Sidebar: Focus On Inquiry

Albert Beaton
ECHOES: TIMMS study director Albert Beaton says the U.S. elementary curiculum is too repetitive.
International comparisons of precollege science and math achievement interest anyone concerned with future technological literacy and economic competitiveness. For scientists and mathematicians, such information also foreshadows the quality of future students and researchers in their professions. A poor performance at the elementary and secondary school levels can be a wake-up call for those who do science and math to step in and help those who teach these subjects.

CLASS ACT: Lester Rubenfeld urges researchers to visit classrooms routinely
But most scientists receive little, if any, training in teaching methods. "Scientists usually decide something needs to be done when their own kids are in school and are receiving an inadequate education. They think, 'I'll come in and tell them how it should be done,'" observes Lester Rubenfeld, director of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute's Center...

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