we need less school, not more

We need less school, not more, to learn more science, a paper discussing this is entitled The 95 Percent Solution: School is not where most Americans learn most of their science, from the American Scientist via GFBrandenburg.  
The scientific research and education communities have long had a goal of advancing the public’s understanding of science. The vast majority of the rhetoric and research on this issue revolves around the failure of school-aged children in the United States to excel at mathematics and science when compared with children in other countries. Most policy solutions for this problem involve improving classroom practices and escalating the investment in schooling, particularly during the precollege years. The assumption has been that children do most of their learning in school and that the best route to long-term public understanding of science is successful formal schooling. The “school-first” paradigm is so pervasive that few scientists, educators or policy makers question it. This despite two important facts: Average Americans spend less than 5 percent of their life in classrooms, and an ever-growing body of evidence demonstrates that most science is learned outside of school.  
We contend that a major educational advantage enjoyed by the U.S. relative to the rest of the world is its vibrant free-choice science learning landscape—a landscape filled with a vast array of digital resources, educational television and radio, science museums, zoos, aquariums, national parks, community activities such as 4-H and scouting and many other scientifically enriching enterprises. The sheer quantity and importance of this science learning landscape lies in plain sight but mostly out of mind. We believe that nonschool resources—used by learners across their lifetimes from childhood onward—actually account for the vast majority of Americans’ science learning. If this premise is correct, then increased investment in free-choice (also known as informal) learning resources might be a very cost-effective way to significantly improve public understanding of science. Taking this view, though, requires dismantling a widespread misconception that out-of-school educational experiences only support superficial science learning and the recreational interests of a limited percentage of the curious public, rather than the learning of real science by all citizens.
In a time of limited resources, we can use the wonderful public resources better by making our schools community learning centers, democratic and open access.
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