I’m getting ready for a session at AAAS where researchers will explore the results of the multi-national TIMSS study of science knowledge by 4th and 8th graders. They’ll be comparing different US state results to draw lessons for improving science education, looking at Massachusetts and Minnesota’s dramatic improvements on these tests from 2005 to 2007.
The room is fairly empty, and an audience member suggests that they’d get a better crowd at the science teachers’ meetings in Philadelphia this summer. A session organizer replies, “The people who should be here, aren’t.”
A message in lots of the science communication and science policy sessions has been that scientists and senior science educators need to be better communicators. Learning what works and what doesn’t should be of interest to all of them, so I have to agree it’s a shame to see the room so empty.