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

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posted by: Joni Falk on August 12, 1999 at 7:14PM
subject: Welcome, let's begin
I want to welcome Ethan Allen, Mack McCary, Gail Paulin, Barbara
Sullivan-Watts, Janie West, Scott Hays, Jerry David Valadez, Tom Archer,
Linda Gregg,and Kalyani Raghavan . Thank you for signing up early to this
forum. You represent 10 different LSCs (Partnerships for Inquiry Based
Science, MIPS, DESERT, GERM-NET, ASSET, LASERS, TESS, Partnerships for
Elementary Science Education, MASE II, and ASSET Teacher Enhancement
Program) and as such your combined voices will contribute greatly to
understanding the state of play in regard to middle school science
curriculum. Feel free to ask your science curriculum coordinators to join
this forum and to post their views as well.

Within the next few days we expect other projects will join the
conversation and I will introduce them as they do, but for now let's begin!

You may want to start by addressing curriculum that you are either using of
considering for middle school science. If your project is currently
implementing curriculum how has it been going? What are the strengths and
weaknesses of the curriculum from your perspective or from the perspective
of your teachers? If your project had difficulty selecting a middle school
science curriculum, tell us why. What was lacking in your opinion?

Since this is a very short forum feel free to also address any of the
following in your reply.

- What do you think teachers and administrators want/need in instructional
materials to provide high-quality science education to their students?

- 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?

- What are the primary barriers to implementing such a curriculum (teacher
certification/training, facilities, materials)?

Again, thanks for your participation. --Joni

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