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How Stuff Works: Study: Grades Improve When Kids Learn Great Scientists Struggled Too (February 23rd, 2016)

Science students who learned about the struggles of famous scientists rather than just their accomplishments performed better academically in a recent study. Science & Society Picture Library/Getty Images
Science students who learned about the struggles of famous scientists rather than just their accomplishments performed better academically in a recent study. SCIENCE & SOCIETY PICTURE LIBRARY/GETTY IMAGES

Scientists get things wrong all the time — even really the good ones.

Albert Einstein, for instance, wasted a lot of time trying to disprove the Big Bang theory, telling Georges Lamaïtre, the author of our dominant cosmological creation model, “Your calculations are correct, but your grasp of physics is abominable.”

A recent paper published in the Journal of Educational Psychology suggests that in order to teach science in a way that encourages kids to take an interest in trying it out for themselves, we should be teaching them not just about the successes of great scientists, but also their big, fat mistakes.

“Our culture tends to emphasize success,” says Dr. Xiaodong Lin-Siegler, lead researcher on the project and associate professor of cognitive studies at Columbia University’s Teachers College. “We tell kids, ‘You can be right all the time if you’re smart enough — you won’t make mistakes if you’re a good enough scientist.'”

But in the study of 402 ninth and tenth graders from four low-income high schools in New York City, the grades and survey comments of students who read exclusively about the outstanding genius or successes of famous scientists suggested that the astronomical success of others isn’t necessarily a great academic motivator.

Participants were broken up into three study groups, with each group spending time in their science class learning about the lives and careers of three different scientists: Albert Einstein, Marie Curie and Michael Faraday. One group read only about the superior intellect or achievements of each scientist, while another read narratives focused on the intellectual and professional struggles of each. A third group read about the personal setbacks each scientist suffered.

Students learned about the personal struggles of Marie Curie, among other famed scientists.
Students learned about the personal struggles of Marie Curie, among other famed scientists.
ULLSTEIN BILD/GETTY IMAGES

Students who read about the personal or professional struggles of these paragons of science measurably improved their grades during a single six-week grading period, with normally low-achieving students showing the most significant grade increases. By contrast, those in the group that read only about the notable successes of the scientists scored lower grades than they had in the grading period before the study began.

The study included a diverse group of students, mostly from low-income families, and one in five of whom born outside the Unites States. The results suggest that in order for students to feel it’s possible to accomplish great science, the myth that great scientists don’t encounter failures and discouraging setbacks in their personal and professional lives has to be dispelled. What makes a great scientists successful is the fact that they keep trying.

“Positive psychology doesn’t always lead to positive behaviors,” says Lin-Siegler. “The more successful you want to be, the more you encounter failure. Failure hits everybody really hard, but if we stay in the safety zone, there’s no creativity. We need to teach our kids to fail well.”

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Quartz: Teens do better in science when they know Einstein and Curie also struggled (Feb 24th, 2016)

February 24, 2016

Apparently learning that science does not always come naturally—even to geniuses—helps children succeed.

Students who learned that great scientists struggled, both personally and intellectually, outperformed those who learned only of the scientists’ great achievements, new research shows.

Ninth- and 10th-grade students in low-performing New York City schools who read about Albert Einstein’s struggles, including multiple school changes and trouble convincing others that gravity from a large object like a planet could actually bend light, performed better in science than a control group who learned only about what the scientists achieved.

Xiaodong Lin-Siegler, an associate professor of cognitive studies at Columbia University’s Teachers College who led the study, told Quartz that the results surprised her. The experiment could have gone two ways, she explained: Learning that Einstein or Curie struggled could lead kids to throw up their hands and say “if Einstein can’t do it, then I certainly can’t either.” Or, it might inspire them by showing that everyone—even the greats—face seemingly insurmountable challenges.

“In our culture we always say you don’t want to intimidate kids, you don’t want to tell them how hard the work is,” she noted. But the experiment showed the opposite strategy works better: Showing how great scientists had to muddle through lots of tough stuff made the subject matter real and allowed students to connect with them as people.

“We think kids are so fragile,” she told Quartz. “Tell them the truth. They are resilient.”

The study, published in the Journal of Educational Psychology, divided 402 ninth- and 10th-graders from four New York City public schools in Harlem and the Bronx into three groups. One group read an 800-word excerpt from a scientific textbook on the accomplishments of Albert Einstein, Marie Curie, and Michael Faraday (an English scientist who made discoveries about electromagnetism).

