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Archived Information

Science and Technology/Engineering
Curriculum Framework - Spring 2001

Appendix VII

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Criteria for Evaluating Instructional Materials and Programs in Science and Technology/Engineering

I. Scientific and Technological Contents
Reflect the learning standards in the Science and Technology/
Engineering Curriculum Framework
Are scientifically and technologically accurate     
II. Features
Provide descriptions of the achievements of historically important scientists and engineers     
Contain illustrations of contemporary children and adults that reflect the diversity of our society     
Include clear instructions on using tools, equipment, and materials, and on how to use them safely in learning activities     
Include a master source of materials and resources     
Provide student texts, booklets, or printed material and accompanying teacher manuals     
Provide coherent units that build conceptual understanding     
Provide for in-depth investigations of major scientific and technological concepts     
Incorporate applications of science and technology     
Highlight connections within science and technology and with mathematics and social sciences where relevant     
III.Learning Activities
Involve students in active learning and inquiry     
Clarify appropriate use of instructional technology such as calculators and computers     
Show how instructional technology can help students visualize complex concepts, analyze and refine information, and communicate solutions     
Provide multiple ways for students to explore concepts and communicate ideas and solutions     
Are developmentally appropriate and provide for different abilities and learning paces     
Encourage discussion and reflection     
Draw on a variety of resources, e.g., trade manuals, measuring tools, other tools and machines, manipulatives, and the internet     
IV. Teacher Support Materials
Provide a clear conceptual framework for the concepts and skills taught     
Offer ideas for involving parents and community and keeping them informed about the programs     
Give suggestions for a variety of pedagogical strategies, such as open-ended questioning, direct instruction, practice, discussion, and cooperative learning     
Reference resource materials, such as appropriate videos, file clips, reference books, software, video laser disk, longdistance learning, CD-ROM, and electronic bulletin boards     
Suggest how to adapt materials for students with differing levels of achievement     
Suggest enrichment and skill reinforcement activities for extended learning     
Include suggestions for a variety of assessment approaches such as portfolios, journals, projects, and informal and formal tests     
V. Student Assessment Materials
Are free of inappropriate or derogatory material     
Occur throughout the unit, not just at the end     
Incorporate multiple forms of assessment, such as oral presentations, written reports, teacher observations, performance assessments, quizzes, and pre- and post-tests     
Focus on the acquisition of skills and concepts as well as on the learning process     
VI. Program Development and Implementation
Have field test data showing positive effects on student learning     
Are adaptable to local curriculum and/or school     
Offer training and long-term follow up for teachers     

Last Updated: May 1, 2001
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