Middle School Science Courses and Proficiencies
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The purpose in science instruction in the middle school is to serve a general education function. That is, science instruction should focus on providing the student with:
1. A valid understanding of the nature and purposes of science and of those mental and physical behaviors that characterize science as a human process.
2. A familiarization with certain general principles and concepts of science that have lasting relevancy.
3. Stimulating intellectual encounters with challenging problems involving investigative activities. The goal of preparing the student for future science courses is met by the successful attainment of these more general goals.
Science instruction requires active investigative behavior on the part of students. By coordinating/integrating the middle school science program students are provided with opportunities throughout their middle school science experience to reconnect with the themes of Systems and Change. In this manner students and teachers are regularly collecting data on student progress toward learning goals not only during the year but from year to year. The threading of these themes from sixth grade through eighth grade will lead to increased understanding and appreciation for the myriad of connections that exist among and between the branches of Earth, Life, and Physical Sciences. By doing science in addition to learning about science, students are given the opportunity to apply problem solving skills, learned across the curriculum, to real problems they and society as a whole will face.