About the Initiative.
Middle schools offer dedicated time for science, yet teachers find it to be insufficient.
Facilities are available, but there are limited funds for supplies and equipment.
Three quarters of teachers have either majored in a science-related field or hold a single-subject credential for teaching science and two thirds of teachers reported having received more than 36 hours of professional development in science over the last three years.
Yet this leaves one quarter of teachers without a science background and more than half of teachers rated the lack of professional development opportunities as a major or moderate challenge on the survey.
Students often lack access to science instruction in earlier grades and arrive at middle school underprepared and uninterested in the subject.
Systemic support for science has eroded: Fewer than a third (31%) of school districts have a full-time person dedicated to overseeing science instruction in middle schools.
Teachers report that large classes are more difficult to organize for hands-on lessons and that they limit opportunities for students to conduct experiments.
Just 14 percent of teachers provide a pattern of classroom practices that supports regular engagement in the practices of science.
Principal Assessment of the Degree of Challenge in Finding Qualified Teachers
Principals’ Assessment of the Degree of Challenge in Students Not Being Prepared for Middle School Science
Examine the master schedule of middle schools to ensure that sufficient time is devoted to science classes and is scheduled to support high-quality learning experiences in science.For local policymakers: