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Prior to the start of project activities, project staff recognized...

Issue Addressed:

Prior to the start of project activities, project staff recognized that participants were anxious about change and some did not appear supportive of changes.


Following the announcement of the Science Connections grant to leadership teachers, many expressed concern for teachers' ability to make the changes called for in the proposal. Most of the concern related to the preparation and certification of teachers. Since Montgomery County Public Schools science program has been organized in Grades 6, 7, and 8 by topics of physical science and outdoor education, life science, and earth science, respectively, teachers have been hired to reflect certification in those areas. For example, most Grade 8 teachers are certified in earth science and report little knowledge of or interest in life science. Many expressed doubt that they could make a transition to an intradisciplinary approach that included earth, life, and physical science at each grade level. During the training, in addition to emphasizing effective science instruction, inquiry-based approaches, and constructivist teaching, Master Science Teachers were introduced to a wide variety of new materials. Many of these materials included an intradisciplinary organization or included topics outside of the teachers' certification and experience. However, since most of the materials were high quality, high interest, and included teacher support materials, the Master Science Teachers became comfortable with the proposed curriculum realignment. This change in attitude seems to be attributable to the training and exposure teachers experiences in the institute. Project staff believes that as other teachers are trained and exposed to new materials and instructional approaches, they will embrace the curriculum change and project goals.

Unresolved Issues:

While initial anxiety and resistance have been addressed, identifying new high quality middle school science materials has been more difficult than anticipated. Project staff must continue to search for and identify materials that support inquiry and a constructivist approach to learning.


Gerard F Consuegra, 1/12/1998


Professional Development



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