A new website provides information for science educators based on a project designed with the goal of delivering the highest quality science instruction possible for the students of Arkansas. The information was gathered from a statewide summit meeting sponsored by the Parks Family Professorship of Science Education and the department of education reform, both in the College of Education and Health Professions at the University of Arkansas.
"The goal of this gathering was to get science educators together to talk to one another almost exclusively focusing on a set of questions regarding the present nature and future of science teaching in our state," said William F. McComas, the Parks Family Professor of Science Education.
McComas invited about 40 science education stakeholders from across the state to the summit, which took place at the Winrock Conference Center on Petit Jean Mountain.
"Our daylong, wide-ranging conversations have now been rendered as a set of suggestions, concerns and recommendations to guide the future of science teaching and learning here in Arkansas and perhaps beyond," McComas said. "This report is the result of a careful consideration of hundreds of pages of notes, several extended interviews and a sorting process that offers some of the most discussed views on themes including elementary science teaching, assessment and standards, the role of informal environments in science teaching and teacher certifications among other important topics. All along, we hoped that our work would represent a beginning, but it certainly is not the final statement on these important matters."
McComas established the website for science educators and anyone else with an interest in science education to view the suggestions made by the conference participants and to continue the conversation about science education by leaving comments on the discussion tabs.
The site covers such topics as assessment; certification, degrees and training; elementary science; funding; informal education; needs, wants and issues; professional development, secondary science; science standards; and the role of science specialists. It also provides a list of summit participants with their contact information.
Anyone interested in future meetings of this type planned may contact Peggy Ward at email@example.com for more information. The website may be found at http://arscienceedusummit.wikispaces.com/.