Here is the food for thought that Dr. James M. Bower is offering:
Myth 1 - The problem with public science education is that a large percentage of teachers are incompetent.
Myth 2 - Teachers are under motivated to teach science because they do not understand how exciting it is.
- Myth 3 - The primary reason teachers do not teach science well is a lack of science content knowledge.
Myth 4 - Supplemental teacher training is necessary because too few teachers especially in the early grades, have been required to take science classes in college.
Myth 5 - The key to scientist involvement with teacher training is to provide complex information in as digestible a form as possible.
- Myth 6 - The problem with science education is a lack of good curriculum and therefore we must develop it.
- Myth 7 - One reason to develop new curriculum is to introduce modern scientific techniques derived from current laboratory experiments.
- Myth 8 - Training a few highly-motivated teachers will produce "trickle down" reform when they return to their school.
Myth 9 - If teachers are motivated enough during training, they will find a way to obtain the material necessary to teach science in their classrooms.
Myth 10 - Reform can be accomplished with existing resources if they are simply allocated more efficiently.
As for number 8 (the "trickle down" effect of training), all I can say is "We'll see." My district is banking on our elementary math/science cadre to trickle on their peers, so to speak. This tack wouldn't stand much chance of success, except that principals have already set aside specific times for teachers to meet with their peers and talk about what was shared at the cadre and work on common planning. We will provide "talking points" and other resources in order to direct the stream (of information).
If anyone is interested in the whole piece by Dr. Bower, I'll be happy to forward it to you. Just send me an e or leave your address in the comments!