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Will Science Teaching enter the 21st Century


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Title: Will Science Teaching enter the 21st Century

Will Science Teaching enter the 21st Century?
  • Sam J. Zigrossi
  • Program Director
  • Charles A. Dana Center
  • University of Texas
  • samz_at_mail.utexas.edu
  • www.utdanacenter.org

My Perspective Influenced By My Background
  • Born 1941 of Italian immigrants
  • First of the family to attend college
  • Taught high school math and physics
  • Earned MS in Education Administration (Algebra
  • IBM career of 29 years (MBA)
  • IBMs interface with public education
  • Served on two state panels for Texas education
  • Adjunct Professor in Business School- 25 years
  • Charles A. Dana Center for 8 years

Format of the presentation
  • Review each decade from 1940 to 2005
  • Major events of the decade
  • The drivers of the economy and society
  • Characterization of Education and science
  • Some Perspectives

The 1940s
  • Events
  • Ending of the war-The Bomb
  • Women move into the workforce in large numbers
    due to the war
  • Thousands of servicemen return, get educated and
    fuel the greatest economic growth period (GI
  • Transistor invented
  • Jackie Robinson becomes first Black to play major
    league baseball
  • Average salary 2992
  • Labor force male/female 52
  • Bread cost 0.14

Drivers of the economy and society 1940s
  • Industrialization increased from war effort
  • College graduates increase from returning
  • USA is the worlds largest manufacturing engine
  • Exports and rebuilding of Europe
  • First computer ENIAC -first electronic calculator
    (18,000 vacuum tubes)
  • Economy begins to grow in late 40s

Characterization of Science teaching-1940s
  • A select few took Chemistry and Physics (15)
  • Science teaching based on college teaching
  • Textbook driven, lecture, homework
  • Majority of students took Biology Derivative
  • Education model based on the Industrial
    Revolution model

  • Events
  • Industrial revolution is maturing, moving into
    the service economy
  • Nuclear applications begin
  • First cake mix introduced
  • Drive in Movies
  • Automobile opens up travel
  • Digital programming of computers
  • Greatest industrial nationno other country even

Drivers of economy and society 1950s
  • Integrated circuit invented
  • Transcontinental TV begins
  • McCarthy Hearings Communism
  • Rosa Parks refuses to give up her seat on a
    public bus
  • Sputnik-First satellite orbits the earth
  • US launches Explorer I
  • Economy expansion is significant
  • Radio prime information and entertainment media
    in the home
  • Salk vaccine developed to halt polio epidemic

Characterization of Science teaching-1950s
  • Separate but Equal education being challenged
  • Brown vs. Topeka, Kansas Supreme Court Decision-
    separate facilities for blacks is wrong!
  • Science teaching still much the same as it was
    in the 40s
  • Higher level math and science courses for only
    the brightest studentstraditional teaching-
    whole group
  • Sputnik causes the country to focus on
    mathematics and science education, many people
    have ideas of what to change- A great
  • amount of rhetoric

  • Events
  • Viet Nam war
  • Civil Rights movement becomes a center piece of
  • Civil Rights Act of 1964
  • John Glenn orbits the earth 3 times
  • NASA established
  • TI handheld calculator 2500
  • Cuba Bay of Pigs and missile crisis
  • JFK assassinated

Drivers of economy and society -1960s
  • Space research and engineering
  • Apollo program
  • Building of the USA infrastructure
  • Consumer products
  • TV in most homes
  • Most all products- American made
  • Computers making significant inroads into
    business IBM, HP, Cray, Apple
  • Computer Science as a discipline
  • TV is main media in home for entertainment and
    news (3-5 channels)

Characterization of Science teaching-1960s
  • New Math introduced into schools via NSF-focus
    on concepts, set theory, functions and diagrams
  • Science education-no action, just talk
  • Public and teachers rebel and went back to
    traditional teaching of mathematics
  • Programmed instruction introduced
  • Segregation still common
  • Much rhetoric about improving schools
  • Integration begins in public schools
  • 40 of students graduate from H.S.

