Science Education Reform

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Science Education Reform

The entire purpose of educational reform is to improve the learning of the students.

With that in mind, state governments have been and continue to implement programs in their school systems geared towards improving academic performance. Topics under consideration and implementation include lengthening the school day and, in turn, lengthening the school year. This would allow more time for more time for instruction. An important part of educational reform is the reform of teacher education. Nationwide, state school systems are improving the preparation and performance with more meticulous graduation requirements, performance based pay, and “career ladders” that will require the teachers to continue their education (Blosser, 1989). Most of this educational reform blossomed in the 1980’s, a period which is now referred to as the school reform movement. It was during this time that many of the ideas of educational reform came into public view.

Science Teacher Education

Most colleges in the U.S. require science teacher candidates to enroll in a vigorous course of study. There are many more areas of study beyond science necessary in order to adequately prepare the students for the teaching world (National Science Teacher’s Association, 2001). For example, at Towson University science education students must complete special education, psychology, communications, and information technology classes in addition to their core science and general education courses. These additional classes help to better prepare the candidates for what they might encounter in the professional world (www.towson.edu, 2001)

Certification

In the state of Maryland, there are many requirements to receive and hold certification to teach in the state. According to the Maryland State Teacher’s Association, candidates who wish to obtain certification must “possess an earned bachelor's degree or higher from a regionally accredited institution of higher education in a discipline appropriate to an assignment in the elementary or secondary school curriculum, receive an average of "B" or better in courses related to area of assignment, submit qualifying scores on teacher certification tests- Praxis I and II (Basic Skills and Content tests only), and complete 135 clock hours of study prior to employment as a resident teacher.” Basically, this means that the candidate must attend a four-year school and graduate with a degree. They have to get a B or better in their science and education courses, pass both Praxis exams, and complete one semester of student teaching.
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