Academic journal article Science Scope

Force and Motion for Teachers of Grades 6-8

Academic journal article Science Scope

Force and Motion for Teachers of Grades 6-8

Article excerpt

By Kirsten R. Daehler, Mayumi Shinohara, and Jennifer Folsom. 2011. 656 pp. $249.95. WestEd Publications. San Francisco, CA. ISBN: 9780914409779. (Grades 6-8)

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This first volume in more than a dozen courses in the "Understanding Science for Teaching" series provides an example of professional development in science education at its best. Authors Kirsten Daehler, Mayumi Shinohara, and Jennifer Folsom have constructed a coherent and thorough course in basic physical-science areas based on a case-based approach.

The topics in the course are familiar: motion, acceleration, force, and mass. Instructional materials include a teacher volume for the professional-development participant, a facilitator guide, and CDs accompanying both volumes. What sets this program apart from many is depth, both in content and pedagogy. Rather than creating contrived "world of work" scenarios for applying principles or concepts, this program uses classroom narratives, described in great detail and precision, as jumping-off points for the teacher trainee to master science content and guide students effectively.

The authors weave strategies from reading pedagogy into the science work, emphasizing such skills as visualizing, summarizing, and predicting. …

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