American twelfth graders score at the bottom of the international heap on math and science tests. So how can we be at the top in high tech industries? In this hour of To the Best of Our Knowledge, educating scientists - and mathematicians too!
William Schmidt of Michigan State University is U.S. National Research Coordinator for TIMSS - the Third International Math and Science Study. He tells Jim Fleming that American kids are way behind the rest of the world because the standard U.S.curriculum is out of date, and that officials should face up to the problem.SEGMENT 2:
Thomas Romberg, an expert in Math education, teaches at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He tells Judith Strasser that the basic math curriculum hasn't changed much since 1910, and gives examples of the kinds of data collection and interpretation problems schools ought to be addressing. Also, physicist Fred Bortz tells Judith Strasser about some of the major scientists he profiles in his book "To the Young Scientist: Reflections on Doing and Living Science."SEGMENT 3:
K.C. Cole is a science writer at the Los Angeles Times and the author of "The Universe and the Teacup: The Mathematics of Truth and Beauty." She tells Steve Paulson that human beings' brains aren't designed to easily grasp certain scientific concepts and that the tendency to symetry in nature is the basis of our appreciation of beauty.Cassette copies are available at 1-800-747-7444. Ask for program number 98-04-12-B.
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