ERIC Number: EJ852419
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2003
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 25
Elementary Science: Where Are We Now?
Sandall, Barbara R.
Journal of Elementary Science Education, v15 n2 p13-30 Fall 2003
"Elementary Science: Where are We Now?" is a review of Elementary Science Education from the 1960s to 1999. Curriculum moved from uniform programs in the 1960s based on two assumptions to a wide diversity of goals, philosophies, and types of materials in the 1970s. The two assumptions behind the elementary science curriculum programs of the 1960s included (1) If science is presented as scientists would do it, it will be interesting to all students; and (2) Any subject can be taught to any child at any stage of development. Project Synthesis was a discrepancy study of data collected from three earlier studies on the state of science education in the 1970s. The programs of the 1970s varied in student outcomes, learning/teaching styles, cost, format, and content. The goal for science education for the 1980s was scientific and technological literacy (Staver & Bay, 1987). National Science Foundation funds were invested in developing new curriculum materials in the 1980s to reach this goal (Harms & Yager, 1981). This article will focus on the answers found from a small sample of teachers representing multiple districts. What criteria are being used to select science curriculum materials? The first part provides a historical perspective of elementary science education, and the last part presents the results of where elementary science education was in the late 1990s. This discussion begins with the Project Synthesis, which was a discrepancy study of data collected on the state of science education in the 1970s. The rest of the article examines the literature from 1981 to 1999 and research conducted by the author. The author found that educators wanted to use the inquiry-based science curriculum materials recommended by the standards but were restricted by non-academic considerations such as funding.
Descriptors: Elementary School Science, Teaching Styles, Scientific Literacy, Technological Literacy, Science Education, Educational History, Science Instruction, Educational Methods, Student Interests, Cognitive Style, Costs, Inquiry, Educational Finance, State Standards, National Standards, Science Curriculum, Faculty Development
Western Illinois University. Document and Publications Services, 1 University Circle, Macomb, IL 61455-1390. Tel: 309-298-1917; Fax: 309-298-2869; e-mail: DPS@wiu.edu; Web site: http://www.wiu.edu/users/jese/
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Elementary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Illinois