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Chapter 2

Elementary/Secondary Mathematics and Science Education

Science and mathematics at the elementary/secondary level is an important concern to educators. For some students, this level of education provides the foundation to enter higher education to become a scientist or engineer; for others, it provides preparation for entry into an increasingly technological workplace. The National Education Goals Report (National Education Goals Panel 1993) specifically states that by the year 2000 U.S. students will be first in the world in science and mathematics achievement. It mandates that American students will leave grades 4, 8, and 12 with demonstrated competency in challenging subject matter, including science and mathematics. Although responsibility for pre-kindergarten through 12th grade education rests with local and State governments, the Federal Government has nonetheless increased its involvement through support of development and implementation of systematic reforms in content, teaching, materials, and assessment (Federal Coordinating Council for Science, Engineering, and Technology 1993).
Reaching the Nation's goal for science and mathematics achievement will not occur unless all participate, including female and minority students and students with disabilities (Oakes 1990). In general, these students graduate from high school ill prepared for technology-oriented employment and they are less likely than white, male students or students without disabilities to enter science and mathematics fields in postsecondary education. As data in chapter 5 show, women and minority groups are underrepresented in many science and engineering fields. The underrepresentation begins in elementary and secondary schools.

Conceptual Framework
Persons with Disabilities
Sidebar: Visions of What a Scientist Looks Like
Sidebar: Gender and Culture
Sidebar: Data on American Indian Students

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