Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Science Learning in California Middle Schools

Middle school science students across the state of California
seem to be overwhelmingly uninterested in the subject of science.

Proper science equipment, access to labs, teachers prepared for science instruction, and time set aside for science lessons would lead one to think that students learning in this environment would retain proper science comprehension...correct?

Unfortunately, this does not seem to be the case with California students in middle and intermediate schools across the state, according to The Center for the Future of Teaching & Learning at West Ed.

This paradox is likely the result of ill-prepared students, not necessarily from the ill-preparation of their middle school science instructors, but rather ill-preparation stemming from lack of proper science instruction & funding in elementary schools. A domino effect seems to be at full-force in this situation, as lack of science instruction throughout elementary school years has stemmed an overwhelming lack of interest in the subject with middle schools students and beyond. This lack of interest from the students is having an impact upon the teachers' ability to convey information effectively.

Moreover, although middle & intermediate school science teachers may have the knowledge-base needed to properly instruct students, almost 25% percent of them are not credentialed in science instruction. Opportunities for teachers to continue their education in the ever-changing field of science are urged, based on the results of the research.

Luckily, the YouthTeach2Learn program at Project Tomorrow is working to combat this trend. YouthTeach2Learn allows the opportunity for high school students interested in teaching careers to instruct elementary school students on subjects in math & science. Hands-on and experiential learning is urged, and, as a result, a spark in interest in math and science is ignited at a young age.

To learn more about the YouthTeach2Learn program & Project Tomorrow, please visit our website here.

To read more about The Center for the Future of Teaching & Learning at West Ed's research on this topic, click here.

Feel free to share with us your comments below. Thank you for your support in Project Tomorrow.

- The Project Tomorrow Team