Ed News: Meeting New Science Standards Requires Greater Emphasis on Teacher Practice

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This week in education news, new Forever GI Bill law allots a fifth year of education benefits for eligible students pursuing degrees in the STEM fields; President Trump signs NSF STEM Education Research Bill; researchers argue that education apps often don’t align with what we know about the science of learning and memory; Boston Museum of Science president and director to resign at the end of January; a look back at 2018’s seven biggest federal K-12 policy stories; and a new study finds that states need to focus more on teacher practice when implementing the Next Generation Science Standards.

Vets Interested in STEM Degrees Could Get More GI Bill Money in 2019

Some college degrees in science, technology, engineering and math fields take longer than four years to complete, which is why the new Forever GI Bill authorizes an additional school year of GI Bill funds on a first-come, first-serve basis. Scholarships of up to $30,000 will be available for eligible GI Bill users starting in August 2019. Only veterans or surviving family members of deceased service members are eligible for this scholarship — not dependents using transferred benefits. Read the article featured in Military Times.

The Teacher Strikes and Protests Planned for 2019

While 2018 was a pivotal year for teacher activism, with large-scale strikes in six states and more protests around the country, there has been some question as to whether momentum would continue into the New Year. So far, though, we know at least a few places where labor actions are likely to happen. Read the article featured in Education Week.

President Trump Signs NSF STEM Education Research Bill

President Trump on Dec. 31 signed into law H.R. 5509, the “Innovations in Mentoring, Training, and Apprenticeships Act,” that would direct the National Science Foundation to provide grants for research about STEM education approaches and STEM-related workforce issues. Read the article featured on Meritalk.com.

Being Wrong Has Made Me a Better Teacher

When I was a brand new teacher, my advisor from Bank Street College would observe me. Afterward, when I was expecting criticism, she would always point out a few positive moments that I usually hadn’t noticed because I was so fixated on what needed work. Her positive observations helped me see a sliver of success, so I could build in that direction. I easily identified what had not gone well, and we also problem-solved those issues together, but her encouraging observations helped keep me from beating myself up when I wasn’t meeting my own expectations. Read the article featured in Education Week.

Scientist to App Developers: Tap Learning Science to Be More Effective

Education apps are pitched to help students’ learning, but often don’t align with what we know about the science of learning and memory, researchers argue. In a new commentary in Nature’s Science of Learning journal, cognitive psychologists from the Swiss Distance Learning University, the University of Bonn in Germany, and the University of Bern in Switzerland laid out four key findings on learning and memory that could make education apps more effective. Read the article featured in Education Week.

Ioannis Miaoulis, Longtime Museum of Science President and Director, to Step Down in January

Ioannis N. Miaoulis, the president and director of the Museum of Science, Boston, plans to leave after 16 years, the institution announced. Miaoulis, a former dean of the Tufts University School of Engineering and longtime advocate of science education, oversaw the largest capital campaign in the museum’s 188-year history and the launch of record-breaking exhibits inspired by the Star Wars movie franchise and the Pixar movie studio. Read the article featured in the Boston Globe.

How School Policy Changed in 2018: The Year’s Seven Biggest Federal Storylines, From Unforgettable Student Advocacy to an Already Forgotten White House Proposal

The second year of the Trump presidency has been one for the history books, particularly in the realm of K-12 education. Some moments this year were unforgettable, either for their sheer emotional power and size, like the waves of student-led gun control and school safety advocacy, or for their potential to upend the way schools operate, like the Supreme Court’s Janus decision. Read the article featured in The 74.

Meeting New Science Standards Requires Greater Emphasis on Teacher Practice

As states implement the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), a new study finds that simply focusing on building teachers’ content knowledge in science isn’t sufficient to help students reach higher expectations. “These science learning goals pose a challenge for educators,” the authors write. “Typical K-12 science teaching practice does not come close to matching the kind of teaching needed to support such learning.” Read the brief featured in Education DIVE.

Stay tuned for next week’s top education news stories.

The Communication, Legislative & Public Affairs (CLPA) team strives to keep NSTA members, teachers, science education leaders, and the general public informed about NSTA programs, products, and services and key science education issues and legislation. In the association’s role as the national voice for science education, its CLPA team actively promotes NSTA’s positions on science education issues and communicates key NSTA messages to essential audiences.

The mission of NSTA is to promote excellence and innovation in science teaching and learning for all.


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