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The Questionable Legacy of Credit: The History and Future of Science Education Reform in the US

The Questionable Legacy of Credit
Reported by
Laura Buchholz

Posted March 05, 2007

Presented By


How is it that the same country that sent a man to the moon, pioneered the Human Genome Project, and invented the iPod has one of the worst science education systems in the world? At an October 13, 2006, lecture at the New York Academy of Sciences entitled, "The History and Future of Science Education Reform in the USA," Keith Sheppard delivered a history lesson in American science education reform and offered some solutions that, if implemented, just might help us claw our way back to the top by 2061.

Use the tabs above to view the meeting report and multimedia presentation.

Web Sites

The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching
Web site for educators containing a wealth of information on undergraduate education, professional and graduate education, and K-12 and teacher education.

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
Web site containing information on the Foundation's global development and global health programs, information for grant seekers, case studies of philanthropic programs, and profiles of grantees.

Articles and Reports

Sheppard K, Robbins DM. 2002. Lessons from the Committee of Ten. The Physics Teacher 40: 426-431.

Sheppard K, Robbins DM. 2005. Chemistry, the central science? The history of the high school science sequence. J. Chem. Educ. 82: 561.


Keith Sheppard, EdD

Stony Brook University
e-mail | web site

Keith Sheppard is an associate professor and director of science education at Stony Brook University and part of the LIGASE (Long Island Group Advancing Science Education) group. He is interested in student scientific understanding and conceptual change learning. He also studies the role of computers and technology in science teacher education and the history of science education. Sheppard has taught physics and chemistry to the AP level. He has written numerous science teaching kits for Scientific American as well as articles about science education policy and the history of science.

Sheppard graduated with a BSc (Hons) in chemistry with material science from Liverpool University. He received his post graduate certificate of education in chemistry, physics and combined science from Christ's College, Liverpool, and received an EdD in secondary science education from Teachers College, Columbia University.

Laura Buchholz

Laura Buchholz is a science-educated writer and editor who has worked for the Hastings Center,,, and Rockefeller University Press. In her other persona she writes comedy for the radio shows A Prairie Home Companion with Garrison Keillor and The Next Big Thing. She can be seen every Sunday in Saturday Night Rewritten, a live sketch show at Juvie Hall in New York City.