Chronology Current Month Current Thread Current Date
[Year List] [Month List (current year)] [Date Index] [Thread Index] [Thread Prev] [Thread Next] [Date Prev] [Date Next]

Re: Middle School Physical Science Texts: dishonesty

At 3:00 PM -0800 2/25/2001, John M. Clement wrote:

Can you predict when they will be available?

Some are available now - the rest should be available by about 2003.

Can NSF have significant influence on state criteria for book selection?

They have no influence.

I know all too well that the books must be approved. Will the authors be
willing to make the many changes that the states demand, or will they hand
that over to the publishers?

The authors who wrote the book must make the changes, The publishers only
publish and market.

If the publishers do it, then we are back
where we started. If they do not make the changes will the state committees
be able and willing to bend the rules to adopt the books?

State committees do not bend rules. They are legally required to follow them.

Can the authors
retain enough control to prevent destructive changes from being made?

For the NSF sponsored stuff, the authors have all the control.

Research based books often look so different from conventional texts that
many committees will balk at adopting them.

The problem here is as follows. Each state has their own (different)
standards and their own rules for materials adoption. The NSF uses the
National Science Education Standards and the Benchmarks for Science
Literacy as guides for the development of instructional materials. The NSF
guidelines don't necessarily match the state standards. In CA, if there is
not a perfect match to the state standards, they won't be adopted. And the
NSF does not (at this time) provide money to curriculum developers to fine
tune their materials for every state - which would be a daunting task. But
if the NSF wants their materials to be used, they must address this issue.

And of course will teachers be
willing to use them if they depart too much from the standard didactic
teaching methods?

This is a major problem, which will years of pre-service and in-service
training to solve. There also needs to be more links of middle school and
elementary teachers to science resources in their communities. This is the
point of the APS Teacher Scientist Alliance that I have been part of for
about 5 years - see the APS web site for more info - under education and

How do we reeducate the state book review committees?

We need to help write the legislation that mandates standards and
instructional materials selection. Not a small task for the science


Dr. Lawrence D. Woolf; General Atomics, 3550 General Atomics Court, Mail
Stop 15-242, San Diego, CA 92121