Another group learned about the scientists’ personal struggles, such as the fact that Einstein had to flee Nazi Germany to avoid persecution, or Marie Curie had to study in secret because women were discouraged from academic pursuits at the time. The third group learned about the scientists’ intellectual struggles and how they confronted them.

After six weeks, the two groups who learned about how the scientists struggled significantly improved their science grades and increased their motivation to study science. The lowest performing students showed the greatest gains.

Meanwhile, the students who learned only about the scientists’ achievements performed worse. They believed the scientists were innately gifted—unlike themselves.

The study underpins a few key findings from the science of learning:

Some people learn better when the content has meaning to them. For those students, science comes to life more through personal stories than through the actual scientific content.

And kids who learn that intellect is a malleable thing, something to be built rather than inherited, take more academic risks and perform better. The study adds to the growing body of research in favor of teaching this “growth mindset” or the belief that the brain, like other muscles in the body, can be strengthened and improved through struggle and hard work.

Lin-Siegler argues that teaching and science textbooks could be vastly improved, to help engage students and promote STEM—if they were transformed from overweight catalogues of formulas to explorations of the fascinating back stories that led to all that scientific knowledge.

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Xiaodong Lin on BBC About Her Study On Learning About Scientists’ Failure

The BBC World News interviewed TC’s Xiaodong Lin on her recently published study, with TC graduate students, showing that high school students who learn about the failures and struggles of famous scientists may score higher on science tests than those who do not. The 3-minute, 22-second segment, which aired from London on Feb. 29, begins at 16.38 and ends at 19.20.

The study was covered by many more outlets, including cbs.comupi.comQuartz magazine, and others.

Published Tuesday, Mar. 1, 2016

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The Humanist.com: Success in Failure: How Stories of Struggle Can Transform Science Education (March 2nd, 2016)

Stories are an integral part of human development. They’ve been shared in cultures past and present as a means of entertainment, cultural preservation, and education. Although stories are largely used in academic subjects such as language and the arts, a new study suggests that stories are underutilized in science education.

A study published in the Journal of Educational Psychology explores the connection between humanizing eminent scientists and student academic performance in science. The study assesses the role of “struggle stories”—narratives that depict how scientists endure through failures and struggles—in academic success of ninth and tenth grade students. The 402 students involved in the study read one of three narratives that either detailed a scientist’s (1) intellectual struggles (such as overcoming multiple mistakes during scientific investigation), (2) personal struggles (such as overcoming poverty and a lack of support), or (3) scientific accomplishments (not unlike their usual depiction in instructional textbooks).

After six weeks, researchers found that providing well-rounded portraits of prominent scientists improved academic motivation and performance. Students who read about the intellectual or personal struggles of scientists achieved higher grades than did students who were only exposed to great scientific achievements. Researchers concluded that student motivation is impacted by curriculum that only highlights a scientist’s scientific accomplishments. In the absence of additional information, students believed that, to excel at science, one must have an innate understanding of science, not realizing that scientific knowledge and ability is a result of resilience in the face of failure.

Lead researcher Xiaodong Lin-Siegler provided recommendations for the future of science curriculum. She stresses that textbooks need to do more than explain complicated theories and equations; in order to fully engage students, educational materials must provide an informative and vivid narrative by not only highlighting the results of science, but the process as well. Lin-Siegler told Science Daily: “When kids think Einstein is a genius who is different from everyone else, then they believe they will never measure up. Many students don’t realize that all successes require a long journey with many failures along the way.” Not only do students need to know the science, they need to understand how to overcome challenges in the field.

Though we’re often hesitant to discuss or confront failures, the scientific method integrates failure as part of the process—sometimes even leading to new and unexpected insights. A few years ago, the Origins Project at Arizona State University brought together a number of distinguished scientists and science journalists to share their stories in “The Great Debate: The Storytelling of Science.” At the panel, Bill Nye (American Humanist Association’s 2010 Humanist of the Year) recalled a childhood moment of scientific inquiry. After having difficulty understanding aerodynamic theory and how bees fly, he realized that “the bees are fine; the problem is with the theory.” Science is a process, and failure is a large part of that. As we contemplate ways to make STEM careers more appealing, perhaps we need to first consider how these disciplines are being presented to young students.

