Achieving Scientific Literacy: From Purposes to Practices / Edition 1

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Some contend that the value of science education has declined and our goal of scientific literacy is an unrealized and unrealizable myth. And others simply declare that our efforts to reform have failed. Rodger Bybee, one of the nation's foremost science educators, responds to these charges, offering new insights into the issues surrounding contemporary reform.

Achieving Scientific Literacy offers a broad vision for improving science education that is at times historical and philosophical and also concrete and practical. It extends and elaborates on several themes, including:

  • a clarification of scientific literacy
  • a systemic perspective on reform
  • a standards-based approach to improving science education
  • an emphasis on science teaching and student learning

Bybee maintains that although the rhetoric of reform is national, the actual reform must occur at state and local levels. His book addresses the critical challenge of transforming issues from national standards to state and local practices, and ultimately to the classroom, with the aim of developing greater coherence and consistency in science education.

Achieving Scientific Literacy is a book anyone concerned about the future of science education should own. It will help classroom teachers, science supervisors, and administrators with both the larger perspective of reform and the practical issues of improving their programs and practices. Undergraduates who are entering the profession, scientists and engineers who support and influence school science programs, and teachers and policymakers who identify and address critical issues of educational reform will find the book just as valuable.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“[This book] is important reading for policymakers in science education, science educators, and those interested in reading a carefully crafted book about scientific literacy.”–The Science Teacher
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780435071349
  • Publisher: Heinemann
  • Publication date: 7/3/1997
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 265
  • Product dimensions: 7.30 (w) x 9.50 (h) x 0.56 (d)

Meet the Author

Rodger Bybee is executive director of the Center for Science, Mathematics, and Engineering Education (CSMEE) at the National Research Council, Washington, D.C. Between 1992 and 1995, he participated in the development of the National Science Education Standards, which included chairing the content working group of that project. Prior to this, he was associate director at the Biological Sciences Curriculum Study (BSCS). From 1972 to 1985, Dr. Bybee was a professor of education at Carleton College in Northfield, Minnesota.

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Table of Contents


Looking at the Past Fifty Years

Contemporary Reform of Science Education

Searching for Scientific Literacy

Defining Scientific Literacy

Establishing National Standards

Creating a Vision of Scientific Literacy

Enriching the Science Curriculum

Improving Instruction

Implementing a Standards-Based Systemic Reform

The Year 2000 and Beyond

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