Classroom teachers and school administrators often ask the National Science Resources Center (NSRC), which is sponsored jointly by the Smithsonian Institution and the National Academy of Sciences, for guidance in identifying effective science curriculum materials at the middle school level. Resources for Teaching Middle School Science, the second in the NSRC's series of resource guides, is a compendium of useful information that can provide such guidance. The volume reviews curriculum materials—hands-on, inquiry-centered materials that align with the National Science Education Standards—and sources of assistance for teaching middle school science.
The central focus of Resources for Teaching Middle School Science is to provide guidance in identifying and evaluating middle school science curriculum materials and resources. The volume addresses this objective in the following ways:
It identifies a broad spectrum of middle school science curriculum materials, published from about 1987 to 1998, that are pedagogically and scientifically sound and that are in alignment with the National Science Education Standards.
It provides descriptive annotations for these materials, totaling about 400 individual books and units. These annotations include the recommended grade level, a description of major concepts and activities presented in the material, and bibliographic and ordering information. For some categories of materials, a series or program overview is also included, as is a reading level and a key to the National Science Education Standards that are addressed in the materials.