Teaching Science at Jordan Middle School: Joint Planning and Technology Integration

Larry Cuban on School Reform and Classroom Practice

Team planning can be mandated by a principal or can happen naturally between like-minded teachers. At Jordan Middle School*, two science teachers in rooms adjacent to one another began slowly but steadily a few years ago to plan units of instruction for their 8th graders. A generation apart in age, these two teachers, one in her sixth year at Jordan, and Sue Pound, a New Zealand native and late-comer to teaching–she is in her 18th year of teaching–have planned units together.  The team has planned many units together including the lessons I observed two consecutive days. In connecting rooms, I saw both teachers, come and go into each other’s rooms, checking on students and materials for their jointly prepared lessons.

The state-approved physical science text they have for their students is outdated and soon to be obsolete with the state-approved Next Generation Science Standards for grades 5-8. These new…

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