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Science Education, Scientific Literacy, and Technology: Issues and Promises

Mary R Marlino

University Corporation for Atmospheric Research

P.O. Box 3000

Boulder, CO 80303-3000



The Call To Action in the recently published National Science Education Standards for the United States spells out a vision of science education that will make scientific literacy for all a reality in the 21st century. Specifically, scientific literacy is identified as enabling "... people to use scientific principles and processes in making personal decisions and to participate in discussions of scientific issues that affect society." One of the important consequences of science is that, properly learned, valuable transferable skills such as solving problems creatively, thinking critically, working cooperatively, using technology effectively, and valuing life-long learning are reinforced and refined.

A model for creating learning environments where metacognitive skills can be honed is essential if the goals discussed in the National Science Education Standards are to be achieved. Such a model would be based on the premise that when learning skills are acquired in the context of a scientific discipline, the understanding of the science content not only will follow, but the understanding will be deeper and transferable.

This presentation will discuss the recommendations made in the National Science Education Standards, present several critical dimensions of a model for science education, and demonstrate examplars of technology-based programs that are being developed to respond to these recommendations in post-secondary educational settings.



(c) Mary R Marlino


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