We all want our kids to attend the best schools, with great teachers who engage students, teach them well, and inspire them to do their best. The recent controversy about a “Parent Trigger” law, that permits parents to petition for control of low-performing schools, highlights concern for quality education. The National Research Council has a number of reports that discuss the science of learning, address issues of teacher development, and make evidence-based recommendations to improve educational experiences. The video resources listed below, together with our books, can inform debate, aid in decision-making, and help parents and education advocates obtain the best learning outcomes for children. All are free to download.
This popular trade book, originally released in hardcover in the Spring of 1999, has been newly expanded to show how the theories and insights from the original book can translate into actions and practice, now making a real connection between classroom… [more]
How People Learn: Bridging Research and Practice provides a broad overview of research on learners and learning and on teachers and teaching. It expands on the 1999 National Research Council publication How People Learn: Brain, Mind, Experience,… [more]
How do you get a fourth-grader excited about history? How do you even begin to persuade high school students that mathematical functions are relevant to their everyday lives? In this volume, practical questions that confront every classroom teacher are addressed… [more]
Teachers make a difference. The success of any plan for improving educational outcomes depends on the teachers who carry it out and thus on the abilities of those attracted to the field and their preparation. Yet there are many questions about how teachers… [more]
In 1999, Liping Ma published her book Knowing and Teaching Elementary Mathematics: Teachers’ Understanding of Fundamental Mathematics in the United States and China, which probed the kinds of knowledge that elementary school teachers need to convey… [more]
The mission of the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS) is to establish “high and rigorous standards for what teachers should know and be able to do, to certify teachers who meet those standards, and to advance other education reforms… [more]
In recent years there have been increasing efforts to use accountability systems based on large-scale tests of students as a mechanism for improving student achievement. The federal No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) is a prominent example of such an effort, but… [more]
Education is a hot topic. From the stage of presidential debates to tonight’s dinner table, it is an issue that most Americans are deeply concerned about. While there are many strategies for improving the educational process, we need a way to find out what works… [more]
In response to the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB), Systems for State Science Assessment explores the ideas and tools that are needed to assess science learning at the state level. This book provides a detailed examination of K-12 science… [more]
K-8 science education in California (as in many other parts of the country) is in a state of crisis. K-8 students in California spend too little time studying science, many of their teachers are not well prepared in the subject, and the support system for… [more]
The Strategic Education Research Partnership (SERP) is a bold, ambitious plan that proposes a revolutionary program of education research and development. Its purpose is to construct a powerful knowledge base, derived from both research and practice, that… [more]
A devastatingly large number of people in America cannot read as well as they need for success in life. With literacy problems plaguing as many as four in ten children in America, this book discusses how best to help children succeed in reading. This book… [more]
Results from national and international assessments indicate that school children in the United States are not learning mathematics well enough. Many students cannot correctly apply computational algorithms to solve problems. Their understanding and use of… [more]
Early childhood mathematics is vitally important for young children’s present and future educational success. Research demonstrates that virtually all young children have the capability to learn and become competent in mathematics. Furthermore, young… [more]
Science, engineering, and technology permeate nearly every facet of modern life and hold the key to solving many of humanity’s most pressing current and future challenges. The United States’ position… [more]
When it comes to motivating people to learn, disadvantaged urban adolescents are usually perceived as a hard sell. Yet, in a recent MetLife survey, 89 percent of the low-income students claimed “I really want to learn” applied to them.
Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) are cultural achievements that reflect our humanity, power our economy, and constitute fundamental aspects of our lives as citizens, consumers, parents, and members of the workforce. Providing all… [more]
What students learn about the science disciplines, technology, engineering, and mathematics during their K-12 schooling shapes their intellectual development, opportunities for future study and work, and choices of career, as well as their capacity to make… [more]
A new report from the Council on Foreign Relations reaffirms the importance of science education for the future of our nation. The National Academy of Sciences has developed resources to inspire future scientists and engineers, and expand the public’s interest in science in general . All of this media is free and is intended to be shared.
The National Academy of Engineering (NAE) has just released a series of videos on engineeringchallenges.org aimed at sparking interest in engineering among young people. Focused on the themes of NAE’s Grand Challenges for Engineering, they feature NAE members such as Disney/Pixar’s Ed Catmull, Caltech’s Frances Arnold, and Google’s Vince Cerf.
