2061 Connections
An electronic newsletter for the science education community

January 2010

Shanghai Forum Advances Project 2061-SAST Collaboration

DeBoer helped mark the opening of the Yangtze River Delta Adolescents Science and Technology Innovation Month with school dignitaries and representatives of the Shanghai Association for Science and Technology, the Chinese Association for Science and Technology, and the Shanghai education ministry.

When deputy director George DeBoer returned to Shanghai this fall, it wasn’t just another business trip. It was a vital part of ongoing exchanges between Project 2061 and science educators in China. DeBoer’s visit and keynote speech at the 2009 Shanghai International Forum on Science Literacy for Precollege Students was based on a memorandum of cooperation between the Shanghai Association for Science and Technology (SAST) and AAAS Project 2061 signed in September 2008. The five-year agreement brings SAST and Project 2061 together to explore U.S. and Chinese approaches to promoting science literacy.  

Every fall, SAST invites one of Project 2061’s science education experts to attend the Shanghai Forum on Science Literacy and give a speech on Project 2061’s latest efforts and the state of science teaching and learning in the U.S. In turn, Project 2061 hosts a two-day workshop every May in Washington, D.C., for a delegation of science educators from Shanghai.

At last spring’s workshop, Project 2061 staff shared their innovative work in the areas of content standards, curricular coherence, instructional strategies, and assessment. The group of teachers and education administrators from Shanghai detailed how they have developed new science standards and launched ambitious new initiatives to improve science education in China. (Read the AAAS coverage of the May 2009 workshop.)

Sharing the U.S. Experience in Shanghai

In his speech at October’s Shanghai Forum, DeBoer discussed the role of content standards in U.S. science education. He focused on how content standards can be used to provide direction in the design of instruction, curriculum, and assessment and how they can be used to create a coherent and integrated approach to science teaching. DeBoer also discussed the public’s understanding of science as a goal of science education and reported on a recent survey conducted by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press and AAAS on the current understanding of science and attitudes toward science by the U.S. public.

George DeBoer and Rodger Bybee in Shanghai

Also attending the Shanghai Forum from the U.S. was Rodger Bybee, executive director (retired) of the Biological Sciences Curriculum Study (BSCS). Bybee’s keynote speech on “Developing Scientific Literacy” addressed the scientific literacy construct as a learning outcome of science education, described a basic framework for the instructional core of school programs, and proposed elements for a process of implementing and assessing scientific literacy as a goal of precollege education for all students.

Because Project 2061 and SAST both recognize the importance of science and technological education in a society and face many of the same challenges in implementing reform, the groups value the opportunity to learn from each other. With another workshop planned for this spring at AAAS headquarters in Washington, D.C., Project 2061 looks forward once again to the fresh perspectives provided by their Chinese colleagues.

Read George DeBoer’s presentation:

“The Role of Content Standards in U.S. Science Education” [PDF, 1409KB]

To learn more about the Shanghai Association for Science and Technology, visit the SAST web site

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For more information about Project 2061’s collaboration with SAST, please contact:

Director: Dr. Jo Ellen Roseman, (202) 326-6752
Deputy Director: Dr. George DeBoer, (202) 326-6624

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