School Leadership, Leadership, in General, Tools and Resources, Advice and humor
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School Leadership, Leadership, in General, Tools and Resources, Advice and humor
Tools, tips, resources, advice, and humor to support today's school leader and leaders, in general
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APS Physics | FIP | What can we learn from physics teachers in high scoring countries on the TIMSS and PISA international assessments?

APS Physics | FIP | What can we learn from physics teachers in high scoring countries on the TIMSS and PISA international assessments? | School Leadership, Leadership, in General, Tools and Resources, Advice and humor | Scoop.it
Cherrill Spencer 

High-school teachers are amongst the most important contributors to the development of the science and technology workforce of the future. Many of the more than 23,000 US high-school physics teachers are not adequately prepared to teach the subject. Only one-third of them, for example, majored in physics or physics education. Can inadequate teacher preparation be a factor in the poor performance of US students on international assessments of their achievements in science and physics? Since 1995 the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) has been administered four times to many hundreds of thousands of students in over 60 countries. TIMSS is used to measure trends in the mathematics and science knowledge and skills of fourth- and eighth-graders. The Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) has been administered three times since 2000, it focuses on 15-year-olds' capabilities in reading literacy, mathematics literacy, and science literacy. TIMSS Advanced (1995) assessed school-leaving students who have had special preparation in advanced mathematics and physics. In all these studies the US students, including the Advanced Placement physics students, scored below the international average, sometimes in the bottom third of countries!

Three knowledgeable speakers were invited to talk about the physics K-12 education systems in other countries: one that consistently scores at the top of the PISA (Dr. Pekka Hirvonen, Finland) or score much higher than the US on TIMSS (Dr. Jozefina Turlo, Poland, covering various Central European countries) and significantly better on recent bi-lateral comparisons (Dr. Lei Bao, covering China in comparison to the US). This session was designed to find out what we can learn from the physics teaching systems in these high-scoring countries that might be pertinent to our efforts to improve the teaching of physics and science to 8th through 12th graders in the US.

There are several differences in the design and purpose of the TIMSS and PISA assessments; for example the TIMSS focuses on the application of familiar skills and knowledge often emphasized in classrooms, whereas the PISA tests emphasize students' abilities to apply skills and information learned in school to solve problems or make decisions they may face at work. PISA test questions tend to deemphasize factual recall and demand more complex reasoning and problem-solving skills than those on TIMSS, requiring students to apply logic, synthesize information, and communicate solutions clearly

Sharrock's insight:

excerpt: 

What can we learn from physics teachers in high scoring countries on the TIMSS and PISA international assessments? : Final words of advice from the three speakers:

Dr Pekka Hirvonen: "Education should be taken seriously; it's an investment for the future"
Dr Lei Bao: "It is not what we teach but how we teach that matters."
Dr Jozefina Turlo: "Follow the recommendations of the 2008 Nuffield Foundation report, Science Education in Europe: Critical Reflections."

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Gallium – A Rare Metal with Interesting Properties

Gallium – A Rare Metal with Interesting Properties | School Leadership, Leadership, in General, Tools and Resources, Advice and humor | Scoop.it
Hard to believe something like this exists!
Sharrock's insight:

Thinking about the power of scientific demonstrations for classes. Is video as good as analog? Is it good enough? Also, considering the possibility of wasting time with entertainment. What can a teacher do to avoid students simply being amused or entertained, making the demonstration part of an effective learning experience?

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33rd Square: Jobs Outlook For Nanotechnology Looks Bright

33rd Square: Jobs Outlook For Nanotechnology Looks Bright | School Leadership, Leadership, in General, Tools and Resources, Advice and humor | Scoop.it
With the emerging nanotechnology industry, thinking small and acting big is the name of the game. Nanoscale engineering and science will impact nearly every industry from biotech to electronics over the coming years.
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Launchings by David Bressoud: Barriers to Change

Launchings by David Bressoud: Barriers to Change | School Leadership, Leadership, in General, Tools and Resources, Advice and humor | Scoop.it

This is more than about STEM instruction. It's about research-based instruction and why teachers might resist research-based effectiveness.

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Family, gender and young people’s aspirations to get into science | Nuffield Foundation

Family, gender and young people’s aspirations to get into science | Nuffield Foundation | School Leadership, Leadership, in General, Tools and Resources, Advice and humor | Scoop.it

This project investigated young people’s interest in careers in science, engineering and technology (SET), by conducting a secondary analysis of data from 11-15 year olds in the British Household Panel Study (BHPS). The researchers used quantitative and qualitative approaches to explore three main questions:

1) How far does gender and family background influence young people’s aspirations concerning SET related careers?

2) Does an early interest in science lead young people to pursue scientific studies and SET related jobs?

3) To what extent are young people who enter science reproducing family patterns or ‘inheriting’ a SET route from their parents?

Sharrock's insight:

excerpt: Results--

More boys than girls aspire to SET jobs.Boys also aspire to work in all SET sectors, whilst girls are mainly interested in health-related occupations and science professions.Aspirations for SET jobs have increased since 1994, although this is more pronounced for boys than for girls.Career aspirations are reasonably stable during adolescence. However, for those who do change aspirations, the change is gender specific, with boys increasing SET aspirations as they grow older and girls losing their earlier interest in SET jobs. This points towards an early divergence in the interests of boys and girls at around age 13.

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Mass of the Photon

This site is intended for students age 14 and up, and for anyone interested in learning about our universe.
Sharrock's insight:

The weirdest thing I've ever read is that momentum can exist without mass. 

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Is Science The New Latin?!

Is Science The New Latin?! | School Leadership, Leadership, in General, Tools and Resources, Advice and humor | Scoop.it
Most scientists aren’t natural communicators. Scientific discoveries aren’t written in Latin, but they may as well be. In this environment, creationism and denialism thrive…
Sharrock's insight:

The challenge here is to help the general public understand concepts that defy personal experience. Too many machines come between what is being studies and what a person can actually see. According to a some lectures I am listening to, it took Einstein 20 years to understand the quantum world, and in the end, he still had problems with accepting concepts like entaglement, even when his own investigations "uncovered" this concept. Technology is a way to approach that understanding, but technology is just "what works". It isn't PROOF of causation, of underlying systems of causation (ie, metaphysics). Then there is the math involved in some of these concepts. It just seems clear to me that in the pursuit of  STEM competence, engineering and technology is concrete so easier accept because the thing works. Creating the technology with engineering is acceptable even though few people will connect particular engineers to particular technologies. Intead, they connect organizations to the tech development--which is another disconnect. Coding for software is another area that is quickly approaching the magickal. People may learn coding basics, but the concepts involved in adaptive systems, expert systems, and the variousl levels of artificial intelligence seem to involve so many academic disciplines and collaboration that this too may be beyond the general public's understanding. 

 

What can we do as educators to facilitate the understanding of the maths and sciences and philosophy that will help students participate in these worlds? 

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