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News.Mic: Students Learn STEM Subjects Better When They’re Taught This Strange Detail in the Process (May 3rd, 2016)

The key to a higher grade in high school chemistry may not be more studying or frequent pop quizzes, but rather teaching kids about the personal struggles of esteemed scientists, a recent study found.

The study split 402 students into three groups with different study materials on scientists like Einstein and Marie Curie: The first group learned about the scientists’ achievements, the second their personal struggles (like Einstein fleeing Nazi Germany) and the third their intellectual struggles (like Curie’s perseverance during a series of failures). Over a six-week period, the two latter groups improved their science grade while the first group had lower scores. 

Researchers believe that when students learn humanizing details about great scientists, their work becomes more relatable and thus motivational.

Read more: This Is What Women In STEM Look Like Around the World

Source: Christopher Furlong/Getty Images

“When kids just think Einstein is a genius, then they believe they can never measure up to him,” researcher Xiaodong Lin-Siegler said, according to Science Daily. “Many kids don’t know that all successes require a long journey with many failures along the way.”

Prior studies back Lin-Siegler’s findings that students can improve on subjects that don’t come naturally when they’re given guidance that emphasizes the importance of failure and struggle over immediate success.

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Psych Central: Scientists’ Struggles Can Energize Students, Boost Science Grades (Feb 15th, 2016)

Stories of people who’ve had to struggle and persevere through adversity in order to reach success have long been the central themes of our favorite books and movies. Now a new study suggests that incorporating these struggle-to-success stories into the classroom can significantly help improve students’ grades, particularly low-achieving students.

The study, published online in the Journal of Educational Psychology, found that high school students who learned about the personal struggles and failed experiments of great scientists such as Albert Einstein and Marie Curie saw a significant jump in their science grades.

For the research, 402 ninth and 10th-grade students from four New York City high schools in low-income areas of the Bronx and Harlem were divided into three groups. The control group read an 800-word typical science textbook description about the great accomplishments of Einstein, Curie, and Michael Faraday, the English scientist who made important discoveries about electromagnetism.

Another group, however, learned about those scientists’ personal struggles, such as Einstein’s flight from Nazi Germany to avoid persecution as a Jew. The third group of students learned about the scientists’ intellectual struggles, such as Curie’s persistence even after she experienced several failed experiments. The struggle stories included actions the scientists took to overcome these obstacles.

At the end of a six-week grading period, students who learned about the scientists’ intellectual or personal struggles had significantly improved their science grades, with low achievers benefiting the most.

The control group who only learned about the scientists’ achievements, but not their struggles, actually had lower grades than they’d had before the study began.

“When kids think Einstein is a genius who is different from everyone else, then they believe they will never measure up,” said lead researcher Xiaodong Lin-Siegler, Ph.D. “Many students don’t realize that all successes require a long journey with many failures along the way.”

Furthermore, students who learned about the scientists’ intellectual or personal struggles were more likely to say that the famous scientists were regular people, much like themselves, who had to overcome failure and obstacles to succeed. The control group students, however, were more likely to believe that the great scientists had innate talent and a special aptitude for science.

The findings suggest that science textbooks should highlight the struggles of great scientists and provide more vivid narrative descriptions of the techniques that scientists used to overcome challenges, said Lin-Siegler, an associate professor of cognitive studies at Columbia University’s Teachers College.

“Many kids don’t see science as part of their everyday lives. We teach them important content, but we never bring it to life,” she said. “Our science curriculum is impersonal, and kids have a hard time relating to it because they just see a long list of facts that they have to memorize.”

Source: American Psychological Association

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Australia Network News: Learn Struggles of Famous Scientists to Succeed in Science (Feb 11th, 2016)

Learning about famous scientists’ failures and suffering makes a student succeed in science. This new study was published by the American Psychological Association, and also found that students who only learned about the scientists’ achievements and breakthroughs performed poorly in the test.

The study involved analysing 402 high school students that consisted of 37 percent Latino, 31 percent black, 11 percent biracial, eight percent Asian, seven percent white participants and the last five percent were categorised as others. Almost one in five participants were born outside the US and a third only spoke English half the time or less in their homes. Three-quarters of the students came from low-income backgrounds.

