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Curriculum >> Science

by — 1947
The differences between our day and that of the ancients are in refinements and degree. We are on our way, but have far to go.

by — 1947
Chapter iii, continuing the same line of thought developed in chapter ii, deals with ways and means. It undertakes to show how the major aims of science education are to be realized by teaching that is directed toward the achievement of more immediate goals, here designated "the objectives of science instruction."

by — 1947
Of the issues in the teaching of science that are important today, few are new. At least one, the individual versus the demonstration method of performing experiments, was of major significance before World War I and will probably not be settled beyond question for years to come. In contrast, other issues that were of primary importance a decade ago have been resolved or have ceased to be significant.

by — 1947
One aim of education is the development of the abilities of children as individuals to the end that they will be able to secure the maximum of good for themselves. Another major aim is the development of the individual for social responsibility. There is no dichotomy in the content and procedures of these aims. Children can be in the process of growth toward science objectives if they respond to the challenges and problems with which the environments are filled. Children may seek explanations of many of the events they encounter. In turn, the explanations they understand and accept as children have much to do with the kind of individuals they will be when they become adults.

by — 1947
When the objectives of science education have been decided, attention then turns to the determination of the basic areas of science from which experiences and content are to be selected. It is important to realize that, from the point of view of children, science has few artificial boundaries. In observing and interpreting the phenomena of the environment, children are not likely to categorize these happenings in terms of the special fields such as astronomy, botany, or chemistry. It seems logical, therefore, to select curriculum materials on the basis of the environment.

by — 1947
If the teacher will keep in mind the kinds of questions asked by children on many occasions, he will have a natural approach to the scientific method. For instance, such challenges as: How do we find out? How do we know this is true? Are you sure of your facts? Is that a guess or can you prove it? The elements of the scientific method (see chap. iii) can be adapted to the level of the children in such a way that they will know what they are doing and why they are doing it and will have some control over the process.

by — 1947
Evaluation is an integral part of learning as well aFi of teaching. A purpose that enlists our best efforts and a sense of achievement make for effective learning. Children should participate in evaluation wherever posRible, each pupil evaluating his own progress. The pupil needs to learn to evaluate as accurately as possible in terms of better living. Self-evaluation with the help of an understanding teacher will lead to intelligent self-direction.

by — 1947
In the typical one-room school there is a range in ages from four-and-a-half to fourteen or fifteen years. Seldom are there many supplementary books or other library materials, and usually there is no museum to which the pupils have access. On the other hand, materials found naturally in the environment are usually present in considerable variety and abundance. Indeed, a rural environment affords great educational opportunities for children. Weather is an especially significant part of rural life because it is so closely related to the crops upon which occupational success depends. Plants and animals have to be guarded against various types of disease. Motors and other machines are in constant use about the farm. Rural children see and hear about these things constantly so that it is usually not difficult to find and to guide their interests in the science of the everyday world.

by — 1947
It is the responsibility of the institutions engaged in preparing classroom teachers for the elementary school to see that their graduates are competent, with respect to both subject matter and methods, to teach the science which is appropriate for the grade level at which they expect to be employed.

by — 1947
In spite of the rapid expansion of scientific knowledge and the even more rapid expansion in applications of science and practical invention, the percentage of high-school pupils enrolled in science courses has continued to decline.

by — 1947
In its earliest stages the problems involved were regarded as pertaining to the first year of the four-year high school, rather than to seventh and eighth grades which later became parts of the junior high school. Other reports dealing with improvement of science instruction show that the four-year high school and not the junior high school was then under consideration. Within a few years, however, it became evident that all of the junior high school years offered an excellent field for improved courses in introductory science, which soon became known as general science.

by — 1947
It was pointed out in chapter xi that the sequence of science courses in the senior high school has traditionally been biology in the tenth year and either physics or chemistry in the eleventh or twelfth year. Some of the smaller high schools alternate physics and chemistry in one of the last two years. During the last decade a fourth science subject, physical science, has come into this sequence and has gained considerable recognition. Each of these sciences may well contribute to the major objectives of science teaching as set forth in chapters iii and xi. In general, they might well have certain things in common, such as the principles of selecting and organizing content, the methods used to reach the general objectives, etc. However, there is a quality of uniqueness about these areas of learning that makes it desirable to consider each of them separately in this chapter.

by — 1947
The junior college is an institution usually offering two years of work of collegiate grade and quality beyond the high school. Three types of curriculums exist: (1) "lower division" work following the pattern of the first two years of four-year college curriculums; (2) terminal curriculums primarily of the general-education type; and (3) vocational curriculums in agriculture, trade, technical, home economics, business, and semiprofessional fields.

by — 1947
As a classroom activity, evaluation is an integral part of the total instructional process. Any attempt to divorce evaluation from teaching, and to teach without evaluating or to evaluate without regard for the purposes, content, and methods of teaching-any such attempt is artificial, and the consequences are almost certainly misleading. On the other hand, the modern conception of instruction as the direction and guidance of learning at once discloses the essential function of evaluation. It provides data by means of which to determine initial status or readiness for learning, progress and difficulties in learning, final attainment, and extent of retention and transfer.

by — 1947
In approaching the discussion of the education of science teachers for secondary schools, two important aspects of the problem must be recognized, namely, preservice education and in-service education. Both of these will be treated in this discussion. The general purposes to be achieved both by preservice and by in-service education are in many respects closely similar, although the materials and methods to be used in dealing with prospective teachers in colleges and with teachers of experience who are actually on a job may be different in many particulars.

