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Defining Scientific Literacy. National Science Education Standards.

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Presentation Transcript
national science education standards
National ScienceEducation Standards

Scientific literacy requires “knowledge and understand-ing of scientific concepts and processes ... for personal decision making, participating in civic and cultural affairs, and economic productivity.”

project 2061 science for all americans
Project 2061: Science for all Americans

“The scientifically literate person is one who is aware that science, mathematics, and technology are interdependent human enterprises with strengths and limitations;

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understands the key concepts and principles of science; is familiar with the natural world and recognizes both its diversity and unity; and uses scientific knowledge and scientific ways of thinking for individual and social purposes.”
illinois learning standards
Illinois Learning Standards

“Science is the quest for objective truth. It provides a conceptual framework for the understanding of natural phenomena and their causes and effects.

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Among the purposes of the study of science is the development of students who are scientifically knowledgeable, understand that modern technological growth is an outcome of the scientific enterprise;
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knows the difference between objective fact and subjective values, and can apply scientific thinking and information in problem solving and decision making.”
scientifically literate
Scientifically Literate?
  • Are we scientifically literate?
  • How many Americans can do what the definitions suggest?
  • Only 6.9% of Americans are scientifically literate at the lowest level – term recognition

Per Jon Miller at NIU

us citizens not sl
US Citizens Not SL
  • During March 2010, reporter John Stossel recruited people in Times Square (NYC) to sign a petition banning dihydrogen monoxide. See petition.
  • 80% of those solicited signed the petition to ban – water.
the outlook
The Outlook:
  • In the US 50 - 60 year olds are the most SL:
    • those 70 - 80 have low rate.
    • those 20 - 30 have low rate.
  • In foreign countries, SL decreases with age.
  • Implications are profound.
scientific literacy
Scientific Literacy
  • not easy to define
    • Dewey all the way down to...
    • current reform movements
  • several types
    • cultural or nominal (recognition of terms)
    • functional (use of scientific/technical terms)
    • conceptual/procedural (concepts/processes)
    • multidimensional (nature of science, social context, differentiates science from other ways of knowing)
common elements
Common Elements
  • content knowledge
    • facts
    • vocabulary
    • concepts
  • skills
    • manipulative
    • intellectual
  • dispositions
    • attitudes
    • behaviors
what is worth knowing
What is worth knowing?
  • personal needs
  • societal needs
  • global needs
how should one think
How should one think?
  • logically
  • independently
  • objectively
  • skeptically
  • critically
  • rationally
benefits of sl
Benefits of SL:
  • develop effective solutions to problems
  • foster intelligent respect for nature
  • avoid being prey to dogmatists
  • assess use of new technologies
the problems
The Problems:

Science teachers not oriented toward achieving SL emphasize:

  • answers over questions
  • memory over thought
  • recitation over argument
  • reading over doing
teaching problems
Teaching Problems:
  • little metacognition going on
  • teaching versus learning
  • training versus educating
  • failure to determine essential content
  • teaching topically, not thematically
  • focusing on low-order skills
  • poor assessment skills/programs
  • emphasizing breadth over depth
other problems
Other Problems:

Science & math voluntary

  • most pupils take biology in HS
  • 45% take chemistry in HS
  • 23% take physics in HS
  • 10% take no algebra
  • 6% take calculus
more problems
More Problems:
  • Minorities, girls, and non-college-bound students are under-represented in math/sci
  • Personal relativism has become a societal problem
we are all responsible for
We are all responsible for...

the current state of affairs

  • breadth over depth
  • seatwork over activity
  • memorization over critical thinking
  • recitation over well-reasoned argument

making necessary changes.

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