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Reports on Education


The Academies have produced dozens of reports to guide educators and policymakers in improving science, technology, mathematics, and engineering instruction at all grade levels -- from preschool through graduate school. A selection of these reports follows.

Early Childhood

This report synthesizes the newest research findings on how children between the ages of two and five begin the learning process, and offers valuable conclusions and recommendations on the organization and content of curriculum, meeting the needs of children most at risk of school failure, teacher preparation, and more.

Identifies the important outcomes for children from birth to age 5 and the quality and purposes of different techniques and instruments for developmental assessments.

Presents the evidence about "brain wiring" and how kids learn to speak, think, and regulate their behavior. The report examines the effects of the climate -- family, child care, community -- within which the child grows.

Summarizes a workshop that explored research on young children's capacity to learn about math and science, along with ways to move those findings into classroom practice.

This report urges preschools to devote more time to mathematics instruction, and explains "teaching-learning paths" -- sequences of lessons that build on one another -- that early childhood educators and curriculum developers should use.

This report discusses how best to help children succeed in reading. The book includes 55 activities to help children become successful readers, a list of recommended children's books, and a guide to CD-ROMs and websites.

Grades K-12

Explores how students in pre-K through eighth grade learn mathematics and says how teaching, curricula, and teacher education should change to improve mathematics learning during these critical years.

Observing that most lab experiences for U.S. high school students are poor, this report explains how educators can improve lab instruction.

Provides an objective look at the available evidence regarding the ways in which standards are currently functioning, the strategies that might be used to pursue common standards, and the issues that doing so might present.

Discusses what changes hold the greatest promise for increasing students' motivation to learn. Examples of innovative schools, classrooms, and out-of-school programs that have proved successful in getting high school kids excited about learning are included.

Recommends that engineering education be incorporated into grades K-12, and evaluates 15 specific engineering curricula.

A new framework for K-12 science education that identifies the key scientific ideas and practices all students should learn by the end of high school. The framework will serve as the foundation for new K-12 science education standards, to replace those issued more than a decade ago.

Provides comprehensive and reliable information that will guide efforts to improve school mathematics from pre-kindergarten through eighth grade.

Examines research about the mind and the brain to inform how teachers and schools can help children learn most effectively.

This report will be of interest to anyone concerned about the long-term implications for individual students of high-stakes testing: policymakers, education administrators, test designers, teachers, and parents.

Explains how expanding knowledge in the scientific fields of human learning and educational measurement can form the foundations of an improved approach to assessment. Implications for policy, practice, and research are also explored.

Considers the potential of digital games and simulations to contribute to learning science in schools, in informal settings, and everyday life.

This report addresses the issue of teacher preparation with specific attention to reading, mathematics, and science.

A guide for teachers and science specialists that shows how to put findings from Taking Science to School into practice.

This book summarizes two workshops convened to collect information and perspectives on assessment in order to help state officials and others as they review current assessment practices and consider improvements.

In addition to offering important information for states, this report provides policymakers, local schools, teachers, scientists, and parents with a broad view of the role of testing and assessment in science education.

Recommends that the next generation of science standards and curricula center on a few core ideas and expand on them each year over grades K-8. The report also explains four principles or "strands" that should guide science education in these grades.

Higher Education

Recommends that undergraduate biology courses be updated to include recent advances in mathematics, physics, chemistry, computer science, and engineering, so that interdisciplinary thinking becomes second nature for students.

Offers graduate students and early-career researchers guidance on conducting research responsibly and avoiding misconduct. Through case studies and discussion, the report helps readers consider questions such as how to allocate credit for research, how to recognize conflicts of interest, and what to do if errors are discovered.

The workshops addressed such topics as the link between learning goals and evidence; promising practices at the individual faculty and institutional levels; classroom-based promising practices; and professional development for graduate students, new faculty, and veteran faculty.

Recommends that the U.S. higher education system reshape agriculture education to focus on the reality of issues facing the world's food production and agriculture systems, such as increasing demands for both food and biofuels.