Empowering Green Chemists in Ethiopia >
Nigist Asfaw, Peter Licence, Temechegn Engida, and Martyn Poliakoff
Collaborations between scientists in economically developed countries and their African colleagues can be inspiring and productive.
25 May 2007:
MATHEMATICS: Cognitive Supports for Analogies in the Mathematics Classroom >
Lindsey E. Richland, Osnat Zur, Keith J. Holyoak
Variations in the effective use of analogies in math instruction across countries may contribute to performance differences in the TIMSS studies.
27 April 2007:
THE PIPELINE: Benefits of Undergraduate Research Experiences >
Susan H. Russell, Mary P. Hancock, James McCullough
Surveys indicate that undergraduate research opportunities help clarify students' interest in research and encourage students who hadn't anticipated graduate studies to alter direction toward a Ph.D.
30 March 2007:
TEACHING: Opportunities to Learn in America's Elementary Classrooms >
Robert C. Pianta, Jay Belsky, Renate Houts, Fred Morrison, The National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) Early Child Care Research Network
Analysis of elementary school classrooms in the United States returns a discouraging report on the quality of students' experiences.
23 February 2007:
ASSESSMENT: Standardized Tests Predict Graduate Students' Success >
Nathan R. Kuncel and Sarah A. Hezlett
Standardized admissions tests are valid predictors of many aspects of student success across academic and applied fields.
26 January 2007:
THE EARLY YEARS: Algorithm-Guided Individualized Reading Instruction >
Carol McDonald Connor, Frederick J. Morrison, Barry J. Fishman, Christopher Schatschneider, Phyllis Underwood
First grade students achieved stronger learning outcomes in reading when teachers fine-tuned instruction to individual students under the guidance of A2i software.
22 December 2006:
INQUIRY LEARNING: Teaching Scientific Inquiry >
David I. Hanauer, Deborah Jacobs-Sera, Marisa L. Pedulla, Steven G. Cresawn, Roger W. Hendrix, Graham F. Hatfull
Working in research laboratories to generate new scientific information can give high school students a taste of real scientific investigation.
24 November 2006:
MENTORING: Volunteers Bring Passion to Science Outreach >
Moriah R. Beck, Elizabeth A. Morgan, Stephanie S. Strand, and Thomas A. Woolsey
Partnerships between graduate students and high school students in St. Louis benefit both groups, and bring real laboratory experiences to the high school students.
27 October 2006:
DIVERSITY: Gender Similarities in Mathematics and Science >
Janet Shibley Hyde and Marcia C. Linn
Boys and girls have similar psychological traits and cognitive abilities; thus, a focus on factors other than gender is needed to help girls persist in mathematical and scientific career tracks.
29 September 2006:
THE EARLY YEARS: Evaluating Montessori Education >
Angeline Lillard and Nicole Else-Quest
An analysis of students' academic and social scores compares a Montessori school with other elementary school education programs.
25 August 2006:
INQUIRY LEARNING: Teaching and Assessing Knowledge Integration in Science >
Marcia C. Linn, Hee-Sun Lee, Robert Tinker, Freda Husic, Jennifer L. Chiu
Interactive visualizations combined with online inquiry and embedded assessments can deepen student understanding of complex ideas in science.
28 July 2006:
PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT: Who Is Responsible for Preparing Science Teachers? >
V. Otero, N. Finkelstein, R. McCray, S. Pollock
At the University of Colorado at Boulder, students who work with faculty to make traditional science courses interactive are more likely to choose K-12 teaching as a career.
30 June 2006:
COMMUNITY COLLABORATIONS: Collaborative Ecological Restoration >
Warren Gold, Kern Ewing, John Banks, Martha Groom, Tom Hinckley, David Secord, Daniela Shebitz
Faculty and students at the University of Washington forge interdisciplinary partnerships with the regional community to restore damaged habitats
26 May 2006:
CAREER CHOICE: Planning Early for Careers in Science >
Robert H. Tai, Christine Qi Liu, Adam V. Maltese, Xitao Fan
Young adolescents who expected to have a career in science were more likely to graduate from college with a science degree, emphasizing the importance of early encouragement.
28 April 2006:
COMPUTER SIMULATIONS: Technological Advances in Inquiry Learning >
Ton de Jong
Computer simulations enhance inquiry-based learning -- in which students actively discover information -- by allowing scientific discovery within a realistic setting.
31 March 2006:
DIVERSITY: Preparing Minority Scientists and Engineers >
Michael F. Summers and Freeman A. Hrabowski III
An undergraduate program involving mentorship, summer and other workshops, and targeting high-achieving high school students improves participation of underrepresented minorities in science.
24 February 2006:
COLLABORATIVE PROGRAMS: Genome Consortium for Active Teaching (GCAT) >
A. Malcolm Campbell, Todd T. Eckdahl, Edison Fowlks, Laurie J. Heyer, Laura L. Mays Hoopes, Mary Lee Ledbetter, Anne G. Rosenwald
A supportive network of scientists and faculty brings sophisticated microarray experiments to the undergraduate lab and classroom.
27 January 2006:
PROFESSIONAL SKILLS: The Merits of Training Mentors >
Christine Pfund, Christine Maidl Pribbenow, Janet Branchaw, Sarah Miller Lauffer, Jo Handelsman
Good mentoring can be learned.