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

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posted by: Joni Falk on August 13, 1999 at 3:41PM
subject: MS curriculum reply from Mary Kay Swanson
Reply from Mary Kay Swanson, Principal, Deadwood MS:

1. The basic instructional materials the instructors here use consist of a
textbook and labs involving life science and earth science information. The
strengths are that information is traditional, students learn directly from
instructors (vs. computers). The weaknesses are directly linked to the
inequities in computer technology. Having enough technology available to
accommodate all students in a classroom at one time is difficult.

2. Basically, administrators want teachers to be able to do the best job
possible. Teachers want to accommodate students through hands-on activities
with possibly a text to provide further in-depth information regarding a
unit of study. This information could include some enrichment material with
sites or other accommodating inf. for search on the net.

3. New curricula should emphasize interdisciplinary units in order to
integrate further. Ideally, for further research and reference, a text to
go with activities would be appreciated, but may not always be realistic.
Because we're dealing with very social people at this age, a social/societal
context would be most interesting to students.

4. We see the 'normal' barriers concerning implementation - money.
Training, facilities, and materials all require funding; therefore, it is
the obvious barrier.

Mary Kay Swanson, MS Principal

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