News / Opinion

Science Education

By TRISHUL SATHIYAMOORTHY

While the United States is a renowned nation in terms of education and schooling, it seems to have an underlying problem that many people do not talk about. In 2012, an outrageous 69% of American high school graduates failed to meet college readiness standards in science. An article from Popular Science reported that regarding a paper about math and science standards, the United States ranked dead last out of eight participating countries. The past few years have told us a few things regarding science education in America. First off, it has become quite apparent that other nations are outlasting us in the field of science. Moreover, our nation’s school system is unsuccessful at teaching students scientific concepts and information. Clearly, in this day and age, the way the US is teaching science simply does not work.

The problems of an inadequate science education can follow an individual throughout their life. After all, science has an impact on the aspects of our personal and civic lives. To name a few of these aspects, science directly impacts our health, our choices, and our understanding of the news. In addition, many of today’s political issues are related to science. Some of these issues include climate change, fracking, offshore drilling, and the overall human interactions with the environment. When our world is faced with a plethora of environmental issues, it is imperative that a thorough science education be ensured. If the public education system does not adequately educate on the addressed topics, then it could be disastrous going into the future.

A new approach to turn these events could be possible. For the past few years, some state governments have collaborated with teachers, science experts, and the public to create the Next Generation Science Standards. The new system makes students aware of how they learn, and studies have revealed a degree of initial success. A report written by a committee of science education experts has agreed that current science-instruction practices are outdated. Furthermore, they do not assess or measure the thinking capabilities of a student.

The new teaching methods will entail some challenges for students and educators. A change in education is never easy and it will take some getting used to, but in the end, the effort will be well worth the time. The new standards will create a wave of superior scientists and engineers that will invigorate the economy and ultimately help people’s lives. Our choice for a more proper education ultimately comes by our choice.

The issue of science education is fundamentally correlated with the idea of STEM. The STEM movement has emphasized the importance of science, technology, engineering, and math and how they are vital for American students to understand. Ultimately, it is these areas that we should wholly focus on with American students

“Empower our teachers to be able to show kids that STEM is fun,” suggested Cindy Moss, director of Global STEM Initiatives. She explained that refining the education and training that science teachers receive would enhance the methods and activities they use to teach students in a classroom. This would lead to an immense increase of interest in STEM education. Bringing back the admiration and awe of the scientific community and scientific discoveries will allow kids to develop a passion to learn more about these subjects.

Lagging behind science in an era of technological advancement is simply not an option. Our approach to education must be addressed, and moreover, the system needs to change. As students of a pivotal generation, it is our responsibility to ensure that the education we receive prepares us for the future. We can do do this by working with our teachers, advisors, and our communities. Working closely with these figures can make us formulate a solution where our education will be more efficient.  In our democratic society, the science classroom will have to prepare our students for engagement and thinking skills as Heading into the future of our world, this will be very essential as our lives and communities depend on this.

Image Source: http://edwp.educ.msu.edu/new-educator/wp-content/uploads/2011/01/science-education.jpg

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