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Selecting Instructional Materials: A Guide for K-12 Science
At this point, you may need to customize the review criterion to meet your needs. It may become apparent that another criterion should be added. Or the group may decide that a certain element of a criterion is so essential it should be made mandatory. This kind of customization is very much in the spirit of this guide and the forms provided. Changes that would compromise the quality of your review would be the deletion of any criterion, the substitution of a scale or checklist for the citing of evidence, or any process that does not focus on one standard at a time.
During development of the tool it was decided that equity concerns can be naturally and appropriately addressed within the four criteria on Form 3. You may want to reexamine your definitions to determine whether the opportunity for all students to learn is adequately addressed. Alternatively, each group could add an equity aspect to each definition, or you could add and define a criterion on addressing diverse learners.
The definitions should be distributed with Form 3 during the review.
Suggested resources for the small groups
Provide copies of the National Science Education Standards and Benchmarks for Science Literacy, in particular the sections introducing and accompanying the standards, the research citations, and teaching standards.
The addendum to the National Science Education Standards concerning inquiry (NRC, forthcoming) will contain resources to help develop a deeper understanding of scientific inquiry as content subject matter, student abilities, and a teaching strategy.
Make available the expanded definitions of review criteria from Project 2061's Identifying Curriculum Materials for Science Literacy: A Project 2061 Evaluation Tool (Roseman et al., 1997). See "Instructional Analysis." Many applicable terms are defined and described in these comprehensive, thoroughly researched, and field tested criteria.
The forthcoming Resources for Science Literacy: Curriculum Materials Evaluation from AAAS provides complete workshop plans for helping participants understand the meaning of specific learning goals.