  • Events
  • Roe Vs Wade
  • Prayer in school unconstitutional
  • Impeachment proceedings of a President- Nixon
  • Viet Nam war divides the country
  • Affirmative Action becomes key elements for
    business in hiring
  • Glass Ceiling concept is popularized

Drivers of the economy and society 1970s
  • Travel- Jumbo Jets
  • Genetic engineering born- first test tube baby
  • Intels microprocessor
  • Apollo18 and USSRs Soyuz 19 linked
  • Entertainment-VCRs
  • First Star Wars movie, Godfather, Jaws,
    American Graffiti, Grease
  • Significant Stock Market decline

Characterization of science teaching 1970s
  • Relatively little has changed in teaching
    science from 1960ssome believe education
    lost the impetus of the 1960s
  • School integration in full gear
  • Schools must address the handicapped
  • Computer Assisted Instruction (CAI)- becomes
    part of business training, i.e. next phase of
    programmed instruction
  • Significant rhetoric about public Education

  • Events
  • Business hostile takeovers and mega mergers
  • AIDS becomes significant issue
  • Berlin wall comes down
  • Credit buying becomes the norm
  • Rescue mission to Iran fails
  • First Space Shuttle Columbia
  • U. S. Hockey Team beats Russia
  • Sandra Day OConnor appointed to Supreme Court

Drivers of the economy and society 1980s
  • Personal Computers become legitimate tools in
  • Microsoft Windows introduced by IBM
  • Imports gaining large market share in
    automobiles and consumer electronics
  • Inflation 13--Prime rate 21
  • Internet opens up to public

Characterization of mathematics teaching 1980s
  • A Nation at Risk report--If an unfriendly foreign
    power had attempted to impose on America the
    mediocre educational performance that exists
    today, we might well have viewed it as an act of
    war. As it stands, we have allowed this to happen
    to ourselves. We have even squandered the gains
    in student achievement made in the wake of the
    Sputnik challenge. Moreover, we have dismantled
    essential support systems which helped make those
    gains possible. We have, in effect, been
    committing an act of unthinking, unilateral
    educational disarmament.

Characterization of science teaching -1980s
  • Reform in TexasPerot report 1984
  • Essential Elements
  • TABS
  • Stand and Deliver-Jamie Escalante work at
    Garfield high school
  • Significant rhetoric about public education
  • Report on Pre-college education in Math, Science
    and TechnologyThe nation that dramatically and
    boldly lead the world into the age of technology
    is failing to provide its own children with
    intellectual tools needed for the 21st century
  • We continue to lead due to our best students and
    our universities
  • What is needed is a new set of basics
    communications, problem solving, technology
  • The teaching of science in some states is
    beginning to be based on a set of
    standards-pedagogy changes little

  • Events
  • Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
  • Brady Billgun control
  • Gulf war
  • Social security, gun control and health care
    were significant issues
  • Famous trials-Rodney King O.J. Simpson
  • Columbine Shooting

Drivers of the economy and society 1990s
  • World Wide Web grew from 2-100 million users
  • Imports still making gains
  • Out-sourcing jobs
  • Importing skills HB-1 visa program
  • Stock market decline
  • Cell phones becoming a must for everyone
  • Medical technology is racing with many new
    applications, CAT scans, Pacemakers, less
    invasive surgeries- Physicians jobs and health
    care change dramatically.

Characterization of science teaching -1990s
  • The decade of Brain research
  • Previous research- cognition and behavior
  • New research- cognitive thinking styles,
    Preference for sense/senses, personality/emotiona
    l factors, environmental emotional factors,
    physiology/genetics, physical health, comfort and
    developmental stages
  • Brain is a malleable organ
  • Governor's Education summit-The US will be first
    in math and science by 2000More rhetoric
  • President Clinton "We know, purely and simply,
    that every single child must have access to a
    computer, must understand it, must have access
    to good software and good teachers and to the
    Internet, so that every person will have the
    opportunity to make the most of his or her own

Characterization of science teaching -1990s
  • Standards based curriculum becoming the norm
  • The wars - Direct vs. Conceptual
  • In Texas the EEs replaced by the TEKS, and TAAS
  • The teaching of science changes with allocated
    labs and the introduction of technology and the
    use of more manipulatives
  • Texas 4th graders 5th the country (NAEP), 8th
    graders in the middle and 11th graders lower

Characterizations of science teaching 1990s
  • 83 of students graduate from high school
  • Elementary and Secondary Education Act
  • Distance Education
  • Year round school
  • Dual or Concurrent Credit
  • School to work and Tech Prep
  • Reforms taking placeStandards based education
    beginning in early grades

