These teams will be guided to a clear understanding of science literacy and how to build a curriculum which takes into account the foundations of knowledge held by a "scientifically literate" person. (The findings put forth in Benchmarks for Science Literacy (Project 2061), AAAS, 1993, will provide the basis for this preliminary work.)
The program will build upon the experiences of a coalition of local agencies that worked with Champaign Unit #4 School District in the development and implementation of a teacher written, activity-based science curriculum for the elementary grades. The expertise of the people involved in that program will be tapped and the difficulties they encountered will be deflected when possible.
In this collaborative effort, the participating teachers will be initiated into the use of computer-based technology, especially as a communication tool used to access science curriculum resource information, and for e-mail networking with each other and resource persons at the Department of Curriculum and Instruction, University of Illinois. This portion of the project will be carried out through collaboration with the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) and through access to Internet through a proposed 800 phone number to be used for access to remote areas that ISBE hopes to have on line in the fall of '94.
In addition to the development of activity-center science curriculum for the two school districts, a secondary goal of the project will be to study and evaluate the efforts and results put forth within the curriculum development project. This will be done for the purpose of developing a model of staff development that can be used by other districts in the state who want to pull away from the text-based science curriculum to a more district tailored, activity-centered approach.