Survey: Hands-on science education is key

10/21/2011 1:18:16 PM

A new national survey released today shows large percentages of science teachers and parents strongly agree that demonstrating real-life applications in science can help make science education more interesting for U.S. students.

Almost all science teachers (99 percent) and nine in ten parents (90 percent) feel that science education is important, if not very important for a child’s future, but that it needs to be more engaging to capture the attention of children in America today. The survey, conducted online by Harris Interactive on behalf of iBIO Institute and Astellas Pharma US, Inc. included a sample of 235 science teachers and 300 parents with school-age children in kindergarten through 12th grade.

The other major findings of the survey include:

  • Two-thirds of parents (68 percent) say they are either involved or very involved in their child’s science education and 95 percent have done at least one science-related activity with their child.
  •  However, a majority of science teachers (70 percent) feel strongly that parents should be more involved in their child’s science education. Also, two-thirds of science teachers (67 percent) would like parents to be more involved, compared to only 27 percent of parents who express a strong desire to be more involved.
  •  Additionally, science teachers are almost three times more likely than parents to say that parents often don’t understand their child’s science lessons (94 percent of science teachers vs. 32 percent of parents).
  • Almost all science teachers (91 percent) and parents (85 percent) agree that technology is not being used as much as it should be in science education today.
  • Large majorities of science teachers and parents agree that internet access (89 percent and 78 percent, respectively), films/videos (88 percent, 78 percent), computer stations (86 percent, 74 percent) and smartboards (85 percent, 60 percent) are technology resources that should be used in the science classroom.
  • Over nine in ten science teachers and parents also say that science is very important or important to the future of the U.S. (100 percent and 92 percent, respectively).
  • Almost all science teachers (96 percent) and parents (95 percent) agree science education needs to be improved; in fact, over three in five science teachers (62 percent) strongly agree with this.
  • Virtually every science teacher (98 percent) says there is a critical need for more resources in science education today; over three quarters (77 percent) strongly agree. Only 22 percent of science teachers feel they have the resources needed to conduct hands-on experiments.
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