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

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posted by: bmarganoff @ on August 18, 1999 at 1:38PM
subject: midddle school curriculum
Having had a past life as a middle school teacher and administrator I have notices two
glaring absences in the discussion that I have been reading and I would like to comment on

1) There has been an absence of discussion about developing a rationale for the selections
of the materials that are to be used. Not that I expected to see this up-front, however
the selection of a specific product should be based in part with how they align with the
needs and expectations of the district, the adolescent students and the staff that needs
to use it. Perhaps we (districts and NSF) need to develop some of these items and then
match our selections to how the needs are met by a specific product.

2) Given that many of the middle school teachers of science are somewhat short on content
and in particular lack a depth of content areas ( physical, earth life etc.) we should be
concerned on how and where the students are getting their safety instruction. If a
teacher does not have content expertise, how can we expect them to posses the needed
background in safety requirements, regulations and procedures?.

If, as a science teacher, you are unfamiliar with the regularity and severity of legal
problems in your state resulting from science accidents, let me burst a bubble or two by
informing you that your school district insurance may not cover you , the teacher, in
cases of professional negligence How long has it been since you saw the inside of a
science safety manual??

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