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Curriculum Selection - Selection Process

The selection process has been dynamic, responding to the needs and feedback of all participants on the Curriculum Evaluation Task Force.

How candidate curricula were selected:

Candidate curricula were selected based on the following process:

  • Insight from researchers on research-based curricula for middle schools
  • Input from teachers on what they use
  • National Research Council recommendations
  • inquiries with other national societies…

Certain elements of our selection criteria were gatekeeper requirements. Materials must

  • align with standards
  • be research-based or -validated
  • meet the goals of the partnership for pedagogically appropriate activities

After filtering available materials based on these gatekeeper issues, we arrived at a smaller set of candidate curricula. These materials are now being evaluated using a variety of methods.

Curriculum Evaluation Task Force

On November 20, the first meeting of the Curriculum Evaluation Task Force introduced members of the task force to the AAAS review procedures. The overall goals of the task force (as well as timelines) were discussed. A major issue was the discussion of Key Science Ideas in the physical and earth sciences.

On December 11, the task force stepped back from the discussion of Key Science Ideas, and focused on other issues that teachers in the task force found essential for understanding the quality of a curriculum. This activity served to establish common ground – and it was found that many topics were part of the AAAS review process.

On January 15, the task force will receive curriculum materials kindly provided by publishers and will split into teams to review these materials. Each team will contain a content and a teaching expert. Teams will review materials based on key science ideas (defined in more detail here, though the key science ideas we use are not found on that page). Earth science teams will look at the key science idea of “The surface of the Earth is changing continually.” Physics teams will look at a key science idea in the realm of “force and motion.” Chemistry teams will look at key science ideas in the realm of “properties of matter.” All teams will look at the key science idea of “energy,” which is common throughout all science instruction at the middle schools.

Upcoming meetings of the Task Force will be on January 29, March 5, and April 9.

Summer Academies (PDF)

The first summer academy of the Maine Physical Sciences Partnership will be held from June 27 – July 1.

Preference for participation in the summer academy is for those teachers interested in pilot teaching the common set of teaching materials chosen by by the Maine Physical Sciences Partnership curriculum evaluation task force.

To express interest in participating in the summer academy, please contact your curriculum coordinator!


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