As Utah begins the process of revising the state science standards for elementary and high school, it’s a good idea to take a moment to ask why we teach science to K–12 students at all?

Science, engineering and the resulting technologies are interwoven into our lives and will be integral in meeting humanity’s most pressing future challenges. National data illustrate the need for highly skilled workers with strong backgrounds in these fields and the need is steadily increasing.

Finally, the Utah Science Teachers Association believes that all citizens should have a scientifically based understanding of the natural world in order to engage meaningfully in public discussions, be informed voters and discerning consumers.

Problems arise when nonscience ideals impede the teaching and learning of science, either through the use of pseudoscience or the avoidance of topics because they are politically charged. This unfortunately occurred, to no avail, during the process of developing the sixth-eighth grade SEEd standards with regard to evolution and climate change, in particular.

Click here to read the Op Ed by John R. Taylor, president of the Utah Science Teachers Association in the Deseret News (December 16, 2017)

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