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enues from earmarked taxes on electronic arcade games, which are a multibillion dollar enterprise in America that adds a little to education and utilizes the most sophisticated technologies and the intellect of many of our best people. It seems to me that those funds ought to legitimately and appropriately go back into the educational scene, and it would not at all be onerous when one understands where all those quarters come from to operate those games.
This corporation then would review plans and provide funds for long-term investment in the educational system to provide the decades-long effort it takes to really reform the system in all of its parts.
Now, that would include, in my judgment, finally building a modern communications system in this country to serve the children and teachers; that is to say, an educational communications system that exploits the state of the art.
To that end, I think we should consider EDSAT, the educational satellite, as the center of a national system in which every school and college in the land would have a land receiver-they are not expensive these days—and be connected by cable; that is to say, in which every educational institution, through EDSAT, would be connected to themselves and to the finest scientists and materials developers in the land 24 hours a day.
These materials would be developed, presented and copied on site, utilized at the school's will for the students and for the education of teachers. I would point out to you that there are not enough dollars available to train and retrain all of our teachers simply by the institute method.
I offer these not as pat solutions, but to show that one has to investigate some new mechanisms and ways of thinking about how to obtain the resources and utilize them to do what needs doing. Thank you.
[The prepared statement of Dr. Rutherford follows:]
TEIE SUBCOMMITTEE ON EDUCATION, ARTS AND THE HUMANITIES
U.S. SENATE COMMITTEE ON
LABOR AND HUMAN RESOURCES
PRESENTED BY DR. F. JAMES RUTHERFORD
CHIEF EDUCATION OFFICER AMERICAN ASSOCIATION FOR THE ADVANCEMENT OF SCIENCE
1776 MASSACHUSETTS AVENUE, N.W.
WASHINGTON, D.C. 20036
Mr. Chairman, I am pleased to testify and give you my views on science and engineering education. My testimony does not represent the position of the American Association for the Advancement of Science on these issues.
Certainly the strength of our economy in the decades ahead depends greatly and directly on two things. First, we depend on the quality of our basic and applied science. Ours is a society that from the very beginning has based its progress on the application of scientific knowledge to real world affairs, and this dependence is increasing. Secondly, our future depends upon how inventive we are at developing new technologies and using them for productive and humane purposes. High quality science and technology are essential to the United States.
How we accomplish strengthening of our economy depends, in turn, upon the education of our citizens. We can do good science and use new technologies inventively only if we are all properly educated. Today, this means that our citizens must have a reasonable grasp of science, along with problem-solving skills, and the ability to understand the relationship of this knowledge and these skills to technology and productivity. It must be noted that this kind of science and technology competency is becoming ever more important for all of our people, not just those relatively few who will become scientists or engineers.
To produce technologically literate citizens will require involving the entire educational system from kindergarten through post-graduate education, and it will cut across all disciplines and fields. The effort must take place not only in our colleges and universities, but also in other community institutions that serve youth and adults. The educational system, in other words, must be redesigned to take science and mathematics education seriously at every level and for all students. The future worker, the future manager, or the future journalist or legislator needs to be scientifically and technologically literate, just as our scientists and engineers must be humanistically educated.
We can have a strong educational system capable of providing such education only if we are prepared as a nation to make a substantial investment over a long period of years. Quick fixes and lopsided or incomplete solutions will not serve the nation or solve the science education problems that have been recognized over the last decade or so.
In the sections below, I will address four issues.
what needs to be done in order to revamp and maintain our science edu-
The Task Before Us
The task before us is large. It is complex, and it will be expensive to deal with adequately. This might not be true if we had not allowed the system to become dilapidated and inefficient. Restoring its capability means not only addressing modern demands but also making up for more than a decade of neglect. In what follows I will address only the part of the problem that deals with youngsters in the preschool, elementary, and secondary school years. There is much to be done for our institutions of higher education and for continuing adult education, but because of its urgency, I prefer to focus on the earlier years.
I would like to suggest that there are six kinds of things that need to be accomplished.
1. The first condition for action is pu ic awareness that, given our times, science education is important for everyone as individuals and to the nation as a whole. Our citizens must understand that this is so for very practical reasons. That is because it is connected to job opportunities, a healthy economy, and to our national security. Furthermore, it is necessary that this public awareness be maintained for the long period of time it takes to bring about lasting change in our system. Promoting hysteria will not work because it will not accomplish our goals.
While statements by public figures can help, the most powerful way to raise public consciousness is to begin to undertake direct, clear actions. When the people see their Federal and state governments begin to take action, they are likely to believe that an emergency exists.
2. We need to ensure that the teachers of science and mathematics in our elementary and secondary schools are well-trained specialists. Current public and legislative attention has largely concentrated on the supply and demand of teachers and on teacher quality. Federal and State initiatives are trying to address both the upgrading of teachers already in the system and the preparation of new ones. (Later in my testimony I will point out that, in spite of current proposals, aspects of this problem are still being missed.)
3. The effectiveness of science and mathematics teaching must be increased greatly in our elementary and secondary schools. This means updating the content, modernizing the materials and techniques, and restructuring the system, if necessary. In other words, good teachers are essential, but they are not enough.
We must systematically search out young people who are highly interested and talented in science and mathematics and continually motivate and challenge them. We should start with very young children and continue through the high school and college years. Scientific talent has always been a precious commodity and now it is becoming even more necessary in a world of technology based on science. In this regard it is especially important that we develop effective programs for reaching girls, minorities, the handicapped, and the economically disadvantaged; otherwise, the potential pool of future
scientists and engineers will be much too small.
5. Alleviating problems in precollege science education necessarily calls for aggressive emergency measures, but in the long run, building and sustaining a capacity for the conduct of research and development on learning in science is critical. The argument for R&D is based on simple necessity: all other domains, from transportation and agriculture to health and defense, predicate progress on a solid base of scientific knowledge. In the long run we can progress in science and mathematics education only if we are able to understand the learning process more deeply, and to develop better teaching materials and techniques.
6. Finally, it is clear that substantial resources must be allocated and brought to bear in a way that will make it possible to upgrade and maintain our system of science education. Just how much this will be is difficult to say, but surely in the aggregate it will cost of the order of a billion dollars a year for many years, more if we are not prepared to sustain the investment for many years.
Even that is a modest amount in comparison to the magnitude of the enterprise. Education in America is about a $120 billion a year investment, and research in the nation costs a few tens of billions a year. As nearly as one can tell, the funds earmarked for restoring science and mathematics education in the Nation are no more than a few hundred million at most. Thought of as capital investment in our country's scientific and technological future, the current and proposed expenditures are small.
The Federal Role
It is a truism that the cost of education must be borne by many institucions and parties. It is difficult to assign costs and responsibilities in any precise way. It is possible, however, to define the Federal role. I would suggest that Federal leadership is appropriate whenever:
the necessary action is Federal by long, and accepted tradition;
By those criteria, it makes sense now--as it did in the past--for the Federal government to take the lead in the following kinds of activities that by and large are not being provided for at all, or at a sufficient level, in the current bills:
talent identification and motivation, especially among girls and minor-