From the Palm Beach Post, a cautionary tale on science education reform:
Greg Loumanis says he’s “insulted” by some of the hands-on learning activities that are suggested to science teachers.
Even some of the hands-on labs he finds helpful, he says he can teach more quickly and neatly by demonstrating instead of having students spend time clearing their desks, doing the lab and cleaning up.
So a few years ago, Loumanis – the science department head at Osceola Creek Middle School in Loxahatchee – and some of his fellow teachers made an unorthodox decision: They opted to get rid of hands-on science labs in their classrooms.
As one of the authors of the new middle school physical science standards, I want to scream when I read this.
There are so many questions here: What are the qualifications of the Osceola Creek science teachers? How much professional development did they have to prepare for inquiry-driven teaching? The new standards went into effect only this year – do they help or hurt?
And of course, all this raises questions about how science learning is assessed in Florida’s schools.