It is the latest in decades of efforts to improve the science knowledge of American students, who have typically ranked in the middle of the pack on international comparison tests.

Beaker_BlueA new approach for improving American science education calls for paring the curriculum to focus on core ideas and teaching students more about how to approach and solve problems rather than just memorizing factual nuggets.

“That is the failing of U.S. education today, that kids are expected to learn a lot of things but not expected to be able to use them,” said Helen Quinn, a retired physicist from the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory in Menlo Park, Calif., who led an 18-member committee that spent more than a year devising the framework.

The report, recently released by the National Research Council, also pushes for incorporating engineering into what is taught to students in elementary school through high school.

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Source: Kenneth Chang | The New York Times