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Curriculum Selection - Criteria for Selection

Why select a common curriculum for the physical and earth sciences in the middle school?

  • Students arrive in 9th grade with a common background
  • Core activities allow for collegial interaction among teachers
  • Common tools for professional development
  • Future teachers at UMaine can prepare for their teaching more easily

Our criteria for selecting a curriculum for use in the Maine Physical Sciences Partnership are:

  • Aligns with Maine State Learning Standards and National Science Education Standards.
  • Has research basis, including data available showing impacts of the selected curriculum on student content learning, attitudes toward science, scientific reasoning, and problem solving skills.
  • Provides coherent, sequenced lessons over the course of the curriculum.
  • Provides appropriate assessment materials for the topics covered.
  • Promotes student reflection on their own learning.
  • Has high quality and convenient teacher guides and other resources. Includes materials for professional development to improve content knowledge and pedagogical content knowledge.
  • Fits with current curricula in use in grades K-5 and 10-12 in the participating schools. (Students will enter grade 6 with the skills and knowledge necessary to succeed in the selected curriculum. Students will exit ninth grade well prepared for courses required or elected in grades 10-12.).
  • Has reasonable cost to maintain or replace materials and equipment needed to implement curriculum. (The cost of these items will be paid by the grant over the first five years, and a resource person will assist to make sure that all supplies needed to teach lessons are available to teachers.)
  • Has evidence of effectiveness in closing the “poverty gap” and fostering learning for all students.
  • Uses technology integrated effectively into teaching and learning.
  • Includes appropriate use of mathematics in the curriculum, aligned with mathematics standards.
  • Is amenable to the needs of the collaborating educational institutions.
  • Is free of ethnic, cultural, racial, economic, and gender bias.

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