The National Academies YouTube channel carries a number of short videos that explain some of the most pressing challenges in science. From controlling zoonotic diseases to understanding the challenges of climate change, these films all feature scientists explaining the issues and their work.
The National Academy of Engineering’s Changing the Conversation and Engineer Girl websites were developed to promote positive engineering messaging among engineers and to inspire both boys and girls to become engineers.
The Web site iWASwondering.org is a project of the National Academy of Sciences intended to showcase the accomplishments of contemporary women in science and to highlight for young people the varied and intriguing careers of some of today’s most prominent scientists.
The National Academy of Engineering and National Research Council produced a number of reports about the need to inspire and prepare students for careers in science, and the need to improve science education. These books are all free to download.
Surrounded by Science: Learning Science in Informal Environments240 pages | Paperback | Price: $22.45Practitioners in informal science settings–museums, after-school programs, science and technology centers, media enterprises, libraries, aquariums, zoos, and botanical gardens–are interested in finding out what learning looks like, how to measure it, and… [more]
Science, engineering, and technology permeate nearly every facet of modern life and hold the key to solving many of humanity’s most pressing current and future challenges. The United States’ position… [more]
The National Research Council and the Institute of Medicine have produced a number of reports that address issues of the integration of information technology (IT) into health care, education, and emergency management products. These books explore the potential of IT to support delivery of high-quality health care, impact science education through games and simulations, and alert the public in emergency situations. All are free to download.
Learning Science Through Computer Games and Simulations174 pages | Paperback | Price: $35.10At a time when scientific and technological competence is vital to the nation’s future, the weak performance of U.S. students in science reflects the uneven quality of current science education. Although young children come to school with innate… [more]
Communicating Science and Engineering Data in the Information Age122 pages | Paperback | Price: $34.20The National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics (NCSES) of the National Science Foundation (NSF) communicates its science and engineering (S&E) information to data users in a very fluid environment that is undergoing modernization at a pace at… [more]
Wireless Technology Prospects and Policy Options112 pages | Paperback | Price: $24.07The use of radio-frequency communication–commonly referred to as wireless communication–is becoming more pervasive as well as more economically and socially important. Technological progress over many decades has enabled the deployment of several successive… [more]
Exploration of Antarctica has been in the news recently, as a rescue effort is underway to reach a Russian research vessel trapped in ice. Covering nearly 14 million km² (an area approximately 1.4 times the size of the United States), Antarctica is the coldest, driest, highest, and windiest continent on Earth. While it is challenging to live and work in this extreme environment, this region offers many opportunities for scientific research. The Polar Research Board of the National Research Council has produced a number of reports about exploration of this region. These books discuss environmental and scientific protection standards needed to responsibly explore this unique environment and suggest important areas of research for the United States to achieve success for the next generation of Antarctic and Southern Ocean science. All are free to download.
Future Science Opportunities in Antarctica and the Southern Ocean230 pages | Paperback | Price: $45.00Antarctica and the surrounding Southern Ocean remains one of the world’s last frontiers. Covering nearly 14 million km² (an area approximately 1.4 times the size of the United States), Antarctica is the coldest, driest, highest, and windiest continent on… [more]
Antarctica: A Keystone in a Changing World164 pages | Hardcover | Price: $34.20Antarctica is the center from which all surrounding continental bodies separated millions of years ago. Antarctica: A Keystone in a Changing World, reinforces the importance of continual changes in the country’s history and the impact of these… [more]
Frontiers in Polar Biology in the Genomics Era186 pages | Paperback | Price: $35.10As we enter the twenty-first century, the polar biological sciences stand well poised to address numerous important issues, many of which were unrecognized as little as 10 years ago. From the effects of global warming on polar organisms to the potential for life… [more]
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association reports that the United States set a record in 2011 with 12 separate billion dollar weather/climate disasters. Our nation is particularly vulnerable due to its large populations living and working in high-risk areas: seismic zones, coastal and river flood plains, and dense urban population centers. Catastrophic events can and will happen. Are we resilient enough to ensure that our nation and society can recover and thrive after these events?