Characterization of science teaching 1990s
  • Majority of students taking Biology, some
    chemistry and physics with higher level math
  • Hand held calculators introduce in significant
    numbers in schools
  • Education ideology wars creates confusion among
    educators and public
  • Ritalin drug of choice for ADD/ADHD

  • Events
  • Communications integration, Cell phones, internet
    and digital TV
  • Genetic engineering
  • Fossil fuels demand outstripping supply
  • 9/11war on terrorists
  • 100 in 1940 is same as 1322 today
  • Average salary 37,000 vs. 2992 in 1940
  • Labor force male female 11 vs. 52 in 1940
  • 1.00 cost of loaf of bread vs. 0.14 in 1940

Drivers of the economy and society 2000s
  • Consumer spending key to economy
  • Housing sector strong
  • New technologies in communications
  • Oil prices steadily increasing
  • Social issues revolve around social security,
    education, personal security and health care
  • Iraq war

Characterization of science teaching 2000s
  • Science teaching has not changed much from the
  • 2003 task force on education
  • 4 graders competitive internationally
  • 8th graders lose 40 points and are average
  • 12 graders are at the very bottom
  • More rhetoric

Characterization of science teaching 2000s
  • 21st Century Summit What students need
  • Digital-age literacy Inventive Thinking
  • Literacy in all Problem solving
  • technologies using tools
  • Effective Communications High Productivity
  • Collaborate Planning
  • Interactive Use of tools
  • Social responsibility Produce products

Some Perspectives
  • Americans have wanted schools to serve different
    and often contradictory purposes for their own
  • To socialize them to be obedient, yet to teach
    them to be critical thinkers,
  • To pass on the best academic knowledge that the
    past has to offer, yet also teach marketable and
    practical skills,
  • To cultivate cooperation, yet to teach students
    to compete with one another in school and later
  • To stress basic skills but also encourage
    creativity and higher order thinking skills,
  • To focus on academic basics yet permit a wide
    range of choice of courses.

Some perspectives
  • How fast is technology moving????
  • 38 years for radio to get to 50 million users
  • 13 years for TV to get to 50 million users
  • 16 years for PCs to get to 50 million users
  • 4 years for Internet to get to 50 million users
  • Life expectation has gone from 65 in 1940 to 80
    for women by 2002
  • Robots operating on humans today!!

Some perspectives
  • 20th Century had many education reforms
  • New America Schools Essential Schools
  • Accelerated Schools American Choice
  • Basic Education Direct Instruction
  • Engaged Learning Purpose Centered
  • Atlas Co-NECT
  • Success for All ????????????
  • More Rhetoric!
  • Major barriers
  • 3 million teachers 50 million students
  • In TX 250,000 teachers 4 million students
  • Governance

Some Perspectives
  • In the 1940 science teaching was based on text
    books and chalk boards the Industrial Model
  • In 2005 science teaching is based on ???
  • Textbooks????
  • Chalk/white boards???
  • Technology???
  • Laboratory investigations
  • Conceptual Understanding???
  • Standards??????
  • What????????
  • Have we changed enough to reflect the changes
    that occurred in society to meet societys need?
  • I dont think so.

Some Perspectives
  • Change Society
  • Public
  • Time

Some Perspectives
  • We lack vision as a profession of where we need
    to go. We are victims of society, government,
    unenlightened school leadership and OURSELVES!!

Some Perspectives
  • How do we start?????
  • Start Simple and then progress to the complex
  • Lets look at the research---

Some Perspectives
  • The essentials for improving student achievement
  • All students must have access to the same viable
    curriculum in every classroom- guaranteed
  • High Yield instructional strategies have
    significant impact on student achievement
  • Teachers must collaborate to make this happen-we
    are all in this together, lets build a system!!
  • In Texas, the TEKS are the basics, go beyond
    them, use them as building blocks.

Some Perspectives
  • Is our current Industrial Model of Education what
    we need in the 21st Century?
  • NO!!!!
  • Lets all start looking at new ways of doing
    things. I believe you have many of the answers,
    but need to have the opportunity and
    responsibility to begin to revolutionize the
    teaching of science.

Some Perspectives
  • Why do it?
  • For our next generations of leaders, workers,
    members of society
  • To maintain our economic leadership
  • The next generations are our KIDS that are in
    school now!!

Will the science Teaching enter the 21st Century?
  • Sam J. Zigrossi
  • Program Director
  • Charles A. Dana Center
  • University of Texas
  • samz_at_mail.utexas.ed
  • www.utdanacenter.org
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