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Discussion: Science Instructional Materials for Middle School: Informing Future Initiatives

dates: 8/10/1999 - 9/3/1999
description: This forum focused on science instructional materials at the middle school level. The feedback gained through the forum will be valuable to NSF as they are currently considering an initiative for science instructional materials development for middle school.

This forum was moderated by Joni Falk, and LSC-Net staff will provide a summary for the community. NSF program officers will be interested in following the discussion and we welcome their participation and queries as well.

Contributions to the forum addressed the following questions, as well as more general issues:

  1. Your reviews: What instructional materials have you used for middle school science? What is your take on their strengths and weaknesses?

  2. Identifying needs: In considering a new initiative for curriculum development, what do you think teachers and administrators want/need in instructional materials to provide high-quality science education to their students?

  3. Subject, format, and design perspective: Should new curriculum materials for middle school be in earth, life, and physical science, or multidisciplinary, or interdisciplinary? Should they be all modular or year long? Should they be integrated across subject domains? Should they have texts that go along with the activities, as the high school programs have? Would you recommend a social/societal context, a historical context, or a traditional one?

  4. Barriers: What are the primary barriers to implementing such a curriculum (teacher certification/training, facitlities, materials)?

This discussion began on August 10th and ended on September 3rd.

The summary report, a collaborative product of the discussants, is now available.

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