Transform Science Education Through Leadership and Accountability

Jun 07, 2010, 10:00 ET from National Science Teachers Association

ARLINGTON, Va., June 7 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Gerald F. Wheeler, former executive director of NSTA, said this about Teaching as a Profession: Why It Isn't, How it Could Be. "This book is a must-read for anybody seriously interested in supporting a reform movement that will stick. It's well written and accessible for both lay and professional audiences. It is a first step in addressing a facet of science education too long ignored."

Science teachers, preservice science educators, administrators, school boards, state school officers, and policy makers alike will relate to the universal challenges described in this new book by Sheila Tobias and Anne Baffert, and benefit from their advice for improving teacher retention and job satisfaction.

Using research collected from interviews with science teachers throughout the United States and from online survey data, the authors cite poor working conditions, low pay, and loss of autonomy and control as reasons not only for diminished teacher satisfaction but also for teachers leaving the profession altogether. Tobias and Baffert found that educators across the board fear that measuring performance solely on standardized test scores could further degrade their profession.

A number of solutions are offered to alleviate these struggles, including the simple but revolutionary idea of recruiting science teachers for leadership positions in their schools, districts, and states and at the national level. The authors suggest that educators engage more with scientists and the larger scientific community, both for edification and for increasing their political influence. Those interested in a serious discussion on the challenges science teachers face today will find comprehensive coverage of the issues in this book.

About the Authors

Sheila Tobias is the author of books intended to demystify mathematics and science for students, teachers, and policy makers. She is currently a consultant on college and university curricula, general education, and post-baccalaureate alternatives.

Anne Baffert is a chemistry teacher and chair of science at Salpointe Catholic High School in Tucson, Arizona. She has been a high school science teacher for 17 years.

You can browse sample pages of this new book free at the NSTA Science Store website at

For additional information or to purchase Science Teaching as a Profession: Why It Isn't. How It Could Be. and other books from NSTA Press, visit the NSTA Science Store at To order by phone, call 800-277-5300 between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. ET weekdays. Outside the United States and Canada, call 301-638-0200. The 152-page book is priced at $19.95 and discount-priced for NSTA members at $15.96. (Stock # PB280X, ISBN 978-1-936137-06-0)

The Arlington, Va.-based National Science Teachers Association is the largest professional organization in the world promoting excellence and innovation in science teaching and learning for all. NSTA's current membership includes more than 50,000 science teachers, science supervisors, administrators, scientists, business and industry representatives, and others involved in science education.

NSTA Press produces 15–25 new books each year. Focused on the preK–college market and specifically aimed at teachers of science, NSTA Press titles offer a unique blend of accurate scientific content and sound teaching strategies.

SOURCE National Science Teachers Association