Science Labs Don’t Measure Up

While sleek crime-scene TV shows have turned students on to forensic science, an investigation of today’s high school laboratories shows that reality isn’t so flattering.
The typical high school lab is an isolated add-on that lacks clear goals, does not engage students in discussion and fails to illustrate how scientific methods lead to knowledge, says a report by the National Research Council.
Most of the labs are of such poor quality that they don’t follow basic principles of effective science teaching, says the council, a private adviser to government leaders on matters of science and engineering.
Contributing to the problem: teachers who aren’t prepared to run labs, state exams that don’t measure lab skills, wide disparities in the quality of equipment, and a simple lack of consensus over what “laboratory” means in the school environment. Even the way class time and space are organized in high schools may be limiting progress, the study found.
Wired News: Science Labs Don’t Measure Up

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