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An Educator's Plan For Reforming The Way We Teach Science

Secondary school science courses in the United States have become major filters to careers in science or science-related fields. With the recent imposition by almost all states of increases in science requirements for graduation from high school, secondary school science courses unfortunately have gained the ad- ditional reputation of contributing to the already high dropout rates that occur between grades 9 and 12. (Recent announcements by the Department of Education reveal that these rates ar

Bill Aldridge

Secondary school science courses in the United States have become major filters to careers in science or science-related fields. With the recent imposition by almost all states of increases in science requirements for graduation from high school, secondary school science courses unfortunately have gained the ad- ditional reputation of contributing to the already high dropout rates that occur between grades 9 and 12. (Recent announcements by the Department of Education reveal that these rates are still increasing.)

A careful analysis of the existing scope, sequence, and coordination of science subject matter in U.S. secondary schools reveals very serious deficiencies. However, certain reforms, if implemented soon, would produce increases in the number of children who study science and, ultimately, the number of persons entering scientific and engineering careers (at present, these young people account for about 5 percent of all students). The proportions of underrepresented groups in these careers would also...

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