Presentation Sporea

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Web Resources on Science Literacy Dan Sporea and Adelina Sporea National Institute for Lasers, Plasma and Radiation Physics, Bucharest, Romania Motto: 'Scientific literacy may likely determine whether or not democratic society will survive into the 21st century.'  -L. M. Lederman, Nobel Laureate Purpose of the report: a review of the concept for its better understanding, in order to make more efficient different means of implementation (i.e. Hands-on Science project, dissemination of the Randamp;D outcome) Presentation outline  Implications of scientific illiteracy  Definition(s) of science literacy  Approaches in solving the problem  Directions of interest  Additional resources  Science Curriculum Materials Developers


Implications of scientific illiteracy. The concept of 'Science literacy'. General remarks  Building Websites for Science Literacy by Victoria Welborn and Bryn Kanar  Who's Getting It Right and Who's Getting It Wrong in the Debate about Science Literacy? By Matthew Nisbet -  Test Your Scientific Literacy! by Richard Carrier –  Mathematics and Science Literacy-Bridges to carrier-Designing Professional Development for Teachers of Science and Mathematics by Susan Loucks-Horsley, et al., 1998.  The General Population’s Ignorance of Science Related societal Issues: A Challenge for the University, AAPT Announcer 30(2): 105 (2000); -  Two Revolutions in K-8 Science Education by Lopez, R.E. andamp; T. Schultz, 2001, Physics Today 54(9): 44-49; -  A science way of thinking by Lederman, L.M 1999. Education Week, 16 June; 1999 -  Lederman, L. 2001b. 'Revolution in Science Education: Put Physics First.' Physics Today 54(9):11-12; online at   


What is science literacy? non-scientists generally lack it the current levels of civic scientific literacy are too low scientists themselves often fail to understand basic scientific principles outside their areas of specialization science is as much about a way of thinking as it is about results basic level of scientific literacy is required in order for individuals to function in a scientific and technological culture and for a nation to compete more effectively in the industrialized world effective professional development enhancing one's ability to make personal decisions how scientific illiteracy affect society (i.e. politicians proposing legislation on some issues on which they are themselves scientifically illiterate, its impact on competence on the job market, public trust and support for science) intellectual, moral, and aesthetic benefits


Definition(s) of science literacy (last 6 years): references from: 'lists of basic facts that the scientifically literate should know' (Raymo 1998, Trefil 1996) 'behaviors that serve as guidelines for interpreting the functions of science/technology' (Paul DeHart Hurd 1998) 'successful information seeking behavior' (Sapp 1992) 'scientific awareness' (Devlin 1998) 'scientific ways of knowing' (Maienschein 1999) Science for All Americans (American Association for the Advancement of Science Project 2061 Update 2001-20002 – defines a science literate person as one who: is familiar with the natural world; understands some of the key concepts and principles of science; Has the capacity for scientific ways of thinking; Is aware of some of the important ways in which mathematics, technology and science depend Upon one another; Knows that science, mathematics and technology are human enterprises and what that implies about their strengths and weaknesses; Is able to use scientific knowledge and ways of thinking for personal and social purposes.


At: A British political scientist suggested that the term encompassed the following components: a) An appreciation of the nature and aims of science and technology, including their historical origins and the epistemological and practical values which they embody b) A knowledge of the way in which science and technology actually work, including the funding of research, the conventions of scientific practice, and the application of new discoveries. c) A basic grasp of how to interpret numerical data, especially relating to probability and statistics. d) A general grounding in selected areas of science, including, for example, a number of key interdisciplinary areas such as matter and energy, information theory, and environment and health. e) An appreciation of the interrelationships between science, technology and society, including the role of scientists and technicians as experts in society, and the structure of relevant political decision-making processes.


2. An enterprise in the USA which has as its central purpose the reform of education in science, mathematics and technology started by defining what were considered to be the basic dimensions of scientific literacy: a) Being familiar with the natural world and recognizing both its diversity and its unity. b) Understanding key concepts and principles of science. c) Being aware of some of the important ways in which science, mathematics and technology depend upon one another. d) Knowing that science, mathematics and technology are human enterprises and knowing what that implies about their strengths and limitations. e) Having a capacity for scientific ways of thinking. f) Using scientific knowledge and ways of thinking for individual and social purposes


3. A Canadian educator's description of scientific literacy as a basis for science education presented the following elements: a) Scientific knowledge which includes facts, concepts, principles, and skills and their applications to new situations in science and technology. b) The ability to engage in the processes of scientific inquiry. c) General ideas about the characteristics and limitations of science. d) Important relationships between science and society. e) Attitudes and interests related to science.


