By Allison Dorko
A group of teachers, graduate students, and U Maine RiSE Center faculty are in the process of choosing a set of Earth science instructional resources for implementation in 9th grade Earth science classrooms this coming school year. The goal is to select an inquiry-based set of earth science instructional resources that vertically align with SEPUP and PBIS. The task force includes science teachers from middle and high schools. Single units from each of the three curricula are currently being field-tested by several ninth grade teachers.
The task force is evaluating the instructional resources based on the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Curriculum Evaluation Protocol, which was used in both the adoption of the PBIS and SEPUP materials and the review of a large number of science textbooks in Project 2061. The task force is divided into three groups, each evaluating the sets of materials for one or two specific “key ideas” in Earth science. The group is particularly interested in finding a curriculum that addresses Maine Learning Results Science and Technology Learning Results A-C, which state that students should learn the process of scientific inquiry. The Task Force is also selecting resources that align with the recently released Conceptual Framework for New Science Education Standards. In addition to the key science ideas (Models and Systems; Energy; Inquiry and the Nature of Science; Human Influence on Climate), a group is evaluating the curriculum for mathematics content, literacy level, and technology. The specific materials being evaluated are student texts and all available teacher resources (e.g., teacher’s guides, CD-ROMs, and website materials).