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Benchmarks for Science Literacy (Benchmarks for Science Literacy, Project 2061) 1st Edition

4.3 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0195089868
ISBN-10: 0195089863
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Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

Benchmarks is a companion volume to the acclaimed Science for All Americans (Oxford Univ. Pr., 1990), which told us what it means to be science-literate. Intended for educators at levels K-12, Science told "what" while Benchmarks tells "how." The result of a four-year, grass-roots project developed by six teams of educators across the United States, Benchmarks is not an actual curriculum but a "tool" for teachers to use in designing curriculum that fits local needs, calls upon their imagination, and meets the grade-level standards set in Science. It is anticipated that, as a "developing product," Benchmarks will always be changing. This first printing guides teachers in meeting "thresholds" in achieving the important goal of creating science-literate adults, who can think "critically and independently" in this increasingly complex world. Essential for all school libraries.
- Diane M. Fortner, Univ. of California Lib., Berkeley
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Review

"For those teachers who still need direction (generally speaking) about the content they should be teaching . . . and the cognitive enhancement of their students."--John Burns, California Polytechnic, Pomona

"All teachers need to read Benchmarks, especially the research findings in Chapter 12. Why keep on teaching fallacies as fact to our students? I highly recommend this for all teachers of science."--Nancy J. Armour, Beaverdam `lementary, Elberton, GA

"Required study for all elementary and middle school teachers and all high school science teachers. Also administrators. A milestone publication."--George D. Nelson, University of Washington

"At a time when the debate over the effectiveness of the U.S. educational system has grown increasingly acrimonious, Benchmarks offers a valuable yardstick for measuring progress."--Charles Solomon, Los Angeles Times Book Review

"An excellent resource that gives broad benchmarks for science. The goals are laudable. The work now needs to take place on how to implement these goals."--Ted Moon, Columbia International University

"A thoughtful follow up to Science For All Americans. This work should be required reading for all persons contemplating or implementing modifications in the science curriculum at all levels of learning."--Everett Follette, Black Hills State University

"Essential for all school libraries."--Library Journal

"Benchmarks for Science Literacy, a follow-up to the AAAS' Project 2061 landmark 'Science for All Americans', represents the first comprehensive and detailed set of guidelines to be issued that describes the knowledge and abilities that all students need by the end of grades 2, 5, 8 and 12 to be science literate and to succeed in the workforce. 'Benchmarks for Science Literacy' accomplishes its goal not by offering a standard curriculum to be adopted locally, but by providing educators in every state and school district with a powerful tool to use in fashioning their own curricula. The AAAS and other top science educators are working hard to devise a science education, to promote 'science literacy', for all students. The idea that science is for nerds and geniuses is a myth that needs to finally be put to rest."--Science Technology and Society
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Product Details

  • Series: Benchmarks for Science Literacy, Project 2061
  • Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press; 1 edition (January 6, 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0195089863
  • ISBN-13: 978-0195089868
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 0.9 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #287,382 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Jason M. Waskiewicz on January 29, 2003
Format: Paperback
I teach science in a small, very rural school to grades 7-12. I have been using this book for the first time this year.
I like how this book makes the benchmarks clear and specific. It doesn't just say, "Students will understand the structure of atoms" the way my state's standards do. It spells out exactly what the student should know about the structure of the atom.
I used to run a very textbook driven curriculum, but I found that the textbooks were woefully inadequate, but I lacked direction as to what I should be doing. When I recently changed schools, I also discovered this book, and it presented the answer.
At my new school, my textbooks are only a reference that mostly sit on the shelf. I have designed my curriculum more around these standards and my state standards.
This book makes it clear that there are many topics that I have taught that don't need to be taught. For example, during the past 2 years, I taught photosynthesis and respiration from the book: electron transport chain, pyruvate, and all. This year, I talked more about the carbon and the energy and where all the atoms went. My students this year can actually answer questions about these subjects. For the most part, they understand them. My previous students did not understand.
This book also has an excellent section on dealing with vocabulary. Much of science education substitutes vocabulary for understanding. I am now using many fewer technical words, and even then only introducing those words when the students understand the concepts.
I don't agree with some of the things in this book. There are a few subjects I think are more important than the authors do. There are also a few subjects the authors think are more important than I do.
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Format: Paperback
Many states have created specific standards for students to acheive throughtout their schooling. This publication is extremely useful in helping to understand the intent of standards and what they look like in the classroom. Anyone that is working on science and math curriculum must have a copy of this. It is also very useful for new teachers to get insight into exemplary content and practices. This document also helps people understand misconceptions that students develop over certain concepts. I've been using it continuously and have bought copies for many people in my school district.
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This resource is for teachers who are interested in understanding science as it pertains to the classroom. It provides information as to what students need to know by the end of each specific grade level. I highly recommend this excellent resource for those who are pursuing National Board Certification and/or those who are pursuing excellence in science instruction.
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Published to glowing praise in 1990, "Science for All Americans" defined the science-literate American -- describing the knowledge, skills, and attitudes all students should retain from their learning experience -- and offered a series of recommendations for reforming our system of education in science, mathematics, and technology. "Benchmarks for Science Literacy" takes this one step further. Created in close consultation with a cross-section of American teachers, administrators, and scientists, "Benchmarks" elaborates on the recommendations to provide guidelines for what all students should know and be able to do in science, mathematics, and technology by the end of grades 2, 5, 8, and 12. These grade levels offer reasonable checkpoints for student progress toward science literacy, but do not suggest a rigid formula for teaching. "Benchmarks" is not a proposed curriculum, nor is it a plan for one: it is a tool educators can use as they design curricula that fit their student's needs. Far from pressing for a single educational program, Project 2061 advocates a reform strategy that will lead to more curriculum diversity than is common today.

"Benchmarks" emerged from the work of six diverse school-district teams who were asked to rethink the K-12 curriculum and outline alternative ways of achieving science literacy for all students. These teams based their work on published research and the continuing advice of prominent educators, as well as their own teaching experience. Focusing on the understanding and interconnection of key concepts rather than rote memorization of terms and isolated facts, Benchmarks advocates building a lasting understanding of science and related fields.
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