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Parents, Teachers Agree: More Hands-On Learning in Science Classes Needed

Parents & Teachers Agree: More Science Education and More Hands-On Learning

For the past 20 years, Bayer has annually issued a survey to assess science education and development in the United States. Yesterday, it released the findings of this year's surveys and found that a majority of both parents and teachers agree that science education needs more emphasis, particularly when it comes to hands-on learning experiences.

The Bayer Facts of Science Education Survey was conducted through a telephone survey of 1,009 adults with children in K-5 grade levels and 1,002 teachers who teach grades K-5.

"Although positive strides have been made, survey results emphasize the critical need to improve science education and literacy for future generations. Teachers, for example, universally agree (99 percent) that more hands-on experiential learning in general would benefit student learning," said the company in a statement.

Further, ninety-four percent of teachers surveyed believe that hands-on science learning would help increase standardized test scores and overall student performance.

On the parents' end, the majority of parents surveyed said they were willing to support hands-on experiences in the classroom at home. Eighty-five percent of parents said that they would be willing to help their children with projects at home so long as they have access to resources and support.

The survey also analyzed why teachers and parents feel as if science education is frequently put on the back burner.

"Eighty-five percent of teachers would dedicate more instructional time to hands-on science-based learning if given the opportunity, but are prevented due to lack of time due to other educational priorities (80 percent) and lack of funds (49 percent)," the company said.

In response to the findings, Bayer announced a five-year commitment to improve science education by promising to provide one million learning experiences for children by the year 2020.

Bayer is also inviting the community to participate in efforts to celebrate its new initiative and science education in general by sharing thank you messages to role models who helped inspire them in science.

"To kick off the five-year commitment and celebrate mentors who have helped foster curiosity around science, Bayer is launching the 'Thank You' ('Tk U') campaign. "

From today through Oct. 30, Bayer is encouraging people of all ages to share a 'thank you' message at SayTkU.com or via social with #SayTKU, acknowledging someone who has inspired scientific imagination and helped to make science make sense in their lives. This can be a teacher who had a knack for making science lessons exciting, an encouraging parent who nailed the role of science project helper or a professional who inspired a scientific career path.

Read more about Bayer's company-wide science literacy initiatives here and comment with your thoughts below.

Article by Nicole Gorman, Education World Contributor

09/11/2015

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