The National Research Council and the Institute of Medicine produced a number of reports on the subject of disaster preparedness, response, and recovery. These books further additional discussion on hazard science policy and provide insight on the nation’s future research and applications needs. All are available to read online at no charge.
Natural disasters–including hurricanes, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, and floods–caused more than 220,000 deaths worldwide in the first half of 2010 and wreaked havoc on homes, buildings, and the environment. To withstand and recover from natural and… [more]
Natural disasters are having an increasing effect on the lives of people in the United States and throughout the world. Every decade, property damage caused by natural disasters and hazards doubles or triples in the United States. More than half of the U.S…. [more]
The United States will certainly be subject to damaging earthquakes in the future. Some of these earthquakes will occur in highly populated and vulnerable areas. Coping with moderate earthquakes is not a reliable indicator of preparedness for a major… [more]
During a wide-reaching catastrophic public health emergency or disaster, existing surge capacity plans may not be sufficient to enable healthcare providers to continue to adhere to normal treatment procedures and follow usual standards of care. This is a… [more]
The influenza pandemic caused by the 2009 H1N1 virus underscores the immediate and critical need to prepare for a public health emergency in which thousands, tens of thousands, or even hundreds of thousands of people suddenly seek and require medical care in… [more]
Many coastal areas of the United States are at risk for tsunamis. After the catastrophic 2004 tsunami in the Indian Ocean, legislation was passed to expand U.S. tsunami warning capabilities. Since then, the nation has made progress in several related areas on… [more]
During and after a disaster, text messages, tweets, Smartphone apps, and social networks, along with 24-hour cable news and other media, deliver relevant information to emergency responders, decision makers, and the general public. Participants in the… [more]
The terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 (9/11) on the United States prompted a rethinking of how the United States prepares for disasters. Federal policy documents written since 9/11 have stressed that the private and public sectors share equal… [more]
Social Network Analysis (SNA) is the identification of the relationships and attributes of members, key actors, and groups that social networks comprise. The National Research Council, at the request of the Department of Homeland Security, held a two-day… [more]
Disaster recovery is a complex and challenging process that involves all sectors of a community as well as outside interests. In many cases, it is not even clear if and when recovery has been achieved because of varying stakeholder goals for the community, for… [more]
Information technology (IT) has the potential to play a critical role in managing natural and human-made disasters. Damage to communications infrastructure, along with other communications problems exacerbated the difficulties in carrying out response and… [more]
Public health officials have the traditional responsibilities of protecting the food supply, safeguarding against communicable disease, and ensuring safe and healthful conditions for the population. Beyond this, public health today is challenged in a way that… [more]
The great achievements of molecular biology and genetics over the last 50 years have produced advances in agriculture and industrial processes and have revolutionized the practice of medicine. The very technologies that fueled these benefits to society, however, pose a potential risk as well—the possibility that these technologies could also be used to create the next generation of biological weapons. Biotechnology represents a “dual use” dilemma in which the same technologies can be used legitimately for human betterment and misused for bioterrorism.
The Institute of Medicine and the National Research Council have produced a number of reports on the subject of bioterrorism and dual use issues in life science research. All are free to download.
Biotechnology Research in an Age of Terrorism
164 pages | Paperback | Price: $31.50 In recent years much has happened to justify an examination of biological research in light of national security concerns. The destructive application of biotechnology research includes activities such as spreading common pathogens or transforming them…[more]
Globalization, Biosecurity, and the Future of the Life Sciences
318 pages | Paperback | Price: $50.40 Biomedical advances have made it possible to identify and manipulate features of living organisms in useful ways—leading to improvements in public health, agriculture, and other areas. The globalization of scientific and technical expertise also means that… [more]
It has been a banner week for space enthusiasts! Kepler-22b is the first planet discovered beyond our system to possibly be in a habitable zone, capable of supporting life. Scientists also announced the discovery of the biggest black holes yet. New pictures of the asteroid Vesta were released, adding greatly to our knowledge of asteroids. As amazing as these events are, we have to wonder – what will we find next?
The National Research Council has produced a number of reports that discuss the current status of space science and make recommendations for future research directions. All of these resources are free to download.
