NEWS RELEASE, 12/22/98

UC Berkeley professor receives new award, NSF grant for education research

By Robert Jorgenson, Education

BERKELEY -- Marcia Linn, a professor at the University of California, Berkeley's Graduate School of Education, recently received two honors for her research into ways to improve children's learning and understanding of science.

Linn's Science Controversies On-Line: Partnerships in Education (SCOPE) project won her a grant October 1, 1998, from the National Science Foundation. The project was set up to promote knowledge networking among natural scientists and science students about current scientific controversies.

Such controversies include the prediction of earthquakes, the evidence of life on Mars and the control of malaria worldwide. The project will draw together experts in natural science, pedagogy, technology and classroom instruction.

It will address how to create resources that bring such controversies to life for a full range of users, including teachers and students; how to create incentives and technological environments that attract global, multidisciplinary and diverse communities to collaborate on controversial scientific topics; and how networking and electronic technologies can authentically represent and encourage rich, interactive work on these controversies.

Linn began her work at UC Berkeley as a research psychologist at the Lawrence Hall of Science in 1970. She became a member of UC Berkeley's education school in 1985.

Last week, Linn also became one of two national recipients of an award from the Council of Scientific Society Presidents. The award honors those who meet the highest standard in educational research.

The award, never before given, recognizes outstanding achievement in education research that improved children's learning and understanding.

To qualify for the award, Linn's work had to pass the strictest test conducted by the presidents of the nation's scientific societies.

"To screen for the award, we brought together the toughest group of skeptics we could find - our scientific society presidents," said Dr. Martin Apple, the council's president. "One of the unique aspects of this award is that it is based not only on the scientific solidity of the conclusions reached in the researchers' writings, but also on the impact of the work on children's learning, and on how often the research has influenced others in the field."

The council created this award to highlight the crucial role of educational research. It has called for a billion dollar increase in federal funding for educational research as the most certain way of improving our educational results as a nation.

The council is comprised of the presidents, presidents-elect and immediate past presidents of over 60 scientific societies and federations, whose combined membership numbers well over 1.58 million scientists and science educators.

Since 1973, it has served as a strong voice in support of science and science education, as the premier national science leadership development center, and as a forum for open, substantive exchanges on current scientific issues.

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