One group read an 800-word science book that wrote about the achievements of scientists that included Albert Einstein, Marie Curie and Michael Faraday. Another group were given books about these scientists’ personal struggles, which included how Einstein’s evadedNazi Germany’s persecution of the Jews. The last group read about the scientists’ intellectual struggles and how they overcame these challenges, which included Curie’s failures before her success.

Wikimedia/Christie’s

After a six-week grading period, those who learned about the intellectual and personal struggles of the scientists scored improved science grades. However, those who only read about the scientist’s achievements did not experience the same improvement. They actually received lower grades than the ones they received before the study.

Lead researcher Xiaodong Lin-Siegler, an associate professor of cognitive studies at Columbia University’s Teachers College, explains that the students who only read about the accomplishments believe these scientists were naturally gifted and that they would never measure up, hence the low grades. The scientists’ struggles, on the other hand, made the students relate to them.

Lin-Siegler adds that many students do not view the path toward success as a long journey that requires many failures. The students also do not see science as an integral part of their lives. The researcher laments that the current science curriculum is impersonal, which only forces students to memorise instead of actually understanding what the subject is all about and how to bring it to life.

The researchers recommend that science textbooks must emphasise the struggles of any scientist through personal, lively descriptions. This way, students would succeed in science just like those scientists.

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Medical Daily: How Einstein’s Struggles Can Help Boost Kids’ Grades in Science Class (Feb 11th, 2016)

The way students study and retain information has long been a focus of educational research. Improving grades with sleeping tips, exercise, and even music is possible, but what about personal stories?

A new study by the American Psychological Association found that students may be able to improve their science grades by learning about the failed projects and personal struggles of great scientists like Marie Curie and Albert Einstein. The research involved 402 9th- and 10th-grade students from various New York City high schools in low-income areas of the Bronx and Harlem. The kids were divided into three study groups, with the control group reading an 800-word passage from a typical science text book about the great accomplishments of Curie, Einstein and Michael Faraday, a scientist who made important advancements in the field of electromagnetism.

One of the other groups read about the intellectual struggles of the scientists, including Curie’s determined work despite many failed experiments, and the third group read about the personal problems the scientists dealt with, such as Einstein escaping Nazi Germany to avoid persecution as a Jew. After six weeks, the students who learned about either the intellectual or personal struggles of a scientist significantly improved their grades, with low-achievers benefiting the most. The students in the control group did not enjoy the same grade increase — quite the contrary, as they had even lower grades than the previous grading period.

Science could use some approachability, according to study authors. Pixabay Public Domain

“When kids think Einstein is a genius who is different from everyone else, then they believe they will never measure up,” lead researcher Dr. Xiaodong Lin-Siegler said in a statement. “Many students don’t realize that all successes require a long journey with many failures along the way.”

The students who read about the scientists’ struggles were also more likely to believe the famous researchers were people, like themselves, who had to overcome obstacles and setbacks to be successful. Control group kids, by contrast, were more likely to say the great scientists were born with an innate talent and aptitude for science. The study, according to Lin-Siegler, suggests more science textbooks should highlight the challenges great scientists had to overcome to get where they were, and provide more descriptive narratives about how exactly they worked to get past their struggles.

“Many kids don’t see science as a part of their everyday lives. We teach them important content, but we never bring it to life,” she said. “Our science curriculum is impersonal, and kids have a hard time relating to it because they just see a long list of facts that they have to memorize.”

Source: Lin-Siegler X, Ahn J, Fang F, Luna-Lucero M. Even Einstein Struggled: Effects of Learning About Great Scientists’ Struggles of High School Students’ Motivation to Learn Science. Journal of Educational Psychology. 2016.

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Teachers College Newsroom: Learning About Struggles of Famous Scientists May Help Students Succeed in Science, Finds Research by TC’s Xiaodong Lin (Feb 11th, 2016)

TC study, published and selected for promotion by the American Psychological Association, suggests textbooks should include scientists’ failures—not just their successes

High-school students may improve their science grades by learning about the personal struggles and failed experiments of great scientists such as Albert Einstein and Marie Curie, according to a new study led by Professor Xiaodong Lin-Siegler at Teachers College. The study was published online by the American Psychological Association, which took the unusual step of selecting the paper for special promotion via press release.

The research report was the subject of a cbs.com story on February 15.

