Scientific Literacy

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What Works Statements

What Works: Shaping General Education Programs Focused on Scientific and Quantitative Literacy

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Rethinking scientific literacy
Emphasizing case studies, this book, written by Wolff-Michael Roth at the University of Victoria and Angela Calabrese Barton at Columbia University, explores ways of improving the scientific literacy of students. The publisher's website provides an abstract, reviews, biography, and content information.


"What does it mean to be liberally educated in the 21st century" and Other Small Questions
A Report and Reflections on a Recent Meeting
William David Burns
In the SENCER January e-newsletter (, David Burns reflects on the Task Force meeting at Wabash College in January 2005 on "What does it mean to be liberally educated in the 21st century."
Criticism and the consensus of "truth"
Dean Fraga
This 1997-1998 PKAL F21 statement discusses how the objectivity of science and the ability to criticize are essential to not only scientists, but also reporters, lawyers, politicians, and other non-scientists.
Reaching for Science Literacy
Lynn A. Steen
From the July/August 1991 issue of Change magazine, this article by Lynn Arthur Steen describes what works in building natural science communities and addresses science literacy for all.

Other Resources

Then, Now and in the Next Decade, 1999
A Commentary on Strengthening Undergraduate Science, Mathematics, Engineering and Technology Education
Frank G. Rothman
Our point of departure (then) is the mid-1980s, when education in these fields was not perceived to be serving national needs. We contrast the circumstances of that time with those of today (now) and identify steps that need to be taken in the coming decade to address urgent needs of students, science and technology, and society.