Biology education in the age of global accountability: Exploring best instructional strategies and practices that promote academic excellence
Abstract As we move forward in education reform in the globalized 21st century, the United States must visit new ways to teach science in high school classrooms. The goal of this investigation is to analyze the current research literature for the best and most promising teaching strategies and techniques in secondary education biology classrooms that promote academic excellence for all students. Looking at policy and school reform literature in science education to establish the context of the current system, the paper will not focus on the political as or systematic changes needed to ground an overall successful system. However, because of their inherent effect on the education system, the political aspects of education reform will be briefly addressed. The primary focus, by addressing the emphasis on standardization, inflexibility of instruction and lack of creativity specifically in high school biology classrooms, seeks to clarify small changes that can influence students' academic outcomes. The United States is performing on such a poor level in science and math proficiency that it cannot match students abroad and this is seen through test scores and the production of competent graduates. This investigation serves to organize literature from education researchers and showcase best and promising teaching and learning practices that catalyze academic excellence for all students in our pluralistic, democratic and complex schooling and societal contexts.