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The Art of Teaching Math and Science

Quanta Magazine – Thomas Lin, Siobhan Roberts, Natalie Wolchover and Emily Singer

“Time. Pencils down. As a nation, we’ve sweated over tests, dissected underperforming schools, gutted standards and curricula, and rinsed and repeated. We’ve thrown the classroom desk-chair at the problem and still earn no better than a C-minus when it comes to math and science literacy. No test is perfect, but according to the 2012 Program for International Student Assessment, 15-year-old Americans ranked 27th in math and 20th in science out of 34 member countries of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. The puzzle persists in a superposition of states: Are standards too low or — provocatively — too high? How do we adequately and equitably fund schools? Are we teaching the right stuff, in the right order? Or is it more about the process of inquiry? Do standardized tests help anyone besides the testing industry? Are traditional classrooms conducive to learning? Should we add technology or subtract it? These issues demand attention. But one variable that’s too often lost amid public hand wringing over test scores and new standards is arguably the most vital: the fallible humans charged with imparting an appetite and appreciation for learning.”(more)

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