From Michigan Science Education Guidebook To be scientifically literate all graduates of today schools should be:  knowledgeable about the important concepts and theories of the three major branches of scientific study: earth, life, and physical sciences;  able to think scientifically and use scientific knowledge to make decisions about real–world problems;  able to construct new knowledge for themselves through research, reading, and discussion;  familiar with the natural world, and respectful of its unity, diversity, and fragility;  able to make informed judgments on statements and debates claiming to have a scientific basis;  able to reflect in an informed way on the role of science in human affairs. According to the Michigan Curriculum Frameworks (in Literacy in Science Project by Kristie Thompson andamp; Holly Hoffman - scientific literacy is the ability to:  construct scientific knowledge,  reflect on scientific knowledge, and  use scientific knowledge to describe, explain, and make predictions about real world events, phenomena and systems. More info at:  The New Quest For Science Literacy by F. James Rutherford and A. Graham Down – 


Two categories of interest: Civic Scientific Literacy (according to Miller – 1998, referred to in 1. 'a vocabulary of basic scientific constructs... 2. an understanding of the process or nature of scientific inquiry ; 3. some level of understanding of the impact of science and technology on individuals and on society.' Science Information Literacy (according to Shapiro and Hughes – 1996 Information Literacy as a Liberal Art Enlightenment proposals for a new curriculum – The ability to 'access information', the ability to engage in 'critical reflection on the nature of information itself, and its social, cultural and even philosophical context and impact', based on: 1. Tool Literacy: the ability to use and understand information tools including computers, printers, and network applications; 2. Resource Literacy: the ability to 'understand the form, format, location and access methods of information resources' 3. Social-structural literacy: an understanding of 'how information is socially situated and produced [and how it] fits into the life of groups...such as universities, libraries, research communities.' See also: Fundamentals of Information Literacy – http://www.library.csuhayward/staff/li1010/laherty/ 


Approaches in solving the problem  Family and community involvement, through direct interaction with  the natural world (gardening, looking for pets and plants, visits to natural park and zoos);  man-created environment (assistance in household activities – small repairs, cooking - visits to hands-on science center, museums, radio and TV broadcasting)  American Association for the Advancement of Science –   ,1607,7-140-5233---,00.html    Internet Resources for Parents Michigan Science Education Guidebook science toys and kits ;OVKEY=scienceandamp;OVMTC=advanced   


 School’s contribution by training through: experiments, observation, analysis, data mining and processing, discussions and communication of results, didactic materials   The Physics Classroom – science guides (National Research Council)  National science education standards. Washington, DC: National Academy Press – science NetLinks   The National Science Teachers Association – science learning centers with simple and cheep experiments  full Option science system  school study group seminars  The New Science Literacy – Main Mathematics and Science Alliance -  American Association for the Advancement of Science – andamp;  Informal science presentations for the general public  


 Local authorities  Alberta Science Literacy Association –   SLIP, Rhode Island College –  Students’ activities for supporting science literacy  The Odyssey of the Rational Mind, a registered organization with Associated Students at the University of California, San Diego – NGOs activities on specific topics  general public education/ training and virtual tours on marine science and biotechnology at  National Center for Science Education –  ENC –,1544,1%2Dshapes+circles+solids+polyhedra+ polygons+triangles%2Dany%2DGeometric+Figures,00.shtm  Summit on Science –  Institute for Information Literacy – introtoinfolit/introinfolit.htm  Center for Ecoliteracy –


 Professional societies activities in promoting science literacy  Institute of Ocean - Sciences –  American Chemical Society –   American Physical Society: 'Policy Statement on K-12 Science and Mathematics Education' –  Teaching general liberal-science courses to the non-scientists and informal education  Science Literacy, by Gentry Lee,  courses on recent scientific theories, Boston University –   The National Science Teachers Association –  Teachers’ education in using science related curriculum materials  The Center for Curriculum Materials in Science –  White Paper on Teacher Preparation –


 Appropriate literature for teachers  keywords%3Dscience%2520literacy%2526results- process%3Ddefault%2526dispatch%3Dsearch/ref%3Dpd%5Fsl%5Fov%5Ftops- 1%5Fstripbooks%5F6255173%5F1/002-9563137-1775204  Global Science Literacy (2002) by Kluwer Academic Publishers; Thier Marlene and Daviss Bennett  The New Science Literacy: Using Language Skills to Help Students Learn Science. –  Resources for Science Literacy –;ci=0195108736;  Role played by public libraries  A Science Literacy Program of the Santa Cruz Public Libraries –  Promoting Information Literacy for Science Education Programs: Correlating the National Science Education Content Standards with the Association of College and Research Libraries Information Competency Standards for Higher Education, Jennifer Laherty - Web resources   EurekAlert! is an online press service created by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). The primary goal of EurekAlert! is to provide a forum for research institutions, universities, government agencies, corporations -


