Proposal Title

The Elephant in the First-Year Science Classroom I: Are Ontario High Schools Equally and Adequately Preparing Their Students for University Science?

Session Type

Presentation

Start Date

7-7-2011 10:30 AM

Keywords

academic performance, first-year, high school transition

Primary Threads

Teaching and Learning Science

Abstract

There is an often largely unspoken concern among university science educators that students entering university are increasingly arriving without the necessary preparedness that leads to academic success. In Ontario, where there is no standardized assessment of learning for high school students in the university stream, differences may exist between high schools in preparing their students for the study of science at the university level. An analysis showed that there are statistically significant differences between Ontario high schools in the performance of their students in a large first year chemistry course at the University of Toronto. The methodology and findings of the analysis will be presented followed by an open discussion about the possible origins of this elephant and the footprints that it may be leaving on first-year science courses at this province's universities.

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Jul 7th, 10:30 AM

The Elephant in the First-Year Science Classroom I: Are Ontario High Schools Equally and Adequately Preparing Their Students for University Science?

There is an often largely unspoken concern among university science educators that students entering university are increasingly arriving without the necessary preparedness that leads to academic success. In Ontario, where there is no standardized assessment of learning for high school students in the university stream, differences may exist between high schools in preparing their students for the study of science at the university level. An analysis showed that there are statistically significant differences between Ontario high schools in the performance of their students in a large first year chemistry course at the University of Toronto. The methodology and findings of the analysis will be presented followed by an open discussion about the possible origins of this elephant and the footprints that it may be leaving on first-year science courses at this province's universities.