Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Getting science education right

There's an article in the New York Times today on an exclusive LA all-girls prep school and their phenomenal science program. Most of the students at the school take more than 2 years of lab-based science classes, and advanced physics is popular. "Honors Research" pairs seniors with researchers in a lab, etc to work on graduate (or nearly so) quality research. While I love to hear about good science education programs, particularly ones aimed at girls, it's too bad that too often they are limited to places like this school. I feel really lucky to have come from a (public) school that had a "honors research" type program, but our regular curriculum was horrible. Why can't every public high school have a great science curriculum, one that's challenging, lab (or field) based, and attractive to students? Is it lack of good teachers, adequate administrative support, facilities limitations, or just stereotypes about what type of people do science? Why can't more places get science education right?

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