Science Education & Policy

Bans are all the rage in states like California and New York but the key question is whether or not they actually work; the entire developed world is facing an obesity crisis so if bans are the only thing that will prevent a strained health care system from collapsing, advocates for managing individual behavior say they should be used as needed.
Dr. Harold Roy-Macauley, new Director General of AfricaRice, doesn't want to just improve rice science for Africa, he wants to make the continent a world leader in it.

The rice sector in Africa is going to be “evidenced-based and therefore very solid and powerful,” he says. At a time when the developed world agonizes over the value of science, Africa sees an opportunity to grab a lot of market share by using science to improve their food production and become a next exporter, and then the rest of the world can play catch up.

When there’s a report in the news about the latest science on climate change, the source is very often the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

This body plays a very important role in global climate change policy around the world. Its reports, five of which have been published since 1990, enjoy a degree of credibility that renders them influential for public opinion. And more important, the reports are accepted as the definitive source by international negotiators working under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

It was mentioned in part 4 that a self-study modular instruction on teaching inorganic nomenclature was piloted and have been proven effective.  However, the use of the module was not implemented.  Why was the modular instruction not implemented? Nobody has actually told me formally the real reason that it left me wondering.  So to hypothesize,  maybe it is more on the politics in the school, or maybe an influential faculty member challenged the modular instruction on the following reasoning:

Evaluations of research ethics do not benefit from a tick-box approach. 

Australia’s social science research, like that in most developed countries since the infamous Milgram experiments took place at my alma mater in 1961, occurs under the watchful eye of ethics boards.

New gaps are opening up in educational achievement between teenage boys and girls, according to a comprehensive new report from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

Analysis of its 2012 Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) tests of 15-year-olds in reading, mathematics and science across countries, shows that unfortunately, patterns between the performance of girls and boys have not changed much over time, although some of the gaps have closed a little.

New York City professes to be tolerant, diverse and outcome-oriented in many ways - education for elites is not among them. 6 percent of 8th graders will get to go to one of 8 specialized elite schools, based on test scores and all of the racial, social and income inequality that perpetuates.

Picking cultural winners in the name of public interest is a time-honored tool of government and the social engineers giving them input, but the reasons for bans are often suspect. Banning cigarettes in bars and restaurants rather than creating an evidence-based ventilation requirement was going to cut smoking, it was said, but that hasn't happened no matter what sociological Laffer curve was invoked.

Pundits wanted to create a ghetto-ized underclass but now smokers happily step outside at bars and restaurants, and they meet new people and create their own sub-culture. Less freedom and a more authoritarian government has not caused people to smoke less behind their own closed doors or quit altogether, finds a paper in Nicotine&Tobacco Research.

A child's reading progression isn't based on age, so you need to know what stage your child is up to in order to help them. Image credit:  Shutterstock

Learning to read is a complicated process and parents often wonder if their child is developing reading abilities at the rate they “should”. Research agrees, however, that reading (and writing) is very much a developmental process, which can look very different for different children, regardless of their age.

In America, teachers with tenure can't be fired and so it is more important than ever that the best people get the jobs in the first place. 

Accountability is not going away in the American educational system, and neither are education unions, so new mechanisms for selecting individuals into teacher preparation could boost the quality. A new Video Assessment of Interactions and Learning (VAIL)  tool can inform teacher selection and help stop the ongoing educational reform undertaken by each new administration.