National Research Council
Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education
Board on Science Education
Committee on Developing the Capacity to Select Effective Instructional Materials
National Academies Press
Published: Dec 17, 1999
The National Science Education Standards set broad content goals for teaching grades K-12. For science teaching programs to achieve these goalsâ€"indeed, for science teaching to be most effectiveâ€"teachers and students need textbooks, lab kits, videos, and other materials that are clear, accurate, and help students achieve the goals set by the standards. Selecting Instructional Materials provides a rigorously field-tested procedure to help education decisionmakers evaluate and choose materials for the science classroom. The recommended procedure is unique, adaptable to local needs, and realistic given the time and money limitations typical to school districts. This volume includes a guide outlining the entire process for school district facilitators, and provides review instruments for each step. It critically reviews the current selection process for science teaching materials--in the 20 states where the state board of education sets forth a recommended list and in the 30 states where materials are selected entirely by local decisionmakers. Selecting Instructional Materials explores how purchasing decisions are influenced by parent attitudes, political considerations, and the marketing skills of those who produce and sell science teaching materials. It will be indispensable to state and local education decisionmakers, science program administrators and teachers, and science education advocates.