Title of Presentation:
"Why is it important for EVERYBODY to learn science?"
Professor David Fortus, Department of Science Teaching, Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot, Israel
The goal of scientific literacy underlies much of today's K-12 science education. This goal assumes that in the 21st century, the citizens of democracies and robust economies must be able to draw upon and appreciate the relevance of scientific knowledge in a broad range of personal and societal issues. According to this goal, graduates of contemporary school systems should be life-long learners who can draw upon an understanding of the core ideas and practices in science to construct additional knowledge to make sense of socio-scientific issues, reach balanced decisions regarding them, and act on these decisions. I revisit arguments presented in the past justifying the need for a scientifically literate populace and argue that until students reach the stage where they choose in which topics to major, fostering interest, motivation, self-efficacy, and positive attitudes towards science should be the main instructional objectives.
About the speaker:
David Fortus develops and studies instructional interventions that foster 3D learning and investigates the environmental and curricular factors that influence self-efficacy, engagement, and mastery orientation toward science, in and out of schools. His publications range from science education to theoretical physics to legal economics. Before joining the Weizmann Institute of Science, he was an assistant professor at Michigan State University, a high school physics teacher, and a project director in the aerospace industry.