Document Type

Science Education


science education, success in college, high school curriculum


We present our studies of the transitions of Iowa science students from high school to post-secondary colleges. Our report summarizes information and impressions from dealing with thousands of new students arriving at our six colleges, along with meetings and discussions with high school science teachers to add their viewpoints into our considerations. Feedback from community college, four year college, and high school science teachers highlighted the following five study issues and needs for improving student transitions from high school to college science: 1) Better math preparation is needed; 2) More work with inquiry-based learning rather than with facts and memorization is needed in both secondary and post-secondary courses; 3) Students must become aware of career choices earlier; 4) Misconceptions by teachers at both levels must be minimized; and 5) High school and college science educators must improve intercommunication. To address these issues differently, our team invited Nobel Laureate Leon Lederman to be keynote speaker at the Iowa Science Teachers Fall Conference in October 2004. Dr. Lederman has campaigned for revamping the high school curriculum to have mathematics and the sciences integrated into a coherent, logical, interconnected whole, with conceptual physics first, to enable students to learn with a minimum of memorization. Feedback from high school science teachers has been very positive. Several Iowa high schools expressed interest in adopting this approach, and one Iowa high school has incorporated, at submission time, this innovation into their high school curriculum.

Publication Date

January-December 2009

Journal Title

Journal of the Iowa Academy of Science





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© Copyright 2010 by the Iowa Academy of Science, Inc.



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