The study, which was supported by a $2.5 million grant from the National Science Foundation, found that students who learned about successful scientists’ intellectual or personal struggles significantly improved their science class grades, with low-achieving students benefiting the most. Students who only learned about the scientists’ achievements, not only didn’t see a grade increase, but they had lower grades than the previous grading period before the study began.

“When kids just think Einstein is a genius, then they believe they can never measure up to him,” Lin-Siegler said. “Many kids don’t know that all successes require a long journey with many failures along the way.”

Published first online by the APA, the paper, “Even Einstein Struggled: Effects of Learning About Great Scientists’ Struggles on High School Students’ Motivation to Learn Science,” is part of a special issue of the Journal of Educational Psychology on academic motivation edited by Lin-Siegler, C. Dweck and G. Cohen that will be published this spring. The special issue, “Instructional Interventions that Motivate Classroom Learning” will include six articles exploring motivation as an important factor that influences students’ academic performance.

Steve Graham, editor of the Journal of Educational Psychology and Warner Professor in the Division of Leadership and Innovation in the Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College at Arizona State University in Phoenix, said, “I hope this special issue will motivate researchers to move toward more classroom-based motivational intervention research and measurable behavioral changes.”

Co-authors Xiaodong Lin-Siegler (third from right) and Janet N. Ahn (third from left) collaborated with Teachers College students Myra Luna-Lucero, Danfei Hu, Zhongqi Shi, Melissa Vega, and Marianna Lamnina (left to right) on the study.

In the Teachers College study, 402 ninth and tenth grade students from four New York City high schools in low-income areas of the Bronx and Harlem were divided into three groups. The control group read an 800-word essay with typical science textbook descriptions about the great accomplishments of Einstein, Curie and Michael Faraday, an English scientist who made important discoveries about electromagnetism.

Another group read about those scientists’ personal struggles, including Einstein’s flight from Nazi Germany to avoid persecution as a Jew. The third group of students read about the scientists’ intellectual struggles, such as Curie’s persistence despite a string of failed experiments.

At the end of a six-week grading period, students who read about the scientists’ intellectual or personal struggles were more likely to say the famous scientists were people, like themselves, who had to overcome obstacles and failure to succeed. Students who did not read about scientists’ struggles more often believed that the great scientists had innate talent and a special aptitude for science that separated them from everyone else.

Janet N. Ahn, a post-doctoral researcher at Teachers College and co-author of the paper, said the study challenges a tendency in American education for teachers to focus on their students’ successes and not their failures. That approach can leave children with the impression that successful scientists are “geniuses,” she said, and if the children don’t think they are geniuses, then they will never succeed as scientists. Additional authors of the paper are Teachers College students Myra Luna-Lucero and Fu-Fen Anny Fang, and Jondou Chen, a TC alumnus at the University of Washington.

The study is also innovative because it used stories about famous scientists’ struggles to motivate students and experimentally tested this approach in a real classroom, said Ahn, who earned a PhD in Social Psychology at New York University.

“A lot of social psychology is based on lab experiments,” she said. “This is really my first time going into the schools to see what works there, and to apply it. You might find what works in a controlled lab setting might not work in a classroom, where you have kids who are busy learning and socializing, teachers who are busy teaching, and so many levels of distraction and uncontrolled factors.”

The results suggest that, in addition to including rich content, science textbooks should highlight the struggles of great scientists rather than just describing their success and listing their achievements. Teachers also could use story-based examples in their lessons to motivate students to learn about science, particularly when teaching challenging science topics. Teachers sharing their own struggles in learning science with the students may also motivate them, Lin-Siegler said.

“Many kids don’t see science as part of their everyday lives. We teach them content, which is super important, but we never bring it to life,” she said. “Our science curriculum is impersonal, and kids don’t relate to it because it’s just a string of facts rather than knowledge about how the content was created at first place and how these people met the challenges in their lives.”

The study included a diverse sample of students: 37 percent Latino, 31 percent black, 11 percent biracial, 8 percent Asian, 7 percent white and 5 percent other. Almost one in five students was born outside the United States, and a third spoke English only half the time or less at home. Almost three quarters of the students came from low-income families.

In the future, the researchers plan to compare the effectiveness of their approach to various intervention approaches that have been tested in the field on diverse student populations (Refer to this paper for more details.). They also plan to develop a library or catalog of stories about people (including women, men of different ethnicities and of various fields and areas of expertise) who struggled through their discoveries.

