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Science education across borders and oceans

Photonics Spectra
Feb 2011
SHANGHAI, China – A delegation of US science educators traveled to Shanghai to participate in the Sino-US Science Education Forum in November 2010. The forum was hosted by the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) and the China Association of Children’s Science Instructors. Educators from both countries met to share information on science education trends in each country.

The lectures, according to a blog post by Francis Eberle, executive director of NSTA, focused on higher-level strategies without specific mention of instructional approaches or strategies. Chinese officials discussed the national science curriculum, “Learning by Doing,” and standards, which he said are similar to US standards.

The themes that stood out to Eberle were equity, assessment and implementation. With such a large population of students and teachers, access and implementation are tackled with massive systems. Technology, he noted, helps to improve assessment and communication across the country.

Eberle added that a major lesson he learned on the trip to China was that educators need to improve the US government’s focus on science education and standards. “We need to speak up,” he wrote in the blog at http://nstacommunities.org, and he urged readers to contact state government officials and call for improvements to science education.


GLOSSARY
photonics
The technology of generating and harnessing light and other forms of radiant energy whose quantum unit is the photon. The science includes light emission, transmission, deflection, amplification and detection by optical components and instruments, lasers and other light sources, fiber optics, electro-optical instrumentation, related hardware and electronics, and sophisticated systems. The range of applications of photonics extends from energy generation to detection to communications and...
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