This collection of 15 essays gives snapshots of the state of high school science teaching nine years after the 1996 release of the National Science Education Standards. It has been edited by Robert Yager, a strong voice for high-quality teaching and inquiry. The chapters were contributed by a mix of classroom teachers, curriculum specialists, and college professors. These diverse voices provide a rich picture of the state of teaching and the implementation issues arising with the standards.
If a goal is clear, there are innumerable ways to move toward it. Each author approaches the Standards in a slightly different manner. There is, however, a unifying concept that weaves throughout each of the stories---the idea of “more emphasis” conditions that were recommended in the standards for teaching, assessment, and content.
Its focus on inquiry makes this book so powerful. In 8 of the 16 chapters, inquiry is clearly illustrated with scenarios that come from real classrooms with regular kids. This provides an easy-to-follow path for making changes to replicate their success. These exemplars are powerful agents for change. The result is a rich resource of vignettes and techniques.
Most teachers will use the book to gain a greater understanding of how they could make their program more effective. Imbedded in each chapter are clear and useful ideas, rubrics, research ideas, time structures, investigation organizers, and useful models of inquiry. For those more interested in program evaluation, curriculum development, or staff development, this book provides well-documented research from urban high schools. NSTA Press has always brought forward powerful voices from the field. The result is an impressive picture of how far we have come and how far we have yet to go.