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University of Rhode Island — Secondary Educator: Science Education
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The Field
What is a Secondary Education: Science Educator?

A secondary education science educator is a teacher who teaches science to students in middle or high schools. Typically, secondary science educators teach at the 7-12 grade levels. Specific science content areas that are taught may include: biology, chemistry, general science, and physics.

Many secondary science educators obtain degrees with dual majors since this field requires science knowledge as well as certification in teaching and a thorough understanding of education principles.

Important Topics and Issues

To boost science achievement in U.S. students, much attention is now being paid to developing science literacy for students of all ages. For example:

  • Numerous programs aimed at increasing student interest in the sciences and preparing them for careers in science fields are taking place throughout the country. Known as STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) programs, they seek to increase student proficiency in science.
  • Science for All Americans, a publication produced by the Association for the Advancement of Science presents a vision for increasing the level of science literacy for all Americans.
  • Research studies have shown that changing science curriculum from teacher-directed information to inquiry-based learning helps to interest students in science concepts by actively involving them in the learning process. This type of teaching helps students understand the concepts they are being taught as well as see their relevance.
  • Attracting underrepresented groups such as women and minorities into science fields and careers is another important topic. Much research has been done to examine why minority groups don't have a strong presence in science disciplines and numerous outreach programs are underway to increase science literacy for these underserved populations.