Adolescence and Middle School
Science
DEVELOPMENTAL NEEDS
• Positive social interaction with
adults and peers
• Structure and clear limits
• Physical activity
•...
Common Knowledge
• “Storm & Stress
• “Upheaval & Trauma”
• Only thing normal is
“abnormality”
Period of Adolescence
• Vulnerable
• Serious Need of help
Adolescence & Puberty
• Negotiate meaning of
biological changes
• Awareness of opposite
sex
• Sexual experience
• Decision...
Maturation
• Disadvantage for Late
maturing boys---self-
esteem, popularity &
“macho” behavior
• Early maturing girls--
sm...
Identity: Who Am I?
• Urban middle school
kids who drop out say:
• “They don’t tell you
anything about
yourself.”
• “They ...
Maladaptive Decisions
• 2/3 of the (19 million) have tried alcohol
• 1/3 tried illicit drugs
• % with AIDS has increased
•...
Teen Health
• Not about disease, but
preventable social,
environmental &
behavioral factors…
such as
• Accidents
• Homicid...
Teen Sexual Behavior
• “Reproductive
maturation most
distinctive feature of
transescence”
• Traditionally…
suppress, ignor...
Peer Groups & Gangs
• Passionate herding
instinct?
• Little evidence that
peer pressures
overpower values of
parents
• Try...
Friends
• Someone loyal and
“doesn’t talk about you
behind your back”
• Enjoy activities with
friends more than any
other ...
Everyday in America
• Three died from abuse
• Six committed suicide
• 16 killed with guns
• 316 arrested for
violent crime...
Everyday in America
• 1,420 babies born to
teenagers
• 2,556 babies born into
poverty
• 3,533 to unwed mothers
• 3,356 dro...
Which Means
• We need a middle
school with special
curricula
• Close the gaps
between early
adolescents & their
well being
Middle (Junior High) Schools
• Berkeley & Columbus
(Ohio) created 7-8-9
schools in 1907
• Functions of JHS
– Integration
–...
Effective School for Early Adolescents
• Vision was not being
met
• Lack of qualified
teachers
• Curriculum did not
match ...
Ideal “middle” School (1965)
• Focus on needs of early adolescents
• Individualized instruction
• Stress on intellectual c...
Middle vs Junior Highs
• Research revealed
they were more alike
than different
• Few data to support
advocates or critics
...
Middle School Science
• Starting in the late 60s
• Reformers: Scientists
• Content
– Structure of discipline
– A Way of kn...
Middle School Science: Real Curriculum
• General Science
replaced with ES, LS,
& PS
• Grade 6--PS
• Grade 7--LS
• Grade 8-...
Real Science
“Should Be” Curriculum
• Structured more in
terms of student
interests
• Social concerns
• Human agenda
• Human ecology
But, the MS Science Curriculum
• Based on academic
preparation
• Ignores use of science in
everyday life, societal
decisio...
Science for the People
• Select those concepts and
principles of science
relevant to students’ daily
life and adaptive nee...
A New Vision for MS Science
• Connects students
with today’s world
• Development of life
skills
• Increasing the quality
o...
What good is all this to me?
From the Traditional to the “Lived”
• TRADITIONAL
• Textbooks
• Principles
• Generalizations
• Theories
• Methods
• Specif...
Life Science Curriculum Topics
• Getting to know
ourselves: What kind of a
creature are we?
• People have a long history
o...
Core Themes for MS Science
• Health and Wellness
• Stablilizing the Global
Environment
• New Energy
Resources
• Quality of...
Some Examples
• Green Classroom
• Project Ozone
• Project Water Watch
Adolescents and Science Learning:
A Subject Sampler
Adolescence and Middle School Science
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Adolescence and Middle School Science

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Presentation made several years ago about the nature and needs of adolescence and how these ideas should influence the nature of science curriculum and science learning activities.

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Adolescence and Middle School Science

