Investigating Science Education

Conducting high-quality research to better understand science education.

Investigating Science Education uses a variety of approaches to produce high-quality research relevant to understanding, maintaining, and improving science education.

At the heart of the program is a series of representative national surveys — using state-of-the-art survey research techniques — of public secondary school science teachers (the first in 2014-2015, the second in 2019), conducted in collaboration with Eric Plutzer of Pennsylvania State University.

Other research projects, such as the evaluation of our K-12 climate change, evolution, and nature of science lessons, occur as needed.

Measuring the Challenge:

Teaching evolution in U.S. public schools: a continuing challenge

A rigorous, nationwide NCSE/Penn State survey of high school biology teachers finds promising and significant improvements in evolution education over the past 12 years — the last time a similar study was conducted.

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Teaching evolution in U.S. public middle schools: results of the first national survey

This report documents the first systematic attempt to investigate middle school evolution education through a representative survey, conducted by NCSE and Penn State University, of science teachers.

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