Primary Science Education in California

Posted on October 26, 2007  Comments (0)

Lawrence Hall of Science at the University of California, Berkeley Science Survey:

California, including the San Francisco Bay Area, is home to much US innovation in science and technology. Recent national reports have illuminated the importance of science education in the elementary grades and described concerns for US leadership in science,1 the importance of fostering interest in science early in life,2 and issues with promoting high quality science instruction in the elementary grades,3 nationally,4 and in California.5

At the same time, this region produces inadequate achievement results among its students. Results of the 2005 National Assessment of Education Progress 4th grade science test indicate that California ranked 2nd lowest of all states on eighth grade science achievement, only above Mississippi. During spring 2007, results on the 5th grade California Standards Test (CST) in Science indicate that only 37% of California students and approximately 46% of Bay Area students scored proficient or above6. This means that even in the Bay Area, over half the 5th graders are failing to reach proficiency in science.

Eighty percent (80%) of K–5th grade multiple-subject teachers who are responsible for teaching science in their classrooms reported spending 60 minutes or less per week on science, with 16% of teachers spending no time at all on science.

Related: The Future is EngineeringImproving Elementary Science EducationPurdue Graduate Fellows Teach Middle School Sciencek-12 Science Education Podcast

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