NAEP Reveals Shallow Grasp of Science

“‘Elementary, middle, and high school students failed to demonstrate a deep understanding of science concepts when they performed activity-based science tasks and investigations,’ concludes a study released today from the first national assessment of both hands-on and interactive computer-based science activities.”

“’We’ve maintained a misconception in what it meant to know science,” she said. “While it’s taken awhile to uproot this idea, what we know now is that you can’t get to a deeper level of understanding in science without working in science in a sophisticated way. You have to use models or gather and apply evidence from experiments to that concept in order to really know science. It’s no longer enough to settle for memorizing facts.’”

“’Increasingly, graduates are called on to do things in today’s world that require more than rote memory and how to follow instructions,” Alan J. Friedman, a member of the National Assessment Governing Board, which sets policy for NAEP, said during a conference call yesterday about the tests. “There was no way to memorize for this test and no amount of rote drill and practice that could prepare students for it; these tests test what students can do in more complex environments and the richness of what students can do with real stuff.’”

To read the whole article, go here.

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