How do we support quality science education for children? This question has prompted different answers over the years. Thirty-seven years ago, the American Association for the Advancement of Science collected exemplary books about science, put them in a trunk, and shipped them around the country. The program staff deduced that making these books available to teachers and children would support science education even in a modest way. The traveling books gave way to a more structured approach: Reviewing science books and making these reviews available to those who would purchase and use such books.
This led to the birth of The AAAS Science Book List for Children, first published in 1960, which in turn led to the review journal that we now call Science Books & Films. Over the years, we have continued to update that first book list by excerpting children's book reviews originally published in Science Books & Films. This volume continues that tradition and provides a guide in the purchase and use of science books and resource materials to teachers and educators, librarians and media specialists, and resource center directors in museums or other out-of-school settings. Because much has changed in the years that we have been publishing these volumes, we thought it might be useful to provide targeted suggestions and strategies for using this book.
Since the beginning of this series, much has changed in science education that affects this volume and its potential impact. National goals for education have been articulated, and science and mathematics are specifically included. New standards for mathematics have been developed by a consortium of mathematics and mathematics education organizations. Standards for science are in preparation, building on the work of the AAAS Project 2061 and the efforts of the National Science Teachers Association in its Scope, Sequence, and Coordination Project. The reports from these projects, Science for All Americans and The Content Core, respectively, have served as a rallying point for reform. Meanwhile, states have developed curriculum frameworks, districts have moved to revise their objectives, and schools have worked to define their learning goals as the impetus builds for more local site control.
These science education reform efforts have reiterated the need to bridge disciplines; to incorporate language arts in science instruction, emphasizing the