Few decisions have greater impact on the effectiveness of science teaching in the nation's schools than the process of selecting instructional materials. This selection determines to a large extent what will or will not be taught to children; it establishes the basis of teachers' professional growth opportunities in science instruction; and it accounts for major budget outlays for school systems.
Yet it is difficult for entire school districts, let alone individual classroom teachers, to find the time and resources to research the ever-growing volume of available curriculum materials, to assess them for scientific content and processes, and to arrive at the combination of materials suitable for their needs. Schools and teachers need authoritative information that addresses the educational and scientific aspects of teaching elementary school science to help make their selections.
In response to this need, the National Science Resources Center (NSRC), sponsored jointly by the National Academy of Sciences and the Smithsonian Institution, has produced Resources for Teaching Elementary School Science—an annotated guide to hands-on, inquiry-centered curriculum materials and sources of information and assistance for teaching elementary school science. This new volume is a completely revised and updated edition of the NSRC's best-selling resource guide, Science for Children: Resources for Teachers. The new edition focuses on curriculum materials published between 1985 and 1995 for kindergarten through sixth grade and on sources of information relevant to teaching science in the same grades.
The goal of the National Science Resources Center in developing Resources for Teaching Elementary School Science is to help teachers teach science more effectively. Thus, the NSRC has brought together in one source a