2013-2014 Science Education, Past and Present

Listeria's Tail: Public Engagement as the Proper Engagement & Context of Science Education

Friday, February 7, 2014
4:30-6:00 pm
Academic Learning Commons Rm. 2100 

Science education is guided, implicitly or explicitly, by particular visions of the relationship between science and society-visions that often reflect our ideals more than our knowledge of the social world. Many broad assertions about the usefulness of science will under logical scrutiny, or when confronted with data about how people actually interact with science. What would it mean to teach science in a useful way? What would we need to give up, and what would we gain? Re-imagining science education in the context of public engagement requires a new set of skills, for teachers and researchers alike, and a new synthesis of pieces that are currently scattered across scholarly disciplines.

Amy Slaton

Meritocracy, Democracy, Technocracy: Understandings of Race and Gender in STEM Education

Wednesday, March 19, 2014
3:30-5:00 pm
Student Commons Virginia Rooms C-D

A half-century after the Civil and Voting Rights Acts of the 1960s, the nation finds racial and gender equity yet to be attained in virtually all occupations. In Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) fields, the under-representation of women, minorities, LGBTQ persons and persons with disabilities remains stark. How can our most intellectually modern enterprises remain among the most socially static? This lecture explores the possibility that what counts as intellectually modern, as cutting-edge knowledge or expert technical practice, in America is that which eschews the project of inclusion. That is: Our STEM epistemologies cloaked in the value-neutral mantles of measurement, experiment and precision, actually derive from and reassert old ideas of difference.

The History of Science Education Reform in the U.S.: Problems and Prospects

Friday, March 28, 2014
4:30-6:30 pm
Academic Learning Commons Rm. 2100

The talk focused on the history of efforts to improve science education in the United States, current initiatives, and prospects for the future. Key themes of the talk included the science standards movement, Next Generation Science Standards and continuing efforts to achieve science literacy for all.