The PDF booklet 2020 Vision: An Overview of New Worlds, New Horizons in Astronomy and Astrophysics is also available. Click here to download the PDF (1.7 MB).
More than four decades have passed since a human first set foot on the Moon. Great strides have been made since in our understanding of what is required to support an enduring human presence in space, as evidenced by progressively more advanced orbiting human…
As the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) retires the Space Shuttle and shifts involvement in International Space Station (ISS) operations, changes in the role and requirements of NASA’s Astronaut Corps will take place. At the request of…
On November 8-10, 2010, the National Research Council’s Space Studies Board (SSB) held a public workshop on how NASA and its associated science and exploration communities communicate with the public about major NASA activities and programs. The…
In recent years, planetary science has seen a tremendous growth in new knowledge. Deposits of water ice exist at the Moon’s poles. Discoveries on the surface of Mars point to an early warm wet climate, and perhaps conditions under which life could have…
Driven by discoveries, and enabled by leaps in technology and imagination, our understanding of the universe has changed dramatically during the course of the last few decades. The fields of astronomy and astrophysics are making new connections to…
Every 10 years the National Research Council releases a survey of astronomy and astrophysics outlining priorities for the coming decade. The most recent survey, titled New Worlds, New Horizons in Astronomy and Astrophysics, provides overall…
The 2010 Astronomy and Astrophysics Decadal Survey report, New Worlds, New Horizons in Astronomy and Astrophysics (NWNH), outlines a scientifically exciting and programmatically integrated plan for both ground- and space-based astronomy and astrophysics in…
In response to requests from Congress, NASA asked the National Research Council to undertake a decadal survey of life and physical sciences in microgravity. Developed in consultation with members of the life and physical sciences communities, the guiding…
The United States spends approximately $4 million each year searching for near-Earth objects (NEOs). The objective is to detect those that may collide with Earth. The majority of this funding supports the operation of several observatories that scan the sky…
NASA’s space and Earth science program is composed of two principal components: spaceflight projects and mission-enabling activities. Most of the budget of NASA’s Science Mission Directorate (SMD) is applied to spaceflight missions, but NASA identifies nearly…
Suborbital flight activities, including the use of sounding rockets, aircraft, and high-altitude balloons, and suborbital reusable launch vehicles, offer valuable opportunities to advance science, train the next generation of scientists and engineers, and…
As civil space policies and programs have evolved, the geopolitical environment has changed dramatically. Although the U.S. space program was originally driven in large part by competition with the Soviet Union, the nation now finds itself in a post-Cold War…
Spacecraft require electrical energy. This energy must be available in the outer reaches of the solar system where sunlight is very faint. It must be available through lunar nights that last for 14 days, through long periods of dark and cold at the higher…
The search for life in the solar system and beyond has to date been governed by a model based on what we know about life on Earth (terran life). Most of NASA’s mission planning is focused on locations where liquid water is possible and emphasizes searches for…
The sources, distributions, and transformation of organic compounds in the solar system are active study areas as a means to provide information about the evolution of the solar system and the possibilities of life elsewhere in the universe. There are many…
The all-volunteer U. S. military has experienced multiple redeployments to Iraq and Afghanistan, increased use of the reserve components of the military and National Guard, increased numbers of deployed women and parents of young children, and an increase in the number of military personnel surviving severe injuries that in previous wars would have resulted in death. The National Research Council and the Institute of Medicine have produced a number of reports that discuss issues of importance to both active duty and retired military, and their families. All are free to download.
Veterans and Agent Orange: Update 2010Because of continuing uncertainty about the long-term health effects of the sprayed herbicides on Vietnam veterans, Congress passed the Agent Orange Act of 1991. The legislation directed the Secretary of Veterans Affairs (VA) to request the IOM to perform a…
Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans and Agent Orange ExposureOver 3 million U.S. military personnel were sent to Southeast Asia to fight in the Vietnam War. Since the end of the Vietnam War, veterans have reported numerous health effects. Herbicides used in Vietnam, in particular Agent Orange have been associated with…
Provision of Mental Health Counseling Services Under TRICAREIn this book, the IOM makes recommendations for permitting independent practice for mental health counselors treating patients within TRICARE–the DOD’s health care benefits program. This would change current policy, which requires all counselors to practice…
That many returning veterans have TBI will likely mean…
The Future of Disability in AmericaThe future of disability in America will depend on how well the U.S. prepares for and manages the demographic, fiscal, and technological developments that will unfold during the next two to three decades.
