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

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posted by: Joni Falk on August 10, 1999 at 9:49AM
subject: Welcome to the Forum: Science Instructional Materials for Middle School
For the next two weeks I will be soliciting your feedback and thoughts on
middle school curriculum. A summary paper will be written that will be
shared with NSF as they are in the midst of formulating an instructional
materials initiative. This is an example of how the LSC-net site can serve
to pool the rich resources that are present within the "virtual" community.
It is also a good example of how practice can help to inform policy. This
forum will only last for two weeks. WE REQUEST THAT EVERY PARTICIPANT POSTS
AT LEAST ONCE so that we can obtain broad, representative, feedback. Please
address your comments to any (or all) of the following four topics. It may
be helpful to post the topic you are addressing (ie. "Your Reviews,"
"Identifying Needs," "Subject, format design," "barriers" in your subject
header. "The time is short, the work is great" so lets begin. Thanks for
your participation!!

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

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, facilities, materials)?

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