Role of the media  Approaches to Media Literacy in Science Education' National Media Education Conference 2003 -  Science Literacy for Public Radio Reporters and Producers Workshop –  Foundations supporting projects on science education  Clark Foundation -  Science andamp; Technology Literacy Videoconference Program Series -  Cinema as a tool for science literacy  Government authorities  NASA - Public Understanding of Science, Communicating Science, and Science Education -


Directions of interest and strategies in teaching science Basic readings:  Next Steps, Project 2061 to Focus on Building Public Support and Improving Texts, Winter 2002, Volume 12, Number 1, American Association for the Advancement of Science -  Michigan Science Education Guidebook  Science for all Americans -  Science Teaching Standards; Standards for Professional Development for Teachers of Science; Science Content Standards; Science Education Program Standards; Science Education System Standards, National Committee on Science Education Standards and Assessment, National Research Council -;; National Academy Press -   AIMS Education Foundation –  American Association for the Advancement of Science-  Shaping the future: new expectations for undergraduate education in science, mathematics, engineering, and technology, NSF Advisory Committee, 1996 –  Coalition for Science Literacy -  Science literacy web resources –


 Science Literacy, Gentry Lee –  Science and Literacy, by Ellen Stone –  Achieving Scientific Literacy, From Purposes to Practices by Rodger W. Bybee – Redesigning Education by Wilson, K.G. andamp; B. Daviss, 1994. (Henry Holt, 1994) – Science Education Petition of 22 December 1999 by Woolf, L. 1999 - Improving Science Literacy and Conservation in Developing Countries by Carlos L. de la Rosa –         


Which way? Development of concepts on science Building familiarity with complex ideas Science related vocabulary expansion  Reveal common themes  systems  models – physical, mathematical, conceptual  constancy and change - stability and equilibrium, conservation, symmetry, patterns of change, trends, cycles, chaos, evolution, rates, interactions  scale Inter-disciplinarily  Thematic science


How? Engaging Students with Phenomena (direct experiment) Doing mathematics in science Creating of appropriate training aids  Promoting inquiry  Providing opportunities for students to express ideas  Taking Account of Student Ideas  Encouraging self-monitoring  Team building  Improving of communication skills in promoting science related knowledge  Using multiple representational formats to pass information of science outcome (drawings, charts, tables, graphs, and computer-developed simulations)


Major themes Development of employability skills  Partnership in teaching science (parents, community, scientists, teachers, university professors) Preparation of guiding standards to ensure all students access to science (i.e. the need for literacy in 'writing, labeling drawings, completing concept maps, developing spreadsheets, and designing computer graphics') Development of standards for teachers’ training on science understanding Benchmarking on science teaching Science literacy in developing countries


Additional resources (selection from  National Association of Secondary School Principals,  Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development,  National Science Teachers Association National Convention,  National School Boards Association,  National Council of Teachers of Mathematics,  National PTA,  Science Education Resource Guide. Developed by Gary Appel, MSSI (Michigan Statewide Systemic Initiative for Reform of Mathematics and Science),  Pathways to School Improvement, an Internet service developed by North Central Regional Educational Laboratory (NCREL) and the Midwest Consortium for Mathematics and Science Education -  The Coalition of Essential Schools is a school-university partnership –  Eisenhower Program is designed to improve the skills of teachers and quality of mathematics and science -  National Assessment of Educational Progress,  Statewide Systemic Initiatives Program (SSI) encourages improvements in science, mathematics, and engineering education,  National Resources for Equity in Science: Connecting Museums and Community Groups  Quality Education for Minorities (QEM) Network Teacher Education Action Plan,  American Association of Physics Teachers,  American Chemical Society,  National Association of Biology Teachers,


 National Association of Geology Teachers,  National Association for Research in Science Teaching,  National Earth Science Teachers Association,  National Science Teachers Association,  National Academy of Sciences, National Research Council Center for Science, Mathematics, and Engineering Education,  American Association for Higher Education,  National Education Association,  National Association of Secondary School Principals, Science Curriculum Materials Developers (selection from  Activities Integrating Math and Science (AIMS) Education Foundation,  Educational Development Center, Inc.,  Technical Education Research Centers (TERC),  NASA Central Operations of Resources for Educators (CORE),  National Science Resources Center,  U.S. Department of Education,  Educational Resources Information Center (ERIC) Home Page,  Eisenhower National Clearinghouse for Mathematics and Science Education Home Page,  NASA Education Home Page,  North Central Regional Educational Laboratory Pathways to School Improvement—Assessment,  Technology Education Resources,  The Regional Alliance for Mathematics and Science Education Reform Hub,

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