Wash U. Professor Leads Effort to Rewrite Way Science is Taught in U.S. Classrooms
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ST. LOUIS (KMOX) - A Washington University professor is leading the effort to rewrite the way science is taught in every K-through-12 classroom across the country.
Dr. Michael Wysession, associate professor in the Department of Earth & Planetary Sciences in Arts & Sciences at Wash U., says it’s no secret that the U.S. has squandered any lead it once had in technological advancement.
“We’ve sold that technology, whether it’s jet airplanes or whatever, to the rest of the world,” Wysession tells KMOX News.
Incredibly, Wysession explains, there’s currently no national standard in place when it comes to teaching science at the elementary level.
“We don’t live in a country, we live in a confederation of states,” Wysession says. “And each state likes to set its own rules traditionally in the area of education. So what we’ve had is fifty separate states with fifty separate sets of state standards.”
His goal is to develop a system for teaching science that will ignore state lines and help put the U.S. back on top when it comes to scientific and technological advancement.
“What we’re trying to do is cut back on the number of things students need to memorize and learn,” he explains. “We want to focus more on the big picture, the concepts.”
According to an article on Wysession that appeared on the Washington University website, the standards should be finished sometime next year.
The hope is that state will adopt them directly, although some may use them as the basis for their own standards.
Wysession believes a nationally-unified teaching method for science will help the U.S. make up ground its lost to nations like China and Japan in recent decades.
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