Building upon two prior studies from the Institute…
PTSD Compensation and Military ServiceThe scars of war take many forms: the limb lost, the illness brought on by a battlefield exposure, and, for some, the psychological toll of encountering an extremely traumatic event. PTSD Compensation and Military Service presents a thorough assessment of…
For the United States to maintain global leadership and competitiveness in science and technology we must grow a strong, talented, and innovative science and technology workforce. To achieve this goal, the National Research Council, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine have published reports that focus on ensuring that we draw on the minds and talents of all Americans, including women and racial/ethnic minorities who are underrepresented in science and engineering. These reports explore diversity in higher education and make recommendations to increase the number of women and underrepresented minority scientists and engineers. All of these titles are free to download for personal use.
In order for the United States to maintain the global leadership and competitiveness in science and technology that are critical to achieving national goals, we must invest in research, encourage innovation, and grow a strong and talented science and…
Gender Differences at Critical Transitions in the Careers of Science, Engineering, and Mathematics Faculty presents new and surprising findings about career differences between female and male full-time, tenure-track, and tenured faculty in science,…
During the last 40 years, the number of women studying science and engineering (S&E) has increased dramatically. Nevertheless, women do not hold academic faculty positions in numbers that commensurate with their increasing share of the S&E talent pool. The…
The United States economy relies on the productivity, entrepreneurship, and creativity of its people. To maintain its scientific and engineering leadership amid increasing economic and educational globalization, the United States must aggressively pursue the…
Based on a 2003 workshop, this study describes current public and private programs and recommends ways to recruit and retain more women and underrepresented minorities into clinical research, especially physician-scientists and nurses. Federal sponsors should…
Although more women than men participate in higher education in the
United States, the same is not true when it comes to pursuing careers in science
and engineering. To Recruit and Advance: Women Students and Faculty in
Science and Engineering identifies and…
Ten years ago, five Americans were killed and 17 were sickened in the worst biological attack in U.S. history when letters containing the bacterium Bacillus anthracis (B. anthracis, or more simply, anthrax) were sent through the mail. From October 4 to November 20, 2001, an additional 31 people tested positive for exposure to B. anthracis spores and approximately 32,000 individuals initiated a preventive antibiotic regime.
The National Research Council and the Institute of Medicine recently examined the threat of anthrax. Review of the Scientific Approaches Used During the FBI’s Investigation of the 2001 Anthrax Letters focuses on the investigation of the 2001 attacks. This book evaluates the scientific foundation for the specific techniques used by the FBI to determine whether these techniques met appropriate standards for scientific reliability and for use in forensic validation, and whether the FBI reached appropriate scientific conclusions from its use of these techniques.
Prepositioning Antibiotics for Anthrax addresses proactive efforts to provide treatment in the event of an aerosol B. anthracis or other bacterial agent event. Rapid access to antibiotics is critical for preventing and treating illness and death due to this kind of bioterrorism attack. Yet the logistics of effectively delivering antibiotics to prevent anthrax infection pose a tremendous challenge because such an attack could potentially expose a large number of people who would require antibiotics within a relatively brief time window. For example, if aerosolized anthrax were released over a large, densely populated area, hundreds of thousands of people could need antibiotics to prevent deadly inhalational anthrax. This book evaluates new dispensing strategies to provide antibiotics to all exposed and potentially exposed individuals.
Both of these books are available to read or download online at no charge.
Less than a month after the September 11, 2001 attacks, letters containing spores of anthrax bacteria (Bacillus anthracis, or B. anthracis) were sent through the U.S. mail. Between October 4 and November 20, 2001, 22 individuals developed anthrax; 5 of the…
If terrorists released Bacillus anthracis over a large city, hundreds of thousands of people could be at risk of the deadly disease anthrax – caused by the B anthracis spores – unless they had rapid access to antibiotic medical countermeasures (MCM). Although…