 

Read the Article: “Even Einstein Struggled: Effects of Learning About Great Scientists’ Struggles on High School Students’ Motivation to Learn Science,” Xiaodong Lin-Siegler, PhD; Janet N. Ahn, Ph.D, a postdoctoral researcher;  Fu-Fen Anny Fang and Myra Luna-Lucero, graduate students; Teachers College, Columbia University; Jondou Chen, Research Associate, University of Washington; Journal of Educational Psychology.

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America Needs More Geeks: How to Make Science Cool

A white lab coat. An unsmiling expression. Thick glasses and unkempt hair. In one hand, a device replete with dials and gauges; in the other, a beaker bubbling over with a toxic-looking liquid.

This image, which owes more to the movies than to the laboratory, is nevertheless what many students think of when they hear the word “scientist.” It shows up with striking regularity, for example, in the drawings made by a class of seventh graders from Illinois who were asked their impressions of the scientific profession. The captions underneath their pictures tell the same story: “When I think of a scientist I think of brainy and very weird people,” wrote a boy named James. “I think of lots of bottles with chemicals . . . I think of little gadgets that are used for things that I do not know what they are.” There’s a lot that students don’t know about scientists, an information gap that must be filled if they’re to imagine a future in science for themselves. Addressing the country’s shortfall of students in the STEM disciplines (science, engineering, technology and mathematics) begins with persuading students that scientists are people, too.

(MORE: The Next Great Resource Shortage: U.S. Scientists)

A series produced by the science program NOVA, available online, is a good place to start. The Secret Life of Scientists and Engineers (tag line: “Where the lab coats come off”) features footage of scientists working in their labs and sitting down for interviews. The researchers come off as curious, playful, even goofy — people you might want to befriend, or become. The same process of humanization can work with written materials. Susan Nolen, a professor of psychology at the University of Washington, gave two different statistics texts to groups of female students. One selection was written in the remote, impersonal style of most textbooks. The other struck a more accessible tone, sharing the writer’s views and opinions on the information. The text with a “visible author,” as Nolen describes it, prompted the students to engage in mental interactions with the author as they read, a process that promoted their understanding and retention of the material.

(MORE: Paul: The Protegé Effect)

Perhaps the most effective tactic of all would be to show scientists struggling, making mistakes and even failing. Why is this important for students to see? Stanford University psychologist Carol Dweck has demonstrated that children with a “fixed mindset”— a belief that intelligence is innate and unchangeable are less motivated and less resilient than children with a “growth mindset,” the conviction that effort and persistence make a difference. Students should be exposed to stories of great thinkers who struggled, Dweck has suggested, so that they come to realize that “even geniuses work hard.” A new study, published in the Journal of Educational Psychology, reports what happened when researchers did just that.

Huang-Yao Hong of National Chengchi University in Taiwan and Xiaodong Lin-Siegler of Columbia University gave a group of physics students information about the theories of Galileo Galilei, Issac Newton and Albert Einstein. A second group received readings praising the achievements of these scientists. And a third group was given a text that described the thinkers’ struggles, as in this excerpt about Newton’s theory of gravitation: “While the famous fable suggests that Newton was inspired by seeing an apple drop from a tree, it was actually his hard work and inquisitive nature that led to his formulation of a gravitational theory. As he said, ‘I keep the subject constantly before me, till the first dawnings open slowly, by little and little, into the full and clear light.’” The students who learned about scientists’ struggles developed less-stereotyped images of scientists, became more interested in science, remembered the material better, and did better at complex open-ended problem-solving tasks related to the lesson — while the students who read the achievement-based text actually developed more stereotypical images of scientists.

The impact of encountering scientists as actual people, on the page or in person, is clearly visible in a second set of drawings made by those seventh-graders in Illinois. The students’ teacher took them to visit Fermilab, a high-energy physics research facility near Chicago. There they talked to real live scientists — young and old, white and brown, and none holding gadgets or beakers. In the drawings they made following the field trip, the white lab coats did indeed come off. One “after” picture featured a young male scientist sporting a striped pullover and a goatee. “Anyone can be a scientist. I saw people walking around in sweatshirts and jeans,” wrote the young artist, a seventh-grader named Amanda. “Who knows? Maybe I can be a scientist.”

Related Link: America Needs More Geeks: How to Make Science Cool

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