  1. 1. Adolescence and Middle School Science
  2. 2. DEVELOPMENTAL NEEDS • Positive social interaction with adults and peers • Structure and clear limits • Physical activity • Creative expression • Competence and achievement • Meaningful participation in families, school and communities • Opportunities for self-definition
  3. 3. Common Knowledge • “Storm & Stress • “Upheaval & Trauma” • Only thing normal is “abnormality”
  4. 4. Period of Adolescence • Vulnerable • Serious Need of help
  5. 5. Adolescence & Puberty • Negotiate meaning of biological changes • Awareness of opposite sex • Sexual experience • Decisions about contraceptives
  6. 6. Maturation • Disadvantage for Late maturing boys---self- esteem, popularity & “macho” behavior • Early maturing girls-- small network and poorer emotional habits
  7. 7. Identity: Who Am I? • Urban middle school kids who drop out say: • “They don’t tell you anything about yourself.” • “They don’t tell you about other kids”
  8. 8. Maladaptive Decisions • 2/3 of the (19 million) have tried alcohol • 1/3 tried illicit drugs • % with AIDS has increased • Recent study of 8th graders – 26.2% used alcohol – 15% engaged in binge drinking – 11.3% used marijuana – 5.8% used inhalants – 1.3% used cocaine
  9. 9. Teen Health • Not about disease, but preventable social, environmental & behavioral factors… such as • Accidents • Homicide • Suicide • Early pregnancy
  10. 10. Teen Sexual Behavior • “Reproductive maturation most distinctive feature of transescence” • Traditionally… suppress, ignore or weakly influence sexual behavior of teens • 560,000 teen births/yr
  11. 11. Peer Groups & Gangs • Passionate herding instinct? • Little evidence that peer pressures overpower values of parents • Try out various identities
  12. 12. Friends • Someone loyal and “doesn’t talk about you behind your back” • Enjoy activities with friends more than any other activity • Few or no friends: aggressive, drop out, criminal behavior
  13. 13. Everyday in America • Three died from abuse • Six committed suicide • 16 killed with guns • 316 arrested for violent crimes • 406 arrested for drugs • 466 babies born with little prenatal care
  14. 14. Everyday in America • 1,420 babies born to teenagers • 2,556 babies born into poverty • 3,533 to unwed mothers • 3,356 dropped out • 5,702 arrested • 13,076 suspended • 100,000 remain homeless Number of births to teens ages 15-19 per 1,000 females in this age group
  15. 15. Which Means • We need a middle school with special curricula • Close the gaps between early adolescents & their well being
  16. 16. Middle (Junior High) Schools • Berkeley & Columbus (Ohio) created 7-8-9 schools in 1907 • Functions of JHS – Integration – Exploration – Guidance – Differentiation – Socialization
  17. 17. Effective School for Early Adolescents • Vision was not being met • Lack of qualified teachers • Curriculum did not match “needs of early adolescents
  18. 18. Ideal “middle” School (1965) • Focus on needs of early adolescents • Individualized instruction • Stress on intellectual components • Emphasis on inquiry, discovery, learning how to learn • Exploratory experiences • Health and PE
  19. 19. Middle vs Junior Highs • Research revealed they were more alike than different • Few data to support advocates or critics • Yet, middle schools flourished from the mid-seventies on
  20. 20. Middle School Science • Starting in the late 60s • Reformers: Scientists • Content – Structure of discipline – A Way of knowing • Science Activities as motivation (Bruner) • Goals directly linked to science discipline • EXAMPLES – Introductory Physical Science (IPS) – Earth Science Curriculum Project ( – Intermediate Science Curriculum Study (ISCS)
  21. 21. Middle School Science: Real Curriculum • General Science replaced with ES, LS, & PS • Grade 6--PS • Grade 7--LS • Grade 8--ES
  22. 22. Real Science
  23. 23. “Should Be” Curriculum • Structured more in terms of student interests • Social concerns • Human agenda • Human ecology
  24. 24. But, the MS Science Curriculum • Based on academic preparation • Ignores use of science in everyday life, societal decision making, career choice • “Turns off” 2/3 of our students • Teachers uncertain how to change curriculum
  25. 25. Science for the People • Select those concepts and principles of science relevant to students’ daily life and adaptive needs • Not to prepare scientists • Science must be put into service for individuals and society
  26. 26. A New Vision for MS Science • Connects students with today’s world • Development of life skills • Increasing the quality of life
  27. 27. What good is all this to me?
  28. 28. From the Traditional to the “Lived” • TRADITIONAL • Textbooks • Principles • Generalizations • Theories • Methods • Specific science areas • LIVED CURRICULUM • Foster links between the lives of early adolescents and their quality of life • Personally oriented • Interdisciplinary • Makes sense of science, re: everyday life
  29. 29. Life Science Curriculum Topics • Getting to know ourselves: What kind of a creature are we? • People have a long history on Earth • Human life cycle • How we learn about people & the world • Learning & remembering • Language & Communication • Knowing & deciding • Nutrition • Health, Hygiene & Safety • Human beings as social animals
  30. 30. Core Themes for MS Science • Health and Wellness • Stablilizing the Global Environment • New Energy Resources • Quality of Life • Quality of Work New Curriculum focus upon utilization of science/technology knowledge as it enhances adaptive needs of students
  31. 31. Some Examples • Green Classroom • Project Ozone • Project Water Watch
  32. 32. Adolescents and Science Learning: A Subject Sampler
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