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Conference Compares French, American Approaches to Science Education

Last week in Chicago, French and American scientists held a meeting of the minds to compare and contrast their respective approaches to science education.  France's mandate of primary school science reform, instated in 1996, emerged as a key difference.  To date, the U.S. has not seen any unified effort to revitalize science education to the extent that France's La main a la pate has.  Prior to 1996, science was taught in less than five percent of French primary schools.  Now, that number is between 30 and 40 percent.  Among the challenges facing science education cited by representatives from the two countries: Teachers' insecurities about their own science knowledge and scientists' concerns that engaging in too much public outreach could cut in on valuable time in the lab.  Read more about the "Cross Fertilization About Shared Experiences" conference.

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