Sunday, February 26, 2012

Scientific Literacy and the teaching of science

I have been indulging in my favorite airplane activity: catching up with recent issues of the journal Science. Last year the journal started a series of essays on inquiry based instruction. I learned lab science the old fashioned way - the way it is still taught - the lab book instructed you what to do and how to do it. You did it until getting the prescribed answer and then wrote the lab report. That IS what science is about, right?  The 'right' answer?
So in the first of this year's essays, a group of 5-year-olds were given a box containing a varied mix of seeds, nuts, pebbles and shells and spent weeks investigating "what is a seed"?  Open ended. No right answer. Fun.

The article opened with the assertion that 28 percent of US adults are scientifically illiterate. Ya think?  And that includes some presidential candidates. Huh.

1 comment:

KC said...

28% sounds low, based on the adults in my household.