Achieving Scientific Literacy: From Purposes to Practices

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Greenwood Publishing Group, Incorporated, 1997 - Science - 265 pages
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Some contend that the value of science education has declined and our goal of scientific literacy is an unrealized and unrealizable myth. And others simply declare that our efforts to reform have failed. Rodger Bybee, one of the nation's foremost science educators, responds to these charges, offering new insights into the issues surrounding contemporary reform.

Achieving Scientific Literacy offers a broad vision for improving science education that is at times historical and philosophical and also concrete and practical. It extends and elaborates on several themes, including:

  • a clarification of scientific literacy
  • a systemic perspective on reform
  • a standards-based approach to improving science education
  • an emphasis on science teaching and student learning

Bybee maintains that although the rhetoric of reform is national, the actual reform must occur at state and local levels. His book addresses the critical challenge of transforming issues from national standards to state and local practices, and ultimately to the classroom, with the aim of developing greater coherence and consistency in science education.

Achieving Scientific Literacy is a book anyone concerned about the future of science education should own. It will help classroom teachers, science supervisors, and administrators with both the larger perspective of reform and the practical issues of improving their programs and practices. Undergraduates who are entering the profession, scientists and engineers who support and influence school science programs, and teachers and policymakers who identify and address critical issues of educational reform will find the book just as valuable.

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Contents

Contemporary Reform of Science Education
25
Searching for Scientific Literacy
46
Defining Scientific Literacy
69
Establishing National Standards
87
Creating a Vision of Scientific Literacy
109
Enriching the Science Curriculum
138
Improving Instruction
167
Implementing a StandardsBased Systemic Reform
187
The Year 2000 and Beyond
208
Epilogue
231
Index
255
Copyright

About the author (1997)

RODGER BYBEE is executive director of the Center for Science, Mathematics, and Engineering Education (CSMEE) at the National Research Council, Washington, D.C. Between 1992 and 1995, he participated in the development of the National Science Education Standards, which included chairing the content working group of that project. Prior to this, he was associate director at the Biological Sciences Curriculum Study (BSCS). From 1972 to 1985, Dr. Bybee was a professor of education at Carleton College in Northfield, Minnesota.

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