U.S. students need help on more complex science tasks, NAEP 2009 results reveal
Florida political and education leaders lately have made the case that students need more relevant exposure to science, technology, engineering and math. The latest NAEP results suggest that such a direction is wise.
Noting that science is much more than book learning, but also about exploration and application, the National Center for Education Statistics writes that the 2009 hands-on science assessment indicates that U.S. students do better at simple science than in more complex problems. They're also better able to arrive at conclusions than explain them.
From the report summary:
Students were successful on parts of investigations that involved limited sets of data and making straightforward observations of that data.
Students were challenged by parts of investigations that contained more variables to manipulate or involved strategic decision making to collect appropriate data.
The percentage of students who could select correct conclusions from an investigation was higher than for those students who could select correct conclusions and also explain their results.
It's interesting to note that female students at all three tested grade levels outperformed males in hands-on tasks, while male students did better on paper and pencil testing. Read more about the details and findings here. What are your schools doing to improve science education, including hands-on lessons?