home about sciencentral contact
sciencentral news
life sciences physical sciences technology full archive
biologygeneticshealthbraineducationanimalspsychology
April 8, 2013
ScienCentral

Nobelist Slams Education


Post/Bookmark this story:

Search (Archive Only)
 

The God Particle
(01.09.01)

Teaching Teaching
(08.03.04)

Teachers Who Stay
(09.30.04)

 

Lederman Science Center at Fermilab

The National Science Board's National Action Plan in the U.S. educational system

Answers from Fermilab



   06.05.08
email to a friend
 
 

Physics Nobel prize winner Dr. Leon Lederman criticizes the state of science education in the U.S. In this ScienCentral video, he explains who's to blame and what it will take to make a change.

[If you cannot see the youtube video below, you can click here for a high quality mp4 video.]

Interviewee: Leon Lederman, Physics Nobel laureate
Length: 2 min 38 sec
Produced by Sandy Chase & Eliene Augenbraun
Edited by Sandy Chase & Chris Bergendorff
Copyright © ScienCentral, Inc.
with additional footage courtesy NASA.

Physics First

Last week I had the opportunity to hear physics Nobel laureate Dr. Leon Lederman field questions from high school students at the World Science Festival in New York City. These hand-picked aces asked about neutrinos, the "God particle" and what it's like to win the Nobel Prize.





Dr. Lederman was warm and unassuming in addressing their questions. However, he had a stern message for the U.S. educational system as a whole. In a recent ScienCentral interview, he expressed concern that students and future citizens are growing up ill-equipped to function in a world increasingly enmeshed in science and technology.

Dr. Lederman is currently Director Emeritus of Fermilab. On another front, he is actively fostering improvements in U.S. science education through several outlets, including his Project ARISE: American Renaissance in Science Education. ARISE emphasizes teaching physics as the foundation science in high school, followed by chemistry, and then biology.





He was also invited to be on the National Science Board's Commission On 21st Century Education In Science, Technology, Engineering And Mathematics (STEM), which resulted in the National Action Plan for Addressing the Critical Needs of the U.S. STEM Education System.




Transcript of video/interview:

University graduates emerge from colleges very often as ignorant about things scientific as they were when they entered high school in some sense.

I think the universities bear a lot of responsibility for some of our problems. For example, they're in charge of training teachers, and especially primary school teachers; and yet primary school teachers all over the country emerge from these teachers colleges totally ignorant about mathematics and science. And they-when they have to teach it as a requirement in kindergarten, first grade, second grade, they install their own insecurities in the minds of the children. And that's terrible. That creates an attitude and will speak with great danger to the future flow of not only scientists and engineers, but also a public that is comfortable with science, and that has a role to play in how science evolves to help the nation in many ways.

You only have to look at the technology of cell phones and internet and the vast array of things that have emerged from a technology and from a scientific understanding of the world in which we live. And you have to say, 'Are we teaching students the right things?' And clearly we're not.

We have to raise teachers' salaries, we have to improve the curriculua. These are things we must do. We must have the same priority for these things as the nation had when it perceived the threat of a Soviet satellite, Sputnik, and acted to create NASA, which of course became a very successful agency-doing exactly what it was expected to do.

Our recommendation was to create a new entity which would sit in Washington, which would not be a federal institution, but it would play the role of collecting together the best minds devoted to education to pick on the things that we thought were important and to get the legislation not only written and discussed but then passed by the Congress.


 
       email to a friend by Sandy Chase
               
     


Science Videos     Terms of Use     Privacy Policy     Site Map      Contact      About
 
ScienCentral News is a production of ScienCentral, Inc. in collaboration with The Center for Science and the Media 248 West 35th St., 17th Fl., NY, NY 10001 USA (212) 244-9577. The contents of these WWW sites © ScienCentral, 2000-2013. All rights reserved. This material is based on work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. ESI-0515449 The views expressed in this website are not necessarily those of The National Science Foundation or any of our other sponsors. Image Credits National Science Foundation