The Essentials of Science, Grades 7-12: Effective Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment

The Essentials of Science, Grades 7-12: Effective Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment

The Essentials of Science, Grades 7-12: Effective Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment

The Essentials of Science, Grades 7-12: Effective Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment

Synopsis

Complete your review of where science education in the U. S. is heading with this wide-ranging look at secondary-level science curriculum, instruction, and assessment. Through lively examples of classroom practice, interviews with award-winning science teachers and science education experts, and a thorough review of the research, discover how science classes are going beyond lectures, textbooks, rote memorization, and lab demonstrations to focus on
• Educating students for a deeper conceptual understanding of science
• Engaging students in scientific inquiry in the classroom
• Addressing problems with achievement, equity, and resources in science
• Using backward design to bring greater coherence to science curriculum
• Helping teachers reexamine and improve their practice

Excerpt

When I was a novice newspaper reporter, my editors inevitably accompanied story assignments with this solid piece of advice: “Go back to the library and check the clips.” So instead of obeying my first hasty impulse to start placing calls to sources or to head out to get the scoop, I would calmly start by poring through a fat bundle of newspaper clips pulled from the newsroom library's shelves. This “old news” gave me the background on the topic, the people, or the events that others had written about before me. Reading those clips gave me a sense of the cyclical nature of the news. There was plenty of evidence to see that the past does tend to repeat itself, George Santayana's oft-quoted admonition notwithstanding.

That's why, when I began to write Priorities in Practice: The Essentials of Science, Grades 7—12, I decided to check out the archives of ASCD's magazine Educational Leadership. Known familiarly in the ASCD office as EL, the magazine has chronicled the ups and downs and all arounds of K-12 education for more than 60 years—since 1943, to be exact.

In EL's electronic archives (www.ascd.org), I found a number of interesting articles that highlighted calls for reforms in science education that sound awfully familiar today. Issues have ranged from concern over a lack of K-12 articulation in science curricula to a call for curriculum reform to promote a deeper understanding of science concepts and processes (Barnard, 1962) to the perennial fear that rival countries surpass the United States in science instruction (National Science Foundation, 1981).

Then I read George DeBoer's excellent book, A History of Ideas in Science Education: Implications for Practice (1991), which provided a perspective of . . .

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