1 September 2014 Criminals, Scientists, and Persistent Myths for Teaching Science
Daniel Bergman
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Thirty years ago, Michael Leyden wrote an essay entitled, “You Graduate More Criminals Than Scientists” in the National Science Teacher Association's The Science Teacher journal, in which he provides sobering data comparing the number of students with criminal records versus those who pursue science as a profession. Leyden also presents and discusses five myths of teaching science based on anecdotes from his professional experiences. A recent survey collected data from a sample of Kansas science teachers (N = 140) to determine the extent to which these myths are present today in the science education community. A majority of science teachers indicated agreement with all five statements, with over 90% agreeing to “Studying science will help my students make logical decisions” and “My students are going to need my course when they get to college.” Discussion includes a comparison of science teachers' perceptions with data both then (1984) and now, such as graduation and college completion rates; potential pitfalls of believing these myths; and how science educators can continue to research teachers' views and help them develop consideration and efficacy for positively impacting students.

Daniel Bergman "Criminals, Scientists, and Persistent Myths for Teaching Science," Transactions of the Kansas Academy of Science 117(3-4), 203-219, (1 September 2014). https://doi.org/10.1660/062.117.0305
Published: 1 September 2014
Science teaching
student impact
teacher perceptions
teaching myths
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