While the Philippines Moves to Spiral Approach, Missouri Does the Opposite
|The Spellman Clock Tower of Lindenwood University reflecting its view on education|
This investigation examined the transition from a spiral science curriculum to a field-focus science curriculum in middle school. A spiral science curriculum focuses on a small part of each field of science during each middle school year, more of a general science concept. In contrast to that, the base of a field-focus curriculum is that each grade level focuses on a specific field of science, more of a high school like concept. The literature reviewed provides a history of science education, the steps of the change process, and the importance of professional development. The literature review provided a basis for determining trends in the science education.
The researcher collected a variety of data to understand the process that districts move through to transition to a field-focus science curriculum. Interviews provided information concerning the transition process of three Midwestern school districts that have arranged their curriculum into a field-focus alignment. Teacher surveys of one district supplied the perceptions of the professional development involved during the transition process. The researcher also examined school district student achievement data in the area of science.
Suggestions made through this investigation focused on the Eight Steps to a Successful Change when implementing a field-focus science curriculum alignment. Following the suggested steps will help a transition go smoother.
- Transition is always difficult so it is important that evidence supporting the reform is shared. In this particular case, data supporting the notion that a spiral approach leads only to a superficial treatment of topics and does not prepare students for the the rigor expected in standard tests.
- Communication is vital between supervisors and teachers. These need to be regular so that updates and concerns are immediately addressed.
- All necessary materials required for the new curriculum are promptly provided to all teachers. This effectively alleviates tension and anxiety toward the new curriculum.