The Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) for California represent an important step forward in preparing students for college and careers, but the implementation of these standards can be challenging for teachers—especially those who were not STEM majors.
With the global workforce continuing to expand into science-related fields, American students need to be prepared in various fields of science more than ever. The hope for the future is that integrating solid science classes in K-12 education will help spark interest and prepare students for further education in science-related degree programs.
Of all of the guardians of childhood, the Tooth Fairy was easiest for me to let go. You mean some little bitty fairy comes into my room, lifts up my pillow (aren't pillows too heavy for fairies?) and takes my tooth? That's pretty gross, and it's utter nonsense.
It was a bit harder for me to let go of the Easter Bunny—after all, he brings you Peeps! Plus, I'd seen bunnies (in fact, now I have one). The Tooth Fairy took things away from me, and I'd never seen a fairy. Nonetheless, the idea of a bunny hopping around on Easter morning did (kind of) seem pretty far-fetched.
STEM is now the hot topic in science education around the world! Why is that? How can this change in the focus of science education possibly prepare our students for their economic independence? STEM proponents advise that our students' economic independence will come from the choices they make while in school concerning what they will be prepared to do post graduation. Will they be ready to compete in the global workplace that has emerged since 2000, when the "world became flat?"
Thomas Friedman in his 2005 speech at Notre Dame, about his book, The World is Flat, had an insightful look at globalization and outsourcing. The point of his book and speech is that while we, as a nation, were sleeping, globalization changed from being built around nations to being built around individuals. Individuals are now competing economically and independently against other individuals on a global level, rather than the economies of nations competing against the economies of other nations around the world.
The Lone Star State has a history of doing things differently. Our state’s maverick spirit is indeed a source of pride for many Texans. An education-related example of this is the adoption of the TEKS in place of the Common Core standards. Though there is no motion at this time to bring the Common Core standards to Texas, the movement itself is fascinating. Explore with us as we drill down into what exactly the Common Core is, how the standards came about, and how they could one day impact Texas.
More than a century ago, the seeds of the Common Core were sowed by a group of ten men in the hallways of Columbia University. The group had convened in 1893 to discuss what constituted a good high school education. Needless to say, the debate went on much longer than anticipated. Generations have argued about whether standards are too easy, too broad, excessively broad, or far too narrow for American students. Consensus long remained impossible. Lack of consensus contributed to the statistic that one in five high school graduates is underprepared for four-year college resulting in the need for a semester or more in remedial studies. This delays their futures and inflates their debt, and has a simple reason: a high school diploma in one state is not equivalent to that in another and colleges know it.