The Effort to Expand Quality Science Materials: Two Opportunities

According to recent research shared by EdReports, nearly half of science teachers in the U.S. are using instructional materials they’ve made themselves – and 69% have never received coaching on the use of their main materials. In comparison to English language arts and math, the quality science curriculum landscape is murky. Far fewer program materials have been highly rated (or even eligible for review) by groups like EdReports, which makes it harder for states and districts to adopt quality curriculum.

That’s why I’m glad to see some promising news on the science curriculum front. Last week, OpenSciEd announced that they’ve now published a complete middle school science curriculum that is free, openly accessible, and complemented by educator supports like videos and guides. The most exciting part about OpenSciEd to me is its development across ten different states in direct partnership with science teachers. I’ve been following this innovative organization and it’s great to see the release of their middle school platform as they continue working on a full set of elementary and high school materials.

For folks interested in getting more involved in the instructional materials space, EdReports is actively seeking reviewers with expertise in the Next Generation Science Standards to conduct reviews of K-12 science materials. Learn more here and spread the word about this great opportunity to science educators in your network.

Jocelyn Pickford is an education policy and communications specialist focusing on understanding and promoting practitioner-informed public policy across the private, public and non-profit sectors as a Senior Affiliate with HCM Strategists. She began her career in education as a high school English teacher in a regular and special education inclusion classroom and is now a public school parent and recent member of her local district school board. Previously, Jocelyn led the design, launch and implementation of the Teaching Ambassador Fellowship at the U.S. Department of Education to integrate teachers into the national education policy dialogue. Jocelyn’s passion for her work was seeded during her own public school education and took root during her classroom teaching experience in Fairfax County, Virginia, where she led action research and presented instructional materials to a variety of audiences. Jocelyn earned her bachelor’s degree from Trinity College (CT), working as a professional writer and editor prior to becoming a teacher, and obtained her master’s in secondary education from the George Washington University. Jocelyn lives outside Philadelphia with her husband and two children.