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benefit from research science. There was a science education directorate in that agency at one time; that has been eliminated by the administration. Funding has dropped to something like 2 percent of its total level.
When we look at the various bills that have been introduced in the last session of Congress and in the more recent session, the one that seems to hold the most promise from our standpoint is H.R. 1310, just passed in the House. It received overwhelming approval, something like a two-to-one margin even by the minority party in the House.
We believe that it addresses most of the problems, and addresses them adequately, as a start. We have some concerns about the block grant program. We also have serious concerns about lodging any kind of research or development effort at the National Institute of Education until some resolution occurs in regard to the idealogues and the problems you are very familiar with, Mr. Chairman.
We believe very strongly that NSF has the capability of linking the scientists and the science education people and the teachers in a cooperative way to produce quality products in course materials and course development, and we believe that they can offer the kinds of training programs for teachers that will spend Federal money most efficiently. So, we would strongly support those compo nents of H.R. 1310.
In summary, what we are recommending is that the Senate, as quickly as possible, put together some kind of appropriate companion measure to H.R. 1310, get it out of this committee onto some kind of a fast track, and get legislation approved so that by the fall, both the Department of Education and the NSF can have programs up and ready to run.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
THE SUBCOMMITTEE ON EDUCATION, ARTS, AND HUMANITIES
THE COMMITTEE ON LABOR AND HUMAN RESOURCES
THE U.S. SENATE
IN REGARD TO
THE RESPONSIBILITIES OF FEDERAL,
STATE, AND LOCAL JURISDICTIONS IN
SCIENCE AND MATHEMATICS EDUCATION
ROBERT E. YAGER
1742 CONNECTICUT AVENUE, NW
WASHINGTON, DC 20009
BILL G. ALDRIDGE, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
ROBERT E. YAGER
Robert lager was prepared as a high school teacher of science-graduating from the University of Northern Iowa in 1950 with a biology major and a teaching certificate. He taught science in grades 7-12 before entering graduate school at the University of Iowa. He earned an M.S. (1953) and a Ph.D. (1957) in plant physiology/biochemistry. After earning the doctorate, Dr. Yager decided against a life as a researcher in physiology and opted for a career in science education while retaining close ties vith the active research team in physiology at the University of Lova.
Dr. Yager created one of the largest and most productive science education centers in the U.s. He has advised nearly 100 Ph.D. candidates, authored over 200 research reports, directed over 100 NSF, OE, and various Foundation research, development, and training projects. He has been active professionally having served on numerous boards, commissions, and panels; he has been the president of the Iowa Academy of Science, the School Science and Mathematics Association, the National Association of Biology Teachers, the Association for the Education of Teachers in Science, and the National Association for Research in Science Teaching. Currently he serves as the President of the National Science Teachers Association, the world's largest science education society with over 40,000 sembers and subscribers.
BILL G. ALDRIDGE
Bill Aldridge took dual undergraduate majors in physics and science education. He then taught high school physics and math for six years. After completing three graduate degrees in solid state physics, educational evaluation and science education at Kansas and Harvard, he taught physics at the college level for seventeen years.
Mr. Aldridge has directed three NSF course development projects in applied physics, technology, and modern electronics (including computers). In addition, he served a three-year assignment (1976-1979) from his college to the Division of Science Education Development and Research at NSF as a Program Manager before taking his present position as Executive Director of the National Science Teachers Association. Mr. Aldridge has published science and math textbooks and numerous articles in magazines and journals. He has served in a variety of capacities on advisory boards, committees, etc., and he is currently a member of the Scientific Manpower Commission. The National Science Teachers Association, which he directs, is the largest science education organization in the world, and it is concerned with the professional aspects of science teaching at all levels.
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There has been a perception that the science education community lacked consensus on what should be done to resolve the problems in pre-college science and mathematics education that NSTA and others have documented. Recently, presidents and executive officers of the National Science Teachers Association, the American Association of Physics Teachers, the National Association of Biology Teachers, and the National Association of Geology Teachers formed a group called the Council of Science Teaching Associations. The education division of the American Chemical Society is also represented on our Council, although we are not permitted officially to represent their views.
The Council of Science Teaching Associations represents science teachers, science administrators, science educators, and teaching scientists at all levels. Thus the Council is fully representative of the subject matter disciplines--physics, chemistry, biology, and geology--at colleges and universities, as well as science teachers in these fields in elementary and secondary schools. Council organizations also include local science supervisors, state science supervisors, as well as those in schools of education who train science teachers. No other organization or group either includes this representation or reflects our views on the professional aspects of science education accurately.
The crisis in science education at the pre-college level has received widespread publicity. As the primary source of data documenting the crisis, the National Science Teachers Association has been deluged with requests for detailed information and suggestions for solutions.
The NSTA data have been collected through several different surveys conducted over the past three years. Through these survey results and other studies, the crisis in elementary and secondary school science and mathematics education can be summarized as follows:
1. There are shortages of qualified secondary school science and mathematics teachers. The shortages are critical in mathematics and in physics;
2. There is a serious mismatch between existing secondary school science and mathematics course content and the needs and interests of the vast majority of students; for those students who would aspire to careers in science or engineering, course content is obsolete;
3. There have been few attempts to alter instruction in schools in ways consistent with the growing body of new knowledge about how people learn science or mathematics;
4. Supplies, equipment, and other resource materials are severely limited or obsolete in most science classrooms and laboratories; those that exist are inappropriate to the science course content and teaching methods needed to update pre-college science education;