I just had an interesting conversation with a few homeschool parents of middle school age children who are in the process of making plans for high school. In the process, they raised quite a few questions that we think many other parents also wonder about.
Since these parents know me as their children’s science teacher, our conversation naturally devoted to science education. Fundamentally, we were discussing two things. First, what does a good, high school science education consist of? And second, what do colleges want to see?
Science is such a broad topic that it isn’t at all obvious what subjects students should study. Of course, a year all the field of biology, biochemistry, and physics is traditional, but why? Why isn’t Earth science, which deals with probably the most important issues in our day, such as climate, part of that core course load? Is it OK to substitute more specialized classes such as astronomy, botany, or forensics for the more traditional classes? Should students study only the twigs of science that they most enjoy?
There is no clear answer to these questions; the a conclusion that people come to will have as much regarding opinions and preferences as they will with facts. Personally, I think that while the field of biology, biochemistry, and physics are all great, Earth science is just as good and ought to be in the focus more than it is. I suspect it gets short shrift because of the far-reaching influence of medical schools, which all require applicants to take the field of biology, biochemistry, and physics, but not Earth science. In my opinion, relatively broad survey courses should make up the greater area of high school science, but adding in one or two specialized classes can be wonderful, in particular when they are in addition to the more general classes. If specialized classes replace too many broad survey classes, my concern is that students will not get enough background information to make an accurate picture of that the world works. اختبار قدرات تجريبي
Community . will probably be possible for students to get a great high school science education in very non-traditional ways, that strategy is risky. Some colleges, especially small generous martial arts disciplines colleges, would undoubtedly look on unusual courses of study generously, but most colleges will want to see SAT Subject Tests and AP Assessments. In New york State, Regents assessments may also be important. Notably, many of the schools most likely to de-emphasize standard tests are very expensive, so unless money is no problem, it makes a lot of sense to work hard to get some strong test scores. This is especially important for homeschoolers, who probably need to take at least 5 SAT Subject tests if they want to affect selective colleges. Therefore, it is necessary to include, and probably emphasize, classes that will let students shine on these tests. The only three SAT Subject tests in science are the field of biology, biochemistry, and physics. Doing well on AP assessments is also the best way to impress colleges, so these tests should be taken into consideration as well. There are AP assessments in the field of biology, biochemistry, physics, and environmental science. Regents, which can be important in New york State (and for SUNY and CUNY schools), offer tests in the field of biology (called Living Environment), biochemistry, physics, and Earth science.
The parents that we had my recent conversation with have children who are strongly biased towards the humanities. They like science, but they like English and history more. They do well in mathematics, but they do not get much enjoyment from it. When considering this, they’re currently considering a two-year program of Earth science for 9th and 9th grades that will allow the girls to take the earth science regents at the end of 9th grade, a two-year the field of biology course that will allow the girls to take the SAT Subject Test in The field of biology at the end of 11th grade (and the Living Environment Regents Quiz, for those of them that will be signing up to SUNY or CUNY schools), and a twelve months conceptual physics class in 12th grade which will not be associated with any standard test. Biochemistry is notably absent from this regimen because it isn’t safe to do high school biochemistry in the house. Hopefully, at least some of the kids will take a biochemistry class in community college or at a school that enables homeschoolers to take classes a la carte.
This treatment solution should work reasonable well for this group of kids. They will turn off to college with some holes in their science education, but they have four full years of contact with data analysis, fresh design, and critical thinking. Hopefully, they will have all the skills they need to be scientifically literate and all the tests they need to get into colleges that will satisfy their needs.