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The Science of Education: Back to School



Pell Grants, charter schools, home schooling, SATs, report cards, and yes, even permanent records. The language of education is familiar to most everyone, but the science of education is much more elusive. Educators, academics and scientists have struggled with issues like how to make learning approachable yet challenging, what to include in the curriculum and when, what the optimal class size is and so on. In this collection Scientific American explores the many, many ways that learning is also a scientific process and offers the latest theories of teaching and learning. Section 1, The Lesson Plan, begins with how children learn, including an eye-opening piece by Scientific American Editor Ingrid Wickelgren on how honing certain psychological skills not only enhances learning but helps kids fight frustration and ward off stress. Section 2 focuses on the three Rs, including the relationship between math and language skills and effective methods to teach reading. Section 3 offers insight into the special requirements of gifted children, while sections 4 and 5 discuss the classroom itself, delving into class size and roles of teachers and parents. Finally, the book closes with an issue near and dear to Scientific American: the importance of improving science education. What is the best method to teach science? How do children think and acquire knowledge? What policy changes should be made at state and federal levels to improve the quality of education? Science in education is far more than a subject – it is an approach, an aid, and a resource. In this anthology, Scientific American has gathered some of its best reporting on the challenges, successes and the execution of a scientific approach to education. Together, they help construct a path for success for the next generation.

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