by — 1947
Preceding chapters of this volume have presented serious thinking directed toward extension and improvement of science education. Descriptions have been presented of different types and levels of school situations, needs, and possibilities. Recommendations arc given from many investigations dealing with the educational uses of science. Specific next steps to be taken are outlined as fully as seem to be justified by an understanding of present practices, tendencies, and purposes. The committee believes that the volume is a reasonable record of where we now are and of tendencies toward further progress.

by Samuel Powers — 1938
Investigations in science teaching have been carried forward on a fairly broad front through the interval of the past fifteen years. They have been concerned (1) with the evaluation of subject matter and methods used in current practices in teaching, (2) with the continuous revision of subject matter and methods, and (3) with the study of the learning process. The contributions to science teaching from these investigations will be considered under these three headings.

by Guy Whipple — 1938
In attempting to present in reasonably compact form the trends in problems and in methods of research exhibited in the contributions that this Society has made to education as a science, the exposition has been limited to the thirty-six yearbooks that have been published from 1902 to 1936.

by Samuel Powers — 1932
The public-school administrator and the teachers must consider the problems of the program of studies in relation to the general purposes of the public-school system and more particularly in relation to the aims and purposes of the various units of the system.

by Samuel Powers — 1932
Current statements of aims and objectives of science for the elementary school show the influence of the points of view that have been formulated during the past half century by workers in the field of nature study. Guided as they were by the philosophy of education formulated under the influence of psychological postulates no longer tenable, many of these statements are inconsistent with the principles of education accepted for guidance today.

by Samuel Powers — 1932
This analysis of the educational values is given in an effort to call to mind some of the situations and some of the problems of everyday life and to show something of the background out of which they have come. Its aim is to illustrate how tested ideas have contributed to building up the things that are secure in our institutions and in our behavior. It illustrates some of the accomplishments in building security and some of the methods that have been the basis of attitudes that are functioning in human behavior.

by Samuel Powers — 1932
From these presentations it is clear, we trust, that practices are not abreast of the best thought in curriculum work. Indeed, many prevailing practices in the schools find their only support in philosophical and psychological postulations that are recognized not only as obsolete but even as directly opposed to the postulations on which the organization of our school system is based. A problem of first rank importance to the educational worker, especially in the field of curriculum, is to define the aim of education in such a way that the definition will function as a guiding thought, will direct the teacher in choosing what to do in order to attain the aim.

by Samuel Powers — 1932
In a discussion of the psychology of learning the question of what to teach—of what knowledge is of most worth—rises to a place of prominence. Current practices in science teaching and in other fields have been severely and justly criticized for overemphasis on memory work for the purpose of enabling the pupil to reproduce unrelated facts. Moreover, there has been so much looseness in claims for various impracticable and vaguely defined outcomes of science teaching that it would seem as if the real materials of education—problems in which methods may be used and situations and conditions toward which attitudes may be developed—have too small a place. Knowledge that has been, and that may be, tested for truthfulness is essential in educa- tion as a basis for problem solving and for understanding.

by Francis Curtis — 1932
Educational research, in the modern sense of the term, was first applied to problems in the teaching of science a little more than twenty years ago. During the period since the publication of the results of these pioneer efforts there has been a large and rapidly increasing number of investigations of a wide variety of problems touching many phases of science teaching.

by Francis Curtis — 1932
In the best modern schools, laboratory work and the various other activities of the science classroom are frequently carried on in the same room, and together they constitute a carefully integrated whole. The materials briefly presented in this chapter should therefore be considered as a continuation of those in Chapter VI. They have been grouped separately here for the sake of securing perhaps a clearer and more unified treatment of related groups of problems. The discussions, nevertheless, cover so wide a variety of problems, so diverse in nature as to make impossible a logical order of sequence.

by Francis Curtis — 1932
During the past quarter century several factors have operated in modifying instructional materials in science, especially those for the secondary school. Prominent among these influences are (1) the 'high-school movement,' which, beginning about 1892, brought into the sec- ondary schools enormously increasing numbers of pupils, and therefore reduced to a marked extent the degree of selection; (2) a resulting diminished emphasis upon the college-preparatory aim, which combined with other factors to render progressiyely less satisfactory and less appropriate the earlier type of textbook that comprised merely a somewhat simplified revision of materials written by university teachers for college and university classes; (3) important trends in educational psychology, prominent among which were a discrediting of the current extreme theories of general transfer and discipline and of serial and saltatory development and a growing acceptance of the functional point of view and of the theory of gradual and concomitant development; and (4) the beginnings of modern educational research, which has been contributing findings of increasing scope and refinement.

by Francis Curtis — 1932
The curriculum of science, as well as the materials for the courses that make up the curriculum, must be determined on one of three bases: (1) best opinion regarding what sequence of courses should comprise the curriculum and what elements should make up these courses; (2) the results of such researches as shed light upon these questions; and (3) a combination of opinion and the results of research.

by Gerald Craig — 1932
In the past there has been a tendency to restrict the curriculum to the so-called 'fundamentals,' or '3 R's.' At present there is a definite trend in industrial nations toward the inelusion of liberal training in the program of studies for the elementary school. This is illustrated in courses of study of recent issue in the United States and in the new combine schools of Russia, the modern Volksschule of Germany, and the Decroly type of school in Belgium. The present movement is towards including science as a part of this liberal training in universal education.

by Florence Billing — 1932
In the organization of curricular materials in science the fundamental learning experiences will be directed toward the realization of large scientific principles. In the development of these principles an understanding and interpretation of environmental phenomena will be acquired which will enable the learners to meet new situations intelligently. The learners will be prepared in this way to react wisely to those situations common to their level of development, and at the same time will acquire a background of understanding which is fundamental in meeting future needs.

by Gerald Craig — 1932
The outline of science for the grades of the elementary school that is presented in this chapter is extracted from a number of recent syllabi of science and serves to illustrate the program that has been presented in Chapter X.

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