Northwestern University

Fri 3:30 PM

Bruce Alberts: "On the Future of Science Education"

When: Friday, March 15, 2013
3:30 PM - 4:30 PM  

Where: Norris University Center, Northwestern Room, 1999 Campus Drive, Evanston, IL 60208 map it

Audience: Faculty/Staff - Student - Public

Cost: Free

Contact: John Bohan   847.467.2195

Group: School of Education and Social Policy

Category: Lectures & Meetings


Reception after the talk hosted by the Office of STEM Education Partnerships

Bruce Alberts, a prominent biochemist with a strong commitment to the improvement of science and mathematics education, serves as editor-in-chief of Science and as one of President Obama’s first three Science Envoys. Alberts is also professor emeritus in the Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics at the University of California, San Francisco, to which he returned after serving two six-year terms as the president of the National Academy of Sciences (NAS).

"On the Future of Science Education":

It is well past time to recognize that the accelerating impact of science and technology on everyone's life makes a basic understanding of science an essential part of any education for the 21st century. Science must therefore become a core subject that is taught as "the fourth R" in every school year, starting in kindergarten. I am not talking about science as most students currently experience it -- as the dry memorization of science terms -- but as an exciting and empowering experience in problem-solving that takes advantage of the curiosity in young children and increases each student's understanding of the world.

Scientists and engineers working in partnership with local teachers represent a critical new force in science education reform. But to be effective, we scientists must first be willing to be educated about the opportunities and problems in our schools. This means that we must approach this problem with a humility that reflects how little most of us really understand about how children learn, as well as with deep respect for the tremendous energy, devotion and skill that is required to be a successful K-12 teacher in today's schools.

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