U.S. Students Know What, But Not Why

Cathy Tran

Scientific exploration is a seemingly infinite endeavour that asks of each generation ways to equip future generations of explorers. This article from Science Insider looks at the introduction of new methods of assessment in the United States for grade school students. Rather than simply evaluating students’ ability to recall scientific facts, the tests assessed how well the students could come to scientific conclusions about a new topic—methodological assessment in addition to factual assessment. The results revealed that students’ understanding of methodology fell significantly short of their knowledge base, indicating a lack in critical thinking skills among the next generation of scientific practitioners. The results also challenged how US education systems are developing students in other areas. The wider implication is to consider whether this phenomenon is particular to the US, or whether the ability to think about and engage our environments critically and creatively is disappearing more universally.

Source: Science Insider

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