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Resources for Teaching Middle School Science
interesting and engaging, while respecting scientific language? Which of the subject matter standards from the National Science Education Standards does the material focus on?
Organization and format; materials, equipment, and supplies; and equity issues. The criteria on organization and format include questions about the presentation of information—for example, whether the suggestions for instructional delivery are adequate and whether the print materials for students are well written, age appropriate, and compelling in content. The criteria concerning hands-on science materials focus on questions such as the clarity and adequacy of instructions on manipulating laboratory equipment and the inclusion of appropriate safety precautions. Criteria addressing equity issues include the question of whether the material is free of cultural, racial, gender, and age bias.
The NSRC evaluation criteria are reprinted in appendix B, "NSRC Evaluation Criteria for Curriculum Materials." Teachers, curriculum specialists, curriculum developers, principals, superintendents, and those involved in various aspects of science education reform may find the criteria not only instructive, but useful as an instrument for reviewing instructional materials for local adoption.