Science educators' perceptions of problems facing science education: A report of five surveys

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Abstract

Five groups of science educators representing faculty at graduate institutions, graduate students, teachers, supervisors, and leadership conferees were surveyed concerning their perceptions of current problems facing science education. A total of 144 participants provided an average of 4.7 responses. The responses were tabulated using an emergent set of categories that resulted in six major groupings, i.e. conceptual, organizational, teacher; related, student-related, university, and societal. The category with the most problems identified was in the area of conceptual problems. University related problems and organizational problems were the next two most frequently mentioned categories for problems. Specific problems in all categories most often cited include the following:

  • 1confusion and uncertainty in goals and objectives;
  • 2lack of vision and leadership in schools and universities;
  • 3absence of a theoretical base for science education;
  • 4poor quality teacher education programs;
  • 5inappropriate avenues for continuing education of teachers;
  • 6limited dialogue between researchers and practitioners;
  • 7declining enrollments;
  • 8poor quality teaching and counseling;
  • 9insufficient programs in science for the wide spectrum of students; and
  • 10public and parental apathy towards science.

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