Scientific literacy


Scientific literacy

According to the United States National Center for Education Statistics, scientific literacy is the knowledge and understanding of scientific concepts and processes required for personal decision making, participation in civic and cultural affairs, and economic productivity. It also includes specific types of abilities. In the National Science Education Standards, the content standards define scientific literacy.

Scientific literacy means that a person can ask, find, or determine answers to questions derived from curiosity about everyday experiences. It means that a person has the ability to describe, explain, and predict natural phenomena. Scientific literacy entails being able to read with understanding articles about science in the popular press and to engage in social conversation about the validity of the conclusions. Scientific literacy implies that a person can identify scientific issues underlying national and local decisions and express positions that are scientifically and technologically informed. A literate citizen should be able to evaluate the quality of scientific information on the basis of its source and the methods used to generate it. Scientific literacy also implies the capacity to pose and evaluate arguments based on evidence and to apply conclusions from such arguments appropriately. [ [http://www.literacynet.org/science/scientificliteracy.html NCES scientific literacy definition] ]

Science and Technology are tightly interwoven and literacy about both are important. [ [http://www.ncrel.org/engauge/skills/scilit.htm NCREL Reference set] ] Much research has been done in this area [Science Matters: Achieving Scientific Literacy (Paperback) by Robert M. Hazen (Author), James Trefil (Author)] - see the references below for some samples or the NCREL reference above. [Achieving Scientific Literacy: From Purposes to Practices (Paperback) by Rodger W. Bybee (Author)]

Although there is not universal agreement on how to measure scientific literacy [Rethinking Scientific Literacy (Paperback) by Wolff-Michael Roth (Author)] , organizations like the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development [ [http://www.oecd.org/about/0,2337,en_2649_201185_1_1_1_1_1,00.html About OECD page] ] have attempted to build useful correlations. [ [http://www.nationmaster.com/graph/edu_sci_lit-education-scientific-literacy#definition Country comparisons of scientific literacy] ]

References


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