Forum Keynote Address
Pace Marshall, Stephanie .
Botany 2007 Keynote Address.
My remarks are focused on two dimensions of our STEM challenge: (1) the need to radically transform the way science is taught and learned in school so school science and real science are not distant and estranged, and (2) what I believe it will take to ensure all our children acquire and generate the knowledge, skills, and habits of mind they need for scientific inquiry, creative exploration, innovative problem-solving, and for those that choose advanced study and careers in STEM.
The transformation of STEM education will require that we think differently about the science “story” that is currently being told, taught, and lived in our culture and in our schools. We have been focusing on unanswered questions for so long, that we have neglected to challenge our unquestioned answers. This is now our time to do so.
We now know that children come to school with intuitive scientific reasoning, innate curiosity, and the ability to discuss and generate hypotheses and do experiments (Taking Science to School). However, there's a huge disconnect between their innate interest, curiosity, and motivation, and the science they "do" in school.
We’ll explore what I believe the difference is between “school science” and real science and why students immersed in “school science” are far less likely to develop the knowledge, skills, and habits of mind needed for creative and ethical scientific inquiry.
In addition, we’ll also explore what it will take to ensure our children, including our most talented in math and science, develop the scientific cast of mind so critical to sustaining a democracy?
Decades of reform have not fundamentally changed our system or the nature and quality of our children’s thinking. Our focus on reforming the contents of schooling, and not the conditions of learning, has already created false proxies for learning and eroded the vibrant intellectual capacities of our children, our schools, and our communities, especially in STEM.
Our children need to understand the nature of science so they can evaluate scientific information based on its sources and the rigor of its generation and testing. Rewarding the illusion of learning at the expense of deep and creative thinking endangers our children, their future, and the global community.
I believe that we have all the knowledge we need to transform STEM education. Now it is a matter of will.
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1 - Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy, 1500 West Sullivan Road, Aurora, IL, 60506, USA
Presentation Type: Special Presentation
Location: Continental C/Hilton
Date: Saturday, July 7th, 2007
Time: 4:30 PM