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ERIC Number: ED315238
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1989-Mar
Pages: 10
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Networking Science Teaching in Small and Rural Schools.
May, David
To increase enrollment in high school science classes and, thereby, increase scientific literacy among Americans, efforts must begin in elementary and middle schools. The Blue Mountain Small School Consortium, nine small and rural schools in southeastern Washington, cooperated with Whitman College in a search for improved methods of teaching elementary school science. Initial teacher surveys identified factors detrimental to elementary science instruction: (1) inadequate teacher knowledge of science content and appropriate teaching methods; (2) equipment and related budget problems; (3) lack of appropriate curriculum materials with sufficient structure; and (4) a belief that science is a lower priority than other curriculum areas. The first inservice staff development efforts were summer courses demonstrating a model of science teaching and learning that recognizes: (1) curiosity as the fundamental driving force in science; (2) the process orientation of science; (3) no one "scientific method"; (4) willingness to change conclusions in the light of new evidence; and (5) a faith in the susceptibility of the environment to human ordering and understanding. Despite high evaluations of this coursework, there was no significant improvement in the amount and quality of science instruction observed. Current efforts focus on creating structured instructional materials as teacher aids. These traveling instructional kits are shared among member schools and therefore eliminate many previous equipment problems. Accompanying lesson plans attempt to provide sufficient guidance for the teacher who needs help while allowing room for expansion by the more ambitious teacher. (SV)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Washington