Center for Applied Research and Educational Improvement
The National Science
Teachers Association's SS&C(Scope, Sequence & Coordination)project
created a new high school science curriculum that coordinated the content in the four basic sciences (life,
earth, physics and chemistry) to allow students to study every science every year. The curriculum
sequenced activities to encourage teachers to use inquiry-based instruction where students engage in
hands-on activities before teachers define concepts.To examine the impact of SS&C, researchers at CAREI designed a comprehensive study comparing
students who took SS&C science in 9th and 10th grade to students who did not take the new course. The
study used a time-lag design which compares the prior year's science students to the present year's
science students. The purpose of the study was to closely examine the effect of the standards-based
curriculum on both the classroom learning environment and on students' achievement in the sciences.
Thirteen schools implemented the new science course. The schools were located in California, Iowa,
Montana, New York, North Carolina, Texas and the District of Columbia and included more than 4,000
ninth graders and 2,500 tenth grade science students.
Huffman, Douglas; Lawrenz, Frances.
Achieving the Science Standards: A National Study of Inquiry-Based Instruction in High School Science.
Center for Applied Research and Educational Improvement.
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