Curriculum Report Roundup

H.S. Math Linked to Performance in College Science

By Sean Cavanagh — July 31, 2007 1 min read
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Students who receive strong preparation in high school mathematics tend to fare better across many college science subjects, a study has found.

In another central finding, the research concludes that taking secondary school courses in biology, chemistry, and physics tends to help students only in those individual subjects in college. In other words, taking high school physics was not shown to benefit students in college biology or chemistry; only math courses were found to have a benefit across college science subjects.

That conclusion, the authors say, has implications for arguments in favor of “physics first,” or having high school students take that subject in 9th grade, which essentially reverses the traditional American biology-chemistry- physics sequence.

“The Two High-School Pillars Supporting College Science” can be found in the July 27 issue of the journal Science.

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