National science standards have been with us now for over a decade. But the major emphasis has been on correlating the standards to activities and laboratory investigations. This book suggests we move further, to develop a systemic approach for professional development advancing scientific literacy for both teachers and students. Science Curriculum Topic Study elevates standard-based instruction and lifts the reader into practical applications, enhancing scientific literacy.
The book begins with an introduction to the CTS process. In concise and readable language, CTS explains how to use the “experts at our fingertips” in the standards to identify big ideas and couple them to teachers’ understanding. As we plan a lesson, the author suggests we ask the question, “What do teachers need to know about the topic before teaching it?”
Chapter 2 features the CTS study guide and a description of correlating resources, chapter 3 provides tips in getting started with CTS, and chapter 4 suggests how to use the guides in professional development opportunities. Chapter 5 offers actual case studies, stories, and testimonials from teachers using the CTS program. Last, Chapter 6 contains 147 guides on topics in life, earth, space, and physical sciences, as well as inquiry, the nature of science, and implication of technology. A typical guide includes identification of adult content knowledge, instructional implications, misconceptions and research on student learning, articulation among topics, and connections.
CTS is well-suited for all K-12 teachers, especially those who are less familiar with science concepts or who trust textbooks for their science content. The book will also benefit pre-service elementary school science teachers as they plan and design lessons and units of study. Curriculum planners will find this unique approach applicable to vertical teaming projects as well as aligning standards and curricula topics.