The Democratization of Scientific Knowledge
Not since the Soviet Union’s launch of Sputnik in the 1950s has so much attention been paid to the state of America’s science and technology education system, from elementary to graduate school. Business, academic, and political leaders are united on the need for action. Among the recent clarion calls, perhaps none is as well cited as the National Academies’ report “Rising Above the Gathering Storm,” and none more persuasive than Thomas L. Friedman’s best-selling book, The World Is Flat.
As a science educator, I am pleased by this renewed emphasis. But it also raises questions. In a year when annual science testing will become mandatory under the federal No Child Left Behind Act, I wonder whether we are pursuing the solutions that will enable all our students to compete on a level global playing field.
We have framed the problem almost exclusively in terms of producing more scientists and engineers, practitioners at the highest levels. This raises, for me, two main fears: that we will return to Sputnik-era solutions and fail to take advantage of the accumulated wisdom of the past 50 years, and that we will focus on...
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- Assistant/Associate Professor, Literacy
- Regis University, Denver, CO
- Elementary Principal
- Forest Grove School District, Forest Grove, OR
- Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum & Instruction
- Lake Forest School District 67 & 115, Lake Forest, IL
- Perspectives Charter Schools, Chicago, IL
- Director of School Support
- The Achievement Network, Multiple Locations