June 22, 2003
June 22, 2003
June 25, 2003
8.999.1 - 8.999.5
Science for Success
Dan Parshall, Anita Callahan, Anthony Buonaquisti University of South Florida
The Science for Success program began out of a concern regarding science education in Hillsborough County Schools, particularly at the elementary level. Many teachers were not comfortable with fundamental science concepts, and rarely developed science based lesson plans. Merely reading a story about science was often considered an acceptable science class. Although it was a stated goal of Hillsborough County School District to include science curriculum, the reality fell sadly short of that goal. In addition, many educators were concerned about the introduction of the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test (FCAT), a new statewide examination used to determine funding levels for schools; better-performing schools received additional funding. Many teachers were removing science from their curriculum in order to concentrate on those subjects directly tested by the FCAT. Finally, it is widely recognized that student interest in science is at a very low level. In order to encourage students to brave the rigors of mathematics, science must be seen as a tantalizing goal, not as a drudgery to be endured; it is particularly important to spur the interest of students at the grade school level1.
Out of this background, an association was formed. The principal idea motivating this association was to incorporate hands-on science teaching directly into the classroom. It was also recognized that success on the FCAT examination requires advanced higher order thinking skills2; at least half of the questions on the FCAT fall into the upper tiers of Bloom’s Taxonomy3. It was hoped that by emphasizing the logical problem solving skills demanded by the scientific method; by examining in detail the relationships between cause and effect; and that by undergoing the process of hypothesis, data collection, and analysis, students would develop advanced higher order thinking skills. It was our anticipation that the science instruction would have a direct effect on both science achievement and student affect for science. It was additionally anticipated that a secondary effect of the manner in which the program was delivered, and the concentration on higher order thinking skills, would produce an increase in achievement in other areas4. Scores on the FCAT were of principal interest to school administration at the time of the program. However, the science component of the FCAT was not scheduled for administration for several more years. Thus, the assessed goals of the program were to increase student interest in science, as well as to boost the scores of the students on the FCAT mathematics, reading, and writing subject areas.
The Science for Success program was a cooperative venture between the Museum Of Science &
Proceedings of the 2003 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2003, American Society for Engineering Education
Parshall, D., & Buonaquisti, A., & Callahan, A. (2003, June), Science For Success Paper presented at 2003 Annual Conference, Nashville, Tennessee. https://peer.asee.org/11648
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