The Future of Science (and Math) Education

just listened to this piece* from NPR – got me thinking about some of the core issues that degrade the quality of learning in this country. One of the comments made suggested that students are increasingly lacking in study skills – and that resonates with me as I think of the gap between our country and other countries that progressively widens as students advance through school. Certainly we, as a culture, appreciate and encourage education to a lesser extent (and this seems to be divided largely along socioeconomic lines) than we used to. I’m seeing large percentages of students quickly capitulate when faced with even a minor challenge.

Perhaps what’s happening is that students are less trained to appreciate and value education and less motivated to work diligently in the face of possible failure. At early levels, when the going is relatively easy (and culture has possibly had less time to work its deleterious effects), students keep up with their foreign counterparts – but as they increase in level and age, without the determination and belief in educational value, they falter and lose ground.

When you’ve never learned the exhilaration of working hard at a problem and finally succeeding, there is nothing to fall back on when you come across a real challenge.

How can we train students to rise to meet a challenge? They’re most certainly not lacking in competitive spirit…

They need a little more love of the ‘game’ and some confidence that their effort will be worth it.

But our state government, in all its wisdom (with no real understanding of where the problem lies), feels that we just need to raise the bar. That’ll solve it. Make these students – who are already unsuccessful – take more math and science… harder math and science.

Makes me think of a hot-dog eating contest… if they weren’t successful in cramming down 18 this year, let’s make them try for 24 next year!!!

Well, better give it up now before I really get on a rant! 🙂

*edited on 8/9/06 @ 7:44pm – thanks, Pete, for pointing out the erroneous link… hope this fixes things!

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2 Responses to “The Future of Science (and Math) Education”

  1. repercussio Says:

    Hey–I’m not exactly which story to look at. The link above has a lot of threads. Thanks, Peter

  2. thanks, Pete – think I’ve fixed it now!!!

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