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New way of Learning Science

US high school students need a new way to learn science. Only 21% of seniors were proficient in science knowledge.

A group of scientists and educators led by Professor William Schmidt from Michigan State University have created a new way of learning science. They have created a concept called 8+1 Science that helps students focus on understanding eight fundamental science concepts. The “plus one” represents the question of why things happen around us-another fundamental part of science. The eight concepts are: atoms, cells, radiation, systems change, forces, energy, conservation of mass and energy, and variation.

I didn’t go to high school in the US but my highschoool in Greece used both the American and British curricula.

This group of scientists created this new system in order to help students learn science and actually apply it to real-life situations. Some states are actually participating in the process to develop this new system. They want to help students learn key concepts instead of  them just memorizing facts and forgetting them a month later.

I think this could actually work. I really hope this gets put into schools because with the way things are going, students are learning less and less. They are more distracted with other things such as TV and booze and focus less on school. This will effect education as a whole. If high school students learn better than this will effect who goes to what college. Students who never thought they had a chance might be able to change the world because of this new system. I definitely think it will take a long time to get this system up and running.

What do you guys think? Do you think this could make a difference? Or will this idea just fade out and high school kids will continue going the way they are going? Or do you think that the system is just fine the way it is? How was your experience with science in high school?


  1. April 10, 2012 at 10:26 pm

    I think this is such an interesting idea! I believe that a system dedicated to applying science to real life examples will definitely allow students to retain key concepts longer and also understand them better. Instead of just memorizing facts and ultimately forgetting the bulk of those facts a few weeks, or even days, later is upsetting because teachers want there students to remember what they learn and revisit that information throughout their lives. If this study or concept actually works, I believe it could be extremely beneficial for students because students would understand major science concepts better and hopefully remember those concepts when presented in real life situations. Our world is evolving and modernizing at such a rapid pace that teachers and the educational system should realize that the curriculum and traditional way of learning science is no longer as effective as it used to be. Updates must be made and the technique of teaching science to students must be modified and ultimately modernized in order to help students understand science better and remember concepts longer.

  2. avtheo
    April 12, 2012 at 3:08 pm

    I definitely think this could work. It is more structured and leads to a better, more organized set of standards for science learning. It has the potential to make a difference even for those who don’t find science as interesting as other subjects. There is a possibility for the concept to fade out and have the students lose interest again but it can’t hurt to try.
    I am actually Greek and all my cousins/relatives are perplexed by the American system, so maybe it is a good thing to try because although it’s stated that America has one of the best educational systems, it seems that my cousins are much more well rounded than I am.

  3. April 15, 2012 at 11:56 pm

    For my second essay, I wrote about a study done in Queensland by Mary Hanrahan, who noticed that many science classrooms are text, lecture, and test based classes, and that was not effective for a lot of students. Hanrahan used a concept called “affirmational journal writing,” which is basically just having each student reflect (not only about science, but about school in general) in a notebook. She had the students write about their feelings about the science class, their teacher, and what they were learning, which in turn gave the teacher a broader perspective, as we was able to understand what his students did and did not learn, and was able to reevaluate the way he taught science.

    I think that, while not a traditional hands-on science activity, writing can be very beneficial when it comes to learning, especially complicated subjects like science, because it’s an effective way of communication.

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