The Access Excellence Periodic


Wayne Carley, Executive Director of National Association of Biology Teachers (NABT) spoke to the Fellows during the '96 Summit of Access Excellence. There is definitely a need for reform in education and we are on the 'edge of tomorrow' he told the audience. In the interview with AE Fellow Lauren Jensen following his talk, Dr. Carley answered some questions pertaining to 'the edge' we as educators seem to be perched on.

Q: Do you feel that our biggest reform movement is to educate people so that they can be educated?

A: Until we educate the whole system, it's not going to do any good.

Q: How do you feel about the tone of the Biology Teacher? Do you feel high school teachers are encouraged to submit information for the magazine?

A: If the high school teachers would submit, we would welcome and consider their submissions.

Q: When do you see educational reform showing progress and a sense of completion?

A: I would have to say that I don't see an end point of reform soon. I am really afraid that if we don't make those political and socioeconomic changes, reform won't be happening. The issue isn't how we teach, the problem is all of the intangibles outside of science education.

Q: Ultimately, how can NABT contribute to the reform and make it more attractive.

A: I would like to see the following addressed; recent-technology is a serious issue, equal access is really needed, and an increase in accessibility for special-needs. Dr.. Carley's observations of the today's education is analogous to a factory. He concentrated on three issues; socioeconomic issues, sociopolitical issues, and the schools and their mode of operation. We may all agree that many of our nation's schools are in need of repair. In addition, we can say that the belief structure and economic structure may vary incredibly throughout our nation.

Dr. Carley expressed the need for teachers to seek out scientists in their own area and enhance and educate the public about the importance of science. The socioeconomic equity among schools throughout the nation would level the 'playing field' for reform and result in improvement of the educational institutions. On the edge, school systems either jet ahead or sit and watch as the other schools leap ahead. Ultimately, he stressed the need to establish a national education system. Without this, there is no one force but an array of fragmented institutions, he emphasized.

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