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Division of Behaviorial and Social Sciences and Education
June 2011
Education News from the National Research Council

Upcoming Events
Recent Highlights

Watch the video based on the 2010 report Surrounded by Science: Learning Science in Informal Environments!

Practitioners in informal science settings-museums, after-school programs, science and technology centers, media enterprises, libraries, aquariums, zoos, botanical gardens-are interested in finding out what science learning looks like, how to measure it, and what they can do to ensure that people of all ages, from different backgrounds and cultures, have a positive learning experience.

  • Read the report 
  • How can the quality and capacity of the early childhood care and education workforce be increased?

    The Board on Children, Youth and Families held a workshop about the early childhood care and education workforce.  A key topic examined was hoe to define and describe this unique and important workforce.  The workshop also explored how caregivers and teachers affect child development, and the ways that professional development, compensation, and recognition can increase capacity and improve the quality of this workforce.

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  • Can 21st century skills be assessed?

    The Board on Testing and Assessment held a workshop to explore the research and development of assessments of three types of skills-cognitive skills ( such as critical thinking), interpersonal skills (such as teamwork) and intra-personal skills (such as self-regulation).  The summary of the workshop is expected to be published in late summer.  

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    This workshop is part of a larger portfolio of work examining 21st century skills which continues in a current consensus study on Defining Deeper Learning and 21st Century Skills.

  • What contributes to successful K-12 STEM schools?

    The Board on Science Education and the Board on Testing and Assessment held a workshop on May 10-11 to explore the available research on STEM-focused schools, identify research-based promising practices in instruction and assessment, and analyze factors that contribute to school success.

  • View the webcast 
  • Read more 
  • News Clip
  • New Reports

    Incentives and Test-based Accountability in Education

    This report from the Board on Testing and Assessment synthesizes the research evidence about how effective efforts to use incentives attached to tests have been, and concludes that despite using test-based incentives for several decades, policymakers and educators to not yet know how to use them to consistently generate positive effects on student achievement and improve education.  It offers suggestions about alternate ways that incentive systems might be designed and implemented to obtain better results.

  • Read the report
  • Allocating Federal Funds for State Programs for English Language Learners

    The nation's school systems face increased enrollments of students whose primary language is not English.  Accurate estimates of those enrollments are needed because they are used to allocate federal funds for programs to assist students to become proficient in English.  The U.S. Department of Education commissioned the Committe on National Statistics and the Board on Testing and Assessment to address the accuracy of estimates from two allowable data sources and the factors that influence the estimates and to consider means of increasing the accuracy of the data or identifying alternative data sources.

  • Read the report 
  • News Clip
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